Emma's Birth Story

Updated: Feb 20, 2019



Guest Blog Post

I woke up during the night, because my toddler wasn’t feeling well, she was waking up, which is usually not the case for us anymore. As soon as we started breastfeeding, I felt contractions and thought that those are the trial ones since I had some a week before that. When we finished feeding I felt and heard as if a bubble inside me broke. While I was laying down on my bed thinking about it, the waters broke. And no, I did not get to the toilet in time :) I told my husband what happened, texted Elke and went to shower. After a good shower I saw a text from Elke telling me that she will soon be here with us.

We took the toddler to another room and I had just a bit of time to do some cleaning. It was Saturday, the day we planned to clean the house to prepare for the home birth. Now I know - never leave things tor tomorrow! :)

Elke arrived really quickly, but before she did my waters were breaking a good few times and my belly really reduced in size. Contractions were not strong at that point and quite spaced out. Together with Elke we cleared the room and prepared everything for the birth. She informed the ambulance that I am in labor, just in case and later called the second midwife - Deidre.

In terms of preparations, I did not want to give the birth in a pool, the idea seemed too messy with a toddler running around. I had a yoga mat on the floor beside the bed, shower curtain and an old but clean bed sheet over it. I tried to sleep in between contractions but that really did not work out. Elke examined me and confirmed that my waters indeed broke and that I am about 1-2 cm dilated.

My husband went back to sleep with our toddler while myself and Elke were in the bedroom talking. I have to admit, it was so nice and relaxing even though I had contractions that were only getting stronger. We talked about children, about cultures, about health, about everything really. She massaged my back during the contractions because this time I had them both on my belly and on my back which was quite uncomfortable as I could not find the right position to be in. She also used some really nicely smelling essential oils on my back that helped to bring up the contractions.

After a good few hours I asked my good friend Anna to mind our toddler for a couple of hours, she kindly agreed. Around this time another midwife Deidre arrived to support me and help Elke if needed, just in case. My husband went to get some food and arrived back just in time for the actual labor. Around noon after I had a good walk up and down the stairs contractions really kicked in. I wanted to go the toilet but could not get to it, it was time for labour.


I was on my knees, head on the bed. Unlike the first birth when I was so tired, my mind now was clear and I was really working through the contractions. I did not have commonly used pain relief options as we opted against them. But I had people around me that supported and encouraged me non-stop! My husband was massaging my lower back for at least an hour without a break, Deidre was putting herbal pills (I am sorry I don’t remember what they were called) into my mouth, Elke was closely monitoring the situation. All of them were saying words of encouragement and even though I could not really hear them, I felt safe, I felt that everything is going well and that I can definitely do it. I would make a sound when a contraction would start but then I was working so hard on my breathing and trying to relax the muscles so I would be silent as I had no more energy for sounds. My husband told me later that he could actually feel my contractions on my back with his hand as my muscles contracted. I remember that Deidre was trying to stoke me gently on my back but it was distracting me so much from working on my contractions so she stopped.


Then there came a time when I thought, that’s it, I can not do it any longer, I was dreading another contraction. I remembered that Elke said that when that time comes that you start doubting yourself, it means the baby is almost here. And she was so right! I screamed from not being able to hold on and felt immediately as Emma’s head was coming down. I could no longer stay on my knees, someone (I don’t even remember who as I was a bit blurry with all the works on contractions) helped me to put my right leg up and I stood on it while leaving another on my knee. In just under 5 minutes during another 2 contractions and 2 more screams my baby girl Emma was born. Those screams were not screams of pain I must tell, they were screams of effort, I felt with my body that I wouldn't be able to push if I didn’t scream. Sounds silly now, but all I did was following my instincts and letting my body and my baby do the work. Oh, and what an encouragement it was to hear that they could see her head and that she has brown hair :) I don't think that I even felt any pain after hearing those words.


In total my labor last for 10 hours from the moment of the very first contractions after which the waters broke. I was able to stretch really well that left no major tears, I had a small one that need not to be stitched. I was one happy Momma!

Once born Emma had really a lot to tell us, which we adored. She did not fancy a feed right away so we were laying down with her on the floor all covered in blankets for about half an hour. My husband, now daddy of two beautiful girls, cut the cord as it stopped pulsing. I delivered my placenta shortly after from which Elke made capsules for me in just a few days. Emma latched really easily and our breastfeeding journey began. They all helped me to move on to the bed and get comfortable. I was able to stand and go to the toilet.

Elke examined Emma carefully and stayed with us for another couple of hours to make sure that me and Emma were doing well. And let me tell you what a relief it was to actually lay down on your own comfy bed with your newborn. I could feel that my whole body was starting to rest even though it went through a hell of a drive just an hour ago. I could not believe that anybody would want to give birth in a hospital if they only knew and felt what I did at that moment.

Oh yes, it was snowing for the first time that morning :) Emma came with the snow.

#birthstory #Pregnancy #labour

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Elke Hasner, Macroom, Co. Cork, P12DN32, Ireland