As you may know by now, I had a show on Thursday morning and started having stronger, regular contractions during the day. I started taking certain remedies to strengthen the uterus and pelvic muscles, to ensure, if it was real labour and prevent the contractions from stopping, like Raspberry Leaf tea.
During the morning CJ and I worked in the vegetable garden. Our first batch of beans was finished and we took out the remainder of it. We replanted some of our herbs and prepared the soil of this second bed for the Rainbow Corn Heidi-Mari sowed in seedling trays a few weeks ago. She sowed it in seedling trays, since we did not have space in the beds at that time. I enjoyed the time in the vegetable garden with CJ so much, although I couldn’t actually bend forward or sit down or reach the ground, anymore! CJ was such a star, knowing his mom needed the distraction and activity to get the contractions going, while he did everything I asked him to do.
By 11h00 we went into the house and every child started with his/her maths for the day. During this half an hour the contractions got closer, about 6min apart and more intense. Christo was at work and I had to keep him up to date by the hour.
By 14h00 Christo came to fetch CJ for a horse riding lesson and since my contractions was rhythmic every 5-7 minutes and longer than 60 seconds, he decided not to go back to work but came home to keep an eye me. We even went for a half an hour nap together, while the little ones were having their nap.
The rest of the afternoon I kept myself busy with doing laundry, cleaning bathrooms, putting away stuff scattered around the house. I also took care of our organic fruit and vegetables which we receive every Thursday at Eirene Health Shop
and prepared dinner. During dinner I realized that the contractions were not as rhythmic and strong as earlier the afternoon. There were even periods of 15min with NO contractions. I know from experience I have to focus when I am in labour. My contractions can stop very easily, when there are too much distractions. Feeding and bathing little ones fit the criteria to distract my focus from labour. So Christo and I went for a walk at 19h00. CJ, Heidi-Mari and Josua would clean up the dinner-table and kitchen, Danika would keep Andrew and David busy and Christo put Daniel in the ergo on his back so he could be with us.
We took a brisk 30min walk around the neighborhood and although there were a few strong contractions, they were not as strong as I would expect after 13 hours in labour. But then they got stronger again and Christo and CJ started filling the birth pool.
The birth pool takes 2 full geysers and they wanted to play safe to make sure they got it filled in time. I was only 3cm dilated, but had a few very strong contractions 3min apart and I called the midwife to warn her that she’s possibly going to catch a baby sometime during the night. Christo and the children were watching a DVD - “Wall E” while I took short naps between contractions, until I got one very strong one, that got me wide awake!
At 20h30 we put the little ones to bed and I put Daniel on my breast to enhance the labour. During the 15min he was on my breast I had 5 VERY strong contractions and actually started panicking for the intensity and length of the contractions. We called the midwife and she arrived at 21h30. Again my contractions become irregular and the intensity and length was less. I paced the house, became extremely tired and decided to lay down for a while, while Christo and Jenny sat chatting in the living room.
About an hour later a very strong contraction woke me up, they were rhythmic and strong again. By now I was 7cm dilated and quite excited. I was ready to get into the bath and from previous experience, I expected baby to be born in the next 90min, possibly before midnight!
As I got into the bath, I again couldn’t believe the relieve of the pain I experienced from the warm water and effect it had on my tense muscles. And then... the contractions stoped again! I even fell asleep at one stage only to wake up and see it was midnight and I still didn’t have strong enough contractions to indicate baby will be born soon.
By now Christo was giving me Caulophyllum and Cimicifuga every 10 minutes. You can read about the remedies during birth on his blog. Somewhere during this time I got a terrible pain on the left side of my back. This immediately added to my stress of not being fully in labour. With the little knowledge I have of labour it reminded me that back pain during labour, could be due to an incorrect birth position of baby. At 00h30 the midwife gave me a choice: We could either let the process go on naturally, leaving me with another few hours of labour, or we could break my waters and speed up the process. With all my water births the midwife broke my water at some stage, so without hesitation we decided to break my waters. At this stage my body was in total shock with all the pain, especially the back pain, but Jenny kept reminding me baby was in the right birth position and I needed to ‘relax’ and trust the Lord. I knew I had to trust the Lord and took all the mental strength I had left, to get myself focused on the Lord. The whole time while I was in labour we played Michael W Smith’s Worship DVDs and I took especially courage in his reading Ps 139 and his song “Everywhere I go I see You”! Christo also gave me some rescue drops, cell food and opened up a Coral 8 capsule and put the powder in my mouth. Baby’s heart beat was high and my pulse was high too.
