Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Ezekiel's Birth Story

{All photos in this post were taken by the incredible Mell Mallin}

I've gone to write out Ezekiel's birth story SO many times but have continued to put it off. I just wanted to have a big chunk of time to do it justice I think. It seriously was the most incredible birth experience. I mean all our childrens' births have been beautiful and very special because they have yeilded us each of our gorgeous blessings.
But this was different in that it was a leap of faith to have Zeeki at home with our children present; our first homebirth. It was kind of like having a child for the first time again because so many things were different and yet in the moment, when the time arrived, it was just like I'd remembered; there was joy and there was pain and yet this time I was experiencing it all at home!
But wait I'm skipping ahead a little.
Let me start at the beginning...

I've blogged a little about this before but basically I'd been in pre-labour (no regular contractions but I was dialated 5cm) for a couple of days. I'd been having strong but irregular contractions for weeks and so had prayed that I would really know when it was 'IT'!

Leading up to labour, an incident had occured with Brett and basically he had to work with really no way out of it on the Monday of that week. I was concerned I'd go into labour without him or anyone else being close by and so I asked my parents if they would come and stay. They had already offered to come anytime (which was so appreciated!) and so I took them up on that offer and they arrived on the Sunday afternoon which was Father's Day.
That was a lovely thing too because we got to see my dad!

That night after the kids went to bed and we'd chatted and caught up, we ran through what to do in case I went into labour the next day when Brett was at work. We showed mum and and dad the birth carts I'd assembled, ran through how to fill up the pool and where the phone numbers for Hazel and Mell and Dannii were. In hindsight, I should have updated that list to include Lori's phone number (who was also going to be there at the birth) but just thought I'd be able to say her phone number to someone when I went into labour. On the night, I wasn't able to do that since the labour was so intense and so I didn't have Lori there at the birth. She totally understood though and I know that Yah knew already that that would happen. Maybe next birth Loz will be there with me?!?!

Anyway, after running through the what-to-do stuff, I called Nat who had given birth to her precious Sebby the day before. We'd been playing phone tag and I really needed to speak with her. Most of my blog followers were aware that Seb was born into Nat and Greg's arms having already passed away in utero. He had been diagnosed with Trisomy 18 during the pregnancy and Nat continued to love him, pray for him and birth him whenever the right time was. Who would know that it would be one day away from our own little man's birth-day? It was hard that night; we talked and I listened and we cried together. I went to bed feeling at peace that Nat was ok, although completely heartbroken, and I had spoken with her and heard all about Seb's birth.
Brett and I went to bed about 9.30pm. The birth pool had been set up for a couple of days and was ready to go whenever we needed. All we had to do was fill it with water!
At 11.05pm, I went to the toilet. No show. No contractions. Nothing.
I went back to bed.
I was almost back asleep when BAM! A HUUUUUUGE wave of pain swept over me and I knew that was my first contraction. I glanced at the clock. 11.10pm. I woke Brett before the first contraction had completely finished and told him I was in labour right now! I knew this was it!
I asked him to fill the pool.
He was up and out of bed in no time at all!!!!
He went down to the back room, then a second later was back.
"Are you sure this is it?"
We both knew that if we filled the pool and it wasn't 'it', we'd have to dry the pool properly so that no mould or anything formed in it. He wanted to make sure.
I was having a second contraction and managed to utter, "yes mate".
Off we went.
I went to the ensuite in our room.
I could hear movement down in the backroom.
Dad had heard Brett beginning to fill the pool using the hoses we had set up from the bathroom and that was it. Dad was up too! And then mum as well.
She came down to me and asked me if I needed anything. I asked her to call our team; Hazel (my midwife), Mell (my photographer and friend) and Dannii (my SIL).
She went and did that. I was still in the ensuite by myself and having contraction after contraction.
I had this thought, "What would happen if I just have the baby in here? They are all down in the backroom getting ready and I'm almost having the baby in here by myself!" lol.
I heard the front door open about 3 minutes later and it was Mell. She was the first to arrive.
I knew I needed to get up off the toilet and move to the backroom where the pool was. Where Brett was!!! lol
So I started to make my way there by myself. 
Now, from my ensuite to my bedroom door it takes me normally about 6 steps.
That's all I got to take before BAM another huge contraction hit.
Once it finished, I walked as far as I could (about the same amount of steps) before the next one arrived.
This happened until I got near the kitchen.
By this time, Brett had the pool starting to fill up.
My dad asked me what he could do and I asked him to light the candles on the table.

