She Births® Daddy Doula Stories | Gretta Free

Birth of Sharma – Story by Gretta Free

DADDY DOULA: NICK

Nick was amazing in the preparation for our baby boy’s birth.

He was so inspired by doing our She Births® course… During our pregnancy he would frequently offer to practice massage and acupressure, we often had birth rehearsals initiated by his encouragement and many beautiful times together singing and chanting to our baby to come. These moments were so bonding and such a special intimacy, we all were connected in a deep and magical way.

Leading up to the birth we had a few days of pre labour that were on and off the two weeks before. He gently supported me through the unknown of those moments… Wondering if this ‘was it’ the big day! We went for some leisurely walks together and prepared our birthing space expecting to meet our Bub.

When the big day finally did arrive it was a funny morning of lots of life changing decisions and distractions for us. We accepted a job to move to the other side of the country and there was lots of organising and phone calls going on. Despite the low aching throb of my cervix and the gentle constant firmness of my belly I was largely ignoring it and getting on with my day believing it to be another false alarm! It was until about 11.30 that Nick suggested I call our midwife and describe the new sensations. She decided this was it and prepared to pack her car and drive 2 hours to us. I still was not convinced, so she advised me to have a relaxing bath and try resting. Nick decided to quickly zip out and restock the house with fresh vegetable & supplies. So I did as she advised and I listened to music whilst breathing through each surge in the bath.

When Nick arrived home I was having more frequent surges and there was no prospect of having a rest! So I put on the Tens machine whilst Nick prepared the birthing pool and our playlist, he quickly put away groceries and prepared a floor space for yoga. I decided that it was a good idea to sweep the floor of the house! Meanwhile he received a phone call about our new job. Just as he accepted the job and the moment he hung up the phone my waters broke in a spectacular shower and straight down my ugg boots in the hallway!! It was 2pm and finally at this point that I decided it was official the baby was coming! We notified our birth team and my circle of blessing-way women. The surges started coming very strongly. Nick reminded me to breath with each surge whilst he applied acupressure and massage to support me.

My support team arrived – my sister Hannah for photographing and my friend Alex to help with my son Atticus and to assist the midwife Gail who was still on the way. I got into the warm birth pool which was so comforting. Nick joined me in the pool at about 3pm. The surges were becoming very strong. He supported me between surges pouring hot water on my back and reminding me to relax as I spiralled with each surge. I could feel bubbies head coming down and felt the pressure of each surge pushing him closer to meeting us. I knew it wasn’t long now. At this point I got concerned the midwife might not make it! Nick gently assured me it would be ok.

She Births® Daddy Doula Stories | Gretta Free

Thankfully our midwife arrived at 3.30pm just as I was feeling a very strong urge to push. I leant into the cosy armchair of Nicks body whilst he supported me to rest and breath. This was my favourite position to be in. Each wave became so powerful, I felt that I needed to softly breath the baby down. To slow his progress as the head was crowning I used soft panting breaths and cleansing calming breaths between the surges. Nick gently encouraged me with his loving support. At 4.08pm with one J breath to slide his shoulders out Sharma glided peacefully into the warm water of the bath. He stretched out his body like superman! Arms above his head and back arched. He was born content and peaceful. Nick and I stared in amazement with intense love for him for 20 minutes of eternity as he rested relaxed on my chest.

Nick was my solid steady support and kept me grounded and focussed for our birth of Sharma. He knew what to do and say at each moment. For me the birth happened so fast and it was a whirlwind of intensity. Nick was there as my anchor and firm rock to hold me steadfast and in my zone. We felt like a team and he held space for me through each wave of contractions. Although the birth was absolutely amazing it was also the weeks after which showed me how strong and dedicated he is as a father. Nick singlehandedly packed up our whole house in preparation for moving to WA. He held the space between visitors and farewells and all the organisation, to allow for me to have a restful post birth month.

We are so blessed to have created the birth that we dreamt of and to have had the tools to accomplish that through the education we received from She Births®. I know Nick felt so empowered in his role in our birth.