On Sarurday 31st October 2015 at 2:04am I gave birth to our baby girl Ruby completely unassisted at home in mum and dads lounge in the birthing pool. She weighed in at 8.12lb, is 51cm long complete perfection.
It was such an amazing, crazy whirlwind of events that started on Friday night in an Indian take away shop. Yep only my waters would break whilst I'm alone picking up take always (extra hot curry by the way to get things going 😂) sooooo here I am thinking I'm taking the better option picking up take aways instead of bathing and getting Rocky ready for bed which can be such a bitch when your almost 41 weeks pregnant. I've offered to drop my sister at a work dinner and we are chatting away about how I could go into labour at any moment and how funny it would be if it was when we are out, turns out 15 minutes later I'd be standing like a busting 5 year old trying to not pee on the floor of a restaurant
I felt something happening down there but kind of brush it off like ohhh nah it's just the fact that I'm really pregnant and it's normal really pregnant bodily fluids (you get a lot of this happening at the end you literally think your pissing yourself five times a day but it's just wonderful goey pregnancy discharge) but then it leaves that category and I'm like ohhh God could this actually be wee?! Then the penny drops and I'm like shit son this is the business my waters are literally breaking!! The guy serving me is on the phone and I'm all bro hurry up I'm about to leak on your floor, in my head I'm like how do I tell him my waters have broken on his restaurant foyers floor like seriously he needs to hurry up and serve me. Finally he's like blah blah cash or card I'm already shoving the eftpos card into the machine whilst totally playing it cool and tying my jersey around my waist to try distract from the wet patch between my legs, but then I pancake and put the wrong pin in so I have to do it again arghhhh it's so bad! Finally I pay grab my take always and run as fast as a heffalump can run, I have a towel preped in the car so I throw it on the front seat and drive home like a maniac.
I start having contractions instantly which is very exciting and the only thing I'm disappointed about is I could have got a bloody mild curry and actually enjoyed dinner had I known I didn't need the labour inducing hot option lol. I make all the necessary calls, the birth photographer Sarah who lives two hours away, midwife to give her a heads up, mum and dad who are at a party, Jared's mum in New Plymouth, my sister who was on Rocky duty so I had to break the news couldn't get to drunk that night, and my bestie Sophie who was in town for the birth from Aussie. All the gang was aware and we were ready to get things started Soph arrived, mum and dad arrived, Rocky was asleep in his bed and Sarah our birth photographer was in Christchurch on stand by. Mum suggested I try get some sleep at about 10pm so Jared and I head off where he falls asleep instantly, dads sleeping off the alcohol and I'm probably on Instagram but oh no sleep was not happening I lasted in bed for like 45 min minutes then was like shit no this is not fun so I got mum and dad up and the pool was filled I txt Sarah our photographer to come over because things were happening and I laboured in the lounge until the pool was filled and I could jump in.
My god baby mamas have a bath or pool available during labour if you can it really is amazing we had ours set up in the lounge which worked well because mum was watching the silver ferns play and everyone could be comfy on the couches it was such an amazing relaxing environment. Almost instantly I realised this labour experience was very very different to the one I had with Rocky it was hard and fast the contractions were so intense and the pain was not as easy to manage, I kept saying this isn't what I remember it's not meant to be like this haha I also was ready to sign something to say I'm never having any more children because it was way more hard work than I remembered. I felt confused because it was happening so fast I was questioning things like I couldn't work out what position I wanted to labour in I couldn't work out how to ride out the peaks through breathing I wasn't scared but I wasn't coping as well as I expected I would or should have. A point came where I said out loud I need to stay in the right place I'm so close to letting myself go to a bad place and my mind needs to stay positive it took alot of effort from within myself and my support crew to keep me where I needed to be mentally. Sophie was googling the best positions for the pool because I couldn't figure it out naturally and Jared was in front of me fully supporting me with my arms flung around his neck, this is how I laboured with Rocky and I literally assumed this position with every surge during this labour even in the pool. I think it started to become obvious things were ramping up and my questioning and self doubt was in fact myself transitioning.
At some point around 11.30 I wanted to ring the midwife but she wasn't answering I remember asking another two times maybe for someone to call her but then I was oblivious to whether or not she had been contacted, at this stage my only focus was Jared and my mum I needed them with me at all times, Jared literally couldn't be more than 30cm away from me or I would freak and mum wasn't far behind. I was totally unaware that we are still midwife less and she seemed to be MIA at some stage the decision was made that Sophie would drive my dad (possibly still boozed lol) to the midwives house to rouse her I wasn't even aware they'd left. I'm in and out of the pool I'm up and down the hall way and all I want to do is poop like I'm literally screaming I need to poop but I also knew by this stage I had a few issues going on down there in the old anus area, I didn't want to poop because as far as I was concerned I was pooping my actual butthole out of my butthole I kept saying nooo I don't want to push any more I'm pooping out my insides 😂 Mum kindly reassures me once it's out its out and I can't poop it out again (thanks mum for the last minute advice on hemeroids). Still no midwife and I'm sitting on the toilet mooing like a possessed cow or another large loud animal rambling on about pushing, mum is asking me if I could maybe keep it down as Rocky's head is right next to the toilet in his room and I might wake him up! I'm pretty sure I called him a bastard and that I don't care it's not my problem if he wakes (yep my beautiful loved first born child was referred to as a bastard by his own mother but what are ya gonna do he'll never know) any who at some point mum realised shit was getting real and did a google crash course in midwifery and the stages of labour so she was like girl get your butt off that toilet and into that pool, I'm all no I'm not moving!! She's all you move now or Jared will drag/carry your fat ass (she was actually way nicer and didn't refer to my large bottom but it's funnier this way) so I hop up and toddle/waddle into the lounge and plop into the pool ever so gracefully.