{Stass had woken the boys - who had requested to be woken - and they were all buzzing with excitement!}

{Mell snapped this one before I got to the backroom. I love the looks on their faces!}
So once I got to the kitchen, Liji came to my aid and helped me take the last 8 or so steps to the side of the pool. What a beautiful little man! I was still in my pj pants although had managed to change into my birthing (swimmer) top in the bedroom where I'd been keeping it.

{So special to me that Liji would come and spontaneously offer to help me walk to the pool}
Brett tells me later that we ran out of hot water! We had urns though so he didn't panic.
The room was full of love and peace.
I felt so calm as I entered the water.
The warmth soothed my pains straight away.
{As soon as I enter the water, another contraction hits. Brett holds my hand and stays with me 'till it passes}.
Hazel arrives very soon after I get in the pool.
Stassi gets the music started (one of her 'jobs' that she'd asked to do).
The song 'Amazing' comes on and that's her cue to do her beautiful shawl dance that she has practiced the whole pregnancy through.
{Stass moves around the pool with grace, love and tenderness as she offers up this dance as part of the welcoming and celebrating we are doing for little Zeeki!}
 In the video I am looking at her smiling and then every now and then, I drop my head, squeeze the life out of the internal handles on the pool while a contraction surges strongly throughout my body and then I look up again smiling as she dances.
Ethi announces loudly, "Praise Yah! We're going to have a baby....at last!!!!"
Liji askes, "Mum, can Stassi video the birth?" I point him towards the camera we have mounted on the tripod capturing all this just before another really strong contraction hits me. I'm starting to voice a little and breathe through them all. Hazel, mum, Brett and the kids are gathered around saying how close he is and how well I am doing.
At the end of this contraction I say, "Thank you Yah, thank you Yah" and continue to breathe through them as the surge subsides once more.

{Liji excitedly says, "I can't believe this is happening!"}


Hazel waits patiently until I'm finished with that contraction and has already asked if she can listen to bubby using the doppler which I say is fine as I'd also like to hear his heartbeat!
It's all happening so fast!

{Hazel first asks me if I can feel anything and I check but can't feel his head just yet. This is the first time that I've even tried to feel for a head during labour!}

{There it is Brett! There's his heartbeat going beautifully strong!}

{I begin singing 'Thy Word' along with the music playing on my playlist as Brett starts up the underwater camera for Stass to hold; again another one of the jobs she's asked to be in charge of.}

{Mum takes time to chat with Liji as he works on his special birthing activities! Every now and then he says, "He's almost here - praise Yah!" really loudly! I lOVE that! I am aware that they are there excited and full of the same hope and joy that I am too!}

{Another mega surge hits me and I welcome it knowing that it is bringing me closer and closer to meeting Zeeki!} 

{Song number 4 has started....'Yahweh, show me the Kingdom' and I ask mum to read from my Scriptures book which she does. Quiet voices, the Word of Yah and loving hands surround and support me. I say "Yes Yah" audibly in agreement with what Mum is reading. It is SO edifying even though it is SO painful!}

{Dad has joined the pool after texting my sisters and receives a text on his phone which he will read to me in a minute.}
{At the end of the 4th song, I asked Hazel if I could hang over the side of the pool. She lovingly reminds me I can do whatever I feel like doing!}

So I move...I go to one end of the pool and realise that I might try the other end so that Mell can still take 'face' photos! lol. We all have a giggle and Liji calls me 'Change your mind Charlie!" Mum continues on reading out scriptures.
Immediately, I can feel gravity helping much more in this position.
Brett rubs the small of my back as another HUGE wave hits.
Within less that 1 minute (literally) my voice changes and I say "he's starting to crown!" and i begin my birth song!

Dad and Brett are at the head of the pool and dad says, "Praise Yah" so calmly. He reads me the text message sent from my sister Dee.

{I say aloud with joy, "He's nearly here! He's nearly here!"}
Mum reads from the book of Ezekiel as Liji calls out "He's coming!!!!!" to Ethi who has gone back at this point into the lounge room. I almost immediately say, "I think he's here, I think he's here, I think he's almost here!" Mum says, "praise Yah" again and again and I calmly say, "Thank you Yah! HalleuYah!" as Hazel encourages me and says, "Reach down and get your baby" which I do!
34 minutes after that very first contraction, Ezekiel has arrived!!!!

{Hazel helps me to bring Zeeki up from the water and onto my chest as I almost sing 'hello!!!!!' and to the sounds of praise and 'wooohooooo's' from the kids! Mum and dad embrace, Brett says, "Hello little man!!!!" and the boys jump up and down by the pool. Stass is still recording and takes it all in as I say, "You're here darling, you're here!"}

{Here he is! Despite having a short cord, I'm still able to pull him onto my chest}

{Brett and I share a special kiss just seconds after Zeeki arrives}

{Thank you Hazel!}

{The kids keep saying 'Hallelujah! He's here!' as Brett leans in for a beautiful kiss for his boy}

Zippi joins us all! Brett went and got her from bed so she'd feel included in the moment and the photos later on too.

