Episode 14

#14 Bree's birth story: homebirth, precipitous birth, 3rd degree tear, hospital transfer The Matrescence Podcast

In this episode Bree sits down with her husband Matt to recount her birth story with their second child Emmy. After the positive but disempowering birth of her first child (See Episode 10), Bree knew that should they have more children she would want to have a homebirth. Long before she fell pregnant, Bree began assembling her team and planning her dream birth. By 12 weeks she had locked in a private midwife, enrolled in a Hypnobirthing Australia Course and asked Kel to be her doula. Throughout pregnancy Bree prepared for her birth by practicing hypnobirthing techniques and working through her fears and limiting beliefs in counselling. Expecting an early birth, Bree had her birth space set up from 37 weeks however, Emmy decided to stay put until 41+3 days. Despite the long wait, once labour commenced it was fast and furious lasting only 3 hours and resulting in a third degree tear (3B). Tune into hear about Bree's positive and empowering home birth, her experience with a third degree tear and hospital transfer and everything in between.Themes: Homebirth, Second baby, Severe tear, perineal tear, 3rd degree tear, 3B tear, hospital transfer, hypnobirthing, birth story, private midwife, continuity of care, midwife, midwifery led care, Hypnobirthing Australia, fetal ejection reflex, perciptous birth


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Kelly: [00:00:00] The birth of a baby is a defining moment in a woman’s life.

[00:00:14] Bree: [00:00:14] But what about the birth of a mother?

[00:00:16] Kelly: [00:00:16] That’s right when a baby is born. So two is a mother.

[00:00:20] Bree: [00:00:20] This transition from woman to mother has a name it’s called Matrescence.

[00:00:25] Kelly: [00:00:25] This developmental stage is as powerful and irreversible as adolescents, and yet few women have ever heard of it.

[00:00:32] Bree: [00:00:32] So let’s talk about

[00:00:33] Kelly: [00:00:33] it. Let’s talk about it. Each episode, we will bring them honest and thought provoking conversations, evidence-based research and knowledgeable guests in order to help you emerge and more powerful and aligned version of yourself. So join

[00:00:47] Bree: [00:00:47] us, your hosts, Kelly and Bree. As we attempt to make sense of Al Matrescence journey and to help you make sense of yours.

[00:01:02] Bree: in today’s episode. I sit down with my husband, Matt to share the birth story of our second daughter, Emmy. When sitting down to record this episode, I realized how vague I am on the details of my birth. I think this is a combination of the fact that it was incredibly short and fast, and the fact that I haven’t had the chance to fully process my birth yet.

[00:01:19] Bree: So it brought Matt in with the hopes that together we will be able to piece together the pieces of the puzzle. Throughout the episode, we talk about how the decisions we made throughout pregnancy set us up for the birth. We desired, including choosing a home birth, hiring a private midwife and declining some routine antenatal tests.

[00:01:36] Bree: Matches the highs and lows of supporting me during a drug-free labor and reflects on how different this experience was to our first birth. What was interesting to me was the fact that we reflect on this experience quite differently, what felt raw and primal and empowering to me felt quite distressing and traumatic to him.

[00:01:53] Bree: So often when we share our birth stories, it is woman to woman. And I think that there is huge value in including our partners perspective. So we really enjoyed sitting down to record this episode and I hope you enjoy listening to it. Yeah.

[00:02:10] Bree: So today I’m joined by my husband, Matt. And so our little girl, Emmy, we are in the closet today as a family recording this. So today we’re going to sit down and record our birth story with our second daughter. Emmy, if you haven’t already heard our first birth story, you can go back to episode 10 and hear about that.

[00:02:27] Bree: Bear. And if you haven’t done that already, I would suggest you start there because it’ll give a little bit of context to this birth and why we made the decisions we did. So we’re going to start at the very beginning, how we decided to have a home birth that made the choices we did leading up to birth.

[00:02:42] Bree: So prior to falling pregnant, it was this time. It was very clear to me that I’d like to do things differently. This time I found my first birth to be. Overall very positive, but not empowering in the way that I hoped it would be. So this time we decided that, um, we would have a home birth and by we, I mean, I, I very much decided that that would be the right choice.

[00:03:04] Bree: Um, but from the beginning, that was very on board with that decision. So Donna share with me a little bit, Matt, about your thoughts about home birth initially, whether you were on board or whether you just felt that that was my decision and that you had to go along with it.

[00:03:18] Matt: [00:03:18] Um, In terms of my understanding of home birth from the beginning.

[00:03:23] Um, I think as with a lot of people, I was sort of concerned around, you know, how safe it was and things like that. But at the same time, um, you know, I know that you have done all the research as you do with everything. You know, we can’t even buy a washing machine without having to research at least 20 beforehand.

[00:03:43] Um, so I always feel confident that. You know, when you have done the research around something or, you know, really looked into it and considered every single possible option that, um, you know, that’s something that I can try.

[00:03:58] Bree: [00:03:58] Yeah. And I think that, for me, it felt like I had spent so much time in a way, grooming you for this decision.

[00:04:04] We’d talked about this for many, many years, leading up to me, falling pregnant. And I had shared research with you and my. Thoughts because I was very much engaged in that space. So instead of springing it on you, when I was pregnant, it felt like a more natural progression and then like the logical choice for us.

[00:04:21] Yeah, definitely. It

[00:04:22] Matt: [00:04:22] wasn’t a surprise. You know, it was something that we had been talking about for a long time previously. And, you know, after Taj was born, you did say that you wanted to. I have a home birth next time. And I guess over time, we kind of considered what that was going to look like and what sort of options there were for us as well.

