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We ran a few red lights and even over took a Police car on the way!

I first started feeling mild cramping at 11:00 pm Saturday night, thinking that they were just standard pregnancy cramps I went back to sleep. By 5:00 am they were getting intense and more frequent. I decided to wake up my husband Michael and start timing them, even though they were consistently 15 minutes apart at this stage, I thought that I must have been having Braxton Hicks contractions as I had not seemed to have experienced any obvious ones yet, I was still 10 days away from my estimated due date and was convinced being my first that I would also go overdue by a week.

Michael and I were joking and laughing for the next couple of hours that this would be good practice for when I actually went into real labour, all while the surges rolled over me and I was breathing through them standing up leaning over our bed.

By 9:00 am they were even more intense so I decided to let my mum know what was happening as I had planned for her to attend my birth with Michael. At 10:30 am Michael decided to call the Maternity ward knowing I was in labour and updated them on what was happening. By this stage, I was having surges every 2-3 minutes lasting for about 1 minute.

The midwife on duty asked if this was my first pregnancy and how I was handling the surges, because I was relaxed, breathing through them so well and being my first pregnancy, she assumed I was not as far dilated as I actually was and her advice was too not come into the birth suite too early and for me to lay down as I would need to reserve my energy. I, however, did not take this advice as I kept myself upright, swaying my hips and walking around the entire time I laboured which I feel greatly helped me dilate faster and kept my body in the best position to widen my pelvis and utilize gravity for bringing my baby down.

Meanwhile, I’m in the shower as I decided to shave my legs, every time I felt a surge coming I would lean over with my hands against the shower wall and breathe through it, then continue shaving my legs with Michael coming in and laughing with me between surges.

After I had a shower mum helped me finish packing my hospital bag which so far only consisted of LED wax candles, a couple of maternity bras and my birthing ball which I had planned to use in the birth suite. By this stage, I was packing clothes into my bag as quickly and calmly as I could which was unbelievably challenging as I had to constantly keep stopping to lean onto the bed and breathe through the surges that were rolling over me very intensely one straight after another. I also had to go vomit in the process because little did we realize at the time but I was actually transitioning at this point.

While packing my bag I had this incredible urge to just sit on the toilet which I knew sitting in this position would help widen my pelvis, this is when I had my show. After telling Michael and my mum this they decided to get me into the car as quick as possible and head up to the hospital. As Michael was getting the car and my mum was getting my bag, I still felt so in control and trusting of my body that I decided to grab a couple of toiletries out of the bathroom on the way to the car, whilst doing this I vomited again in the bathroom and felt the incredible urge to bear down while gripping onto the towel rail. Turns out I was fully dilated at this point.

As I got into the front passenger seat of my car I knew at this stage that I should have already well and truly been at the hospital but instead of panic, I had this incredible feeling of determination to get there and to bring my baby safely into the world. We could all feel I was that close to having him my mum had even thrown a towel and blanket in the car last minute without me knowing, preparing for if I had to give birth on the side of the road.

The car ride to the hospital was the most intense. I couldn’t even sit down so I ended up squatting on the car seat with my left hand clinging to the car door and my right hand gripped onto the sun visor in front of me. By this stage, I could feel the pressure of his head right there and I had the incredible urge to push him out but my body and mind would not let myself give birth until I felt I was in a safe space.

Michael was driving as fast as he could weaving through traffic on the M1, while my mum was sitting in the back on the phone to emergency organizing an ambulance to meet us along the highway. They both were calm for me while doing all of this and Michael ended up getting us to the hospital quicker, he ran a few red lights and even overtook a police car on the way, the whole time I was just concentrating on my breathing and trusting my body. I can clearly remember one point on the drive staring out of the side window at the open paddocks we were passing and as the surges rolled over me relentlessly feeling like I was having an out-of-body experience it was that powerful.

When we arrived at the hospital front entrance the midwives were meant to be waiting there for us with a wheelchair, however, we beat them there. Michael and my mum had to help me walk through the hospital foyer to the lifts at the back to get to the maternity ward, I kept wanting to stop and drop down to the ground a few times on the way. As we got into the empty lift someone on the floor below had called it down instead of it going up and people were trying to get into the lift with us as I was dropping down to the floor starting to push my baby out. They quickly realized what was happening and didn’t get in.

When the lift doors opened at the right floor the midwives picked me up and put me into a wheelchair, ran with me to a birth suite and put me up onto the bed. I immediately turned myself around onto all fours and could hear the midwives saying “that’s the head right there.” This is where time completely slowed down for me and even though it was a very quick birth, in reality only a couple of minutes, I went into a trance-like state and was able to be in tune with my body and knowing when to naturally push with the midwife coaching me to breath my baby out slowly which greatly helped me not to tear my perineum at all.

I could hear loving and encouraging words of support from Michael and my mum, 3 pushes in total and he was out with my waters naturally breaking at the same time. He came out compound presentation, with his fist pressing up against the side of his head which made his birth even more intense, the midwife then passed him up to me through my legs and into my arms, to my chest. We didn’t even know the sex until the midwife reminded us to check, seeing that we had a little baby boy was the greatest surprise of our lives.

It was a total of 10 minutes from when we arrived at the hospital entrance to our son being earthside. All of the midwives were hugging and high-fiving each other and were blown away by my efforts. Michael and my mum were in complete awe to the moment, all of their joy surrounding us was surreal. My placenta was then naturally delivered 10 minutes after birth.

Our son was born at 1:32pm on Sunday with a 100% natural birth and absolutely no pain relief or intervention at all. I feel so grateful and empowered to have had the natural birth I was aiming for and in doing so I was then able to have all of our other birth preferences met, including immediate skin to skin, breastfeeding, not washing the vernix off, delayed cord clamping and eventually after it naturally stopped pulsating Michael cutting the umbilical cord.

Thank you so much again for everything!

Lana and Michael

Burleigh - Gold Coast

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