At about 3:45pm, I went and picked my daughter up from kindy. The surges were still there but manageable. We played together in the afternoon, I made her some dinner and helped her to eat as I stood beside the table rocking and breathing as the surges got more and more intense. At 7pm, I put her to bed and decided to finally time the surges. I lay in bed with Darcy, staring at a wall full of positive affirmations I had printed out for her in rainbow colours: “I am strong” “I am powerful” “I can do anything.” I kept my positive mindset and timed them for around an hour. I realised they were about 6 minutes apart, lasting about a minute each. I anticipated that this was just the very beginning and it would be a long night.
My mother had left for the airport to pick up another friend of mine and her daughter who had flown in from England to attend my birth! I never expected to be in labour as they arrived, so that was a funny reunion when they all came back to the house. At around 8:30pm, they all had dinner together and I had two tablespoons of rice in between surges. I was extremely focused on my experience. I felt totally calm still, just riding the waves, still able to have normal conversations in between surges. It was very intense, but I wouldn’t describe it as painful.
At 10pm, I felt a primal instinct to just shut myself in my bedroom, turn off all the lights and lie on my side in bed under the covers. I felt as though I was in my own world. The intensity was nothing like I had ever experienced, but again I would still not call it pain, I just felt so extremely powerful. My mother came in and asked if she should time the surges, I said no as it had only been 2 hours since they were 6 minutes apart. She left and warmed up some towels in the oven for me to place on my lower back which felt really lovely. I was starting to get a bit more vocal at this point. I found that low, animalistic moans helped me feel more in touch with what my body was experiencing.
My mum informed me that based on my vocalisations, she had been timing my surges and they were only a minute apart. I didn’t even have time to process this, as at that exact moment my waters broke (all over my beautiful clean bed) and I physically felt my baby drop down the birth canal. I quickly realised that I had been in denial about how quickly things were progressing and joked with my mother, asking if she had ever delivered a baby before – because she might have to in a minute! She rushed out and rang my midwife and birth photographer, and my friend started to fill up the pool. Although I knew it was too late. At this point, I could feel my baby moving further down with every surge and I was making some very low, focused sounds. I told my mother I could not stop myself from pushing.
Thankfully, at 10:30pm, my midwife rushed in the door. She barely took off her shoes and opened her bag before I felt my baby’s head come out. Baby Hazel June came out quickly, beautifully and 100% naturally at 10:40pm on her due date of October 30th in the safety and comfort of our home. I felt every moment so intensely. I felt every surge, I felt her making her way down the birth canal and I felt her emerge into the world. I have never felt more powerful and capable in my entire life. I am forever grateful for this transformative experience. It has taught me so much, most importantly that you can not plan everything.
The most unplanned conclusion to my story is that Hazel’s donor turned out to be so much more than that. In the months leading up to my pregnancy and all throughout, I had the pleasure of getting to know the passionate, intelligent and kind man that he is. I was forever changed after giving birth to Hazel, and a big part of that was falling in love with her father. Our family is messy and unconventional, but there is so much love, and I feel gratitude every day for all the blessings in my life.
Doris Martensson is a 23-year-old mum with 2 beautiful girls. After having her first daughter at age 19, she was thrown headfirst into the world of solo parenting. Having been raised by a wonderful, natural-minded single mother herself, she has always striven to get back to basics and live a slow and connected life. A few years and one baby later, she is now balancing her business degree around raising her girls full time and life is crazy! However, she wouldn’t have it any other way. Seeing her girls slowly grow into strong, intelligent women remains her biggest achievement.