[00:04:40] Bree: [00:04:40] Yeah. So as soon as I found out I was pregnant, I went about locking in my birth team. And funnily enough, I actually contacted some of my care providers before I told Matt I was pregnant. Oh, there you go. You probably didn’t know that, but that was, I knew how hard it was to, I knew how hard it was to find, um, a private midwife in Brisbane.

[00:05:03] They book out incredibly quickly and I was. Quite anxious about the prospect of missing out. So as soon as I had that, uh, those two pink lines, I sent a couple of emails off. Well,

[00:05:15] Matt: [00:05:15] it seems like I was like number five or something like that.

[00:05:18] Bree: [00:05:18] I kind of settled on the news. I knew I wanted to tell you, but I took the day to kind of just process of, I mean, of course I want to worried if you didn’t.

[00:05:26] I took the day to process and in the meantime I did send off a couple of emails. So we ended up hiring a private midwife. We sat down and interviewed her and I think, yeah, Um, for you, any lingering concerns you had around home birth and the safety of it, she really cleared that up. Yeah,

[00:05:41] Matt: [00:05:41] for sure. I think sitting down and actually hearing what that process was like.

[00:05:45] Um, you know, at what point the threshold would be to transfer to hospital, things like that. Um, being reassured that, you know, they carry all of the nurse necessary things. Um,

[00:05:58] Bree: [00:05:58] for resuscitation and things like that.

[00:06:00] Matt: [00:06:00] Yeah. All the things that you would normally have in hospital anyway, apart from obviously the other sort of interventions.

[00:06:07] Um, yeah, it definitely gave me a lot more

[00:06:09] Bree: [00:06:09] peace of mind. Yeah. And I think we both walked away from that meeting. Feeling like home birth would not just be as safe as hospital birth for us, that it would actually be a safer option. And I think, especially when I was. Pregnant. Um, going back to the end of 2020, um, we were still, and we still are dealing with COVID and there was a lot of uncertainty around how that was going to change.

[00:06:31] Um, the restrictions around who can be at hospital appointments, who can be at the birth. So we really wanted to protect ourselves and our family from that and ensure that we could be together through the whole process. Yeah. So that was a huge motivator then throughout pregnancy as well. We also enlisted the help of a hypnobirthing Australia practitioner, Danielle, from your sacred space.

[00:06:50] And we did a hypnobirthing course privately within our home. How was that for you? Yeah, it was really

[00:06:55] Matt: [00:06:55] good, actually. I, um, I think obviously with my background in my. Work in a lot of this stuff that we did was stuff that I had a pretty good understanding of anyway, but it was sort of like a refresher and also, um, I guess a different space to be practicing that kind of stuff

[00:07:15] Bree: [00:07:15] as well.

[00:07:15] Yeah. So Matt’s a counselor, so he does do a lot of work already with mindfulness, but it kind of put it in the context of birth for you.

[00:07:22] Matt: [00:07:22] Yeah, definitely. And, um, you know, there’s also a lot of different areas that I learned about during those courses that maybe I wasn’t aware of prior to that

[00:07:31] as

[00:07:31] Bree: [00:07:31] well.

[00:07:32] Yeah. And I think for me, knowing that we were going to be in a home birth setting and that I was going to rely on math so much more for support, it felt really important to me that he was a part of that process and that we learned some tools about how we could best work together as a team. So while going into this experience, we did know a lot already.

[00:07:50] I knew a lot about birth. You knew a lot about mindfulness. I think it kind of put those pieces together for us and allowed us to feel more like a team going into birth. Yeah, for sure. Yeah. So let’s skip ahead a little bit. Um, throughout pregnancy, we did decline a few routine antenatal tests. Um, we did a lot of research into that and we made decisions together.

[00:08:09] So personally I decided not to do the testing for gestational diabetes, and I also did not do the GBS swab. Now we don’t routinely offer that in Queensland anyway, so it wasn’t. So much that I declined, but I didn’t seek it out. Um, so there were some decisions we made in pregnancy to set us up for the kind of birth, um, that we wanted.

[00:08:30] Now I had my first baby, we had Taj at 37 weeks and four days spontaneously. So throughout this pregnancy, we, and our care providers very much felt that we may have this baby fairly early. So we were. Very mindful to have everything set up by kind of a 37 weeks week mark. And we did think that maybe we’d go slightly longer this time, but we never could have anticipated how much longer.

[00:08:55] Matt: [00:08:55] No, that’s for sure. I think, yeah, definitely after having Taj that at that gestation, um, I think there was a lot of expectations around it being early. And so when you know, it got to 37 weeks and she still didn’t look as though she was anywhere near. Making her way aside. Um, yeah, we, we started to feel a bit of anxiety around like, well, you know, is it going to be tomorrow?

[00:09:20] Is it going to be the next day? Is it gonna be today? Is it going to be tonight? And, you know, I think, especially for me too, like trying to work in around. Work and stuff like that was a little bit

[00:09:30] Bree: [00:09:30] stressful, but yeah, it was certainly a challenge. And overall, I think we handled it really well. I have heard many women talk about how hard that period of waiting is.

[00:09:38] So it was really mindful to make sure I was not fixated on a date. And I tried to make sure that I was planning things each day, that I had things to look forward to. Um, so that I wasn’t essentially just sitting around, waiting for the baby to arrive. But at the same time, you don’t want to wear yourself out.

[00:09:54] So you’re mindful to be busy, but also resting. And it’s this really weird period where every single night you’re going to bed thinking all, maybe tonight’s going to be the night and then I’d wake up the next day and be like, okay, I guess that didn’t work.

[00:10:08] Matt: [00:10:08] When every time I went to work, so I’m going to be like, oh, still, no baby yet.

