Written by Maddison Bronger @goldenandwilde_
By Maddison Bronger
My surges started to heat up on the morning of Christmas Eve, I was due on Christmas Day.
I thought it was just prodromal labour again (false start) so I continued to potter around the house, kept hydrated and distracted enjoying light snacks and laughter. I also did not want to accept that this was labour because the visitation rules were strict and I would not be allowed my mum or daughter in the birth suite or after to visit. This compounded a lot of anxiety about the possibilities of things going wrong, as a midwife I carried a lot of anxiety about such possibilities but had to remind myself how normal birth is and that we are so very wildly capable of birthing our babies.
My mum and I decided to go for a walk in the mid-morning, and my husband and family started to get the house ready for Christmas breakfast the next morning (I was a madwoman! hosting on my due date right?!).
At around 3pm my surges were regular, intensifying and I knew this was no longer prodromal labour and that I should start packing my hospital bag and also discreetly asking everyone to leave without giving away that I was in labour! I sent my midwife a short text to let her know that there may be a Christmas baby on his or her way (I felt so bad that I needed her on Christmas Eve!).
At around 4pm I asked my midwife to come over before meeting her at the hospital, just as my beautiful midwife Heidi walked through the door my waters broke, the fluid was nice and clear so we hung around at home a little bit longer. At 5pm I needed to distract myself from the pain & water immersion was part of my birth plan. My husband and I made our way to the hospital and arrived at 530pm, I genuinely thought I was going to have a car baby. Marigolds head was so low and posterior, because of this the urge to push came on very early!
Heidi got to the hospital just before us and started pouring a bath for me, I waited on the hospital bed and started some gas and air. I tried acupressure by holding a vomit bag and popped our birth playlist on. I sank into the bath and this was heavenly, my husband held a fan on my face for hours too! Great combination. I had intermittent monitoring via a fetal doppler and Marigold did very well in labour.
The involuntary urge to push began again, and I was encouraged to stop pushing much to my dismay, at this point I had a vaginal examination but instead of being told what I was in centimetres I was encouraged with words such as “close”.
The bath had been my safe haven for my labour & part of my transitional phase but it was time to open my pelvis up more and let this posterior baby work her magic. I got out of the bath & walked to the bed, at this stage it was now 10pm. Heidi (Midwife) and my husband wrapped me in warm blankets and made a little supportive cocoon. I wasn’t mentally letting go as I was heartbroken that my mum and daughter would not be allowed to visit, I was having a very late transition and my midwife set up some fluids for me and I felt like it was never going to end and asked for an epidural. As I sat up to reposition for an epidural, Marigold's head was on view.
My husband and midwife helped me turn back onto the bed and Marigold was born at 10:36pm with beautiful warm compresses on my perineum and brought straight up to my chest in perfect condition.
She was in fact a surprise gender birth, but I knew deep down she was always Marigold. I declined a fundal rub and had a physiological third stage delivering the placenta myself.
I had a small periurethral tear and had a catheter inserted, which I was keen to go home with and have a trial of void the next day. A quick postnatal shower and all tucked into bed with a brand new baby on the ward in the early hours of Christmas morning.