Aimee’s Water Birth at Fiona Stanley Hospital

I am writing to share our wonderful news that baby Ferguson was born on Tuesday 27th January 2015 at 15:17 weighing 8lb15oz and 52cm long! He is an absolute joy and we are just so in love with him.

Aimee Ferguson and Dan

 

I am happy to share my labour story, it is the most challenging but most rewarding and indeed life changing experience I have ever had and every time I think back to it I feel so emotional.

My labour had been building for around a week prior to my due date and prior to the contractions coming at an intensity where I had to focus on them passing. One midwife’s piece of helpful advice was that labour really is just a continuation of pregnancy – it doesn’t just start and stop, your body starts to prepare itself long in advance of active labour. At around 2am on 27th January after a night at the Australia Day fireworks, I decided that it was time to wake my husband. I had been having a number of contractions which caused me to get out of bed and lean on all fours.

I had asked many people what a contraction feels like but could never fully comprehend it. I now realise it must be so different for every woman. It is not pain. For me it was a radiating tension, a muscular feeling, like the body was very gradually achieving opening. I relied on the positive messaging I had been surrounded by throughout my pregnancy and using my breath to ease the tension. Knowing that each surge would only last a maximum of a minute helped enormously. I knew that I could do anything for just a minute and Dan was great at counting me down and forewarning me between contractions when another may start. I had a bath, used favourite music and generally tried to remain as calm and collected as possible. I was amazed at how lucid and normal I felt between the surges but remembered my yoga teacher’s advice and forced myself to try and do absolutely nothing and retain my energy.

After around 6 or 7 hours, our midwife visited us at home to assess whether or not I should be going to Fiona Stanley Hospital. By this stage, the contractions were so intense I found the only way to get through them was to be standing and holding on to Dan whilst swaying. To my amazement, I had reached 5cm and in the process of the examination my waters were accidentally broken and so it was off to hospital time. We drove from North Fremantle to Fiona Stanley Hospital with me doubled over the back parcel shelf during contractions. I was envisaging this part being at night, not in rush hour in broad daylight.

Once we got to the hospital, everything aligned and they had the birthing pool working and a midwife who could deliver water births. I was over the moon as had been told this would not be an option. It was all starting to feel very real, exciting and daunting, but still we tried to keep calm. The pool was just amazing. Dark, private, relaxing and super deep. I could not believe the analgesic effect of water could be so great.

I laboured for a total of around 5 hours in the pool instinctively finding the most comfortable position throughout each surge being kneeling. My midwife was incredible, really allowing the process to happen naturally and retaining the peace in the room. I was loud and vocal with long breaths and tones coming out of me that I never knew existed. I had some of our yoga music playing and had some incredibly emotional moments accompanied by tears all of which helped me to refocus on what was happening. The minute I tried to fight or control it the intensity would become more unbearable so it taught me to remove those thoughts from my mind. I knew that everything I was going through was entirely for our baby and he or she was also part of the process and trying just as hard to come into the world.

Once I could feel our baby’s head, I knew I would be able to nearly meet the life which had been inside me for such a long time and it spurred me on to the final stages. I was exhausted. Remember some energy gels if you have a dodgy tummy like me and can’t usually keep food down. With the encouragement of Dan and my midwife I knew I had to dig deep and allow my baby into this world. I had no concept of just how hard I had to push, but it was harder than I was prepared for. In my transition I shouted “help me” a lot of times and also did the standard, “I can’t do this; I don’t have it in me.’

Eventually, baby Ferguson peacefully came into our arms through the water. Dan and I broke down entirely – your heart literally cracks open. He is absolutely perfect and we could not and still cannot stop just looking at him in utter amazement. We are all he needs and we are overwhelmed with love for him.

I feel so utterly blessed that I will always look back at labour with such positivity, it is something I never want to forget and I can’t thank the Community Midwifery Program enough for your support and guidance throughout my pregnancy.

A final piece of advice I can give is to not underestimate the intense work-out that the body will have to go through in labour and how in need of nourishment, support and love the mother will be afterwards. I felt incredibly vulnerable and needed a lot of help to just move around in the first week with lots of lying down.