[00:10:12] That’s

[00:10:12] Bree: [00:10:12] why I’m here. We’ve all heard it said before. But I think that that is one of the most challenging things about going past your due date is yeah. Society is so uncomfortable with women going past their due date. We really think that women have their babies before or on it. So you get so many questions around, have you had the baby yet?

[00:10:29] You know, when she coming, when are they going to induce you? And it just kind of adds to that.

[00:10:33] Matt: [00:10:33] Yeah. And on top of that, I think, you know, from my perspective too, like, Well, because we are told so much that, you know, uh, women are meant to give birth on a certain date. And if they go past, you know, we start to think, well, you know, something gonna go wrong if they do, or, you know, is this baby ever going to chill out?

[00:10:51] You know, things like that. But I mean, it’s inevitable your body’s going to get it out. Eventually.

[00:10:55] Bree: [00:10:55] I did know that rationally, but once I hit 41 weeks, I started to think, yeah, Okay, I’m just not going to have this baby. I don’t know. It’s probably

[00:11:02] Matt: [00:11:02] just going to stay in there forever.

[00:11:04] Bree: [00:11:04] I don’t know what I thought would happen, but I just like, like of the idea that I was ever going to give birth, I’m like, okay, it’s just not going to happen for me.

[00:11:11] I just need to

[00:11:11] Matt: [00:11:11] surrender it to them. Well, if I think after you did, that was kind of like when we actually had her. Cause it was just kinda like, oh, it’ll happen when it

[00:11:18] Bree: [00:11:18] happens, which is often the case. Um, but yeah, so leading up to 41 weeks, I had absolutely no signs of labor. I didn’t lose my, um, I lost a little bit of my mucus plug early, but there was no bloody show.

[00:11:30] There was absolutely nothing to indicate that she was coming soon. Um, and. That kind of got

[00:11:36] Matt: [00:11:36] my hopes up too, because I remember when you said to me, you know, oh, I’ve lost my mucus plug. And I was like, oh, okay. So you know, the baby’s coming soon. And I think I texted my mom and was like, we may have a baby soon.

[00:11:48] And that was three weeks

[00:11:50] Bree: [00:11:50] later. I was like, oh, come on. I know, I know our whole team was waiting. So what day did she end up being born? Was it Wednesday? That was a Wednesday. So Tuesday night I was 41. Oh, it would have been Wednesday morning. So Wednesday morning, 2:30 AM. I was 41 weeks and three days. And that was when things finally started happening.

[00:12:11] So, um, As with my lost labor, I didn’t have any signs that contractions were going to start. I just woke up to a contraction, a surge, whatever you want to call them. Um, and I’ve never had period like cramps of early labor. I’ve heard them described in that way. And that is not my experience at all from the get-go they are quite painful.

[00:12:33] So. It woke me up and I went, oh, okay. I think something’s happening. But I was very conscious that it could be early labor and that I didn’t want to make a big fanfare. So I tried to stay in bed, stay asleep, and I just took a screenshot on my phone so that it would capture the time and tried to dose back off.

[00:12:50] When I had another one, I took a screenshot again. So that happened about four times and I thought, oh, I might just have a look and see how far apart.

[00:12:57] Matt: [00:12:57] I’m actually really glad that you did do that because if you would work at me up when you’ve had your first, you know, surgical contraction, I would have had zero sleep at all.

[00:13:05] Yeah.

[00:13:05] Bree: [00:13:05] Yeah. So Matt works night shifts, so he’d only gone to sleep at what? Midnight one o’clock. Uh, yeah. Yeah. So he’d only just gone to bed and I was very mindful of that. That’s why I didn’t wake him up straight away. So it was conscious that this could just be early laborer. And so I was trying not to pay much attention, but I did have a look at my phone at that point and noticed that my contractions were five minutes apart.

[00:13:27] So it seems that I’m not one of those people that has a long drawn out early labor where they go from an hour to 20 minutes to 10. It just starts putting hard and fast for me. Yeah. So I had about five of those and went, okay, this is happening. And I actually rolled out of bed onto my hands and knees because it was getting too painful to lie on my back.

[00:13:47] And at that point I woke my little boy up. He must have heard me get out of bed and he jumped on my back and said, hi mom, I’m a little POS, I’m a little possum. And so I’m trying to work through this contraction and breathe through it and I’m laughing at him. So that provided some comedic relief. Um, But I did send him into his dad who was in the other room and thought, okay, we need to get getting back to sleep.

[00:14:11] Cause this is very distracting. Um, so that point I hopped up and did a couple of things. I just, um, put some candles around, turned my lights on, got my hypnobirthing tracks on. And in my mind I was like, if I can get through till kind of five 30 in the morning, I think that’s a pretty reasonable hour to start waking my team up.

[00:14:32] Um, so I went into the kitchen with my hypnobirthing tracks and started. You know, just breathing through the surges and they did feel quite manageable, but I was still timing them on my app at this stage, which I had downloaded to keep track. Um, and it was a bit of a nightmare because I had to, every time I had to start my time, I had to use facial recognition.

[00:14:54] So I’m trying to log into my phone. And then I had to turn the facial recognition often, turn the passcode off and I’m trying to do this between contractions, um, And it was very distracting, but eventually I got a system working and I realized that they were two minutes apart. So I was like, well, okay, this is actually really quite close.

[00:15:11] And I think I do need to, um, start waking people up. So the first person I decided to call was Kell because she was my doula. And, um, I knew that she would be able to call the rest of my birth team. So I recorded, I actually recorded on my phone, a video. Cause I thought, oh, this will be so nice. I’ll call Kellen teller.

[00:15:32] I mean, labor and it’s finally happening. And then the phone rung out and I was like, what? So I was like, okay, no problem. I’ll just call her again. No answer. And I actually called her five times before I realized that maybe her phone was on silent or something was going on there. She was in

[00:15:50] Matt: [00:15:50] the same mindset of this.

