Rex's Birth Story | Home Birth in Perth, WA

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Rex's Birth Story | Home Birth in Perth, WA

Earlier this year I advertised on my Facebook page that I had a last minute opening for a March birth. The lovely Renee saw that post and got in touch with me. We met the following week and instantly hit it off! Renee is also a *birth enthusiast* (yeah, that's a thing) and is studying to be a doula - I couldn't help myself but chat 'birth business' with her. We went over Renee's plans to birth at home with the support of her husband, doula, and midwives, and I knew it wouldn't be too long before I would be seeing them again.

On Rex's *birth* day Renee informed me around lunchtime that she had been having some early labour signs. My instincts told me that labour would pick up in the evening, so I spent the afternoon with my wildlings and double checked all my gear was ready for when I got the call. That evening Renee let me know that things were really happening and that the midwife was on her way to assess. At this point I decided there was no point waiting around and jumped in my car - I'm glad I did because it wasn't long before Renee's husband called me to let me know that things were getting serious.

As I headed up their driveway I could hear Renee vocalising through her surges and knew I should quietly let myself in and get to work. On the front door I found this wonderful hand written sign that made me giggle! (Usually I see 'do not disturb' signs on the door)

Below is Rex's birth story as written by Renee, accompanied by some of the imagery that I captured that magical night.

Enjoy,
Cat x

Home birth labour sign - Birth Photography Perth

Rex's Birth Story | as written by his beautiful mumma, Renee.

"Our second little man arrived in March during a beautiful home water birth and I wanted to share my story to encourage other women to explore this option.

By the 29th of March I was a few days past my EDD and was feeling very ready to birth my baby. I spent the day with my midwife, chiropractor and acupuncturist while my hubby nested on my behalf – making our home ready, picking up Chester, our 2 year old, from day care and buying a heap of fresh fruit for my birth team, who I hoped would be around soon.

For about 2 weeks I had been getting period-like cramps, which had intensified dramatically in the past few days, particularly whenever I went to the bathroom, so when I woke from a nap and was so uncomfortable I couldn’t sit down for dinner I wasn’t too fussed. But I soon realised this was a little different. After 30 mins they were coming every 3-4 mins for about 30 seconds, so there was definitely something going on but they felt so different to the high uterus contractions I’d had with my first that I wasn’t convinced this was the real thing.

As a ‘just in case’ we called on the grandparents to take Chester for the night and I decided to have a hot shower, when it all clicked into place and I realised that, yep, this was the real deal and it was time to make some calls to my birth team!

When I jumped out the only emotion I had was excitement. We had been preparing for this as a family for months and I had been lucky to have a lot of wonderful support surrounding me. One of the most beautiful moments came from Chester comforting me intuitively. We had been talking him through what was likely to happen for a while so he wasn’t stressed at all and just gently touched me and calmly stroked my face, it was the sweetest moment.

Candles and wine - Perth Birth Photographer

After this I completed an important part of our birth plan – lighting some candles and having a big glass of red wine – I then spent the next hour walking the hallway and stopping, leaning over and swaying my hips through each cramp, which were still quite mild. I also popped on my TENs and the cramps steadily increased in intensity while my hubby prepared the birth area.

The midwife arrived around 7:45pm and found I was 5cms around 8:30pm. It really kicked off after my examination and thankfully it was around the time my amazing doula, Monica, arrived. I had become a lot more vocal and Monica started putting pressure on my sacrum, which was an incredible relief. Monica stayed with me through each cramp as I leaned against the wall and waited for our pool to be ready.

Around 8:50pm my sounds become more deep and our midwife quickly called the 2nd midwife around indicating I was likely in transition and not far from birthing my baby. As soon as the pool temperature was ideal, I jumped in and immediately focused on relaxing between cramps and releasing any tensions I had from the last wave and just being present and mindful."

"By this stage we had quite a team, with our two midwives both having a student, Monica, Cat our photographer and my hubby."

Perth Doula - Home Water Birth - Birth Photography Perth

"I found vocalising was the best form of pain relief in the pool and as much as the water was soothing, it didn't provide the much anticipated relief I had expected, so I asked for 2 wet towels to be placed over my lower back along with Monica continuing to press hard on my sacrum."

"I tried out all sorts of loud noises, which seemed to go over and beyond the sensations I was feeling. I felt positive that my technique here was working so well but not long after, the second midwife told me to use the energy I was expelling through my voice and internalise it, with a J breath to push the pressure down and out. I immediately did this and my focus went inwards. I quieted down and started to have bigger gaps between contractions where I was able to refocus, gain some rest and know that I was close to meeting my bub. It was about 9:45pm when I had major pressure and the urge to bear down. I had felt my baby turn as he entered the birth canal and I knew we were so close."

Labouring in water - Birth Photography Perth

"My midwife was telling me to not push too forcefully and Monica repeatedly told me "it's just stretching, the skin needs to stretch". It took all my strength to not just push as hard as I could to end the intensity but the words from Monica helped me focus to avoid tearing. I had a labial tear right near my clitoris with my first and I could feel the same sensation again so I put my hand down and seemed to be push aside something that was caught. It immediately stopped burning and I think this helped avoid another tear in the same spot."

"Within 3 minutes of bearing down, twice for the head and once for the shoulders, my little boy was born underwater and pushed through my legs for me to pull him up to my chest. Immediately all the intense sensations melted away and were replaced by joy at having this beautiful little being with a huge head of hair in my arms."

Home birth - Born in water - Birth Photography Perth

"The whole experience had taken a little over 3 and a half hours and after all the routine checks by the midwives our whole birth team left and my hubby and I spent some the first few hour of Rex’s life cuddling on the couch introducing ourselves to our second little boy – and finishing off a well earned glass of wine for my hubby this time!"

"Chester came back the next day and his beautiful reaction to meeting his little brother was so sweet. Cat also returned to capture images of all of us together which I am so grateful for."


Perth Birth Photographer, Cat Fancote

ABOUT CAT

I'm a birth and motherhood photographer living in Perth's southern suburbs with my partner and our two wildlings. I'm passionate about making informed and supported birth choices, normalising birth in the media, and showing the world that ALL births are beautiful!

I only take on a small number of births each month {in addition to maternity, newborn bonding, and motherhood sessions} so places are limited. I love meeting with potential clients for a cuppa and a birthy chat, so get in touch if you're in Perth and interested in having your baby's birth story documented!

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I met Mel, her partner Joao, and their little dude Matteo at my new favourite location in Perth Hills on a warm summer evening. Mel looked gorgeous in her deep blue maternity dress that skimmed over her ripe baby belly just perfectly. Her impressively long dreadlocks drew my attention - and I'm sure you can see why. 

We chatted and chased the sun, capturing Mel's silhouette reflection in the pools of fresh water that had formed in the hollows of the rocks. Mel expressed her concern for being 'awkward' in front of the camera - but even if she felt awkward, it didn't seem to show!

Relaxed-Maternity-Session-in-Perth-Hills_Perth-Birth-Maternity-Photographer1.jpg

Sweet little Matteo explored the location with daddy and then joined in for a few shots.... Mumma resorted to a teensy bit of bribery in the form of sweets to draw him away from his rocky adventures for a few moments.

Relaxed-Maternity-Session-in-Perth-Hills_Perth-Birth-Maternity-Photographer3.jpg

It was such a lovely session. I was so busy enjoying myself that I forgot the time and we stayed later than planned - for the sake of 'just a few more shots'.

Thank you for allowing me to honour you and your baby belly, Mel.

Cat x

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