Warning: This post contains my birth photos. They’re very tasteful, but they’re still of me giving birth…in other words there is a lot of my skin exposed.
“Do you want birth photos?” I asked Caleb one afternoon. “Heck no” He replied laughing. “I didn’t think so” I said smiling “but I thought I’d ask, just cause Annika would like to start taking them and I thought she might want to practice on us”. Caleb sat thinking “Ok” he replied after a moment “she can take our photos”. Both Caleb and I agreed to birth photos reluctantly, but last week after we saw the results of Annika attending our birth we both agreed it was one of the best things we’ve ever done. I now value these photos more than any other I’ve ever had taken, I know they’re raw showing us exhausted and not looking our best. But they’re real, showing the wonderful supportive husband I have and also what a great job I did. Yep, I’m more than happy to tell the world that I did something incredibly difficult, I had a baby.
I had an interesting couple of weeks leading up to the day I finally gave birth…I had three false alarms. That’s right, I started to have contractions on 3 different occasions, twice after 4 hours they stopped which wasn’t so bad, but on the Thursday before I gave birth I had 12 hours of contractions from 5pm-5am and then they just stopped again. Needless to say I was pretty discouraged and exhausted by this point, especially seeing I was overdue and it seemed like every pregnant person I knew seemed to be giving birth early. Thankfully I didn’t have to wait much longer because on Sunday evening I went into labour, for real this time. I knew that these contractions were the real deal as soon as they began, they were strong, only a minute apart and they lasted like this for the next 12 hours. I laboured at home for about 4 hours and then at 2:30am I felt like it was time to go to the hospital, so we called our wonderful midwife Monica and she met us at the Calvary Birth Centre. I spent the next hours leaning on lots of different things, the yoga ball, the bed, the window frame and the bath…I don’t remember much about that time except I was very focused on my breathing (I learned from the amazing Vedanta at Yoga Natal), making sure I stayed relaxed and not letting fear take over.
By the time I was ready to push I had a new midwife helping me, the lovely Cindy. This was because one of Monica’s other pregnant ladies went into labour at pretty much the exact same time as me. We were in adjacent rooms and it was actually kind of nice to know that there was someone next door who was also feeling the same things I was. To start with Monica was able to help us both going from room to room but soon it became clear to her that we were both getting near the end and she was going to need an extra pair of hands. Hence Cindy coming to help out. My next door neighbour delivered before me and this just ticked me off, all I remember thinking is “I can’t believe she’s finished already, I need to hurry up and get this done!” Pretty much after that I worked super hard and pushed out a baby, which I’m pretty proud of cause I didn’t have any gas or drugs…not even a Panadol.
So at 9:28am on 9th March 2015 Walt Thorson was born and I’d love to say that the moment I saw him I felt huge feelings of love and devotion, but honestly I felt kind of numb…I remember thinking “I did it, I had a baby, now I can rest”. But since then every day I love Walt a little more and I apologise to those people who follow me on social media, cause I’m sure he’ll be the only subject I post…for like ever.
Sitting up late at night editing my birth photos with Walt sleeping in my arms was pretty much the greatest, thanks Annika for such an amazing gift. (If you want to listen to my editing music Sufjan Steven’s new album Carrie & Lowell is up on NPR for a sneak peek)