Nominee for Daddy Doula Award 2020
My husband, Carl.
Why do you feel this Daddy Doula deserves the award?
He made me feel calm, empowered, loved and supported through my pregnancy and birth plus always had my hips for the big surges and took care of our new baby girl while I was in theatre and ICU. He has always been there for our son, and especially when he needed him with Mummy staying in the hospital for 4 days. He advocated for me with the ICU staff to support a return to the postnatal ward as well as a safe discharge home. He has been a pillar of strength to me through pregnancy in a pandemic and with no other family support in Australia.
Here is my story
Our beautiful daughter Ella came into the world at 1.30 am on 30 June 2020 in a dark, quiet and very loving space. I birthed Ella as I had visualised doing, on all 4’s opening up and believing in my body fully.
Ella was my second birth, her older brother delivered 2 years earlier. Ella was in breach from 30 weeks and I tried EVERYTHING (moxibustion daily, acupuncture, spinning babies inversions, chiropractor webster technique and bags of frozen peas!) to help her move head down as I really wanted to deliver her as naturally as possible, especially as I delivered her 4.4kgs brother naturally. Finally, at 37 weeks she was re-positioned head down by our wonderful OB Dr Sean Burnet and we were a go.
In the lead up I passed 40 weeks and continued with my acupuncture, daily walks, yoga and meditation and visualisation to support me to birth how I knew my body could.
7 days over my OB wanted to book me in for induction and although reluctant I agreed to on 40 +10 with every hope I would go into spontaneous labour. Returning home that afternoon I rested in bed and woke around 5 pm with labour beginning as I started to feel tightening and rushes. We prepared dinner and sat for the final time as a family of three, I ate what I could as I knew I’d need the strength. We put our son to bed and then the surges increased in intensity and number going every 3-4 minutes. I busily finalised a few things into my hospital bag, my husband Carl downloaded a contractions timer app and he contacted the midwives at The Mater who advised us to come in. He then contacted our friends to come over as planned to care for our son (no grandparents were able to be with us as planned from Ireland due to COVID). I felt excited to meet our little one, we didn’t know the gender but knew our family would change forever with this arrival. When our friends arrived my surges slowed as expected going into my thinking brain, but we headed off on our way, on the 15-minute drive I had 3 surges nothing dramatic so I suggested once we parked the car we walk around the block before entering the Maternity ward to be sure I was in labour as it was all very lovely and calm. It was a cold and starry night in North Sydney, Carl and I spoke about the boy’s names we like (convinced we were having another son!) and made our way into the hospital. At this point, I wasn’t sure I was in the throws of labour and thought I might be here for a while. We arrived at 11.10 and Ella, our daughter was safely delivered at 1.30 am exactly. Carl supported me with drinks, massive hip squeezes and I mean massive for those couple of hours during the intense surges. He was right there on the floor holding my hips and then using acupressure on my shoulders to bring the energy down.
My midwife said the birth ‘was like a birth centre birth’ and I was even able to touch Ella’s head when she crowned which was the most intense moments of my life! I was in disbelief that my body was doing exactly what I imagined and visualised it would. When Ella was fully delivered I was able to pull/pick her up to my naked chest and the midwife told me to have a look at her and we realised she was a girl. The joy was boundless… Tears flowed… overwhelm and relief and LOVE.
Ella was a healthy 3.8kgs all squidgy, pink and screaming! On my chest, she quickly made her way to the nipple and we had beautiful skin to skin for 3 hrs.
When I returned to the bed for the third stage just after delivery on the floor my OB then arrived. The placenta was taking some time and I was bleeding heavily, the bleeding became a concern and as it measured over 1.5 litres. The decision was made for surgery to stop the bleeding. At this time I still felt calm and in safe hands and our baby girl was also calm and relaxed and went directly onto her daddy’s chest for skin to skin and remained there sleeping the whole time (2 hrs) until we were reunited in ICU!
I was kept there for 24hrs for monitoring due to low blood pressure and Carl was amazing, he cared for me and Ella and they were both able to be with me through the day. That evening however they had to go back to the postnatal ward and he brought Ella to me every 2 hrs for feeds and cuddles. The following day I returned to the postnatal ward. He was managing this as well as going home to be with our toddler for bedtime cuddles and morning cuddles before daycare. It was my first time away overnight from our son which was a big deal!
Describe your birth experience in 3 words:
Transforming, powerful and joyful!
How did you prepare for birth?
Full She Births® Protocol – Nadine’s Yoga via Vimeo & Live Instagram on Tuesday evenings
How did you bring your baby into the world?
Natural delivery, no assistance delivering on all 4’s on a mat holding my swiss ball with my Daddy Doula doing hip squeezes and two wonderful midwives assisting at The Mater Maternity. My OB arrived just after I had delivered!
Who supported you throughout the birth?
My husband Carl and midwife popping in.
What was the most challenging part of the birth?
Post-partum Haemorrhage, the bleeding didn’t stop therefore I had to go to Theatre which was very unexpected after such a wonderful and empowering delivery.
What most helped you through the birth experience?
My daddy Doula being right there by my side and She Births® empowerment with all the knowledge and a flexible birth map. He prepared the room with my music, labour aids, photos of our son and my visualisation board.
Was there anything that surprised you on the day?
My labour came on quickly with much less intensity as I expected and speedy delivery.
Anything else you would like to tell us about your experience?
Without She Births® my experiences of Birth and motherhood would not be so empowering, resilient and loving to myself and my two gorgeous children!