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Bowie Draper was born faster than I could say “Sourdough”.

It all started on the 19th November at 7:00am when I woke up, put my hand on my belly and

said to Drapes “I can’t believe he’s STILL not here yet”. I was officially over it.

At 41+1 weeks, I was feeling swollen, impatient, a little disheartened and a lot ready to meet my

baby. Little did I know, in just a few hours he’d be in my arms.

Drapes and I woke up in a kid-less house that morning, Alfie was with his grandparents so we

started the morning off slow, heading off to the beach for a surf and a waddle along the sand.

At 8:00am as I was walking along the beautiful Pottsville beach I felt some mild cramps and I

really leaned into them. I felt excited by them. I told myself I was ready, that I was going to have

a baby today, that I can do this, that I was strong and born to do this - all the things that

hypnobirthing had taught me over the years. And just like my first birth that was all things

magical and ‘pain-free’, hypnobirthing helped me achieve what happened next!

Drapes came out of the surf at about 9:30am and I was swaying on the spot. I told him that it

was probably time to go home, I didn’t say too much because I didn’t want to get either of our

hopes up but I felt like my baby was on the way and I just wanted to be home in my safe space.

We got home and in true Draper style he thought it was the perfect time to start building a little

ramp out the front for me so that I could easily wheel a pram up it. He was done and dusted with

the ramp within an hour or so and by that time I had been on the couch breathing deep and

really leaning into the sensations I was feeling in my body. I was so excited by this point

because I knew i’d have my baby in my arms soon. I made a bowl of oats and ate it slowly, with

the knowing that it was going to give me the energy I needed.

I moved up to our bedroom by about midday, popped some clary sage in the diffuser, put on the

same black lace bralette i’d worn in labour with Alfie, turned on Gilmore Girls and started to

bounce on my birthing ball. I felt so calm and so in control. I do recall having moments of “Oh

shit, this is happening now, what if it isn’t like last time, what if this happens, what if that

happens...”, but the moments were fleeting and my hypnobirthing techniques brought me back

to where I needed to be mentally.

Drapes sat across from me in the feeding chair and called to let our midwives know that I was in

labour, but that it was ‘very early’ and that he’d keep in touch as I progressed throughout the

day. It was about 12:30pm by this time. I wanted to time stamp everything so I could look back

and remember moments in my labour and birth so I took a video of myself swaying in front of

the mirror in our bathroom at 12:37pm, I looked so calm and in control, so strong, so ready to

surrender and meet my baby.

I leant over the ball on my knees, swayed back and forth, popped my hypnobirthing affirmations

on and started to really focus on my breathing. Drapes was in and out of the room at this stage

getting sorted, he stripped the bed and prepared it for the birth, he made sure the birthing pool

was inflated and ready to go, he even decided to whip up some dough because he thought that

fresh bread after birth is exactly what i’d want later on - and he wasn’t wrong about that!

Drapes was in touch with the midwives again, letting them know how I was going and I distinctly

remember him telling them “Yeah she’s all good, yeah just make your way up in the next couple

of hours or so I reckon but i’ll keep you posted”. This was at about 1pm.

Shortly after this phone call I remember having the urge to turn Gilmore Girls off, the sound was

really starting to irk me. I began to breathe deeply at this point, and we put the Tens Machine on

my back because I started to feel the surges in my back just as I did with my first birth. The

birthing ball was my savior, it went wherever I went in the room, it was my anchor through the

surges and it gave me a sense of ‘control’ as I beared down on it.

At 1:27pm I leant over the bed on all fours and felt a really intense surge, it took my breath away

and I had to really focus on breathing through it - Drapes captured it on video and when I looked

at the video afterwards I remembered exactly what was happening in that moment for me.

Things were progressing, fast! It was also at this point that Drapes decided it was a great time to

duck downstairs and put the sourdough in the oven.

After this big surge I felt the urge to retreat into the bathroom, I asked Drapes to bring my

birthing ball in with me, and I closed the door behind me. This is when he knew shit was getting

real! Drapes called the midwives at this point and told them “Uhhhh, I think you need to hurry

now, she’s just gone into the bathroom and closed the door and she isn’t talking anymore”. This

was the exact sign that he’d been waiting for to alert the midwives that my labour had

progressed and that I was in the thick of it, however, because it happened so fast... they weren’t

even close to being at the house! In fact, they were still about 45 minutes away.

From here everything started to really speed up, my breathing got deeper, my swaying got

faster, the sounds I was making got deeper and more primal, my skin got hotter and my arms

began to shake as I leant over the ball and used everything I had in my body to bear down on it.

I can’t quite explain or describe the feeling I felt in my body as I leant over the ball and labored,

it can only be described as a strong surge of energy buzzing throughout my body. It sounds so

woo-woo but it was like my entire body was pulsating and vibrating from head to toe, I was so

aware of everything that I could feel - from my head to my toes. It felt like i’d been struck by

lightening and I was on fire. It was a feeling and sensation so intense that I don’t think i’ll ever

feel it again in my lifetime.

