Monday, 12 July 2010

Birth story...Lily Ziggy-May

I'm finally back on-line in more ways than one... Here's the wonderful tale of Ziggy-may's birth in some length but there was quite a lot went on in a short space of time!

Lily Ziggy-May Bostock

Born 8th may at 9.45 a.m, 7lb 7oz

Herbs, oils n stuff used during labour
A hot curry
Clary sage e.o
Raspberry leaf tea
Labour of love drops
Artemesia plant
Arnica 200c
Lavender e.o
Bliss in a bottle
Fresh mango squares
Rose tincture
Ground ivy tea
Caulophylum 200c

People there; Benny, Karen, Pete (in the van outside), a spider, a fly and Linda the midwife (just)

The Birth

I woke up on the 7th May prepared in my mind that something might start to shift. We had dowsed a few weeks before and it suggested a 3 day labour starting on Friday the 7th. In some respects, this is exactly what happened.

So Friday morning was the day for doing accounts and getting forms filled in. The last big thing I knew I had to get done before the birth. Friday was also the day that Kelly (our friend and midwife) was to finish her final exam and Karen was due to pick up her new, reliable car…horay, they’d be able to drive down (the 3 hour drive from Herts to Dorset) as soon as the labour started. That was the plan!!!

So my accounts went slowly with long rests on the sheep-skins between flurries of work to breathe through Braxton hicks, the pretendy contractions. I’d been having them for weeks but these seemed a little more intense and came 4 an hour for most of the day.

I spoke to Kelly and we said we’d watch this space and that she was off for a lie down after gruelling weeks of exam nightmares.

Benny arrived home form work, I finished off my accounts and as it was a properly lovely evening we walked down the river path to go for a hot curry. The calves were in the fields, there was loads of gorgeous herbs growing in the hedgerows and along the river and it was the first night out me and Benny had shared together for many weeks.

The curry was hot, tasty and my rushes continued in the restaurant. By the time we headed home I was having to stop sometimes to let them wash over me. As we walked along the edge of the river a big bat followed us all the way, swooping in really close.

I decided that I wasn’t going to let a day of rushes like that amount to nothing and that things felt so good with me and Benny, that I’d have a strong Clary sage and lavender essential oil bath. I soaked and dreamed of the birth relieving me of the all-over body itch that I’d been having for the last few weeks.

We got to bed about 12 o’clock, smooched and drifted off. The rushes let me sleep for 3 really important hours. I woke for a wee and unable to rest again, found myself pacing around the bedroom. There was no denying these rushes! I whispered over to Benny but no response so I left him to sleep on for half an hour.

The intensity had picked up and leaning over my stool really helped. Benny got up with me and by quarter to 4 I was on the phone to Karen. She wasn’t due to pick up her new car until 10 a.m!!! When we called back to say I didn’t think we could wait that long she was already making alternative travel plans in the form of hero Pete and his van. She was in the shed preparing herbs and tinctures. Kelly had been so knackered she’d turned her phone off and crashed out!

So Karen was on her way and it was me and Benny to hold the birth fort for the next few hours. I opted for not burning any more clary sage or using any nipple stimulation techniques so as not to hurry things along too quickly before the others arrived. It was really important that Karen was here with us for the birth. I kept taking squirts of the labour of love drops that Karen and I make which nourished and centered me.

Benny was a champion, he kept me fed on banana and dates, sips of water and raspberry leaf tea, squirts of drops of love and kept the birthing environment clear and organised and the fire stoked.

I roamed about between the toilet and the sheepskins in front of the fire with increasing animalistic noises and positions.  I was wondering where the famous ‘rest and be thankful phase’ of labour was and, with no sign of it I took matters into my own hands and had a bath to try and chill the contractions out. The warmth gave some respite but I kept getting uncomfortably stuck on my back during contractions, so after half an hour Benny hauled me out.

Benny was there to hold my hand when I needed or kiss me or leave me or hold me, he whispered I was beautiful and amazing and doing so well. And we were really in love.

As the rushes increased in intensity I focussed on a few good pearls 1. The contractions are like walking up a mountain, you get to the top then its easier on the way down, 2. Once they’ve gone, the pain is virtually gone so just getting through each one is a massive achievement and there is respite at the other side, 3. Each contraction was bringing me closer to the baby and that was the best thought of all.

I had been puking up green bile after most contractions and a s a result couldn’t keep the bananas and dates down. Spoons of honey and sips of water were the perfect, easy-sugar-access solutions. Benny had kept the tunes playing, chilled and quiet, bar one techno track that slipped thorough the selection net and made for one pretty intense contraction.

Between some of the rushes I would sit on the sheepskins, drift into the music and visualise my cervix opening-up.

It was a good few hours before anything visible happened, then I had a bloody show and shortly after lost the big, red mucous plug. Benny championed me on at that point, ‘well done, hurray, that’s brilliant darling”. It was nice to see progress.

