Birth Story: ‘I tried to poop but then felt her head’

Posted in Birth Stories.

Mum and Dad holding baby after home birth

When choosing where you are going to give birth there are countless options. Most mothers’ first choice is to birth in a hospital but for the second time Mum, Stephanie, the choice was to birth in the comfort of her own home.

After a rough first birthing experience at the hospital with a breech baby, heart palpitations and a fever. Stephanie wanted her second birth to be her redemption and healing experience. She shared her story with Mum’s Grapevine.

Traumatic first labour

Stephanie and Dale 2018

Stephanie’s first pregnancy back in 2020 was a roller coaster. It had taken her around six months to conceive her first child who was in a breech position until 37 weeks. Stephanie had an ECV to try and turn her son around, and while this was successful when her waters broke at 40 weeks, her son’s head wasn’t far enough down. Stephanie was advised she would likely need a caesarean section due to the risk of cord prolapse.

The following day her baby had his head down however as labour had not yet started properly, Stephanie had to be induced. “They were unable to monitor me in any other position but on the bed which was awful. I tried gas and ended up with an epidural which was awful and gave an uneven block, I had heart palpitations and ended up with a fever” Stephanie shared with Mum’s Grapevine.

Stephanie was finally able to give birth vaginally after a 12-hour active labour.

positive pregnancy tests and card

When Stephanie and her husband Dale, decided to try for a second child it would be safe to assume that conception would take just as long as it did for their son.

This proved to be not the case as they were only trying for two months when Stephanie found out she would be expecting their second baby to arrive in April 2023.

‘I doubted myself’

baby ultrasound photo

For their second pregnancy, Stephanie and Dale chose to keep their baby’s gender a surprise. Stephanie wanted her second birth to be a much more positive and empowering experience, as well as emotional healing of the trauma caused by her first birth experience.

“One of my best friends had had a successful home birth for her first in August 2022 and she inspired me to give birth in my home. I did a lot of research and mental prep and leading into the birth I felt strong and confident in my  abilities and had only a few fleeting moments of doubt!”

Stephanie at baby shower

Stephanie felt certain that her baby would arrive by 39 weeks this time and became discouraged when she reached 40 weeks and then 41 weeks.

“That week of going past our due date was mentally tough and I had a few days where I completely doubted myself but listened to some positive stories and podcasts and was back in a good frame of mind. I had a stretch and sweep with my midwife in the morning at 41+1, she was happy to find I was already 3 cm dilated and my cervix super soft. I then went to pick up my son and do a few things, got out of the car at about 1 pm and my waters broke. Not a huge gush but a constant trickle.

“I didn’t feel any cramps or anything til about 3 pm, so mild I didn’t think anything of it. We decided to get our boy picked up by his Nanna at about 4.30 pm for the night just in case things kicked off and it was like my body needed the calm and quiet and for just hubby and me to get in the zone. Contractions started about an hour after he’d left but were very spaced apart about 15- 20 mins and relatively manageable.”

‘We tried to watch a movie’

Pregnant mum Stephanie posting for photo

“We got some stuff ready and then tried to watch a movie, I just had a hot pack at this stage. Lying down on the couch contractions were about one minute and 30 seconds long but roughly 10 mins apart and getting more uncomfortable but strangely as soon as I got up to go the loo or do anything they were about 30 seconds long and two to three mins apart but then would slow once I laid down again.

“We got about halfway through the movie and decided it was time for a bath for comfort around 7 pm. Tried that for about 20 mins and they were still relatively far apart but growing more uncomfortable. I’d hired a TENS machine and knew it could be difficult to get it right if I didn’t get it on at the right time! So we popped it on and called our midwives to say things were cracking along.”

‘I was getting very little break’

Stephanie during labour at home

“I just started to walk around a bit more and things started to ramp up pretty quickly! I was pacing laps of our living area, stomping my feet and making loud ahhh noises (all things I’d read from a book called Birth Skills recommended by one of the Mum’s in the Mum’s Grapevine Autumn 2023 group) we also called our midwife again and she said she’d set off on her way.

“By roughly 8.30 I was getting very little break between contractions if any and then started to feel the urge to poo. I think I tried once but was too overwhelmed with the pain of the contractions so kept moving and then very shortly after the sensation to poo was so strong I headed to the toilet with hubby very close behind (he was starting to panic at this point) I tried to poop but then felt her head rapidly descend and the biggest sensation ever to start pushing! I stood and grasped onto the sink and within two or three pushes baby’s head was out and one more for the body, hubby was crouched down on the floor while this was happening and caught her.”

Stephanie and newborn moments after birth

“She took about 30 seconds or so hubby thinks it was to let out a big healthy cry and he looked down and saw that we had birthed a beautiful baby girl! We grabbed a blanket and I held her to my chest and sat back down on the loo with her in my arms. Our midwife arrived five minutes after it happened. I remember sitting there in the loo feeling elated, proud, and amazed at what we had just done!”

The most incredible experience

midwife arriving five minutes late

“My husband as scared as he was, did amazing and couldn’t have handled things any better! We then moved to our other room where we had a pool (hose still running, as we had tried to start filling it up but were way too slow) and our second midwife arrived.”

Stephanie and newborn on the couch

Steph breastfeeding her baby in the lounge room after a home birth

Stephanie birthed her placenta and was able to breastfeed her new baby girl immediately. She spent the next few hours soaking up her newborn cuddles and treasuring the experience she had just had.

“I couldn’t be happier about how it all turned out and I was so proud that I had completely trusted my body and its ability to do what nature intended”

newborn baby crying in mum's arms

We are so happy that Stephanie was able to have the birth of her dreams and redemption for a traumatic first birth. Wishing this beautiful family every happiness in the world.

Got your own birth story you’re itching to tell? We’re always on the lookout for new stories to feature. Submit your birth story.

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