[00:15:51] Baby’s not coming anytime soon. So yes.

[00:15:54] Bree: [00:15:54] So huge learning curve for Cal in terms of having a phone, um, settings rights. So when she’s on call and, um, I had a giggle at that I knew Cal would be kicking ourselves. So this one, I decided to wake Matt up because I had, I’d called my midwife and spoken to her briefly.

[00:16:13] And then the phone dropped out. Um, I’d called Kirby and it was funny. It really hard to focus. On my contractions while making these phone calls. And I knew I needed to get out of my logical thinking brain and just into my body. So by now it would have been, what do you reckon streak? That was about four when you

[00:16:29] Matt: [00:16:29] woke me up

[00:16:30] Bree: [00:16:30] for, so I did a good hour and a half by myself, and then I got mad out of bed.

[00:16:35] Um, do you remember what that was like? Uh,

[00:16:37] Matt: [00:16:37] I just remember you coming in and waking me up and then being like. I think it’s go time. And I was like, oh, okay. Let’s do this two hours later when I was kind of like, alright, yep, let’s do it. Yeah. Yeah.

[00:16:49] Bree: [00:16:49] And to your credit, you jumped straight out of bed and straight into doing light touch, which is really great.

[00:16:54] Um, and a little boy had gone back to sleep. So that was really lovely because it gave us one thing, one less thing to say. Think about. So we also called my mom who shot straight up in bed, I think, and was like, okay, I’m ready. I’m coming. Yeah. I think I

[00:17:07] Matt: [00:17:07] caught on, I said, um, I think you probably know why I’m calling you at this time in the morning.

[00:17:12] And then yeah. I said, if you can maybe go around and see if you can get killed up, if she hasn’t already got

[00:17:17] Bree: [00:17:17] up, then yes. So we gave Kaelin’s, um, mum instructions to go to Cal’s house and knock on a window because I thought she was going to kick herself if she misses it. So that was mom’s job. But in the meantime, Cal had woken up to it.

[00:17:30] I’m on my way. Um, which is great. And Kelvin’s actually first on the scene, the first to arrive, um, So in the meantime, you’re going to have to fill in a lot of details. Hey, because I’m pretty foggy on the details. I think I very much had that sense of, um, losing touch with time while I was in labor. So the timelines for me are super iffy and also there was.

[00:17:50] Pretty much, no point during labor where I opened my eyes. So I wasn’t aware of people filtering in who arrived when,

[00:17:58] Matt: [00:17:58] um, yeah, I mean, I’m kind of the same. I can’t tell you exactly what the timeline was. Cause I was sort of in that moment with you as well, even though, you know, I wasn’t experiencing the, the searches.

[00:18:09] Um, but I think, yeah, Kell was the first one there after that. Um, I think Kirby might’ve been, and then.

[00:18:19] Bree: [00:18:19] My mom was before cabby or your

[00:18:21] Matt: [00:18:21] mom and then Kirby and then Renee

[00:18:23] Bree: [00:18:23] and then Renee Marie. Yeah. Yeah. Well, Randy Marie, our second midwife actually missed the birth. So she was definitely last. Um, but I wasn’t really aware as aware of things going on around me.

[00:18:32] I think Cal was taking a few videos and. Clearing out my kitchen, because I had decided despite having a beautiful birth space set up, that I would labor in my kitchen with all my dishes around three or four

[00:18:45] Matt: [00:18:45] weeks prior to that, you were like, we need to get the birth pool up. We need to set up the space.

[00:18:49] And so we did all that. And then, uh, we ended up sitting on the gym ball in the kitchen and I, a little footstool and, uh, I’m just kind of. Work through the contractions of the surges, uh, on the kitchen floor. Yeah.

[00:19:06] Bree: [00:19:06] So the way that Kirby had arrived, because I could see the flash going off, even with my eyes closed in a lightning storm.

[00:19:12] Yeah. But apart from that, I really had no perception of what was going on around me. I was very focused

[00:19:17] Matt: [00:19:17] on it. Headphones on too. So you probably wouldn’t have heard much.

[00:19:20] Bree: [00:19:20] Anyway, it’s very conscious that I didn’t want to. I was aware that we had, I think it was about seven people at our birth and we have a very small home realistically.

[00:19:30] Um, and I thought that I might get this sense of being watched if I didn’t really zone out. So anytime I could hear someone talking, which was infrequently, people were very mindful and respectful of that. I would turn my tracks up because I wanted to just. Go within and not focus on anything that was going on around me.

[00:19:47] So I had, um, logged into my hypnobirthing account and I was listening to the tracks that I’d listened to throughout pregnancy and trying really hard to just breathe through the surgeons. Um, but at this point I was maybe only, you know, less than three hours into labor and I was surprised how intense it was.

[00:20:06] I was, I felt like I was, yeah. I felt like I was in a really good place mentally, but yeah. It was becoming really hard to just quietly breathe through. And I was finding that I was having to lift myself up off the gym ball to kind of, um, work through the peak of the contraction. And there was very little gap between them and it just kind of didn’t make sense to me because I was prepared to have a long drawn out early labor.

[00:20:33] Um, and it caught me off guard just how intense and how quick it was. Was that the same for you?

[00:20:41] Matt: [00:20:41] Um, yeah, definitely. I mean, the only thing I have to go off is Taj is birth and it was significantly longer in comparison. Um, you know, because we drove to the hospital after your water broke and you started having contractions.

[00:20:56] And then even after we got to the hospital, you know, it was hours before you actually, you know, went into active labor and started pushing. Yeah. So, um, Yeah, it really caught me off guard because it was obviously this time around, you didn’t have any pain relief. So, um, yeah, there was a lot more screaming and, um, you know, that kind of stuff through those surges.

