Birth Story: ‘I gave birth on the bathroom floor’

Posted in Birth Stories.

Bree sits on the hospital bathroom floor with her baby

After struggling to fall pregnant with their first child, Bree and Anthony weren’t sure what to expect when they decided to give their toddler a sibling.

Little did she know, Bree was already pregnant again. Nine months later, the Mum’s Grapevine Spring 2023 due date group member shared her inspiring story of giving birth to her daughter, Goldie.

“My husband Anthony and I have a beautiful 2.5-year-old, Parker. We tried to conceive her for close to two years and as we were looking to start fertility treatment, we fell pregnant naturally.

“I had first trimester Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) with her, I was in the hospital five times for IV fluid, and I had a whiteboard where I would keep a vomiting tally and if it was over 20 vomits, I would go to the hospital for fluid! Parker’s birth was an induction, with a vacuum and a minor first-degree tear.

“We had planned to start trying for another baby during 2023, and would have around a 3-year age gap between the two, we also didn’t know how long it would take to conceive the 2nd time. The week between Christmas (2022) and New Year’s we were doing the groceries and I said I think I’m pregnant – I just felt it within my body. I waited a few days then finally went and got a pregnancy test, and it was instantly positive! It was a big surprise but a welcome surprise.”

Bree pregnant in the pool with her toddler

Preparing for a natural birth

Unlike her first birth, Bree knew this time she wanted to try and have a physiological birth and third stage – when the baby and placenta are delivered naturally.

“I had a pretty awful start to my pregnancy. I vomited every afternoon from about 4pm until bed and was nauseous every second of the day from the moment I woke until I fell asleep for the first 20 weeks. I’m grateful that after 20 weeks I was only sick a handful more times and was able to finally start enjoying my pregnancy as being so unwell made it incredibly tricky to enjoy that first half.

“Once I started feeling better I really embraced my pregnancy and absolutely loved being pregnant. I did get over it towards the end and thought I would never go into labour naturally!

“I had a stretch and sweep at 40+1, I was 4cm dilated and my cervix was so stretchy that my midwife was able to stretch to 10cm easily and advised that my waters were bulging and at the first sign of labour to head to hospital because she thought it would be quite quick.

“The Wednesday (40+3) I had been very moody all day and had decided to go to bed early. My 2.5 year old woke at about 12:30am (Thursday morning 40+4) and called out, I went in and laid with her and fell asleep. Around 12:50am, I woke from a strange dream and thought I had a little cramp. I got a drink and went back to bed and at 1am I had an intense cramp and thought maybe I needed to go to the toilet. As I sat on the toilet I was so uncomfortable I said to my husband I think this is a contraction. We called my midwife and it was redirected to the midwife on call who told me to wait at home until the contractions started to ramp up. My husband told her that my midwife had advised us to make our way to hospital immediately at any sign of labour, so the midwife on call said ‘not a problem I’ll leave home now and meet you in the hospital.’ I had Ant pop my TENS machine on (just in case it was labour) and my gosh I am so glad I had it on for the drive!”

Bree takes a pregnant selfie in the mirror

‘Everything looked perfect’

Still unsure whether she was in false labour or not, Bree and Ant hoped for the best as they left for the half-an-hour drive to the hospital.

“We called my student midwife who had a 1.5 hour drive and told her I was in labour and to head up to the hospital. I had a missed call from the midwife and when I called her back I was inbetween contractions and able to have an easy conversation, I told her how beautiful the moon looked and her reply was ‘let’s hope these contractions don’t fizzle out’.

“I told her that I was hoping to have birth suite 1 (the only one with a bath) – my birthing hospital doesn’t allow water births, however, they do allow you to labour in the bath. That phone call was at 1:22am. From there, my contractions ramped up and were coming every 5ish minutes and they were so incredibly intense. I could feel the car speed up a bit and when I’d have a break I’d tell my husband to stop speeding because everything was fine! As we pulled up to the hospital my midwife was waiting out the front and she said to me later she knew I was in labour then because Ant got the bag out and was pacing around the car and I couldn’t get out because of a contraction.

“I was offered a wheel chair but said I was fine, I had 3 contractions from the car to the ward, then another as I was walking to the birth suites, I apologised to everyone because I had to fart as the contraction was coming haha! The ward midwife let us know that we had room 1 and they had the bath running. The room was set up so beautifully with essential oils, salt lamps and the bath had coloured lights and little electric tea light candles.
Everyone knew I wanted a physiological birth and if no complications, a physiological third stage. I looked at the clock as we walked in, it was 2:04am, and just as I made a note of the time another contraction hit. I found being on the mat on all fours and leaning on the bed was the most comfortable position. The midwife checked baby’s heart rate with the Doppler and everything looked perfect.”

Bree has a contraction in the bathroom

‘She was born 7 minutes after my waters broke’

With Bree’s labour progressing well, she had a feeling it wouldn’t be long until she would be meeting her baby, and how right she was!

“The contractions were becoming quite painful because my waters hadn’t broken, the pressure from each contraction was so uncomfortable, I felt like I had to poo every time I had one.

“I still had my dress and undies on and the undies all of a sudden become sooo annoying – I ripped them off!
My husband pressed on my hips which definitely helped with the pressure discomfort and at 2:34 I had a HUGE contraction and with that, my waters broke all over the mat and there was instant relief from the pressure. I asked for Ant to take my TENS off because I wanted to get into the bath.

“I got up once I was ready and walked to the bathroom. I was looking at the bath thinking to myself how the heck am I meant to get in here, it’s so high!? (not knowing that there was a little door that opened.) Just as I was about to ask, I felt my baby move down into the canal and I yelled out the baby is coming! I felt like no one heard me so I yelled ‘THE HEAD IS COMING, NOW!’ I grabbed onto the handle next to the toilet and squatted down, then my midwife slid the mat in so I was able to kneel down with one leg. I was able to use my breath to birth her head which was quickly followed by her body, And at 2:41am my sweet Goldie girl was in my arms – 7 minutes after my waters broke!

“We didn’t find out the gender and Anthony told me we had another beautiful baby girl which was such a special moment. After our cuddles on the bathroom floor, we moved to the bed and this is when my student midwife arrived, she missed the birth by about 10 mins.”

Bree sits on the hospital bathroom floor with her baby

Baby Goldie asleep in hospital

Birthing the placenta

As Bree waited for the third stage of labour to begin, she enjoyed beautiful skin-to-skin contact with Goldie, followed by her doing the breast crawl to begin feeding.

“After about 30 mins I got up on my knees and tried to push the placenta but it wasn’t ready. I laid back down and then I felt the urge to push again, so I got back up on my knees and the placenta came out in one push – 46 minutes after I had Goldie.

“Once the placenta was out, Anthony then cut the cord and our midwife gave us a beautiful lesson on all things placenta, it was incredible.

“I was then checked and I had two inner labia grazes and a small first degree internal tear that wasn’t bleeding and didn’t require suturing.

The placenta

Bree cuddles her baby

“My midwife gave us the choice to stay the night or go home and because I was in the Midwifery Group Practice (MGP), I opted to go home because the midwife would come out to see me on Friday, Saturday then Monday.”

So with less than 24 hours spent in hospital, Bree was discharged at 11.30am in the morning and off they went to begin their beautiful new chapter as a family of four.

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More birth stories from the Grapeviner mums …

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