Sophie's Birth Story


Sophie's family centred homebirth of Lilah. Third baby, physiological home water birth with CMP.

February 2024


Written by Sophie

My beautiful daughter Lilah was born on the 5th of February at 12:35pm following a wonderful and quick 2.5 hours of active labour.



Before I get started on Lilah's birth story I feel it is important I touch base briefly on the birth of her two siblings, during both her siblings birth I experienced a long early labour stage. I was in early labour for 5 days with both children, I could feel my body was ready to birth them but I know now I didn't feel safe enough to birth them, so I lingered in that early stage. I had a deep desire to birth them both at home, I just wanted to stay home and birth them in the bathtub but I was surrounded by people and a medical system that portrayed this as child endangerment and I had no idea home birth was actually still a thing in Australia in this day and age. I was afraid to birth in the hospital so I believe this held my body back from releasing my babies, both times I was convinced by medical staff that I was a failure to progress case, that my body didn't know how to progress any further and my children's lives were at risk if I continued to stay in early labour without medical intervention to speed up my progress. Both births were almost identical over 24 hours in hospital with numerous vagina exams, 12 hours of syntocinon drip ramped up to the highest setting as I was "not in enough pain" hours and hours of coached pushing, constant judgement for continuously rejecting an epidural and pain relief, hours of fighting against doctors to consent to a c-section and having the dead baby comment thrown at me time and time again, forced to stay on the bed on my back for continuous monitoring, not even allowed to sit up as it upset the monitor, followed by eventually a horrendous delivery and immediate cord clamping and taking baby away from me against my wishes, both babies had an apar score above 9 so there was no need to cut their cords and remove them from me.


With baby Lilah I knew from the moment I was aware of her presence growing within me that I would birth her at home, come hell or high water I would not allow myself and my baby to experience another traumatic hospital birth. I was lucky enough to receive a place within the community midwife program to birth at home and I hire myself the most wonderful doula to help support me emotionally during this birth so I was certain this baby would come on her own, before her due date like her siblings would of had I been left alone and that I would have such an amazing experience.



Then Lilah's due date had come and gone, for week before her due date I had experienced prodromal labour, I tried to stay calm and focused and reassure myself this is normal, many women go "over due" and that a due date means nothing but slowly as the days passed by and Lilah remained snug inside doubt started to creep in, my mind begun to wonder if those doctors were right, the ones who told me during my previous pregnancies that my body did not know how to progress and complete a birth. This doubt lead me to agree to being booked in for an induction as the hospital would be removing my permission to birth at home through their program. I was booked for my induction on the 6th of February. I was very disheartened and uncomfortable with this idea, I leaned heavily on my doula Sarah to guide me through this challenge mentally and together we had made plans of what my birth would look like moving forward if I reached the home birth cut off. My sister had flown from interstate with her 14 week old baby to be with me and support me during whatever might happen moving forward so between my sisters arrival and my plans with Sarah I was finally feeling at ease.


I woke up at 2am on the morning of the 5th of February with strong pain, thinking nothing of it as I'd experienced this pain for weeks and nothing had come of it I tried to roll back over and go to sleep but I couldn't sleep my mind was racing back and forth between thinking today is the day and no it is still just prodromal labour playing tricks again. By 2:30am I needed the shower to ease the pain, I stayed there until the hot water had all but gone, I jumped out and flicked the hot water booster just incase and tried to go back to bed but still unable to sleep I felt called to the birthing ball, I then realised this baby is coming today and I think very soon so I called Sarah as I didn't want to birth without her, I unlocked the door and waited her to arrive I was feeling very scared at this point but instantly my fears disappeared when she arrived and I knew I was safe with her here to help protect me from another traumatic birth. She snuck in quite as a mouse and read the room, read what I needed without many words exchanged she begun setting up her things and then came and just sat next to me, by 5:30am my sister and my beautiful baby nephew had emerged from their room. Things immediately began to slow and back off but I felt I was still progressing and possibly on track to birth soon. By 6am the rest of the house emerged and labour had all but stopped. I felt disheartened but tried to remain calm and focused.


