Welcome back, my friend! Today I’m sharing Eleanor Hadley’s birth story. I can’t believe my little love and fourth child is now 8 weeks old. We’re slowly finding our groove again as a family, and still very much in the new baby bubble.
Eleanor is one of the 5% of babies born on her due date. I actually thought she would come way sooner than her due date, since each of my subsequent babies came sooner than the previous. Jonah was 5 days over his date, Cara 2 days over, and Lydia 2 days before. There was definitely a pattern of babies coming sooner!
August had been mercifully cool, and after a scorching June I was lucky that my final weeks were a bit more comfortable. A week before her due date, I was getting a lot of Braxton Hicks, some of these verging on painful – I was convinced she was coming early! But we both held on.
Here she comes!
The evening prior to her due date, my usual Braxton Hicks were feeling pretty strong and actually not fading away. This was it! She was coming!
By now all our kids were in bed and it was getting on towards our bedtime. We went to bed but I couldn’t settle for being too excited! My husband got a good half an hour which set him up for the long night to come.
The contractions went on and we stuck on a funny film – Weird: The Al Yankovic Story (definitely see it!). It definitely helped to keep the contractions going to watch something funny and light hearted.
Help during labour
My husband rubbed my back with my labour massage oil, and I alternated between resting on the comfy rug, sitting and leaning on my birthing ball, and moving around the front room.
We followed hypnobirthing in pregnancy and the breathing practise really helps during labour. It’s a great way to get through contractions and the breathing helped to keep me calm and centred. The hypnobirthing affirmations I repeated daily also really helped. They popped into my head at just the right times to guide and encourage me.
By about 1.30am, my husband was very eager to call the labour and delivery ward and get us admitted, and also call our family to come and babysit the kids. I still wasn’t sure it was the right time, but I wasn’t taking any chances as a home birth was not on my agenda after Cara’s surprise arrival.
With family in place, off we went to hospital. Taken to our room, I felt overwhelmed with reminders of Jonah’s and Lydia’s births since it really wasn’t that long ago and it was all so full of feeling and happy reminders. We met our midwife, Jade, who immediately put me at ease.
It wasn’t long until the contractions suddenly started to feel very strong and the need to push came. I was so surprised as I was sure we were still a way off! My husband was a rock with encouraging words and a strong body to lean on.
My waters went and we saw meconium in the water. Jade was eager to get Eleanor monitored due to this and as she tried to get me strapped up the contractions were thick and fast and the need to push was just overwhelming and I’m not even sure she got her monitored properly before she was crowning. I was able to reach down and feel her head and with a couple more pushes she was out.
She was so tiny and beautiful! We loved her immediately.
I had a fair bit of bleeding, so I got the shot to help the placenta out. We delayed cord clamping to give our little girl the best start.
She had her first breastfeed which was a beautiful moment, and we had lots of time for skin to skin and cuddles. And marvelling over tiny fingers and toes. It really is an amazing experience and it never ceases to amaze me how capable we are when it comes to birthing.
While a doctor patched me up following birth, my midwife filled my heart up by sharing that mine was one of her favourite birthings ever, as it was so peaceful and chilled. My heart was bursting to hear it!
Final thoughts on Eleanor Hadley’s birth story
Today, Eleanor is doing great, but we did struggle with breastfeeding during her first two weeks, and I’m going to write that up in a separate post – when a newborn doesn’t want to breastfeed.
Eleanor is my final baby, making her birth all the more poignant. Having four young children all so close together in age is indeed a challenge, but it’s a rewarding challenge with daily love, sharing, and learning together.
I hope you enjoyed reading Eleanor Hadley’s birth story. Birth is such an amazing experience and I know I’ll never forget each of my four children’s births. But just in case, I’ve got their treasured birth stories to look back on.