This birth story is beautiful and is beautiful to read…Dani has such a way with words!
I love how you can feel the fun that she and Glenn had both in preparing for birth and during…birth is meant to be enjoyable! You can joke, you can laugh, you can enjoy yourself!
And long pregnancies can be hard to enjoy! Especially as those days go on and pressure seems to mount from family, your caregiver, and yourself. But Dani and Glenn were able to hold onto their positive mindset and continue to embrace their experience.
After a long pregnancy, Dani ended up having a quick labour! Funny how sometimes babies that seem to keep us waiting forever, then decide to arrive in a hurry!
‘There is a power that comes to women when they give birth. They don’t ask for it, it simply invades them’.
I have never felt stronger, more empowered and more womanly than I did the day I gave birth to our son. It was and will remain to be the most incredible experience of my life and a day that I will deeply treasure for as long as I live.
Our obstetrician had told us that he didn’t think we would make full term, our baby was engaged, locked and loaded from 35 weeks, it was only a matter of time. We couldn’t wait to meet our little bundle of joy, I felt as if my pregnancy had dragged on forever and we were overwhelmed with excitement for our family to become three. The first day of February came and went. It was the day I was supposed to give birth to our baby. I felt deflated, I was so ready to begin this next chapter of our lives but I was patient. I knew that when the timing was right, he would come.
The next 11 days were long. Every day I woke up wondering if today would be the day. Every night I would tell my husband that ‘something was happening’. Upon reflection I think I wanted our baby to arrive so badly that I was almost willing it to happen. I would fill my days with massages and foot rubs, acupuncture and countless hours sitting in the lounge room bouncing on my ball. Hoping. Wishing. Waiting.
The 10th of February rolled on by and our obstetrician had advised us that we would need to be induced the next day. I was disappointed as this was not the way I had wanted our birth to be. We had decided to do a Hypnobirthing Australia course when we were about 6 months pregnant and I had my birth all planned out, although I had mentally prepared myself for anything. I had dreamed of waking up in the night to my first contraction and spending time at home with my husband until it was time to head to the hospital, but I reminded myself that I didn’t fall pregnant to give birth, I fell pregnant because we wanted a child and however that child would come into this world would be more than okay with me.
That afternoon we went to my parents place for the night. It was a Saturday and we decided we should get out of the house and enjoy our last night child-free, before our lives changed forever. We were beyond excited. By 8:00pm we had eaten dinner and were relaxing outside, placing bets on whether we thought Baby Abey (as we affectionately called him) would be a boy or a girl. I encouraged my husband to relax and have a few drinks. We had been on high alert for weeks and weeks now and this baby was not coming out on his own accord and would be evicted tomorrow.
A couple of hours passed and I was getting tired so decided I was going to head off to bed. As I stood up from my chair, I felt a sharp pain shoot through my body. I was frozen. I turned around and everyone was looking at me. Was that a contraction they asked? I wasn’t sure but it was definitely something. I took myself off to the bathroom as I suddenly felt the urge to pee and noticed when I got there that I was leaking. Oh. My. God. It was happening. I quickly waddled outside to inform my husband and parents and then BAM! Another contraction. It hadn’t been any more than a few minutes since I’d had the very first one. We decided we better get the timer out in case they were going to be consistently frequent. And that they were. Almost straight away they were three minutes apart, coming hard and fast. I was pacing the back yard not sure what I should do. We called the hospital and they told us to come straight in. We threw our bags in the car and then the realisation hit us. Who was going to drive? My husband and my parents had all been drinking. We had come to the conclusion that we were going to be induced and tomorrow would be the day. Boy, were we wrong. My 17 year old brother, who was only on his learners, was the only option. I guess that made me the supervisory driver! When I think back to this night, I cannot help but burst out laughing. The image of my parents and my husband piling into the car, my brother was driving while I was literally hanging out the window groaning with each contraction. I could see the look on my brother’s face in the rear-view mirror. The look of sheer terror will be etched into my brain forever.
We arrived at the hospital at approximately 10:00pm. We were the only people in the birthing suite which was actually very lucky as I did not give birth quietly (Glenn still jokes to this day that I sounded like a Wookie). The midwife came in and checked my cervix. Even though my contractions were close together, I was only 3cm dilated and they suggested we go home. There was no way I was getting back in that car and going home so Glenn told the midwife to go and get someone with a smaller hand. Seriously, my husband is hilarious! Ten minutes later my waters broke and it was go time. I had decided that I wanted to have a natural drug-free birth if I could but within minutes I was telling my husband to ignore everything I had said and to get me the epidural! He persuaded me to hop in the shower and give it some time, he knew that’s not what I wanted. I spent the next few hours in the shower on the ball, my Mum was still here at this stage and her and Glenn were massaging my back while my birthing affirmations played in the background. I would get angry as soon as either of them stopped – I was in the zone; I actually ended up with blisters on my back from them rubbing it for so long. Our baby was posterior too, which meant I laboured all in my back! When it was getting close to delivery, my Mum left the room. We had only ever planned for Glenn and I to be there and this is how we wanted it to be.
At 1.29am on the 11th of February, (on the shower floor and a total of 4 hours from my first contraction), Maverick George Abel was born into the arms of my husband. We did it! I have never felt so much overwhelming love in my life. Love for my husband and for the life we had just bought into the world. My heart was so full and my birth experience was everything I had dreamed of and more.
“Whenever and however you intend to give birth, your experience will impact your emotions, your mind, your body and your spirit for the rest of your life. No matter how your child is born into this world, it will forever be your greatest achievement”.