Completely opposite to the Spice Girls Two Become One. Gemma shares her birth story, now birthing stories are a little bit of marmite, you either love them or hate them. But here we think every woman’s labour and story is unique and empowering and if they wish to share, then we say shout it from the roof tops! This isn’t your usual step by step run through this is about those moments of laughter and love that exist within every birthing journey.
When I think of women in labour I always picture this moment of beauty and euphoria when a woman welcomes her child into the world! I say beautiful with gritted teeth because its actually bloody painful, pretty messy and very exhausting. However I am not going to focus on my birth story, you can find hundreds of negative and positive ones all over the internet. I am going to talk about the moments in all the craziness that were truly heart soaring.
Firstly before starting labour I had read a lot of books, endless blogs and attended the classes. I thought I was prepared, the key was to remain open minded and calm, labour is a marathon not a sprint I was continually informed. Little did I know it would be a four and a half day marathon! During this time there was pretty much zero sleep and a lot of pain, who knew that when you relaxed your contractions intensified! What I have learnt about labour is that everyone is different, my contractions were agony from the onset, where as some peoples slowly build, some of my baby friends describe their stretch and sweep as excruciating where as mine felt nothing worse than a smear test. Its swings and roundabouts for everyone.
During one delirious night we decided that the only way I felt remotely comfortable was sitting up doubled over the sofa. So my husband made me a bed on the lounge floor. I say bed, it was more of a cushion filled den, that my 8 year old self would have loved! I spent the night in my den whilst my husband did all he could to keep me calm and time my contractions. He couldn’t do anything to take the pain away and he must have felt useless, but during those hours we have never been closer, we were a team working together. In those early hours that very few people see we were sharing a unique moment that neither of us will ever forget.
I had quite a vague birth plan, thinking it better to go with the flow and believing nothing ever really goes to plan so there wasn’t much point in making one. However I did really want to experience the birthing pool and for four magical hours I got to bob around in weightlessness. Precious bump bonding took place and in this time, my pain was manageable and I felt like I was verging on being the ultimate earth mumma! I had chocolates, sweets, Capri-Suns and a toasty warm pool to wallow in, it’s amazing how calming water can be and for those few hours I was living the labour dream. Looking back it’s true what they say about child birth, you remember the happy times not the scary painful parts, when I think about my labour I think about the pool and how happy I was.
There is something very humbling about giving birth, at the smallest risk of danger to the baby the room is full of people, strangers to us, all working to save a life that has not yet entered the world. You happily give up your dignity and lose all inhibitions, in those moments all that matters is the safe arrival of the little bubba.
The most magical moment for me in my whole labour and pregnancy was the seconds of our little girls birth. With a room full of people, my legs in stirrups (I was very pleased I’d had a pedicure the week before) and being a little delirious on way to much gas and air, our little beauty entered the world! My husband in all his excitement couldn’t find the words to tell me if it was a boy or a girl. The sheer joy in his face as they showed him our daughter and the happy tears as he exclaimed we had a girl. As they placed her on my chest this little screwed up angry faced baby, the smell of her was phenomenal, considering where she had been and what she had been through she smelled heavenly, I didn’t even know anything could smell so good. In those moments, we felt like we were the only people in the room, everyone else turned to a blur. Two had finally become a three and we hugged and cried as we welcomed our baby Devon Rose into the world.
Photos from Summer Lily Studio