BIRTH STORIES

EDWINA

It is with joy in my heart and love like I have never known that I announce the arrival of my son, Milo.

Milo Edward Jude Johnson, born at 36+5 weeks. Sunday 26 October 2008 6.42pm. Scorpio. 3.18kilos. 50cm. 36.5cm head 19 hour labour; 2 panadols (only 10 minutes of it was second stage)

Well, it was a rather dramatic lead up to Milo's birth at the wonderful birth centre at Royal Women's Hospital Randwick, Sydney. A couple of weeks ago Milo and I went to meet friends at the Night Noodle Markets in Sydney's Hyde Park and while I wandered around from stall to stall trying to decide which queue looked least terrifying I thought I had reached that delightful part of pregnancy: incontinency... until I started to think it might be something else.

As it turned out my membranes had ruptured prematurely. I hot-footed it across the road to St Mary's Cathedral and hailed a taxi. Poor little driver saying 'you ok lady' as I was speaking to Marie from Birthing Rites trying to work out what was going on. "Team Dween" swung into action and had me at the hospital shortly afterwards where we stayed for 3 nights. On arrival we were put under the care of a fabulous midwife Tess. I knew I was in good hands.

Once they confirmed I had to stay in hospital for monitoring Tess took us to the lift - me, my mum, my acupuncturist - and the lift damn well broke down. Tess calling through the doors 'what do i do if she goes into labour?' Several technicians and 45 mins later... we were back on the ground floor and I very nearly made a run for it. I was 35 weeks +3 days pregnant at the time and the doctors decided to wait and see if we could get safely to 37 weeks. Bubs and I came home and rested up for a week having daily acupuncture, sitting in the garden, getting all my last minute things done. My ideal birth plan was the birth centre without intervention but I wouldn’t be accepted there at less than 36+6.

After a late night acupuncture session I went into intense contractions on Saturday night 25 October. My incredible mum saw me through the first 7 hours then I was joined by three of the most beautiful women in the world: Catherine my gifted acupuncturist and friend, my cousin Clodagh and my sister Alix flew in from Mullumbimby that morning.

As I was only 36+5 we headed straight to delivery suite and to my surprise and delight Tess was waiting for us - she happened to be on shift and even though I technically wasn’t allowed into Birth Centre she swept us up and installed us and convinced the Doctors it was OK. After 18 hours of labour Tess told me she had to consider moving me to Delivery Suite for Syntocin to ramp up the contractions.

I asked if I could have one more acupuncture treatment and Catherine gave me an almighty series of needles in the back while Alix held me and I marched up and down and used everything within me to birth my baby. 40 minutes later I literally roared him out of me. ah yes, birth is deeply primal and extraordinary. I can't tell you the joy, the bliss, the mystery, the magnificence of looking down and seeing my little boy - seeing his sex for myself. I picked him up and we lay back on the bed together and watched dawn spread over his skin (as Pete from Birthing Rites so beautifully foretold). Alix cut his cord and I looked at him all night. my baby.

I asked if I could have one more acupuncture treatment and Catherine gave me an almighty series of needles in the back while Alix held me and I marched up and down and used everything within me to birth my baby. 40 minutes later I literally roared him out of me. Ah yes, birth is deeply primal and extraordinary. I can’t tell you the joy, the bliss, the mystery, the magnificence of looking down and seeing my little boy - seeing his sex for myself. I picked him up and we lay back on the bed together and watched dawn spread over his skin. Alix cut his cord and I looked at him all night. My baby.

We are home now and like all new mums I spend hours just staring and loving and admiring him. Such a little man - right now he looks like a cross between an old man and a sloth (my favourite animal) with his slow moving unfurling arms and hands. He is a slow feeder and likes to have at least 3 sleeps on the breast during each feed.

So here he is.... Milo and I send love and thanks to all of you at Birthing Rites who loved us and guided us through this pregnancy. We are so grateful to all of you.