The back pain was so bad, that I could hardly feel the contractions. When thinking back now, I think this was the worse part of the labour. With contractions you have a rhythm, the contraction comes, works itself up to a climax and gives you a few seconds of relief before the next contraction comes. With the intense back pain, there weren’t any moments of relief. It was a constant pain, with contractions in between.
Half an hour later there was still no progress. I could see Jenny was becoming worried about baby and me, but baby’s heart beat was back to normal again and my pulse too. It was 01h20 and I was still only 7cm dilated and my cervix wasn’t softened out and baby’s head still needed to move down about 3 cm. I was exhausted and panicking - how was I going to get this baby out?
It was then that Jenny suggested that with the next contraction, she’s going to manipulate the cervix to see if it will help baby’s head coming down. She put on one glove and with the next contraction was ready. Christo was supporting me from outside the pool. I’ve also decided that with every contraction, I would just push this baby down. I remember Jenny asking, “Do you feel like pushing or are you just pushing?” I was just pushing. Within seconds I felt baby’s head crowning. The moment Jenny pushed the cervix back, baby’s head had enough space and came down! There wasn’t even time for Jenny to put on another glove, baby was ready to be born! As I was pushing, I could feel baby coming out, but then we got stuck! There was no contraction, but I heard Jenny and Christo urging me to push. I didn’t know it then, but baby’s shoulder was stuck! Christo afterwards said, he could see Jenny’s muscles bulge as she literally had to pull Michael out. After what felt like hours (according to Christo about 2min) and with the help of another contraction, I felt the amazing relief of baby being born under the water! This was the most amazing moment of my life! The next moment Jenny lifted our little baby out of the water, and with great curiosity checked if it was a boy or a girl! Praise the Lord, our perfect little boy was safely in my arms!
For the next ten minutes I could only cry out in relief to my Lord and Savior for the amazing thing He had done!
Right through the delivery all the children were fast asleep! The children were a huge concern of mine. Daniel is cutting molars and he woke up every night during the past two weeks, before Michael’s birth, between 03h00 and 05h00. We had a plan for the older children on what to do if he woke up, but it wouldn’t be without Daniel crying and he would be totally out of his sleeping routine. I have the custom to fast coffee the last 40 days of every pregnancy and lay before the Lord all my fears and concerns. Some of my concerns that I put before the Lord were the timing of the day that would make it the easiest on the little ones, the fear for the pain, a safe delivery and a healthy mother and baby. The Lord was so faithful, as usual. After we praised the Lord and where sure baby was okay, Christo went to call CJ, Josua, Heidi-Mari and Danika.
CJ, who’s room is at the total opposite side of the house, said he woke up at 01h20 and couldn’t go back to sleep. This was the exact time when Jenny decided to give a hand with the cervix. I also heard from two other close friends, how they woke up at exactly 01h20 and where prompted to pray for us. Danika, who is sharing a room with Heidi-Mari, right next to our room, said she heard baby’s first cry and was just waiting for Daddy to come and call her to meet her new brother/sister!
It was so special to see their faces of adoration when they first laid eyes on their newborn baby brother!
Then they quietly went back to their beds. The little ones didn’t have an idea want happened and slept until 07h00 the morning!
As soon as Heidi-Mari could get CJ out of his bed, she bombarded him to help her put up the ‘It’s a Boy’-banner she’d made to let the neighbours know baby has arrived.
They are so proud to tell the world they got another brother!
This was my most difficult birth yet! Even with my recovery taking longer, looking back I just realized again - It is such a miracle and I will do it again! Without my loving husband’s constant encouragement and support,
my competent midwife and the Helping Right Hand of the Lord, I could never have done it!
Praise the Lord!