3.7kgs of a healthy little man came dramatically into my arms at 11.30pm on Saturday 2nd May.
We'd been having "tightenings" regularly since 1/2pm in the afternoon but daddy & River were in Richmond at a comp watching one of our coaches perform amazingly! So Raine, baby and I waited for the boys to come home. Eric cooked us up a beautiful dinner of wraps, nachos and he had sneakily gotten mi goreng from Vege Bar. I followed that up with a vegan Mars bar and took Marli for a walk while the fam watched Thor & set up the birth pool. The half hour walk saw 11-12 contractions that I could walk through. Then I went to bed.
Eric got the kids down by 8.30pm (superdad) and came to rest with me. I'd been in contact with the midwives and told Juliana not to rush and we'd call with news.
I looked up at a star, it felt like I'd be in labour for days (like with Riv), and I repeated "strong and powerful" Then within minutes I got the strangest feeling that my baby was trying to break my waters so I woke Eric to grab me a towel so that I didn't ruin my new bedsheets. I was actually a bit annoyed at him for trying to get rest, I felt he wasn't taking me seriously...turns out he just needed rest!
Well, the moment the towel was under me, my waters broke. It was very cool predicting it and I'm super amazed my sheets remain in good health. However, the contractions became extremely "strong and powerful" I was still able to talk and do things for about 15mins, telling Juliana to come and Siggy to make her way over....having a giggle with Kylie via text that I could still message. And then Raine woke up and my contractions went next level...I needed to get in that water. So Eric is filling the birth pool, trying to soothe Raine, trying to help me through contractions and calling our birth team to haul arse because it was so intense! He popped Raine on his back in the ergo and I don't really remember getting in but the water was good.
I was pretty scared, things were progressing much faster than I had visualised and I felt alone. Eric was working his butt off to fill the pool and it cannot be easy to watch your partner lose it. The midwives arrived together and started to try calm my breathing down. There is something so honestly soothing and relieving about the gentle touch of a woman who cares for you. I have never experienced anything like it before but through both the birth of Raine and now Reef, the holding of hands or smoothing my face or even Juliana tying my hair up. The love expressed through touch is something that I clung to.
Eric was kept busy filling the pool and getting things organised, I was in agony...it was really full on and it hurt! My time distortion happens here but I found myself pushing following each contraction and both midwives asking me to slow down. Juliana felt a cervical lip and actually had to help move it to get the little one's head through, this can happen when you start pushing before fully ready. Then as I was starting to grunt following contractions, Eric got into the pool. I'm quite sure Siggy was taking pics and helping with Raine and there was lots and lots going on...I didn't even say hello to her and was worried that I was so noisy!
River woke up and came through the lounge, announced that he just needed to wee first and then came back to watch his little brother being born. Raine was a bit upset because I was so noisy but they both did a great job of witnessing their brothers birth.
Then Bubs head started crowning. I kept yelling "he's crowning oh my god it's crowning!" I was so shocked at how fast his head was there...Eric had his head in both hands but the cord was wrapped around his neck and the cord was short and I was actually resting his head on Eric's hands on the bottom of the birth pool. When the contraction ended his head felt like it started moving back up and that's when both Juliana and Helen told me to push and get that baby out now, I had to half stand (which I had visualised) and I was pushing with everything. But he wouldn't budge so in seconds Helen had freed him and his shoulders from me. Eric said it was amazing, the amount of water (amniotic fluid) that was behind his body everything came gushing out. Our little man was born blue as a smurf and yet I wasn't panicked. His heart was beating strong and Juliana spoke calmly to me about stimulating him while Helen gave him some much needed oxygen. It didn't take long for him to cry and breathe deeply and snuggle down.
That damn short cord though was pulling the placenta (similar to with Raine) and I started to feel quite ill so when I had the next contraction Helen told me to push it out, which I did and the RELIEF was brilliant.
The other thing people rarely prepare new mothers for is the after pain...your uterus keeps contracting...and it feels sickening. So I was lovingly dosed up on panadol and voltarin...which, for a person who doesn't take pharmaceuticals, was lovely.
I had no damage to my lady parts which surprised me but evening primrose oil and perineal massage did the trick. Therefore I could walk to the toilet with no dramas and felt even better than after Raine's birth.
Reef latched on like a champ while we were chilling on the couch.
It's now day nine!!! Reef is more than a whole week old. He has both a lip and tongue tie which will be lasered in about three weeks, it just makes feeding harder and can affect his teeth and/or speech development. He also has thrush now on his tongue which we will treat with some baby probiotics.
I've been through an emotional week and survived. My mister testosterone almost 4 year old is working through some behavioural challenges, we've had a bit of help from Rivs God father & his beautiful girlfriend who have looked after the toddlers twice now so that Eric and I can bond with Reef/rest. Raine is mostly wonderful except when trying to put her to bed. We definitely need a new strategy because it took well over an hour to lay with her to get her to sleep. The other day when Nick had Riv, I got both Raine & Reef to sleep (Eric was training) and I literally felt like a goddess!!
Eric had his first day back at work today and it wasn't too bad with the three kids but it also wasn't easy. I think it's hard without a break at all and would certainly be harder if Eric had a 9-5. However I've also taken 4 phone calls and Erics taken another 4 (we tag team)...and my new website is being constructed, I will be launching "the mumma movement" in the next few weeks, so it hasn't been quiet in my head!
After Rivers birth I barely slept...I cleaned as soon as I had a minute to myself. After Raine's birth I went back to work probably a little faster than I needed to. I think I've been a little more restful this time around, though mess gets me anxious and I'm still working from home. The hardest part has been that Eric took on so much prior to Reef's arrival and only had a week off (which was mostly spent managing the older two), and because we have a business and three babies our relationship is often not a priority and we don't get much time to hang out. In saying all of that, the super dad has been training and feeding us all and making sure we watch Netflix together when the kids are sleeping, he's empathetic about my constantly leaking boobs and compliments my changing body every day. He is beautiful, patient and fun with the kids, and the way he looks at Reef makes me swoon.
So I suppose I should mention that recovery is going well, I went on a short walk today and otherwise have been diaphragm breathing, doing kegels and pelvic tilts. I've started doing "calf raises" or relevé (ballet) because it feels good and I make sure to get my legs up the wall and stretch my shoulders, neck and side body each day. Returning to gentle exercise is lovely and I'm glad my little belly is shrinking! I don't feel any pressure to start WODding again but may be itching for a barbell in about two weeks!
This was taken the day after Reefs birth:
And this yesterday:
I've lost all definition in my legs and arms and am eagerly awaiting headstand and handstands when ready. I will be participating in the Wunderlust yoga class this weekend and look forward to postpartum practice.
With much love and thanks for the well wishes and support - Sares xx