As I stood in the bathroom alone with my eyes closed swaying back and forth over the ball, I

remember thinking “Where is Drapes? Are the midwives here yet? Is the pool full yet? Fuck I

really don’t want to birth my baby on this rug because I love this rug and the blood will ruin it but

wow, it really feels like I need to push!”. It was at this exact moment that my body did just that, it

began to push and I had zero control over it, the build up of pressure was INTENSE, and at the

very end of the push I felt and heard a huge ‘POP’ and with that, my waters exploded all over

my beautiful cream rug.

I was well and truly in labour-land by this point, and unbeknownst to me Drapes had been on

the phone to the midwives who had let him know that they may not make it in time, and that he

needed to get prepared to birth the baby himself. This wasn’t his first rodeo, he was told the

same thing with our first borns birth so this time, he was ready to roll!

I laboured solo in silence with my eyes closed and my mind focused on my hypnobirthing

techniques. I didn’t allow myself to become distracted by anything, I was there to do a job and I

knew what I had to do to bring my baby into the world.

Drapes opened the door shortly after my waters broke and all I could muster up when I heard

him enter the room was “Fill pool! Where is midwife?” to which he confidently straight up lied to

me about - he told me the pool was almost full, and that the midwives were 5 minutes away. I

later found out that at this point the pool barely had a puddle of water in it and the midwives

were doing 150km/hr on the highway, still 20 minutes away from our home!

Drapes came into the bathroom and stood next to me with towels, he whispered to me that I

doing amazing and he was preparing to birth the baby himself when he heard footsteps up the

stairs - much to his relief, one of our midwives had arrived!

I remember feeling a cold washer being placed on the back of my neck by Drapes which is in

hindsight exactly what I needed as my skin was on fire, but at this point I couldn’t be touched, I

was deep in labour-land and I swatted him away even though I remember feeling so incredibly

hot and sweaty - but what I really needed was to get in the water.

And with that, my beautiful midwife Jen arrived. She floated into the bathroom calmly, put her

hand on my shoulder and without opening my eyes I just knew it was her. The relief I felt from

her being in the room was everything I needed at that moment, I felt safe. Another surge came

crashing in, I beared down on the ball and she whispered to me “You’re doing so well” and I

knew it was go-time. I told her “I need to get in the water”, and within minutes that’s exactly

where I was.

It was a beautiful sunny day in November and the curtains were drawn so that the room was

dark and cozy. The birthing pool had been set up in the middle of our bedroom for the past week

and I was more than ready to get in. The birthing pool was my safe space and it was exactly

where I wanted to be when I birthed my baby.

I waddled from the bathroom to the birthing pool and I could physically feel that the baby was on

his way out and I needed to hurry. There were no physical examinations performed by my

midwives, we didn’t need them, there was just a strong intuition and innate knowing of what was

about to come next.

My midwives helped me get into the pool and I assumed the same position as last time I birthed

in the water, in the corner of the pool, head down resting on the edge of it, arms hanging over

the side, relaxed, calm, deep in labour land and moo’ing out those primal birthing sounds that

only ever come out of you when you’re this close to birthing your baby, and birthing a new

version of yourself as a woman at the same time.

Just before I started to push I moaned, “Is someone filming this?!”, because you know, that’s the

most important thing to be thinking about when you’re about to push your baby out!

From there, my body took over and did just as I knew and trusted it would do, it began to push

out my baby with very little pushing at all, it was more like an ejection. Finally, this baby got the

memo about their eviction notice that i’d issued weeks before. The sensation was intense, fast,

hurry-like, there were no breaks in between surges, no time for rest and recuperation, he was

on his way and my body was taking charge of his arrival.

Out came his head with one push, then his little chin, then his shoulders and lastly with the final

push out came his little body. I yelped and squealed with pure delight, shock and relief. In that

exact moment all of the pressure that my body had harboured and held onto for the past 41

weeks, was gone. I felt free.

Without prior warning Jen calmly said “Pick up your baby” as she basically handballed him to

me through my legs, and with that I looked down and saw a tiny squishy human looking up at

me, arms sprawled out like a little frog swimming up towards me. I did exactly as she said and I

scooped him up out of the water, I looked down at his little face and felt a huge sense of relief

that i’d done it - I threw my head back and the flood gates opened with a huge sob that made

my voice tremble. He was here, he was safe, he was in my arms and he was absolutely, utterly


He was Bowie Draper. It was him all along.

As I rested against the pool with my baby in my arms, oxytocin pulsating through my veins,

staring at his little face in pure shock at how fast he’d arrived into the world (just under 2hrs), we

heard Drapes alarm go off on his phone... the sourdough was ready to be taken out of the oven.

I’ve eaten at some of the finest restaurants in the country, but they’ve got absolutely nothing on

eating Drapes fresh sourdough, lathered in butter, in bed, with my brand new baby sleeping on

my chest. A moment in time that I will never, ever forget.

Shonleigh & Brent

To book a Childbirth Education or Hypnobirthing Course on the Gold Coast with Shari CLICK HERE

To Purchase the Journey To Birth Online Hypnobirthing Course CLICK HERE


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