Birth Story; Rawiti Elias Crawford



We went to bed as usual on Friday night and awoke as I thought I was weeing the bed and then realised I had no control over it and it was in fact my waters breaking. I quickly woke my partner Dylan and he jumped up and grabbed some towels. We were both excited as the anticipation of meeting our baby was close. Dylan fell back asleep but I lay awake with a million thoughts running through my head, as well as irregular contractions keeping me up. I moved to baby`s room right next to ours and knelt on the floor with a blanket over me, this position felt comfortable and I could nap in between contractions. Between now and 5pm Saturday we went into the family birthing centre a couple of times but I was not dilated much and they encouraged me to continue at home. I was happy to continue at home but dreaded the car ride each time, the only comfortable position was kneeling behind the passenger seat with my arms on the back seat, Lucy (housemate and good friend) supported me during this time by rubbing my back and giving me sips of water. At 5pm we went back in as my waters had been broken for 18 hours, which meant a cannula and a dose of antibiotics to help stop any infections. By this stage my contractions were gaining strength and were very regular so we stayed and got comfortable in our room at the birthing centre. I spent much of the hours ahead knelling on a mat on the floor with my arms resting on a bean bag and pillows. My support team Dylan, Lucy, and midwife did an amazing job keeping me hydrated, putting cold cloths on my neck and forehead, feeding me nibbles of paleo bars and massaging my lower back.  At 9pm my contractions were very painful and I got in the shower, it felt amazing spraying the water on my lower stomach and back during contractions. Around 11pm I asked to get in the bath and they did a quick check and I was 8cm dilated so they filled it up and I was able to hop in soon after. The feeling when I got into the bath is indescribable as it really helped with the contractions and I felt that things were starting to happen. Lucy, Dylan and the midwives all supported me as I pushed through each contraction with words of encouragement, sips of water and cold cloths. I soon felt a strong urge to push so the midwife checked but I was still only 8cm dilated so she said it can sometimes help to have some gas to help focus on my breathing rather then pushing as it was a bit early. I waited for awhile but was finding it hard not to push so I thought I would try with the gas. I found the gas helpful for me to focus on my breath but not so much for the pain, I think Dylan found it more useful then I did! About 15minutes later I threw the gas and said I needed to push, my body was strongly telling me it was time and I listened, after what felt like a long time pushing baby was crowning and I tried to slow down my pushes and follow the directions of my midwife. It was amazing to feel baby emerging and when the midwife told me I reached down to catch him and put him straight on my chest. At 2.03am on Sunday the 12th March 2017 our baby boy Rawiti Elias Crawford was born, weighing 3.9kgs/8.6lbs and 51.5cm long. The feelings were instant; relief, love, fulfillment and empowerment. As I was losing quite a bit of blood the midwife suggested an injection of oxytocin, which I said yes to, and the bleeding quickly eased. Soon after, I hopped out of the bath and we went back into our room. I laid on the bed, still with Rawiti on my chest, once the umbilical cord stopped pulsating Dylan cut the cord. I started having contractions again and soon after gave birth to my placenta.  The birth of Rawiti was the most challenging, painful and empowering experience of my life and I would do it again tomorrow if it meant holding my boy in my arms as it was worth every minute. We were so glad to be able to birth at the family birthing centre with the amazing midwives that work there who are so passionate and provide such great support and guidance. I could not have achieved a natural active birth without my support team and I will forever remember this as a positive and empowering experience.