[00:21:21] Bree: [00:21:21] Yeah. And that didn’t start until very late in the piece. So at this point I was still just breathing through and I did start to do a more guttural moaning. Um, as we got a little bit closer and I. Uh, to a degree, I was quite embarrassed by that because I’d done the hypnobirthing. I’d practiced religiously.

[00:21:38] I felt in a really good mind space. There was no point at which I thought I can’t do this. I need help. I need pain relief. Um, I really felt like I could do it. Thought, these sounds were just coming out of me. That was how I was having to manage. And with Sunday, many people there, I felt quite embarrassed by it that I couldn’t handle it, that we were only three hours in and I was already starting to, you know, be vocal.

[00:22:03] And, um, I had this sense of, oh my gosh. Well, am I just going to moan and scream for hours and hours?

[00:22:10] Matt: [00:22:10] Yeah. And I think that also played on my mind too, is because it was so intense and there was so much, you know, screaming and it felt really scary at the time. Yeah. I was kind of like, how long is this going to go on for?

[00:22:24] And you know, how are we going to cope and all that kind of stuff. But at the same time, having to kind of just be with you while you were in that stage, um, Yeah.

[00:22:36] Bree: [00:22:36] And it’s interesting. Cause I think we remember this quite differently. Um, so when, when I was able to breathe through the surges, as I was facing away from Matt and he was doing light touch, there was a point where I knew I needed to turn around because I felt like I needed more support from him.

[00:22:49] Um, in the background, everyone was kind of just sitting back and watching they were filling the pool. Um, and there’s a little bit of. Disagreement about when that has to happen. I know that Kell early on was liable. I think we need to fill the pool. And Matt was kind of like, no, I think we have right.

[00:23:02] Let’s just wait. Um, but they weren’t, they had decided to do that and they were doing that in the background, but all throughout labor, um, I didn’t have any. Vaginal examinations. I didn’t have any, um, monitoring from the Doppler and it wasn’t that, that was my preference. It just was logistically impossible.

[00:23:19] I was so in it and it was going so quickly that it just wasn’t priority. Yeah. I

[00:23:25] Matt: [00:23:25] mean, it was hard enough, you know, trying to get you to take your pants off, let alone to try and do anything

[00:23:29] Bree: [00:23:29] else. So, yeah, so I did turn around and that was when I started to get quite vocal. Um, Matt will tell you that I bit him on the shoulder through one, particularly intense.

[00:23:40] Serge. And I was just holding his hands, but he was very much the only one providing support to me. We had plenty of people who were willing to do it. Kelly even tried to do some acupressure on my feet having any of that that’s for sure. Um, but yeah, we were just working through it together. So, and this is where I say we remember it differently is that I think that the screaming and the yelling really.

[00:24:02] It occupies a lot of your mind space, but when you go back and look at the videos that calve recorded, it was about 15 minutes where I was actually vocal. So, um, it wasn’t as if that was the whole labor, but it just picked up in intensity so quickly. And I think for you potentially, it felt as though I was distressed and watching the videos, I can see why people would feel that way.

[00:24:25] But for me, I actually felt. Very calm. It was just what I needed to do at that point. I was involuntary pushing and that was just the noises that were coming out of me.

[00:24:35] Matt: [00:24:35] Yeah. And I think that’s the tough part too, is that because I’m not the one having that experience, you know, I can’t really understand what’s going on from you.

[00:24:44] And I can’t ask you either, because at that time, you know, you were just working through. The contractions and surges. Um, so it was just kind of a case of just being able to sort of sit there and hold space and, you know, I guess just wait it out and see. Yeah.

[00:25:00] Bree: [00:25:00] And you did that remarkably well, but I think this is, it’s a question we’ve brought up before on social media and on the podcast.

[00:25:06] Is, are men good men partners? Good. Birth support, because if you’re not experienced in seeing physiological birth, you know, my first birth, I had an epidural, I was very quiet. We were chatting, I was drinking tea and eating toast, and then I pushed the baby out. This is such a different experience. And I think the intensity of it can be quite overwhelming.

[00:25:25] Yeah, for

[00:25:26] Matt: [00:25:26] sure. And I think, you know, something that probably is helpful for me is that. On a daily basis. I sit with people who are in pain, who are crying, you know, who are screaming, things like that, but it’s completely different when it’s somebody, you know, that you’re emotionally attached to because there’s the fear that kicks in.

[00:25:45] Um, and the anxiety around, you know, what’s happening. Whereas, you know, for me, when I’m sitting with a client, like I don’t have the same level of attachment as what I do with

[00:25:54] Bree: [00:25:54] you. Uh, hopefully what is isn’t what’s reassuring is that the rest of our team was very calm. You know, you can see in the photos instead, just sitting down and chatting, no one else’s alarmed, but it can feel quite distressing.

[00:26:06] Um, and so it really picked up, there was only about 15 minutes there where it was really intense, but I was sitting on the ball and I kind of. Yelled and lifted myself up and my waters broke. Um, and I was aware that I was pushing, but it also didn’t even occur to me that we were anywhere. Now having a baby,

[00:26:24] Matt: [00:26:24] you look back in hindsight, it makes sense as to, you know, why you were screaming so much and why you’re in so much pain.

[00:26:30] Bree: [00:26:30] If we knew how close I was, it would’ve made.

[00:26:32] Matt: [00:26:32] It was that giant head, literally making its way out of your vagina. So.

[00:26:38] Bree: [00:26:38] And sitting on the ball, I could feel her head sitting at my parrot perennials. Um, but again, it didn’t, it just didn’t occur to me that we could ever be this close. But you also couldn’t

[00:26:47] Matt: [00:26:47] communicate that either at the time.

