All you see is individual and handcrafted with love. Nothing is ever wasted or goes to the landfill. I have a Facebook page and a DaWanda shop where purchases can be made on anything you have seen here or custom made items. Love, live and buy handmade!

February 23, 2014

Emilia Grace


So I´ve been away for a while making the best thing that I have ever made, it took some time and for anyone who is interested here is my babies birth story. Writing your birth story and putting it up on the net seems to be the trend and during my pregnancy I loved to read about women´s experiences giving birth, I knew that I wanted to record mine to paper and hoped that someone else might enjoy mine just as much as I have enjoyed reading others. I also like the idea of Emilia Grace one day reading it. I was always sure that I wanted a natural birth without the aid of drugs, it upset and annoyed me how many people raised eyebrows and gave doubtful looks and comments, believing more in my inability to do it without drugs and loved to say ´what if…´always focussing on the word pain and the things that can go wrong rather than believing in the ability that a woman´s body has and a woman´s tenacity. Peopled seemed to love focussing on the negative but I knew that I would show these people that I had what it takes. The one thing I learnt during my pregnancy is just how amazing a woman´s body is and to have confidence in it. I felt quite alone in it all at first, I live in Spain where the rate of medical intervention is high and the idea of giving birth without epidural seems almost un-natural but my cousin Jaqueline just 2 weeks behind me in pregnancy had joined a group on Facebook called Gentle birth and it caught my eye. Gentle birth and positive birth were both great sources for me, encouraging me in my belief that I had everything it took to have the birth I was planning and wanted. I spent the next months focussing and arguing down anyone that said different. I spent my pregnancy excited about the labor with odd moments of ´crikey how is this actually going to work?` It was a film that played in my head. I knew it was going to be an amazing experience and it was but also a long one!


I woke up at 3.45 am with a contraction. I was much calmer than I thought I would be, the braxton hicks which I had had a couple of days earlier had left me as giddy as a child the night before christmas. I looked over at Pedro who was sound asleep, something I had been quite jealous for the last 4 months or so, there was no need to wake him as I knew that it could be a while but I couldn´t go back to sleep so I got up and decided to clean the kitchen, that was done so I moved onto a book. I had been noting down my contractions, every 10 minutes. It had been 2 hours or so now and I decided to rest in bed, this woke Pedro up, surprisingly he was really calm too. We put on the gentle birth listening and it really helped me fall into my contractions. Dare I say that they were a joy to have and I welcomed each one, excited that I was getting closer to finally meeting my baby. At 8 or 9 I phoned my Doula, Viki, to let her know that today was the day, I was amazed at how quickly the time had passed but still my contractions were 10 minutes apart, I knew it was going to be a long waiting game so insisted that Viki didnt come over yet. To distract ourselves we went shopping in placa catalunya, headed back home and made Brownies, I had the sudden compulsion to eat beans on toast, being an ExPat Ive always got a tin so I was able to satisfy my craving, we then watched a movie, halfway through I was growing really impatient now, starting to feel as though she would never come. I knew that my mums labor with me was a long one, 23hrs, I wanted to compare so we skyped, its funny to discuss your birth while your a matter of hrs away from giving birth. My doula phoned every now and then but I insisted that she spend the day with her family until I was ready to go to the hospital, I was secretly hoping to wait so long that I´d end up having to deliver at home, It was so nice to be at home alone with Pedro, waiting. As the surges finally started to pick up on pace and strength we put on the gentle birth listening once again, dimmed the lighting, lit some candles and circled on my ball. This was my favorite part of the labor, quite, calm and relaxed at home alone with pedro, holding my hand during contractions. But please take note people for the next time do not text or watsap!! It is distracting and takes away from a very special moment, discussing flight details is not the right moment and it really pissed me off. The surges were really picking up on speed and intensity now at around 11pm so I thought that it was a good time to phone the Doula. she came round and eased into the calm and silence around us but there was no hanging around, it was time to go to the hospital.
I wanted very much a home birth but did not have the €2000 it costs in Spain to do so.
I did not like the trip to the hospital, neither the midwife on arrival nor the lights or the midwifes examination of me. I argued with her as I didn´t want oxytocin (the hospitals policy) we agreed that if I hadn´t delivered the placenta after 20 minutes I would accept the oxytocin. It really doesn´t help labor along when you have to argue for what you want. My waters broke just as she was checking my dilation, only 2cm!! I couldn´t believe it but we were transferred to the delivery room where calm descended once again and a new young modern midwife, Carla, was there to help me through. It was 6 hrs of intense contractions and no dilating but it went so quickly. Viki was there rubbing my back which was so welcome, putting warm socks on my feet, giving me water, kisses and words of support. Pedro was falling into my contractions with me, holding my hand and following me as I walked around and circled my ball. After 24hrs or so I became so emotional and exhausted, I started to cry from tiredness. I had never been so exhausted in all my life, I wanted nothing more than to take a well earned sleep and get back to it later and I still wasn´t dilating, people started to wonder if I could continue, I noticed concerned looks between them but I never lost the belief in my body or my baby, speaking to her, encouraging her, then I was 8 cm! And the pushing quickly followed. It´s amazing how this next phase is so different. The intense feeling of the contractions is completely lifted and a dropping feeling comes in, you can feel yourself opening up.
I had complete trust in my body and baby, she was on her way. The pushing lasted longer than I had imagined it would, maybe too much tv or it just takes a while for me but at 6.40 am I gave the biggest effort I have ever made and let out a big roar, not through pain, there wasn’t any, through sheer strength and it paid off, she was there, We were one more in the room, the single most amazing thing I have ever seen. Words can not describe how it is to see your child for the first time. I said ´what the fuck´, I was blown away. When I try to describe it I can´t. The words really don´t exist. She was placed directly onto me and her warm slippery body against mine felt wonderful. Again, there really are no words sufficient enough to describe how she felt on me. I looked up to Pedro and said `I want more´. After 27 hrs I knew that I could do it all again. I then delivered the placenta, no oxytocin required. After a couple of minutes she wriggled over to my breast and ate, where she has pretty much stayed ever since. That following day was a wonderful dream. Going up to the ward everything was so calm and peaceful. The sleep that I had so been longing for stayed away, I couldnt stop looking at this amazing baby. She was wonderful. Pedro went home but came back half an hour later unable to stay away. The hospital let Emilia Grace and myself go home after 8 hrs, we were both fine. We skyped with family and friends came round to meet Em. I wont forget the silence among them as I brought her in. We drank tea and ate the brownies I had made the day before with my new family and friends.



Emily said...

Dee, found you through Gentlebirth on FB, delighted to be here, your blog is really beautiful, and I love everything you make: in essence your lovely aesthetic!! Congrats on your little one, a birth story you will both treasure no doubt xx

Dee Agnew said...

Thanks for making the time to read my story , look at my blog and leave a comment. Very much appreciated XX