My name is Tamla and I’m the Mama behind the small business, Bubakin.
Essentially my birth stories are what shaped my business! Both my boys were born at home with two midwives and just my husband and I in blissful peaceful surroundings.
So I will endeavour to write them both here in short. I really believe sharing stories is our first step to being the empowered birthing goddesses we really are. After all, our bodies were designed to have babies!
I knew when I was pregnant that I didn’t want to birth in a hospital setting provided it was safe to do so. My husband and his sister were also born at home so my mother in law was a wealth of knowledge and their support was limitless.
I had fairly uneventful pregnancies but I did a lot of research around natural birth which supported my decision to stay at home. And as it turns out it was a good thing I did, because my babies arrive in lightening speed!
I faced quite a few obstacles as it was easy for people to look at my petite size and suggest I couldn’t birth without medical intervention. So I went looking for a midwife to support my decision as well as providing me with the qualified advice I required.
We were told to expect a very common 12-18 hour labour for a first baby and to think about passing the time making a cake or preparing some celebratory snacks! Turns out we never had time.
I didn’t have the usual breaking of waters or much warning really with my first. I had Braxton Hicks throughout the pregnancy so thought very little of them in the final days. A day past my due date I was super grumpy and went to bed fairly early, feeling pretty lousy. I had spoken to my midwife the day before whilst at the supermarket on a hunt for the vegetable matter I was craving and she later told me she had a good feeling it was imminent.
I woke at about 2am in the morning by a contraction and grumbled to hubby as I went to the loo that if this wasn’t it then I was thoroughly over it. I got up to get some water, and felt the first waves wash over me. Everything happened fairly fast from there.
My darling husband was timing each contraction, and he rang the midwife who told us it was still likely a long way off but to keep an eye on things. Things rapidly progressed in the following 20 mins from contractions of three every ten minutes to four. Text followed phone call and after putting the midwife on speaker phone she made her dash to get to us!
The pool wasn’t even set up and my husband raced to get everything in order whilst I was perched on the loo. The midwife arrived and peeked her head around the door whilst my husband put on the pot of boiling water for the pool. The midwife told him not to bother as we would have had a baby before the water was boiled. So kettles went on and the pool wasn’t even half full before I was begging to get in! I didn’t have any pain with my first, rather it was more intense and the water was a wonderful relief even if shallow.
With my birth team cheering me on, my first came in a rush quite unexpectedly (in only two and a half hours) which meant I sported a nasty tear in the process. That first hour however was bliss. Afforded the quiet and time to bond with baby was exactly how it should have been.
With my midwives holding the space, I started to trickle blood over the next hour or so. Because of my size and starting to feel faint, my midwife put in an early call for me to be transferred to the nearest hospital. This was all well and good until the ambulance arrived only several minutes later.
Things were firmly under control until that point, me sucking on beef stock and coconut water (injection and air to boot!) and with my midwife massaging my uterus whilst bubs had skin to skin with my husband.
Now before I scare anyone, my first story is uncommon, in all respects. Most paramedics are brilliant. We were just extremely unlikely. The head paramedic that arrived was our worst nightmare. I can only say that this is a danger of having so much secrecy and heresy surrounding home birth, in that the service that was there to assist us could have ended up costing me my life.
We had two registered, medicare eligible midwives with us and the paramedic began to argue about my vitals (which he ended up being wrong about), refused to bring in the stretcher and demanded I get up and dressed respectfully to get into the ambulance. They also separated me from my son and said he could not travel with us.
Precious time was ticking away and he only realised the seriousness of the biggest maternal killer once my midwife started to drag the mattress towards the door and I vomited everywhere. My panic meant more blood and what should have been a fairly simple transfer to a hospital ten minutes away took over an hour.
Hospital staff were absolutely shocked as they had expected us soon after the call had been made.
I lost close to five litres of blood and required surgery and much more, predominantly due to the attitude of the ambulance officer who was supposed to help us. Long story short, this is the only source of trauma that was associated with my first.
So when we found out I was pregnant with my second, I was desperate for a do-over.