[00:26:49] So like we, we

[00:26:51] Bree: [00:26:51] pay loss. Yeah, exactly. And it was fully clothed. And my birth photographer Kirby actually joked to that. She managed to photograph my whole, whole birth without one seeing my vagina. Because until the last minute I was in my pajamas, it was quite a cold night. Um, so. My water broken. I actually said my water water’s just broken.

[00:27:11] And my midwife asked if I wanted to hop up and hop in the pool. So only about half full at this point, but I think we all realize that if I didn’t hop in now, I wasn’t going to make it. So I

[00:27:22] Matt: [00:27:22] stood up know when you’re putting a birth, pull up, don’t fill it up completely with air because it makes it.

[00:27:27] Really

[00:27:28] Bree: [00:27:28] hard to get in. It was a really tall bath pool, so I didn’t lift it deflated. I stand, I stood up and, um, I had Matt on one side and Kel on the other, and I think I had one search while I was standing. That was quite intense, but the intensity definitely decreased after my water had broken. That was a really.

[00:27:45] Um, intense part of labor. So I stood up, had one, I took my shirt off and walked. It was maybe seven steps over to the birth. I

[00:27:53] Matt: [00:27:53] wouldn’t even say that it’s literally like a meetup. So I would say maybe three steps.

[00:27:58] Bree: [00:27:58] Yeah. And someone took my pants down. I can’t even tell you who

[00:28:01] Matt: [00:28:01] I’m the team effort. I think it

[00:28:03] Bree: [00:28:03] was me and Matt and Cal.

[00:28:04] Yeah. And I had another contraction there. Yeah. Um, and I remember thinking if I don’t get in this pool now I’m not gonna make it. But I was also aware that there was no way I could lift my leg. I could feel her head sitting right there and the pool was up to probably my belly button. I remember thinking, okay, I’m just going to have to dive into the, I’ll just, you know, it won’t be graceful, but it’ll be fine.

[00:28:29] And so I’m calmly thinking this. And then I, my body just had a huge contraction and I pushed. In voluntarily, we call it the fetal inject ejection reflex. And she just laid right out.

[00:28:40] Matt: [00:28:40] Yeah. Literally, like I looked down and there was a baby in Renee’s hands and I was like, what just happened?

[00:28:45] Bree: [00:28:45] Yeah. Yeah. And so my midwife said she’d been watching my butt home.

[00:28:51] It means laughing at that one. Um, and she was like, oh, I’m going to have to catch a baby. So she took one hand. Uh, she had one under my perennial. She took her hand over to grab a towel and Emmy just landed in her hands. And I don’t think anyone else in the room was aware that she was being born at that point, including me.

[00:29:09] Um, and I just looked down and I, I thought she’d actually hit the floor. And I remember looking at her and just thinking, wow, she looks just like our first. She looks just like Taj and. Renee tried to pass her through my legs to me. And I immediately said, no, I don’t want her. I’m not ready. I was really in a state of shock by what had just happened and any labor that he’s under three hours, which is pretty much what mine was.

[00:29:36] We call it precipitous birth, which means it happens really quickly. Um, and what tends to happen is that women do experience shock after that, as your. Mind tries to catch up with what’s just happened within your body. And so she tried to pass her to you and then quickly I was like, no, no, I want to give her to me.

[00:29:53] It was

[00:29:54] Matt: [00:29:54] actually me that pasta to you.

[00:29:55] Bree: [00:29:55] Yes. Yeah. Yep. So when I passed it to you and you handed it through to me and helped me get her up to my chest. Yeah. Um, yeah. Which was a

[00:30:03] Matt: [00:30:03] struggle in itself because I was trying to go up underneath, through your legs to bring her up to you. And it was like juggling, a tiny little slippery football.

[00:30:12] Bree: [00:30:12] Yeah, it is, it is a bit challenging and I just, I felt so weak. My legs felt like they were going to give in. I wasn’t sure I could keep standing there. I was just really feeling a lot of shock at that point. Um, but I did give her a cuddle and at this point my little boy had actually come out. Um, he had woken up, no doubt due to the screaming.

[00:30:32] And I was very aware of that. I was very conscious that I didn’t want to scare him. And that made me feel quite worried. Um, That he was going to feel overwhelmed if he got woken up to that, but he did a great job. He came out, we had my mom there to support him and she had put his, uh, noise canceling earphones on for him, which we knew we may need.

[00:30:52] Um, and so he was there when she was born. It was only about 15 minutes that he was awake for, but it was so lovely that he was there for that.

[00:30:59] Matt: [00:30:59] You said mommy sounded

[00:31:00] Bree: [00:31:00] like a dinosaur. Yeah. So then he was mocking me in the days that followed with Tara dactyl noises. But, um, I met, I immediately said, Taj, look, it’s a baby, you know?

[00:31:11] And he’s kind of gave us a bit of a smile, but he was quite tense.

[00:31:15] Matt: [00:31:15] It was a little bit shell shock too, I think because it all happened so quick. And then he was kind of like, just looking at this baby, going. Wait, what what’s just happened. Where did that come from? Are we keeping

[00:31:27] Bree: [00:31:27] this? So, um, I think at this point we dried her off and, um, my birth photographer suggested I might want to hop in the pool, um, which was beautiful because we then got some beautiful photos that weren’t in the kitchen, but it was also just nice because it meant someone’s waking up hungry.

[00:31:46] So you might hear, Emmy’s just jumped on the boobs. You might hear some feeding noses, but we did hop in the pool and we have that time just bonding and having skins skin. Um, you were kind of giving out a little boy, some attention and some love and just kind of watching over us. And it was really a beautiful time.

