“But when are you seeing the gynaecologist?” The confusion in my mother’s voice matched the shock on her face. My husband & I had successfully made the announcement that we were 12 weeks pregnant, but then came the bigger announcement:…“We’ve decided to have the baby at the birth centre, rather than the delivery suite.” …
Now, as I watch his little chest rise & fall in peaceful sleep, I can barely believe how blessed we are to have him, and the beauty of his arrival thanks to Deanne, our midwife, and the Gold Coast Birth Centre.
When I was 8 weeks pregnant I had my first conversation with Deanne and thus began our journey to the birth of our first child. I had a trouble-free pregnancy and over the following months we met regularly at the birth centre. My husband, Adam, and I enjoyed the rapport we soon established with Deanne & were so grateful for the advice and direction she gave us as we prepared for the scary bit: giving birth!
As our due date came… and went we began to worry that our goal of giving birth at the birth centre was not to be. At 10 days overdue, we were advised that once we hit 42 weeks, policy stipulated the birth would need to take place in the delivery suite so that we could be monitored . Armed with this information, my husband and I decided that whatever our desires, the health & safety of our child was paramount & agreed to go to the hospital at 7pm the following evening to prepare to be induced. I can’t say that I was not disappointed at this turn of events. After 8 months of meeting in the room where I believed I would be giving birth, I had not even seen the delivery suites. When we got home, I told the baby it had 24 hours to make a move & began to do everything I could think of to hurry it up – I walked around our neighbourhood, went to the park and swang on the swings, gave it a ‘stern talking to’ and used a breast pump. The following morning, I was resigned to being induced. Adam was fantastic, staying home from work to be with me and enjoy our ‘last day’ as a childless couple.
At midday, out of the blue, my waters broke. I rang Rosie (it was Deanne’s day off) who told me to come to the birth centre at 3pm for a check-up but that I should still expect to be induced. As soon as I hung up, my contractions came and they weren’t mucking around! Adam & I quickly gave up on trying to time them, figuring we’d be going to the hospital at 3 anyway. A lesson learned: water restrictions do not apply to a woman in labour!!
Funnily enough, in my head, I had assumed that once I was in labour I would potter round and grab all the things I needed to take to hospital with us and then, perhaps, watch a dvd until it was time… oh how naïve!! At 3pm, I was in no state to think about ANYTHING except getting to the hospital. The trip was uneventful, apart from my law-abiding husband panicking as a lollipop lady leisurely strolled out in front of our car.
Once we arrived at the birth centre, we were told both rooms were currently in use for interviews. I can only imagine the impression I left on the bright-eyed couple who were ushered out of one room to see me, in my nightie, pacing the corridor!
When Rosie arrived, she helped me calm and focus on my breathing. We were put on the monitor to check how baby was doing. I didn’t enjoy the restrictions this placed upon me, nor did I enjoy glass after glass of orange cordial to wake baby up and get it moving!! During this time, Rosie let Deanne know we were there and Deanne opted to come in to be with us for the birth. Words cannot express how much this meant to us and it is one of the greatest gifts we’ve ever been given.
Finally, baby moved & the monitor could be taken off. Deanne ran the bath & I hit the shower. Throughout our whole experience, Adam was amazing. He didn’t leave my side, doing exactly what I asked (demanded!) without question, holding my hand when I needed, leaving me alone when I needed and responding to my hasty and hazy sign language requests. He was truly amazing and I know I could not have survived without his patience, love and strength throughout the birth.
We had not ‘planned’ a water birth as such but had been open to the possibility of it happening that way. Once I was in the water, that was where I stayed. Although I initially found it difficult to find a comfortable position, I soon found my way – I was even accused of catching a quick nap between contractions!
At 8:40pm, our world was changed forever with the arrival of James Thomas Wooding, 53cm & 9 pounds 10 ounces.
Adam, James & I feel truly honoured to have had the opportunity to experience the care of the midwives at the Gold Coast Birth Centre. We will always be grateful to Deanne for guiding us and empowering us to make our own decisions for the birth of our child. She, and all the midwives at the Birth Centre, are truly special ladies who each and every day touch lives and create futures.