Our Natural Water Birth Experience

Zara Rose Kirwan Our DaughterAs most of you knew Dr Sam was pregnant with our first child this year. Well our baby daughter decided to arrive in the world on Friday 23 September 2011 at 06:56 Today I want to let you know about our birth experience. We feel blessed that it turned out the way we were hoping for, as our ideal birth.

Zara’s Birthday

It all started at about 3pm on the Thursday with Sam not knowing it was contractions that were slowly building up. They started more as a cramp feeling and she hadn’t had ‘a show’ or had her waters broken. By about 7pm that evening these cramps kept coming.

We had decided our ideal birth experience would be a natural birth maybe in water maybe not, with a doula and a midwife at the active birthing centre, Genesis Clinic in Saxonwold.

We interviewed for our birth team and decided on our doula Rosalia and our midwife Sue King. Looking back this was an important step in achieving our birth goal as we connected and trusted the opinion on both Sue and Rosalia. We particularly enjoyed Rosalie’s antenatal classes to prepare our minds. Anyway back to the birth.

So our birth team said if in doubt that they maybe Braxton Hicks contractions you can tell by getting a warm bath. If the warm water doesn’t help calm the “cramps” after about an hour then it is likely to be real contractions.

Well the bath didn’t slow them down and they started getting stronger and closer together. Going through the process of getting through each contraction we used things learnt in the antenatal classes.

By about 1am in the morning I called Rosalia, the doula, to come and help me with Sam’s contractions. She came to the house and helped for an hour and by 3am made the call that it was time to go through to Genesis. All this time Sue our midwife was aware of what was happening and we let her know she could meet us at Genesis.

We checked into Genesis Clinic at just before 4am. It was a very simple process. While Sam was having a non-stress test and determined to be 6cm dilated, Rosalia got to work putting our clothes in the cupboard and Zara’s first clothes in the cot. She also helped Sue set up the birth pool we hired, even though each room at Genesis has one, we felt it was too low for us.

Sue the midwife helped keep Sam and I calm whilst we focused only on each contraction. She instinctively knew when Zara would be born and at 6am, when Sam was fully dilated, she told us that within the hour Zara would be born.

The water helped soothe Sam’s contractions and she decided not to get out the birthing pool in the end. Sue helped guide our baby Zara who had her one hand up near her neck on the way out.

Sam birthed Zara at 06:56 like Sue said, without any tearing or excessive bleeding. We waited for the umbilical cord to stop pulsating as recommended by Sue. I then cut the cord, which was nerve racking because Zara decided to move her fingers near it in the beginning! Sue then handed me Zara whilst Sam climbed out the birth pool and into bed.

Zara weighed 3.18kg and 52cm tall.

What we liked was that the lights were dimmed for Zara’s entrance to the world and everyone was calm in the room. If you haven’t been to a room in Genesis Clinic they are like hotel rooms. It has a King size bed, en suite bathroom, patio & birth pool. We could choose when visitors could come see her with no time limits. We only stayed the one night to recoup our strength and left the next day.

Again we are delighted our number 1 birth  plan came true and we have our beautiful daughter who we have been waiting for filling our family home. Just to let you know there is an on-call gynaecologist with a theatre to do c-sections at Genesis if it had come to that need.

Thank-you Rosalia our Doula, Sue our Midwife and Genesis Clinic and staff for making our birth experience.

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