[00:32:02] Yeah. But I was surprised by how much pain I was in. I have read and heard so many times that after a physiological undisturbed birth, you get this real sense of euphoria and a high. And I was like, I am not feeling that at all. I’m really. Struggling to concentrate with the pain. Um, and I thought that that may be the placenta.

[00:32:24] I hadn’t delivered the placenta yet, and I was still having contractions. Um, but that was only about maybe 15 minutes after she was born. I got a quite strong contraction and I pushed the placenta out in the pool. Um, and I just gave that a little tug and pulled it out myself. And there was definitely a sense of relief after the placenta came out.

[00:32:42] But still I was in pain.

[00:32:44] Matt: [00:32:44] I think there was a point like just after she was born, where you sort of did have a little bit of a euphoric state, you were holding her and looking in her eyes and you know, saying how beautiful she was and all that kind of stuff. But then I think the pain kind of hit.

[00:32:59] Bree: [00:32:59] Yeah, I think so, too.

[00:33:01] Um, and I was. I was aware. And I said to my husband, I know I should try to breastfeed her, but I just don’t want to, at the moment, I’m having trouble focusing. So we’re in the pool for a little bit more trying to keep it warm, but it was a really cold night. Um, and even with the top ups, we were getting quite chilly.

[00:33:18] So I did hand her over and we jumped out of the pool. Um, and I did ask at that point to go have a shower because. Not only did I want a warm up, I was really quite chilly. I just wanted a moment to myself to kind of just like, take a breath and process, um, what had just happened. So I jumped in the shower and not really sure what you did while I was in there.

[00:33:41] Matt: [00:33:41] Uh, I think I was just kind of holding her and entertaining Taj and, um, I dunno, I might’ve done a little bit of cleaning up. I’m not really sure to be honest, it’s kind of a blow for

[00:33:53] Bree: [00:33:53] me. Yeah. Bonding. So, um, I had a shower, popped a dressing gown on and we hopped in bed and we just had some more skin to skin and, um, a snuggle I did.

[00:34:03] Breastfeed her at that point. Um, I’d been in bed a while, but eventually I popped her on the boob. Um, we had to look at her placenta and saw that it was all intact. Um, and I had actually noticed when she was in the pool that she had a true knot in her cord, um, which I found really interesting. It happens in about one to 3% of births from memory.

[00:34:23] Um, so we took it. The opportunity to have a look at that and just snuggled. And it’s really nice time in the background. Um, our little boy had gone outside and was being entertained by other people who were at our birth. My mom was

[00:34:37] Matt: [00:34:37] entertaining them to be honest.

[00:34:38] Bree: [00:34:38] Yeah, so it was just, it was just really lovely.

[00:34:41] Um, so in the end mean he was born at five twenty eight. So my first contraction was at two 30 in the morning. Um, and she was born three hours later, so it was really, really incredibly fast and furious. Um, And at this point, my midwife did suggest that we assess for tears. Um, I had had a second degree tear with my first baby and, um, I did suspect that I had a small tear with her as well, because I was in quite a bit of pain.

[00:35:07] So how they do that at home is I just laid down at the end of the bed. They popped my legs up on some chairs and had a look, um, and they determined that I had a second degree tear. So. They are not generally big advocates for stitching them. They think if they can heal naturally just let them, um, and going into my birth.

[00:35:26] I had thought that that is what I would do. Um, but they did suggest that we stitched it and I trusted their advice. So, um, at home they can do that with a second degree tear. So they gave me some local anesthetic, um, And it was a little bit painful and I just held onto your hand through that. Um, but by the time we were up to like four doses of end of local anesthetic, um, I think maybe they were starting to think, Hmm.

[00:35:51] Maybe there’s something more going on here. So they did start repairing. My tear, they put in a few stitches, uh, and then they asked to do a rectal examination and, um, they did determine that it was actually more severe that w than we had initially thought. Now we are going to record a whole separate podcast on my experience, sustaining the tear.

[00:36:13] So we’re not going to go into huge details here, but essentially they did that examination and thought that actually potentially it was a fourth degree tear. Do you know, did you know what that was?

[00:36:25] Matt: [00:36:25] I didn’t. Really know the exact kind of logistics of what a fourth degree tear was. I knew that it was pretty significant.

[00:36:36] Um, cause obviously, you know, fourth is pretty much the highest to go, isn’t it? Yeah. So I know that he had a second when Taj was born and you know, that was not too bad, but it was still fairly significant. So, uh, fall was obviously pretty. Pretty

[00:36:53] Bree: [00:36:53] significant. Yeah. And, um, unlike Matt, I didn’t know exactly what a fourth degree to here was.

[00:36:58] So that was kind of not the news. I wanted to hear it all. Um, and I did know that it required suturing in hospitals. So I think I was feeling pretty matter of fact, at that point, I was disappointed that we were going to have to transfer. We were in bed in our home. Everyone was happy, it was warm and intimate.

[00:37:16] And I knew that we were about to have a huge, huge shift in dynamics there, but. There was nothing we could do about it. So I think there was a state of acceptance. Um, and we just, at that point started preparing for transfer. We, so we had left the, um, we had left Emmy attached to the placenta to do.

[00:37:36] Delayed or optimal cord clamping. So just to ensure she got all the blood returned to her. Um, but prior to assessing the tears, we had actually cut that. It was a bit of a logistical nightmare. Wasn’t it trying to hand her around and keep the placenta

[00:37:49] Matt: [00:37:49] things. We had the placenta in a bowl and I think it was kale that was carrying the bowl and I was carrying the baby.

[00:37:56] So she was kind of like my wing man. Cause I couldn’t go anywhere with the baby if she didn’t have the ball. So he kind of like carried it into the bedroom and set up. The bowl down on the bed and I held the baby and yeah, and then originally we thought Taj was gonna, uh, help me cut the cord. But when it came to it, he didn’t really feel comforted.

