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Episode 320

Luka

In today’s episode I chat to midwife and mum, Luka @boobtofood for the second time. You can listen to Luka’’s first two birth stories in episode 140 but today she takes us through her third birth which was an unassisted homebirth. She talks at length about her past birth challenges and the way she was feeling in the days leading up to this birth as well as the anxiety and concerns that naturally creep in as you approach 42 weeks. It may be a short birth story but it’s also full of midwifery and motherhood wisdom. 

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All of Luka’s pregnancies have gone to almost 42 weeks so she’s well accustomed to the  emotions of going past 41 weeks. She admits that you always get to 38 weeks and wonder how much longer your baby is going to stay in there without falling out; the heaviness of late pregnancy is an experience unlike any other.

“I felt uneasy coming into Will’s birth because I felt that if I could get through a birth like my second, I would be fine. The closer you get to the birth, the more those anxieties and memories creep in. I had the same midwife for each pregnancy and it was just so nice because I didn’t have to explain myself. It’s a midwife’s tale; the odd numbers you just don’t know what to expect; first, third and fifth births can be a bit unpredictable.

“Every pregnancy you feel like you won’t go overdue, by 38 weeks I really felt that he was ready to drop out. I thought I would get to 41+4 instead of thinking he would come early and the only thing I really get stressed about is going past 42 weeks and having to birth in the hospital where I worked. I felt like I would be on show and everyone would know I was in the room in labour. I had a stretch and sweep at 41+4 and I was certain I would go into labour but I didn’t, it just irritated my uterus. They weren’t braxton hicks but they also weren’t contractions, there was no pattern to them at all. I had another stretch and sweep at 41+5 but nothing happened. 41+6 came and I was feeling really defeated because the next day I knew I’d be having a hospital birth.

“Every two days for the past week I’d been into the birth centre to get checked with my midwife and everything was ok. At 41+6 I went to bed early and just expected to wake up the next day still pregnant. But I couldn’t get comfortable and the contractions were stronger than normal. I got up because I thought it was better than lying there and being annoyed. This was about 9:30pm and I got the ball out, I didn’t feel like I needed the TENS machine, the contractions were painful but I was fine.

“I was on my phone checking my emails and my nursing registration was due the next day and I submitted that at 11:30pm. All of a sudden the contractions were really strong, even though they were ten minutes apart. I was in my zone and then I got a few really strong contractions all in a row, they weren’t ending and I started making a lot of noise. I thought I should call the midwife but it was going to voicemail and Jesse was still asleep upstairs. At about 11:55pm they were really painful; one contraction rolling into another one. I finally got through to my midwife and then all of a sudden I started pushing and I could feel the head. My waters broke all over the floor of the living room. At this point Jesse finally woke up and he was halfway down the stairs when the head was born. Two more pushes and he was out. It was the best labour in the whole entire world.

“It was very messy because I was on all fours leaning over the lounge and blood and water shot everywhere. Will was fine and the midwife kept calling me but I reassured her that he was fine. I turned around to hold Will and have skin to skin and noticed Flynn and Florence sitting on the stairs in shock. They came down to meet Will which was really lovely before everyone else came. I had my midwife’s hat on and I could feel my placenta there ready to come out but I didn’t want to do it till my midwives came. The cord was also quite short and I could feel that I’d torn so I just sat and waited. Once they got there I half stood up and the placenta fell out. I had a second-degree tear so the midwives sutured me and the kids went back to bed. Overall it was a really healing birth. I had a shower and then went to bed and the midwives kept checking on me as they had to stay for four hours. I slept through till 7am the next morning.”

Topics Discussed

Unassisted homebirth, Irritable uterus, 42 weeks, Midwife, Three vaginal births, Breastfeeding

Connect

Connect with Luka over @boobtofood and find out more about her beautiful book Milk To Meals

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