March 23, 2010
Phew! It's been a big week for us, but we finally have a moment to announce the arrival of our little girl, Harriet Tully Jones Smith on Monday 15th March at 1.09am. She was 7 pounds 2 ounces and 55 cm long.
It was a very, very fast and easy birth. The homebirth midwife only arrived ten minutes before I was pushing. While in the birth pool the baby descended and I reached down and felt what should have been her head and it was soft. We realised it was a bum! Marilyn (our midwife) called the ambulance just in case (as it is protocol not to birth breech babies at home) and I ended up pushing her out just minutes after arriving at the hospital.
The whole labour, including mild contractions in the restaurant to the birth of the placenta was only 6 hours, the midwives only counted it as 3.5 hours! Harriet is perfect and the birth was unassisted.
About an hour later however I began to bleed alot. I lost 2.2 litres of blood which is a very frightening thing. I needed surgery to stop the bleeding and two blood tranfusions. I am recovering surprisingly quickly, and gathering strength every day.
I feel very happy that I got the best of both worlds. If I'd planned a hospital birth then Harriet would have been almost definitely born by ceasarian, as vaginal breeches are rarely attempted these days, mainly due to a lack of experienced doctors. But the care I recieved for my bleeding was excellent and I am incredibly grateful to the hospital and modern medicine. If I had not had access to a hospital I'm not sure I would have survived, and even if I were at a smaller, less specialised hospital I may have ended up with a hysterectomy.
As it is I had a beautiful, natural, drug free birth, followed by the best medical care on offer. I feel very fortunate, although it was more dramatic than I had hoped!
You can see for yourself how beautiful she is! Her head wasn't squashed like head first bubs, though her bottom is a bit bruised and pointy! We're enjoying falling in love with her and spending those first precious weeks together drenched in Newborn Baby Smell, but having to fight off family for cuddles.