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The Birth of Inara

The Birth of Inara

Posted by Rachael Islam on 22nd Oct 2023

Inara’s birth started on Sunday 17th September. It was a beautiful day plotting around home doing laundry, dishes, cooking and playing with my girls in between. Kayes and I decided to go for a late night beach walk and half way through I noticed my braxton hicks had slightly stronger sensations to them. When we arrived home, we got the birth room ready. I went to bed in hopes I could get some rest. Every 30 minutes I was getting a contraction - enough to wake me from sleep but still able to fall back asleep. They fizzled in the early hours of the morning but returned around 10am. Slowly they were getting closer together and by 12pm I was needing to stop and breathe through every contraction. I used a 4-count inhale to a 7-count exhale along with leaning forward, bending my knees and swaying my hips side to side. At 12:30pm my mum took the girls out and I needed Kayes to squeeze my hips. In every labour this has helped take the edge off the tightening in my belly. I messaged Sasha, my midwife and Jacqui, our birth photographer who both arrived not long after 1:30pm.

Kayes and I continued to labour together in the birth room. In between contractions, Kayes put on the fairy lights, my music, diffused lavender and clary sage and filled up the pool with water. I knew I wanted to spend more time in the pool during this labour. However, I was also very aware not to enter too early as it can slow things down. (I learnt this from Kora’s birth) Labour was progressing nicely with every contraction becoming stronger and stronger, and I was needing to become vocal to support me through the sensations. I remember feeling incredibly emotional. At times I couldn’t stop crying. I think it was a mixture of knowing I wasn’t going to be pregnant anymore (and to that there was some relief!), that this might be our last baby and I was finally going to meet this soul I had been longing to meet and knew needed to be part of our family.

The pool was looking too good so I decided to hop in around 2pm. It was incredible. Warm. Soothing. Instant relief. Kayes and I noticed a short change in the intensity and regularity of my contractions but they soon began to pick back up and move into a state where it felt difficult to concentrate on my breath. My breath became shorter and quicker, and my vocals got louder.

We turned on only one album and I remember hearing it play for the third time. I’d been in the water for over 2 hours and I had no idea where I was in regards to dilation but the thought of transferring to the hospital sounded good - it was then I knew I must be close! #transition I was experiencing back pain that was becoming incredibly intense. It had me thinking baby was posterior as I experienced these same sensations with Kora. Although I didn’t want to change positions, I knew I had to. I even said to my midwife that I better be close or else I’m going to have to dance this baby out to Beyonce. I moved to face Kayes and squeezed his hand during contractions with my face digging into his chest. I think I almost bit him at one point and he did have a hand grip mark on his thigh for a day or two ? Finally, I could feel pressure in my bottom and I knew that was baby close and that gave me so much drive. After a few more contractions I felt a bulging sensation or “crowning” of her head and oh my it was intense to endure this sensation. I tried my best to push but not too hard that I could tear. After 3 contractions her head came out. The hardest part was over and no tear. She was twisting her shoulders getting ready for the next contraction - which was a very unusual and uncomfortable sensation too. One of my birth wishes was to catch my baby. However, in this moment I felt very overwhelmed. Kayes reminded me again and again that I could do it but I didn’t want to let him go. On the next contraction her body came out and Sasha, my midwife, caught her and passed her through my legs for me to grab and take onto my chest. That moment was a profound mixture of exhaustion, relief, joy and so much love ?

We were over the moon that we had another girl. However, we hadn’t fallen in love with a girls name yet! Another post - but her name was settled 4 days later..?

Inara appeared a little shocked that she was born so my midwife suggested we get out of the pool, move to the bed and birth our placenta there. While we waited, we began our breastfeeding journey where she latched on so well. It had been an hour and the placenta hadn’t birthed so Kayes took Inara skin-to-skin and I assumed a squat position. With no luck I moved to the toilet where it finally birthed into a bucket. From here, I took the opportunity to take a quick shower, throw on my pyjamas and return to the bed.

{Placentas are just amazing ~ we grow this organ that then passes oxygen, nutrients and antibodies from our blood to our baby. It also carries waste products from baby back to our blood, so our body can get rid of them. The placenta also produces some hormones like oestrogen and progesterone that are needed during pregnancy}

It was time to call my mum to bring the girl's home. I remember hearing their little footsteps walk through the door and run towards the bedroom. I had read several kid-friendly birthing books with the girls in hopes it would help them understand. When the girls walked in Kora instantly knew what had happened. Revery not so much - as you might be able to tell from the photo. Kora immediately jumped into the bed ready to get in close while Revery stayed rather close with nanny. We weighed Inara and she has been my biggest babe so far at 3.18kg and while that happened Kayes made me a big nourishing bowl of porridge topped with banana, cinnamon and ghee. I was so incredibly hungry - I could feel it hitting the bottom of my belly.

After a few hours Jacqui and Sasha left, and were left as a new family of five ?

Image by Jacqui from Woman & Woman Photography Adelaide