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A birth story that captures just how crucial listening to the birthing woman is.

"I was quite young when I found out I was pregnant. I was 21 when I was due to give birth but I felt like I could do it. I wasn’t scared of the pain but unsure wether I would know what to do when it came time. I remember hitting 40 weeks and she still wasn’t here. I began bouncing on the balls and the night I was 40+3 contractions began about 8:30. I said to my partner. I think things are starting. He was calm and asked what I wanted to do. I called the hospital and they told me to hang at home until I couldn’t speak in a contraction. About 10 we headed to the hospital and by the time we got checked in and myself checked it was 11pm. Things were intense but I was reminding myself to breathe and know I would soon meet my little girl. At 12:30 my waters broke and I distinctly remember the popping was quite painful and things ramping up from there. I tried to relax by hopping in the bath but it just slowed things down and I found little support from the midwifes on duty that night. I remember thinking that I’m going to have to deliver this baby on my own they were that absent. At 1:30 I said to my partner I think I need to push and a midwife said to me, “No you don’t it’s to soon” with the attitude of “you're to young to know what you're talking about & it’s your first baby”.

I was annoyed but got my partner to ring my mum. While we waited I asked for a epidural. She arrived around 2am. She walked in and I said to her “ they aren’t listening to me. I need to push”. She helped me out of the bath on to the bed and looked them dead in the eye and said. “She needs to push. Listen to her”. I began pushing at 2:15. (I was still waiting for the epidural at this point) All I can remember was feeling like I needed to poo. With my Partner and mums support I had three huge pushes (god the ring of fire is something I’ll never forget) and she was born at 2:22am. I think the midwives were shocked that she came so quickly as they were still mucking around with the epidural but I knew and I listened and I did it. Wasn’t the best first birth experience but I felt empowered and like I could accomplish anything. I felt let down by the health system but I’m thankful I had mum and my partner there."

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