My darling Sophia Grace, let us go back to the beginning.
You were due on 10 July 2020, although I always had a feeling you might of come early. Even though I enjoyed you being in my womb so much, I felt like I could’ve had you in there forever.
I felt so connected to you and while there were moments of fear leading up to you being born (this ‘event’ that society tells you to fear; how much pain you will experience and how it is so unknown) one thought that helped me was that you and my body would work together and my mind would leave you alone, unless you both needed me.
It was Wednesday, 1 July and I remember calling our lovely midwife Sally, as I experienced period pain cramps for most of the day. We had the most beautiful pregnancy massage that evening and I remember the smile the masseuse gave me when I mentioned the pains I’d been having and said “You could meet your baby could very soon”. I had also been drinking a lot of raspberry leaf tea, not to try and induce you - as I said I wanted you with me forever, there just really wasn’t a lot of taste. I had also had some protein balls full of dates around this time as well.
By Thursday 2 July 2020, the cramps had gone, but it felt that you had moved down lower again, even though you always sat quite low throughout our time together.
Friday, 3 July 2020 I walked around as usual not feeling any different. I remember having my eyelashes done and rubbing my womb space and joking that you could now come when you were ready. I remember sitting on the grass and being able to get up with really so much ease, given you were only a week away from becoming due Earthside.
Friday night came and I usually would have gone for a walk, but started to feel a little rundown and ran a nice hot bath. Listening to a podcast I felt a sense of relief that it was okay for me to feel scared and almost in that validation the fear went away. There is a photo taken at 5:48pm with you tucked up safe inside, a cup of tea by the sink and candles before our bath. This would be our last photo together.
I came downstairs and rolled on our fitball, while hand expressing colostrum and said to daddy “I’m ready for her to come now”. I went to bed none the wiser. I woke up at 1 am on 4 July 2020 and thought I might be getting Gastro, I manage to go back to sleep, not thinking much of it.
It was 4:24 am and I woke up again thinking I might have Gastro. A small mucus plug came but I calmly went back to bed knowing that could still mean you were a few weeks away. At 7:03am another small amount of mucus plug came and we spoke to our lovely Doula, Moran who told us it could be labour (but to just rest) as it could be days away.
Between 7am and 10am part of my mind thought I might of be in early labour, but I also knew that I wanted my mind to stay out of it and I somehow convinced myself that it was “just Gastro”.
Moran texted to say “That’s awesome!! Ok so if this is early labour which is does sound like it ❤️ I want you to stop monitoring yourself and go back to bed and try to just get another hour or so of sleep. Because it’s really important that you don’t overdo it at this stage and not analyse everything you're feeling and have the energy for the next phase”.
As we went upstairs to rest I had a beautiful hot shower and exfoliated my whole body, I remember sitting on the floor of the shower thinking you must be so low down, as it was quite incredibly uncomfortable.
I had thrown up a couple of times and whilst I can remember the deep pain of the contraction, my mind also was so distracted and not quite within myself 💫. We had only packed the hospital bag a few days before hand with my beautiful candles; fairy lights; Aromatherapy; gorgeous music; personalised pyjamas already for a “maybe” water birth at the Mater Hospital.
Instead, we laid in our bedroom with all the curtains shut and the air conditioning on, all I can remember is just wanting quiet, calm and dark. It’s now 10:10 am and more discharge/ mucus plug had come. Daddy tells me things were very cyclic and I didn’t talk much, we just lay there quietly going through the motions together.
Even though my mind didn’t completely commit or believe this was labour my body knew what to do. I couldn’t lay on my back or on my side and when I did the pain would be excruciating to the point of vomiting again (It is such a different pain though, even as I think back now it’s intense - yet manageable pain & the hormones must really help and play their part).
At this time we tried the tens machine, which was too late and almost felt more intense so we took that off. My body just constantly wanted to be in an “all fours position” allowing you the space to make your way Earthside.
As I write and reflect on this I remember so many of these things vividly such as the mucus plug, the strong pain, the tens machine - part of my brain still never completely believed it was labour.
It’s now 11:33am and thankfully the photos are the records we have of all of the times mentioned as we didn’t “time” contractions or anything else. At 11:33, the mucus plug became heavier and there was more blood noticeable. I had made my way to the en-suite bathroom from bed and they always say “the toilet is the best position for birthing”, which is where I felt most comfortable.
Twisting and rocking on the toilet whilst grabbing the shower screen, I remember saying to daddy “I must be in labour, but must have at least a day to go on the first time mum - but this is very intense for first time for early labour”.
Little did we know in less than an hour you would be here. When I remember back, I have never been more alone although it didn’t feel lonely, I knew that you were with me my body knew what to do and there really was no thought involved at all.
My mind really had gone to another universe and it was just the two of you doing your thing.
Daddy says he definitely thought that it was labour and had been speaking to Moran and Sally. While I vividly remember that it still didn’t feel real and there was still no thought - it was a complete out of body experience.
I do remember sometime after 12 speaking to Sally who provided so much reassurance and was guiding me onto the floor. From our phone records and the MP3 recording from 000, you were born at about 12:20pm.
Daddy first saw your head and managed to hold you in place, we can hear on the MP3 daddy saying with so much excitement “oh my gosh she’s here”. You came straight into my arms and we spent an hour in bed waiting for the placenta to come.
You had some skin to skin with daddy while Moran helped me shower and catch the placenta, we then made our way in the ambulance at about 2pm to the hospital and we’re home by 6pm.
We both remember you coming out so calm, barely even a cry and for the first few days you really just sounded like a little tiger. You are now three months old and such a happy girl who loves to be held and cuddled and there isn’t a day that goes by that I wouldn’t shrink you back into my womb if I could.
We love you Sophia Grace 💞
Thank you Emma for sharing your birth story with us and with other women!