We were preparing for another quick labour. I knew it was necessary to have my existing midwife and whilst I was considered high risk, I knew there wasn’t much chance we would even make the hospital. We had to be as prepared as possible for birth at home with all the supports and my history of haemorrhage.
It was suggested that my third stage be medically managed but I just knew we could do better. I didn’t feel heard at all by my care providers, so I kept my strong line with my midwife. I bought haemorrhage teas, homeopathy, I increased my intake of green leafy vegetables and built my body strong for birth.
I was active and strong for my first birth as I wasn’t about to train for a marathon sitting down. This and my perspective I believe is why I have had fairly easy births! I didn’t get the exercise, but racing around after a toddler was well and truly training enough.
My due date was still a way off at 38 weeks but we did a trip to Bunnings that day. Once again I felt pretty lousy but was listening to the Braxton Hicks this time which had been pretty consistent the night before. I was really hoping for some solid warning signs this time so I was truly paying attention.
I slept quite a bit that afternoon (my only warning sign turns out!). I stood over the kitchen bench later that afternoon and my husband looked at me and said “I think you’re going to have a baby soon”. I can’t remember the reply but I’m pretty sure it was “Yeah right!”.
He was on the money though because after putting my eldest to bed just after 7pm the Braxton Hicks picked up and I messaged my midwife. I tried walking them off but they came on pretty consistent. Pacing the hall I stood in the door way and was hit with my first big surge. I told hubby ‘We’re on! Make the call!” with still no waters breaking, just back to back contractions.
I had remembered from my last birth that I had to get my backside in the air and try and slow the baby’s decent. It is a huge workout fighting my own body’s natural urges, but I was adamant I wasn’t going to tear a second time. I parked myself on the living room floor, head on the rug, backside in the air and tried as I could to sway through the waves. Which was really difficult given how mobile I was in my first birth!
This time I was feeling everything. The intensity was immense to say the least and I couldn’t move. I remember the transition point which I hadn’t had with my first and thinking ‘oh my Lordy how am I going to do this?!’ but that quickly passed as my midwife arrived 20 minutes later. And whilst the birth pool was set up this time, it wasn’t filling fast enough!
The midwife told me afterwards, she had been preparing to catch the baby at the side of the pool. The pool was literally 5 paces from where I was stationed on the rug and between the surge she managed to get me up and to the side of the pool.
Hubby jumped in the bring up the water level as it was so low. But it was once again, a huge relief (can’t recommend water birth enough) and I could finally concentrate on breathing the baby down. I panted the whole way through, fighting my body’s innate and really strong urge to bear down. On crowning I actually gently pushed him back in purely on instinct which gave my perineum a chance to stretch the way it’s supposed to.
The eject reflex is really strong in birth so without much assistance, except for me guiding him, my second son made a speedy entrance just like his brother. But, I didn’t tear. Not a nick, not a bruise or scrape. However, I had been totally cheated out of the second labour half time principle.
My second had gone from whoa to go in 45 minutes.
Knowing my situation and my body from my last birth we quickly set to work, teas were served, homeopathy applied and it slowed the bleed. But my body just had worked so hard as usual that my uterus just wanted to turn in! So with that I was given the injection and all was well.
Getting into the shower was bliss, followed closely second by getting back into our own bed with our new baby. No tears, no ambulances, no follow ups in surgery, I had truly done it.
It was the most empowering experience I can say I have had in my life and I believe has shaped me as a woman. I had felt so many emotions with my first, had strived to overcome them and in turn trusted my body to do so. We had come out victorious!
So ladies, if anything, trust your gut, trust your heart and trust your body to birth, whatever form that takes.
Tamla’s gorgeous business Bubakin is the home of the Bubakin Birth Bag, which includes practical birth supports for mama and babe, and is perfect for the eco-conscious mama. She also has a gorgeous selection of modern cloth nappies, hand-made soaps and natural baby products.
Make sure you check out all of her beautiful products by heading to her website or by following her through Instagram and Facebook:
Calling on all mums and dads! Do you want to share YOUR Real Birth Story or your partners, with the mummalifelovebaby community? Then fill out the contact form below to send me a private message and you may see your story published NEXT!! xxxx
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