I told myself it was OK and that when everyone went to bed that evening labour would start again and that I'd birth her in the quiet of the night. Sarah and I agreed she should go home as nothing was going to happen anytime soon. I stayed up with the kids for a little while before heading to bed as I was pretty tired so it wasn't the worst thing that labour had stopped as I needed some sleep, I think I managed possibly an hour or so of sleep before waking at around 8:30am and riding through almost back to back contractions in bed, they weren't really painful though so I didn't think much of it. It was probably around 10am they begun feeling painful so I snuck out of the bedroom and into the shower hoping to go unnoticed by everyone so everyone would stay out of my space. I had just jumped out of the shower when Sarah messaged to check how I was doing, I mentioned to her things were pretty intense and immediate she said she would come back, I still didn't think baby would arrive until later that evening so I sent her a quick message saying "no rush" but just as I hit send on that message things ramped up, I jumped straight back into the hot water and I must of let out a few load moans as the game of flying under the radar was finally up immediately everyone was flocking to the bathroom. I knew I needed the birth pool but I wasn't allowed to get in it before the midwife arrived so we rang her to get her to come, she was here by 10:30am which was when labour truly kicked off and I jumped into the pool straight way. The room was full of family, midwives and my doula just like I had envisioned and wanted but It was a bit much for me so I just begun trying to shut everyone and everything out which was hard at first as my children were so beautiful, pouring water over my stomach to try help comfort me, I wanted to stay present with them and talk to them throughout the birth but eventually I closed my eyes and went within, drowning everyone out. I was in so much pain and I was so tired I just wanted to lay in the birth pool and try sleep while I waited for the ambulance I begged for to come save me, in that moment I thought I had 6, 7, 8 or more hours of this pain and suffering to endure so I wanted to throw the towel in, I wanted gas, I wanted pain relief drugs, an epi honestly anything to ease the pain would be good but thankfully my midwife wasn't having any of that, she knew how much my undisturbed, unmedicated home birth meant to me and encourage me to get up and change positions, reminding me birthing on your back is the most painful position. The moment I changed position things really intensified, I shut everyone out and I began ROARING like some sort of beastly animal.

I felt my body open up and allowing my baby to descend, my waters burst with such intensity, I felt her, she was right there I knew with a few pushes she would be out but in that moment I was flooded with memories of my previous babies crowning, the memories of the intense pain all came rushing back to me so I just held her there for a moment while I found my strength for the intensity of crowning, I reached deep within to find the strength I needed to bring her earthside, once I found that strength I pushed as hard as I could to birth her with a few powerful pushes, it felt like I was about to tear so I reached down to support myself while I birthed her head, her body instantly followed and she flew out with such power, it felt incredible. I reached down and pulled her from the water and I just sat there trying to bring my mind back to my body as I most definitely transcend somewhere else briefly. Lilah had entered my arms by 12:35pm weighing a beautiful 3970grams. I delivered her placenta immediately after. It was a total of 2.5 hours of active stage labour, 11 minutes from waters breaking to having birthed her and her placenta. I was helped from the birth pool into the comfort of my own bed surrounded by my family to enjoy undisturbed skin to skin with my precious daughter. After an hour or so had pass both my 5 year old son and I cut the cord and we continue to relax and soak up our newest family member. 


My birth experience was so incredible, so healing, so powerful and will always be greatly remembered.

Testimonial

Having Sarah as my doula & birth photographer was an absolutely incredible experience, she was there every time I needed her. She brought so much calming energy. When I reached post-dates induction talks, our conversation & game plan moving forward allowed me to finally surrender, which allowed baby to arrive just in time to get my homebirth. I believe without her guidance & support my stress levels would have stayed too high for labour to unfold naturally. She also captured the most beautiful birth photos.

Sophie

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Sarah Del Borrello

DOULA & PHOTOGRAPHER



Perth, Western Australia

Baldivis Based


hey@mothermotherdoula.com

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