2017 introduced me to the amazing experience of pregnancy, childbirth & motherhood. I feel incredibly lucky that I experienced very minimal discomfort and enjoyed a healthy, sugar free diet thanks to my sudden and surprising aversion to anything sweet. I continued to exercise and work throughout my pregnancy, shooting my last wedding the day before my due date. Throughout my pregnancy I had hoped and wished to be a week late so that I could enjoy some massages, pedicures and long lunches with my friends before baby arrived into this world.
During this time I finished the birth manuals for my husband (Brett), got our birthing space and affirmations ready and gathered all the last minute things we might need like doppler’s, cord clamps and cutters etc (which I used none of but I always say you can never be too prepared).
At 2am on the 10th of the 10th, exactly one week after my estimated due date and only a couple of hours after Brett had told me that he couldn’t wait to meet our baby, I awoke to some feelings of pressure in my lower back. I paced around the house as I wasn’t entirely sure what it was but my excitement grew as I noticed that there was a pattern to this pressure I was feeling - I couldn’t wait to experience birth! I tried a number of times to go to sleep, thinking that this could be a false alarm but every 3 minutes I was back up walking it off again.
I decided to take myself upstairs so as not to wake my husband where my beautiful cat LuLu laid by my side as I quietly laboured. At 4am I texted Mum to say that I thought something was happening and at 5:30am I texted my Doula and my photographer to let them know that there was nothing urgent but that I was having pressure waves.
“Hey Shelly - nothing urgent hence Facebook message and not text xx
Have been up since 2am this morning experiencing pressure waves. They were pretty consistent until 4am and are irregular now. Just messaged mum to call me when she is awake. Lost a tiny bit of mucous plug. I’ll give you a buzz if anything changes xx”
She asked how far apart they were
“They were pretty intense straight away - lasting a minute, every 2 minutes. They’re so irregular now that I haven’t been timing them. Each time I try to go to sleep I get a nice big reminder. They are probably 7-8 minutes apart now lasting 45-60 secs”
She said she was going to get organized and start making her way down.
I asked ‘are you sure!? I feel like I have a long time to go’
At 6:30am my husband found me upstairs and I called Mum.
I told her that I was in some kind of labour and had to stop talking each time I felt a pressure wave. She told me that she thought I was further along than I thought.
But I still felt I had many hours ahead of me.
I decided to move back downstairs to labour on my yoga ball and listen to some hypnobabies and some of the playlists I had prepared. I kept intending to but we never got to play the Hypnobabies but I had it all in my head. Instead Brett and I slow danced in the lounge room.
It was the time now to go live on BirthTube as we had planned to livestream our birth. Unfortunately due to my lack of sleep and starting the live stream mid contraction I accidentally started this live stream on my personal Facebook page. We later realised what I had done when we saw we were receiving comments from those we knew!!
Mid contraction I desperately stopped the recording and we didn’t have another opportunity to try again as things progressed very quickly from there.
I was oblivious to it but Brett had been watching me and decided to call Shelly our amazing Doula and asked her to come to us. He was so caring, quietly checking me and made me some toast to give me sustenance for the day ahead.
Shelly was also amazing - so unobtrusive and wise. Making sure I was both hydrated and using the bathroom. She looked after me so well. She massaged my lower back which is where I was feeling all pressure and maintained a calm environment for us.
Transition arrived with the longest pressure wave of the labour. Shelly guided me to our birth space while Brett got rid of the people at our house (we had a few tradesmen there fixing the a/c that had just blown up the day before!). My waters broke with this powerful pressure wave.
This is when I finally realized that our baby was coming! I could feel her descending down the birth canal and I was trying to slow it down as Brett was still downstairs. Shelly went to get him and I started calling out to him. Half way up the stairs Brett asked her if she thought it would be another 10 or 20 hours - she looked at him and said ‘you’re about to meet your baby!’ He ran the rest of the way and jumped in the bath just in time!
Just 25 minutes from my waters breaking we met our beautiful baby girl - 10/10/17 at 10:23am: Mahli Harper Goetze
The placenta came out easily and without any retainment after Mahli did the Breast Crawl to her first feed and there was minimal postpartum bleeding. Shelly and I made Placenta Prints which I plan to Colour and accentuate the ‘Tree of Life’ form that it made.
I enjoyed the Hypnobabies program and I loved using the Blissful Herbs products that feature in my video. The cup Shelly hands Brett is their No Bleed tea.
My mum’s labour with me was 1hr 20, I was her first. Brett and I live over an hour away from our hospital so decided to be prepared in case we did have Mahli at home. It wasn’t until the day after her due date that we decided that we definitely wanted to have her at home in a calm, safe environment. Our dream came true and her birth was watched over by our Doggie Doulas, Skipper & Eddie who are completely smitten with her.
We can’t wait to do it again!!! I can not recommend Shelly enough!
Shelly Birthing Doula: https://www.facebook.com/Birthing-Doula-Shelly-453842738123352/