In the early hours of Sunday 7th February I awoke at 2:33am for seemingly no reason, grabbed my phone and started scrolling through Facebook. 2 minutes later a text came through from my clients husband (I've told you before I'm psychic right!), it was action stations!
Due to the distance I had to travel to get there I advised Joe & Amanda that I needed to leave when contractions were 6 minutes apart as opposed to the 3-4 minutes that I normally ask for. I arrived at their house at 0345 and found Amanda quietly labouring on the settee listening to her hypnobirthing app only rolling off and onto her knees when a contraction hit.
The contractions seemed to be staying at the 5 minute stage for quite some time and at 0545 when two little boys awoke upstairs, Amanda was warned by her midwife to not be surprised if labour stalled as sometimes is the case with very young children around. However it seemed to have the opposite affect on Amanda, a sudden chuck up in the vomit bucket and it was all systems go, suddenly the intensity of Amanda's surges increased and the race was on to fill up the pool.
With the boys busy playing upstairs, their little footsteps going back and forth above our heads, their Mama was busy birthing their new baby brother. Amanda took full advantage of Joe's hands being there as she bit down on them through contractions! Even the midwife joked that he may never fly again (an essential part of his job!) . An hour after they woke up and 45 minutes after stepping into the birth pool, Ryder, all 10lb 7oz of him, arrived into the world.
That emotion, that raw disbelief, was felt by all of us, I cried behind the camera as Amanda said "I can't believe it" over and over again. She'd done it. Her dream birth after a c-section last time. Her VBAC. She harnessed the fear and 'what if's' and did it anyway.
Amanda stepped out the pool to deliver her placenta and rested on the settee whilst her midwife team cleaned up around her ready for those gorgeous little boys who had played so brilliantly upstairs, to come and meet their little brother. And the gas and air that Amanda still clung to, that was for those dreaded afterpains that increase with every child you have - you know, the ones that no one ever really tells you about!
The boys were over the moon and had already decided on Cat Boy Brother Boy as a name! I can't emphasis enough how privileged I am to have a job where I get to witness a new life come into the world and to watch my clients simply being awesome individuals. To witness such strength, love, bravery and intimacy, its an honour each time I'm booked by a client.
Welcome to the world little one.
“The knowledge about how to give birth is born within every woman: women do not need to be taught how to give birth but rather to have more trust and faith in their own body knowledge.”