Archer’s birth story


I always knew I wanted to have a home birth, probably because my mum had three of them so I thought it’d be easy.  I had always loved the idea of a natural, intervention/drug free birth.  Having the same midwife follow you through your journey and to be there for the birth was also appealing and the thought of a birth in the comfort of my own home was something I always wanted.  But by choice, my first baby was born in a hospital.  It was a natural and positive birth.  I spent most of my day in the bath at home before heading to the hospital at 3cm dilated, having the baby’s heartbeat monitored for two hours and being sent home.  Arriving back at the hospital two hours later at 8cm dilated then spending the next four hours having contractions before pushing our baby out on a birthing stool (husband passing out in the midst of it all).  I would say that despite doing it drug-free, it was an easy birth and I am grateful we had such a good hospital experience.  When we fell pregnant with our second, I felt confident enough to plan for a home birth .  After hearing only positive feedback, I applied for the Community Midwifery Program and I can say it was the best decision I ever made.  It was such a relaxing (yes, relaxing) and beautiful day and I couldn’t have hoped for a better birth experience.

So here’s how it went on the day.  Contractions started at 12.30am (with a little help from ‘us’ just a few hours earlier, hint hint, nudge nudge)!  We had only been asleep a few short hours when they began.  I rolled over to Tye with a huge smile on my face and said “We’re having a baby today!” I was so excited.  Our daughter Indiana stayed sleeping upstairs while we got the house in decent order and put down some old sheets, brought out the blow-up pool and I leaned upon the couch crunching as the contractions came on.  They came hard and strong and we were pretty certain things were moving quickly.  So a long shower was had followed by a long bath.  When I got out, I had a bloody show so I called the midwife at 6.30am to let her know what was happening.  My mum and dad arrived at 7am.  Dad took Indiana for the day and Mum stayed on for the birth.  My midwife Helen arrived at 8am and agreed it looked like things were happening fast so hubby started filling the pool while Helen organised the support midwife to arrive.  The pool was amazing, 37 degrees and so relaxing.  I have to recommend it to anyone looking at birthing options!  So by 9am, there I was relaxing in the pool between contractions, looking out my living room window at the beautiful view of our verandah and backyard. My mum was filling the pool with hot water and Tye kept me hydrated while Helen was checking the baby’s and my heartbeats.

 It hardly felt like I was about to push out a baby.  Although I could feel his little head moving further down, the water was relaxing and the urge to push was taking a while.  At 10am, Helen checked to see how dilated I was. At 9cm, I was reminded to keep breathing through the contractions until I felt the urge to push.  It was disappointing not to be ready yet but I knew I wasn’t putting myself in a physical position to make things go faster. I was lying with my bottom on the pool floor because it was so comfortable.  I was so comfy I even had an icy pole!

Shortly after though my contractions became stronger and I couldn’t control the death metal screaming coming from my lungs!  Mum sat behind me holding onto my icy pole while a contraction came along then handing it back to me once the contraction had passed.  Everything became more intense and both hubby and my mum were holding my hands as little ‘mr’ began his descent.  I started saying: “Oh yep, I remember this feeling.  I know what’s coming” as I could feel the pressure increasing.

Thinking back to Indiana’s birth, I remember vividly the intense pushing on the birthing stool and seeing the hair on her head when she was crowning.  After one big push, I can remember her head birthing and her body slipping out from under me and it all happened quite fast.  But this time was different.  When I thought I was ready to push this little guy out completely he had other ideas.  I pushed and pushed and screamed but only his head came out. “Is someone going to grab him?”  I asked. I began to fret.  “Where’s the rest of him? Can you just pull him out? I just want to push him out. I don’t want to wait for the next contraction”.  There he was, his head and neck just hanging out in the water, eyes open, looking up and around while the rest of his body and limbs were kicking inside me.   The midwives recommended I didn’t push unless I felt a contraction and that he was perfectly safe under the water.   So there we were, five people and a dangling head waiting for my next contraction.  I looked down and saw my baby’s eyes looking around from under the water and that’s when it got too much for Tye and he rolled over onto the couch about to pass out. Then:  “GO GO GO!” I screamed as the contraction took over.  And out came our baby!

Tye jumped off the couch to grab the video camera that had been recording the past fifteen minutes and carried it over to our little whimpering boy, all pink and wrinkly, to record his first moments in the world.

 “Well done, you did it” exclaimed Helen.  I did it.  At 12.51pm,  I pushed out our little (4kg) baby and here he was, in our arms, one day before his due date.  We sat in the pool while his umbilical cord finished pulsating.  Tye cut the cord while my mum recorded and I fed little Archer without any problems.  He lay in my arms while I birthed the placenta naturally (a whole different experience to having it pulled out of me after a hormone injection like Indiana’s birth).  The pool had been completely clean and clear of any blood and other matter until that placenta came out and then we were sitting in a pool of blood.  Thank goodness for Tye doing the cleaning up after!  I couldn’t believe that only an hour and a half later once the pool had emptied and there were only a few old sheets left out, the room didn’t even look like it had just been used as a birthing suite.  Dad brought Indiana back to meet her little brother and once my parents and the midwife had gone {around 4pm}  it was just Tye, Indiana, and myself watching our baby boy Archer in awe. The fact I had given birth to him only hours earlier felt totally surreal.  It was as if Archer had been with us for weeks already.  We spent 3 nights in hospital after Indiana’s birth so it was truly special to be in the comfort of our home while birthing Archer .  That night lying in bed together, all we felt was happiness and gratitude that our pregnancy journey had ended so wonderfully and our new journey with our son begun so naturally and positively.

Archer Gerritsen • 19/09/2015 • 12.51pm


Archer’s birth story

2 thoughts on “Archer’s birth story

  1. Ariana says:

    This is so beautiful! I am currently 36 weeks and planning to have a home birth, it is so great to read such a positive home birth story! Thank you for sharing!


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