[00:38:16] We’re doing it. So

[00:38:17] Bree: [00:38:17] I did that. Yeah. And we were very mindful that we didn’t want to. Force anything on him at all. So when he was feeling apprehensive, we said, no problem. And Matt cut that. Um, so after that, while I was having my stitches repaired, I had Emmy on my chest, which was nice because it’s quite a grounding experience to just be with your baby and focusing on your baby when that is going on.

[00:38:36] So we did start getting ready for hospital. She had done a small pool. While in the birth pool. Um, and then she pooed everywhere through the whole bedroom. I feel like all down me,

[00:38:47] Matt: [00:38:47] we were all covered in food. That was pool on the chair. There was, yeah, it was

[00:38:51] Bree: [00:38:51] everywhere. Yeah. And meconium is quite dark and sticky.

[00:38:54] So it’s not, not ideal, but I’m like we did begin preparing, we got me dressed. We packed a bag and the ambulance arrived. Um, we had organized a non-emergency transfer. So it’s all very calm. We did a handover and say goodbye to Taj who was going home with my mom and headed off to hospital. Yeah. Um, so we’ll, we’ll probably wrap this up here because we are going to go into great detail on the next podcast about what that experience was like.

[00:39:24] But is there anything you want to share about our experience transferring to hospital and what that was like for you? Um,

[00:39:32] Matt: [00:39:32] I can give you my experience. Um, Uh, I guess, you know, having to transfer, even though it wasn’t ideal and you know, it wasn’t what we wanted. It was kind of necessary at the time. We just sort of went with what we needed to do in that moment.

[00:39:49] Um, I guess at the time, you know, when you hear that there is a pretty significant tear, there’s a lot of fears and anxieties and stuff that can come up, but yeah. At the same time, you know, I think it was really important for me not to get caught up in thinking about, you know, what could potentially happen.

[00:40:08] And I think that was the same for you because I know that while we were waiting, you did talk about, you know, um, Potential long-term impacts of having the tear and that sort of stuff. Um, and I think at that time it was just really important to focus on taking, you know, each minute as it came so that we weren’t getting caught up in that neck.

[00:40:32] It didn’t kind of make it more distressing the moderate already.

[00:40:35] Bree: [00:40:35] Well, yeah. And that was definitely the distressing part for me, was thinking about what was to come, what was to come in the next hour in the next week and the next day. And at some point, you know, you reminded me to just. You know, focus on the here and now.

[00:40:47] And, um, I think for me, and I’ve said this, we did, I did write a blog post while in hospital about my experience, having gone through the birth without pain relief with just you as my support person, I felt incredibly empowered by my birth, and I felt incredibly connected and supported by you. And so I think when it came time to deal with the test situation, which it was later assessment.

[00:41:11] Being a 3d tear. I had to have it repaired surgically, um, with the spinal blocking theater. I think that I was super grateful that we’d had the birth we did, because it, it allowed me to believe in my body and in our relationship that we could get through these challenges. Yeah. And I

[00:41:27] Matt: [00:41:27] think that we’ll definitely have, you know, greater impact long-term too in your confidence and self-esteem et cetera, is because, you know, you did.

[00:41:37] Do something that was incredibly difficult and painful and came out the other side and, you know, are able to recognize all the positives because of that. Um, rather than get weighed down by, you know, thinking about what could have happened to what we could have done differently or what we should have done so much more helpful.

[00:41:59] Bree: [00:41:59] For sure. And we’re probably going to wrap up now because as you can hear, she’s getting quite fussy. But the last thing that I wanted to say and wanted to add is that I feel that our home birth was an incredibly positive and empowering experience. I think there is this tendency to hear that it ended in a hospital transfer that I had to have.

[00:42:14] The surgery that I had a major tear and that this was a negative outcome and that birth is dangerous. And that maybe I wished I had done things differently. But at the end of the day, I do believe the Terra could just through circumstances. We found out the other day through looking at our red book, that her head was in the 99th percentile.

[00:42:32] So she had a big, she was a long baby, too. Incredibly quickly. Um, in reality there was about three incredibly intense contractions and sh her whole head and body came out in one push and literally flew out. So I think that the really important thing for me to say is that I felt that our experience is incredible and positive, and I wouldn’t have changed anything about it, despite how it ended up, we all know that birth is unpredictable and you can do all the right things and sometimes things still go wrong.

[00:43:02] They did. And when they did, they were dealt with efficiently and quickly and I was able to get really great care.

[00:43:07] Matt: [00:43:07] Yeah. And I mean, I’d reframe that and say it wasn’t that things went wrong. It’s just the way that your body, you know, went through the birthing process. It’s not that there was anything wrong with it.

[00:43:17] Yeah,

[00:43:18] Bree: [00:43:18] for sure. So thank you for joining me today. If you have listened to both of our birth stories, you will know that Matt was far more talkative this time. So it’s been really lovely, really lovely to hear your perspective. Thanks for having me.

[00:33:02] Thanks for joining us for today’s conversation. If you want to hear more like this, don’t forget to hit subscribe. So you don’t miss an episode. If you’d like to know more about anything. What about what you heard on the podcast today? Check out our website. http://www.com.edu. You can find us on Instagram at Matrescence dot podcast, or send us an email to info@birthofamother.com.

[00:33:27] Bree: [00:33:27] If you think others could benefit from this podcast, take a screenshot of you listening to this episode, to post on your social media and tag us. Alternatively, consider leaving a review with your favorite things about the Matrescence Podcast. This really helps us to increase our visibility and it surely, uh, reaching as many women as possible.

[00:33:45] As always thank you for spending your time with us. We hope you will tune in next time.

Kelly and Bree


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