Willow’s Birth Story
Willow’s story begins long before she chose to enter this world. Against all odds a one night fling with my ex resulted in my pregnancy with her, the decision to keep her and raise knowing I would be a single mother to a newborn was a hard decision to make. But there was only ever one choice looking back now, this beautiful girl was destined to be here and teach the world, and myself particularly, so much.
At the time of her conception I was still dealing with the loss of my marriage to her dad as well as raising her Sister Maddy 8 (at the time) and Brother Harry 3 (at the time) as well as still struggling with the loss of her brother William who passed away from SIDS at the age of 8 months in 2005. My life had been so full of turmoil and I had lost faith in myself as a person and a mother. So choosing to bring another child into the world faced a lot of challenges for me especially because the relationship I had with my ex was so difficult and strained.
My pregnancy with Willow was difficult emotional but everything with her was perfect from the beginning. This is how her birth story goes….
I was getting increasing frustrated with still being pregnant and had had a visit with my midwife on Monday 4/10/10. We discussed all my options and how I would like to proceed etc and she is such an awesome women whom had already been with me during the pregnancy and birth of Harry which had also provided its own challenges as it was not long after Will had died. She was willing to just listen and guide me to my own choice (which I didn’t trust was the right one haha of course). I decided to hang in there for as long as I could giving Willow the chance to arrive (all my other births had been inductions post dates with ARM and all drug free) but had chosen Friday as my induction date if I felt I needed it as it was near the last day I could have her in the birth centre and with my midwife (silly reason but valid for me).
So I had a plan in my head… until Willow changed her mind and decided to come.
On Tuesday morning after having niggling pains Monday night (I had been having these for weeks though) I woke at 1am having pain and just got up and went to the toilet and back to bed. After trying to go back to sleep and continually being either woken or hit with another pain I decided to get up and get in the bath to try and stop them (hahahahaha) because I just wanted to sleep this is when I had my show which was completely foreign to me! After the bath not helping and them getting more intense I became slightly worried or actually more concern about how iI was going to look after the kids in the morning so I called the kids dad to ask him to come over and get Maddy to school and look after them as Harry would be up in about 30 mins, this was 4:30 am.
He arrived and by then I had convinced myself that maybe it was time to call my midwife and at least talk to her but still in my head thinking it wasn’t really it that I would get there and it would stop or something equally embarrassing. I also called my sister and asked her to maybe start making her way up just in case she lived about 1.5 hours away. By this stage I must have looked like I was in some sort of pain as J had the kids were in the car and was ready to take me. By now it was about 5:15am. After my midwife talking me through some contractions she asked me what I wanted to do and I said I wanted to come into the birth centre so she agreed to meet me there at 6am.
After dropping the kids off at my in laws house (who looking back now were also very eager to get me on the road and to the birth centre) we set off on what I now will classify as horrendously wanting to exit a vehicle every 4 or so minutes even though it was hurtling up the highway!
When we arrived at the birth centre the midwife wasn’t quite there yet but arrived moments after we did, from here my insecurities in myself really appeared. It was only now that reality hit and yes I was going to have Willow TODAY and naturally without induction. As I rode through the contractions I found myself not giving into the pain as I had previously done during labour allowing them to work fully. This by no means slowed down my labour but instead made me feel like I was losing control. I remember my midwife continually saying to me “Shelley you are safe and so is your baby” I tried to repeat this and go with it. I found fears over other people’s experiences I had heard and seen were creating fears within me and this must teach me, one person’s experiences are never the same as anothers so trust in yourself.
It was now that I started to bleed and completely freaked out. I was on my hand and knees on the floor and crying thinking something was wrong. I know now that it is what my body does, I get a partial lip of my cervix that doesn’t dilate as fast as the rest causing bleeding it happened in all of my births but at the time I was irrational and scared. I know this is now transition for me after looking back on my previous births.
My Midwife asked me to hop up on the bed but I said no as i didn’t want to end up birthing on my back and tearing again. She told me she need to check what was going on and I could hop up straight after. I trust her so I did what she asked. As I hopped up that was it I was stuck as it must have been the position I need to be in to dilate the last of my cervical lip. As I began to push things happened very fast from here.
When Willow’s head was out I looked at my midwife’s face I knew something wasn’t quite right. She said to me next contraction I needed to get this baby out, well from here I thought all my fears were becoming realised and asked her “how urgent is urgent should I just push now?!?!?!?” she told me everything would be okay, just next contraction this baby had to be born. Next pushed out she came all tangled up in her cord.
At 7:35 am Willow entered the world, slightly blue and stunned but perfect nonetheless SAFE. I had done it and it had been amazing. I am so proud of myself and the birth I achieved, the energy in the room was amazing and I could not have picked a better selection of people to be there during this transformational experience. I wish I could have remained calmer but after everything I have experienced I think it is just the way I react emotionally during labour. I walked out of the birth centre 4 hours later at 11am ready to start my life as a single mother of 3 and what a ride that has been 🙂