The night before Uma’s birth, after waiting what felt like forever... Ben & I decided to shake things up and not go to bed feeling anxious, thinking when is she coming.. so Ben gave me a DJ lesson, we had a yummy dinner - a lovely glass of red wine - and had some laughs! I guess relaxing worked because during the night around 3/4am I found feel my body having these dream like surges- they were actually enjoyable! I got up around 5am and showered and could still feel them - I was full of excitement and anticipation... I knew I would have her that day.
Had to get the kids ready and rushed out to nursery ... surges where random and manageable by then but was strange getting kids ready knowing I was in early labour! Off they went for breakfast at nursery super early! I was so happy & excited... I think Matilda knew she was coming as well but I did not say and anything neither did she!
Ben was back by 8am slowly the surges started again, randomly - sometimes they were intense and I couldn’t speak, other times they were easy... but I happily leant on my pregnancy ball and had Ben ma
mssaging my lower back.. we drank pink champagne and watched my best friends wedding and three men & a little lady and just chatted about our little Uma’s arrival. I felt calm & happy the fire burning, rain outside ... I felt cosy... safe & loved. Despite the fact I wanted a fast birth actually having this time to really enjoy the labour one last time, was a gift I can only now appreciate.
I was conscious that we needed to collect the kids by 530 and wanted to birth our baby before then! Having Rene the midwife who I trusted so much and always makes me smile ... I figured her calm presence could only help moving things along, so by 1.30pm she was here and we continued to chat & laugh and everything felt so normal.. and I had surges - all the time quite random in timings and strength... I thought they had to be close together for things to progress but turns out by baby 3 - all bets are off! Surges can be random and vary in strength and then suddenly become intense and step up - that’s exactly what happened... by 230pm I had a surge out of the blue that was tough... really tough - I immediately had to get in the pool ... each one became very very strong, it took all of my focus & strength.. it was HARD.. But I said to myself ‘labour is hard work, be kind to yourself..’ it was so powerful... I would breathe my Lavender flannel and focus on my breathe as I surged there was no fear just focus and energy.
In between it amazed me how present I felt, I could see the raindrops on the window, feel Ben pouring warm water on my back, Rene’s words of praise for getting through each & every surge... As Uma got to the final stage, I could feel her come down ... I could feel she would arrive soon.. I needed reassurance - I asked to see Rene’s eyes (as she was behind me) I needed to hear I could do this... her eyes said it all, she had seen me birth my boy Linus... her faith in me reminded me I’ve got this at a moment of worry. I said to myself - I’ll meet her soon, the feeling of her head coming out was so vivid in every single way... I could feel my body literally opening, I could feel the power of the surges as her body came down...it took every ounce of trust in myself, my body and Uma that we could do this... knowing everything was normal and reminding myself that... it all felt so REAL, so vivid, I was so present with every sensation that it was the most overwhelming experience of all 3 births... when the last couple of surges were not quite getting the rest of her body out- Rene asked that I get up out the pool, and lift a leg onto the side, that way it would sort of shimmy her out... and it did she came out, and oh the relief! Rene grabbed her and there was a juggle between Rene, Ben & me to pass the baby back to me through my leg... we all were giggling a little - she did not cry immediately so we had to rub and blow on her, and then there it was that beautiful cry..... all was well. I immediately felt lighter in so many ways.
Perhaps the power of vividness of the birth was there to make me feel as much as I felt safe, supported & loved... that was the hardest mental & physical thing I’ve ever done I think because releasing all control and letting go is such a challenge for me, I felt so vulnerable doing it - but I did, and this birth with Uma has truly given me a reassurance that I can let go, that releasing control and trusting releases magic that I have inside me. Controlling things... stops the flow, it stops change, it stops happiness... being with what is- albeit hard, intense allows a whole flavour of life’s feelings that I don’t want to miss out on tasting.
These early days, following my instincts, being kind to myself and allowing the joy the sadness, the anxiety - feeling it all as it flows has just felt like the rainbow of emotions that is having a baby!
I feel proud, exhilarated at completing our family... huge excitement at getting to know Uma.. and seeing already this little lady is her own person, she’s not Matilda or Linus .. she’s her, and birthing her and the experience being so different so much more REAL, and powerful makes me feel this little last baby is a force of nature, she is distinct, she’s strong & my love for her is as overpowering as that birth, mummy and her baby daughter - full of passion courage & love.