My sister Sophie (founder and host of Australian Birth Stories) gave birth to her third son Otto at the Mercy Hospital on the 23rd of March 2019.
Sophie laboured at home for a few hours on the night of Friday the 22nd. She called me at 1.30 am on the Saturday to let me know they were heading to the hospital. I met Sophie and Jono there at around 2.30am. When I saw Sophie she seemed completely fine, and the contractions didn’t appear to be that strong. Just quietly - I thought we might be there for a long time! I was right. The baby’s head appeared to be titled a little and not getting quite into the right position. At 6.30 am we all decided to go back home and see if things would progress naturally. Sophie carried on all day at home with consistent contractions but not much change. At 7 that night she decided that the midwife should break her waters. I met them back at the hospital where Sophie was labouring on the fit ball. Things didn’t appear much different to the morning in terms of how Sophie appeared and I thought there may be a long night ahead. But then the contractions really ramped up. Breaking the waters had allowed the baby to move into position and for the cervix to continue to dilate.
Sophie stopped talking and put on her hypnobirthing soundtrack. The room became really quiet and focussed and nobody was talking. The midwife and I were rasing our eyebrows at each other a lot and nodding as we could see how much things were progressing all of a sudden. Sophie was bent over the bed holding onto Jono and then on all fours on a small mattress beside the bed. She never complained once which was pretty amazing. She made a couple of really loud raws as she dealt with the contractions and then quietly pushed her baby out! Sophie as able to reach down and grab the baby and lift him through her legs. I think he was the messiest baby I’ve ever seen emerge! He was weeing an pooing as soon as he was out and covered in vernix. Sophie cut the cord after delayed cord clamping then delivered the placenta up on the bed. It was a 29 hour labour all up but super quick in the end.
Mini shoot at home a couple of days later featuring enthusiastic (and nude) middle brother Louis.