I don't remember pushing with Rocky it was horrible if you read his birth story I talk about how people had said it's the best part and such a relieve plus you get more of a break in between the contractions, I thought they were lying, I hated those people, I wanted to wash their mouths out with soap! I pushed for just over four hours with Rocky and it was hell. This time I was like ohhh wow I know what all those crazy mamas meant now! This is amazing I can talk and like relax between contractions what is this, what's happening. Mum knew via her Google training that this was because the babe was coming and my body was giving me a rest I was oblivious and when with my next contraction I was pushing involuntary her and Jared are like pant bekah pant don't push, it was literally like the movies you know how they're like pant just pant!! So the three of us are panting and I'm like ok this is nice I can do this then wham no more panting I'm pushing and I can feel a bulge but there's no hair so I'm like there's no hair I don't know what it is it's not a baby!! Mums going bekah the only thing coming out of your vagina is a baby, it is a baby!!! So I feel her go back up the birth canal when that contraction finishes and I'm still concerned about the no hair situation but I now realise she was still behind my flaps (technical terms aren't my strong point obviously) or something and that's why there was no hair. The next contraction they try to get me to pant it out again (mum has since said her plan was to get me to pant my contractions away until the midwife arrived, ha yeah right) this time it's for real I can't do anything but push and out comes her head and a shoulder I didn't look down once I don't think I just held my hands on her face. I think this is the only time I panic a little because I'm worried her head is just out whilst I wait five or so minutes for the next contraction, my main concern was my vag was strangling her around her neck (silly I know now but it was a legit concern to me at the time) mums like no no it's ok and I'm asking do I just pull her out with out a contraction everyone is like no! and Sarah our amazing photographer is reassuring me she's fine under water half out. The next contraction I'm like screw this your coming out baby I'm not waiting for another contraction with you hanging 3/4 out of me, so I grab her wee face and pull with the urge to push as she comes out I can grab onto her body and pull her up onto my chest.
Our sweet sweet baby is here birthed totally unassisted by me in the pool on the lounge of my mum and dads, shit just got real.
We don't know what flavour she is yet and mums like look what we have? at first I think I see a boy but turns out it was just the ambilical cord and I'm like she's a girl!! We have a girl she has a peach people, I'm so bloody stoked and we instantly start calling her Ruby. I later exclaim to my midwife look at her beautiful vagina! It's amazing like seriously amazing Jared helps me back so I'm more comfy and we just wait the three of us together waiting for the rest of the team. Literally five minutes after I had her my sister busts in from town pissed as asking mum for taxi money it's so funny because she thought I'd have the baby the next day and we would all be asleep resting, she totally sobered up in record time.
Sophie and my dad turn up followed closely by our midwife who by the way is absolutely mortified about the nights events she's such an amazing woman and wanted to be at my birth so bad but fate had other plans. She had let a patients wee girl play with her phone earlier in the day and this darling child had put her phone on do not disturb so that's why none of us could get through, it's funnier now because not one person thought to call her land line we are all about the cellphones these days haha. It all worked out OK in the end though I'm so happy with how things went and I couldn't have asked for better support around me to get me through. I love every single aspect about birth so I guess I'm the perfect person for this to happen to, It was so calm and our baby girl got such a peaceful welcome into this world which showed instantly she didn't cry she just snuggled in to me and it's like she knew we were here family and would protect her no matter what.
Jared thinks the best thing about having a home birth is the fact that the team could celebrate the win with a few cheeky drinks at three in the morning. Here I am trying to birth the placenta and here they all are drinking rum and Coke for our baby girl in the lounge around the pool I'm not sure if it's the norm for home births or if it's just the norm for my family but it made for another good story to add to the birth.
It was beyond crazy but it was more magical than anything else I'm in awe of the woman's body and how we can adapt to any situation, I'm in awe of my people who all pulled through Sarah sobering up in record time and helping where she could then dealing with Rocky the next few days, and even though dad and sophie missed the main event leading up until her birth their presence was felt immensely, my mum god she's a star having her here was so calming because she's an amazing woman who has had four of her own babies and I knew she had our back, then my Jared if he hasn't come down the week prior he wouldn't have been here he wouldn't have gotten a flight after my waters broke and the next flights out of palmy would have been around 7.30am Saturday. I'm so thankful he made the decision to come when he did because he's my person I never knew how much I relied on him and how much I needed him to draw strength, he was my everything during this birth and labour process and I'm so grateful to have such an amazing man who loves us so much.
Sarah from Sarah Drummond Photography was there for the whole event and I'm so glad we decided to book someone to capture this event but I'm even more glad we found her. I don't even remember her being there because she just stayed in the back ground capturing these moments, it was such a whirlwind of events without her there we probably wouldn't have gotten any photos let alone photos of that quality. She was such a calm figure but she stepped in when I was looking for reassurance and it meant alot having that extra guidance when it was needed. I can't wait to get the rest of the photos and will do a seperate post when I have them because they need to be shared with the world! But in the mean time here's a sneak peak.
Ruby Pauline Keil
- WEIGHT - 8.12lb
- LENGTH - 51cm
- HEAD CIRCUMFERENCE - 35cm
- TIME OF BIRTH - 2.04am
- DATE OF BIRTH - 31st October 2015
- PLACE OF BIRTH - Christchurch
- TOTAL LENGTH OF LABOUR - 4 hours 25 minutes
- FIRST STAGE - 2 hours 25 minutes
- SECOND STAGE - 24 minutes
- THIRD STAGE - 1 hour 36 minutes