Dad calls my sisters to tell them Ezekiel has arrived!

Cuddles all round! The room is full of love!

After a couple of minutes, Dannii arrives! It was her best friend's birthday and she had spent the night down there to celebrate after having stayed at our house for the past 4 nights in a row!!! She can't believe she missed the actual birth but she was there not long after and still got to experience the specialness of the after-glow of birth in the room and Yah's presence. It was such a blessing to have her here!

{I ADORE this photo of Stass and Sull! Soooo special!}

{Zippi gets busy creating!}

{Liji says, "Yah answered our prayers!!!" And we all respond by saying. "Yep he did! How faithful is he?!" Ethi meanwhile is marvelling at how close to midnight it is and the boys ask for a midnight snack!}

{After the birth, I relax and enjoy some birth tea, coconut water and birth cubes}

{Far out! The after-birth pains are SO intense!!!}

{Yay! 27 minutes after giving birth to Zeeki, his placenta arrives!}

{And for the first time I feel it pulsating! Amazing! We wait until there is no pulse before in the cord before we cut and clamp it}.
{Picasa won't let me upload any more pics now}.
The room remains calm and joyful, the kids move about freely kissing Zeeki, learning from Hazel about the placenta and doing the craft.
Mum holds Zeeki while Brett cuts the cord and Dad ties it off.
This is very special for me.
I move to the recliner we have set up, pop on my dresing gown to get warm again and rest in that with Zeeki nuzzling in.
It is the most amazing experience!
My family surrounds me.
Yah has been with us.
And I have a new baby in my arms.
An incredible and wonderful experience.
I am once again in awe of Yah.
After I've eaten some soup, I go and have a shower, get into my special post-birth pj's and climb into bed with Zeeki while Brett and Dad clean up the pool.
The kids go to bed too and Dannii crashes out on the lounge.
Brett climbs into bed and looks at us both as we lie on the pillows staring at each other.
He tells me how much he loves me and thanks Yah for giving us Zeeki to love and hold.
We drift off to sleep in the most blissful state.
Well, it has only taken me a year to write it but there you go!
My home-birthing experience giving birth to Ezekiel.
Thank you of course to Brett, my rock who is so supportive and always knows the right things to say and do. You are always amazing mate and I am SO glad I have you as my hubby and best mate.
Thank you to our beautiful kiddos who were so involved and loved their little brother from the second they saw him and way before that too! Having you guys present is something i will NEVER forget.
Thank you to my parents for being there supporting us spiritually and physically. Yah's timing was perfect and I'm so thankful you could be there with us! 
Thank you Hazel for your guidance, encouragement and love during the pregnancy and birth! It was wonderful to have you there!
Thank you Dannii for being there to help us out and support the kids. You are such a blessing to us mate. Thank you for your presence there that night!
And to Mell for capturing the most precious photos ever of such a special time - thank you! You were so gracious and patient and giving! Love your mate.
We love ALL of you guys!
The verse on the front cover of my Scriptures album to be read was from 2 Thessalonians and said, "May the Master of Peace Himself grant you peace in every situation and in every way".
Thank you Yahshua.
The Master of Peace did just that and I am truly thankful.


artymama said...

Thanks for sharing such a beautiful and sacred time with us Lusi :) So joyful to read, and those photos are just amazing.

Leah-in-the-Kia said...

Love it! Wow what a great experience! Happy birthday Ezekiel , I can't believe it has been a year already! Have a lovely day everyone! Love leah

Crunchy Muma said...

What a blissful birth story, and amazing pics!!!!!!!!!!! Happy birthday to Zeeki and happy homebirthing anniversary to you xxx

kathy said...

That is so beautiful Lusi it brings tears to my eyes. How amazing! Happy birthday to Ezekiel and happy birthibg day to you. One year on and the recount is still so clear. I think birth stories will stay with us forever (i hope they do anyway). What a truly beautiful, special homebirth :)

rockmelon recycled said...

i so enjoyed reading your story and seeing the pics of your special homebirth experience surrounded by family. We ran out of hot water for our homebirth number 1 and while boiling more water on the stove, cracked and broke our glass stove top, so used a birthing stool instead. Got 2 amazing water births for my other two tho, can't think of a better way to bring children into the world, so peaceful. xx rochelle


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