At 7.30 – 8 a.m Karen and Pete arrived. I was on the loo, between rushes and thought they’d probably get a surprise when the next one came in and they saw how intense they’d gotten. Karen came through while Pete made himself a cup of tea after saying hello. She’d brought ‘Bliss in a bottle’, our labour massage oil and after the next contraction rubbed it into my thighs, belly and lower back. Up til then I hadn’t felt like any rubbing during contractions but my mid-back had started to be in such spasm that the pressure from Karen’s hand was a welcome relief. She’d brought mangos and one tiny, perfect square of pure, sweet, exotic, deliciousness between each contraction was just perfect.

I remember Karen asking how my head was and with real clarity thinking it was feeling strong and focussed on the 3 pearls of wisdom.

We went back through to the sheepskins and Pete went out to his van to light a fire and fix the draws. Karen had a look between my legs, no outward signs yet and soon after I heard a big pop, felt a rush and the waters broke…this changed the sound of the contractions.

It was the waters but there was bits of brown so I wasn’t sure if I’d just exploded out of my bottom, it was so hard to distinguish what was going on. It turns out it was Lily’s myconium (poo), but really old, she wasn’t in any stress during the birth. At some point over the past weeks she’d had a poo in the amniotic fluid. I wondered if that was why I’d been so itchy. There was too many hectic times it could have been during the winter and the move to Dorset to say with any clarity when it happened. The important thing was that she remained fine during the labour, we checked her heart beat once but I could feel her reassuringly moving between each contraction.

With the confusion, I wanted to get back to the loo and try to poo. I was a little resistant to push in case it brought the baby down too soon. I has one big contraction and Karen said ‘Fi, you’re pushing”. Me ‘no, I just need a poo’. And as I felt down between my legs there was a downy, soft head on its way out. Oh, I don’t want to have her on the loo and where was Benny?

We sort of squeezed her back in a bit and headed for the sheepskins. Benny took position on the sofa and I squatted between his knees with my arms on his legs. The pain had changed now and I felt a lot more with it, it was more localised, burning, stretching.

There was her head again, moving down and Karen was poised between my legs. Cue midwife from the left. A bold knock and in she came. She spotted the foetal heart monitor (which I hired!) and said ‘what’s going on here then?’ I said ‘hiya, I think we’re having a baby’. Linda was really calm, got her gloves on and peared around my knee to catch sight of the top of the baby’s head.

She asked me to take my time so I held off for another contraction, then pop, her head and in the same push her beautiful, slippery body. Karen held her with the midwife supporting her head and they passed our gorgeous daughter, who’d let out a good cry, into my waiting arms. Benny lent over, kissed me and Lily and I started smothering her in kisses and sucking her hands and fingers. She was bright yellow from where the old myconium had stained the vernex (creamy protective stuff they're born covered in).

She was born at 9.45 a.m, totally content and in need of a nap. Karen gave me a hot cup of ground ivy tea (collected at Ringstead beach the week before) to help with the placenta and some delicious rose tincture.

The midwives (the second one had arrived shortly after the birth) wanted the placenta out so after 20 minutes or so, the babe hadn’t suckled much yet, we cut the cord, passed the baby to Benny and me and Karen headed for the toilet with the homeopathic kit. Benny kept our little Ziggy-May on his bare chest until we returned.

A caulophylum 200c helped bring the placenta down in the end and the lovely Linda fished it out of the toilet.

Ahhh, all totally mind-blowing, hard-core, shortish lasting (7 hours), painful, exstatic bliss with a surprise girly wirly at the end.

Linda said that even for old myconium, hospital transfer is preferred before and after the birth to monitor the baby’s heart rate and breathing. We were pleased to have carried on til the last minute just me, Benny and Karen.

We declined politely to go into hospital post-birth and so Linda popped back in the afternoon to check we were all ok.

We all lay around all day eating dhal with Pete popping in and out between footy matches on the radio. Blissed-out hours passed without us noticing. We washed Ziggy-May so she was less flurescent yellow, dressed her in a knitted blue suit and she enjoyed cuddles all day long.

We had tasty Italian take-away for tea – I enjoyed porchini mushroom rissottto…mmm.

Karen and Pete left after midnight, Pete was due to drive to Brussels on Sunday!

Kelly completed the whole amazing 3 day birth experience by arriving Sunday evening with a hamper of goodies and breast-feeding and baby-care knowledge. It was so great to have her there, she advised positions for feeding and showed Benny how to bath the baba.

Birth bliss welcomed Lily Ziggy-May.


  1. Lovely positive birth story and Lily is beautiful xxx

  2. and woo I can now post comments on your fab blog too :)

  3. welcome to the little one, let this sun and light bring her truth and peace
    love to you all

  4. That's lovely, close to tears like any good birth story tehe

  5. She's nearly 2 now....phew. Talking and stamping and