Every expecting mother has an idea in their head of what their dream birth will be. Be it an all-natural water birth, hypnobirthing or even a fully medicated birth everyone has their own idea of perfect. We spend our pregnancy preparing for the birth, creating birth plans, packing and repacking bags in the attempt to create a perfect birth. Some woman have a vision they had created, but some don't and the perfect birth is one where you have a happy healthy baby and mum.
We held an annual competition for expecting mothers to be able to get the chance to have her birth captured and on December 1st, 2017, Mickey was drawn from the hat.
At consultation Mickey and partner Jakob could not believe how lucky they were. First time parents, expecting a little girl winning a competition for a service that they could only dream of having until now
With much belief that they would have a Christmas baby, Mickey went overdue. On the 26th of December her waters broke with no contractions, a situation that would likely result in an induction within 24 hours. At the 18hour mark contractions began giving mum much relief as it allowed her to still have her much desired water birth at the King Edwards Family Birthing Centre. At 4pm on the 27th we all arrived at the birthing centre where I met both Grandma's to be Traci and Paula. All were very inviting of my presence in this special moment.
Due to breaking waters early Mickey was given antibiotics through an IV while she used a variety of tools to help her through her contractions. Fit ball, walking, showers and labouring in the dark and quiet she was confirmed to be 5-6cm and given the green light to hop in the birthing pool.
Mickey moved around the pool finding the most comfortable position having water sprayed on her lower back and moving her hips like a belly dancer using gravity to bring their baby down. Contractions got close and strong as Mickey entered transition feeling exhausted and that she couldn't go on, deciding that it was too much and that she would try again tomorrow. With the support of her partner and family she pushed past these fears and emotions and got into a zone.
She felt the need to push and did so for the next half hour with no change. At this point the midwives made the call to get her out of the birthing pool for an examination. She was not fully dilated and let to labour in the suite for a bit longer. At 11:30 it was determined that Mickey was not progressing and to ensure a safe delivery they needed to transfer her to the main hospital for an epidural or a partial induction. The 10 minutes it took to get transferred through those hallways felt like a lifetime and you could see her contractions had changed.
Assessment on arrival confirmed beliefs she was 10cm and ready to push with no intervention. As only 2 people are allowed in the birthing suite in the hospital, I distinctly remember the moment Traci comes running down the hallway that we need the photographer and Mickey was crowning. I was sitting in the waiting room with Paula expecting a long waiting process.
Mickey had a mirror at the end of her bed watching the moment her little girl was crowning. I was able to get crowning images for her, but I was also able to get images from her shoulder of exactly what she got to see. As the head was born and we were waiting for the final contraction to bring baby Octavia earth side, she mumbled. That tiny little baby who was half between 2 worlds made those unmistakable newborn gurgles and I watched a smile hit every single face in the room. I saw a light in Mum's eyes spark as she knew just how close she was to having her first born in her arms.
One final push and Octavia Evelyn Ritzmann-Chance was born into Mum's arms. Dad cried as he rushed to embrace his new family of 3. Mum got her magical birth, an un-medicated, natural delivery and a healthy baby.
That first cry of a newborn is unlike any other. It is magical to feel for any person in the room and Traci and Paula were ears against the suite door listening for that cry. They burst in with pure love and excitement proud of both their kids now having a child of their own.
Octavia with a set of lungs settling upon the breast a successful latch and a beautiful first feed.
After a little bit of clean up Mickey, Jakob and baby Octavia were transferred back to the birthing centre where Octavia's weights and measurements were completed. Born 3.83kg with a full head of hair.