Frankie Benjy & Odins story
Born on Friday 11/02/05 at 4.57am in the barn at Windmill Down Farm Totnes. Present at the birth were me – Frankie Bramall (the mother), Benjy Eriksson (the father), my mum Judy, my friend & spiritual midwife Lara, the principle midwife Jan & the secondary midwife Alison.
On Tuesday 8th Feb went to hospital with Mum & Benjy. Silly consultant ignored the fact that we knew what date we conceived & took the due date from the scan & said that we would have to be induced the following Monday 14th Feb! I was quite upset. Went into town with mum & met up with Lara & Mo. Hung out for a bit – had coffee- did some shopping- really great to see Lara . She bought some fireworks & we walked up the track.
This Tuesday was Pancake Day & Chinese New Year of the rooster (Phoenix) we had pancakes with spinach & Feta & honey & lemon. Then we built a fire outside Lara did a fireshow & we let off all of the fireworks, it was a real celebration. I felt much happier!
Wednesday- went to town & regretted it. Everyone was asking if I’d had the baby yet – felt pressurised – spoke to the midwife on the phone & told her that I wasn’t going to hospital – no way! In the evening I took Caulophyllum in the hope that it would bring labor on.
Thursday Lara & Mum went to town & I sent Benjy off to get me some castor oil. I just chilled at home. When Benjy got back from town I was really needing a poo. I went to the toilet & did quite a runny poo ( this was before I’d taken the castor oil & was a relief as I had been quite constipated the last few weeks of my pregnancy) I’d cleaned my bum but wiped it again & some snotty stuff was on the tissue. I took it to show mum & Lara & they said it was my mucus plug – a show- I was so happy. I told Benjy & he seemed to relax instantly & was very chuffed. He rang his family to tell them. I think this was about 4pm. Then I had some castor oil.
I was getting small pains in my lower tummy & back (hooray!) had another good poo ( or was it two?) Later Lara gave me some tea ( Blue Cohash . Chamomile & lime flowers) Not long after that my waters broke (about 11pm) luckily mostly in a bucket & Benjy was witness! Then contractions were starting to get more real & Lara was making more tea (Blue cohash, feverfew & sage) Hooray! I was so excited! Just before waters broke I’d been lying on my birthing ball & Benjy put some reggae on (Soul Rebel – Odins Song!) & I honestly felt like I’d had about ten ecstasy pills – really chilling & happy on an oxcytocin high!
Think I did a poo in a bowl just before my waters broke & mum emptied it for me – nice one mum!
First part of labor was really chilled. Think I had a bath (I think I had 3 baths over the course of the night) it was just me & Benjy in the Barn with Mum coming in a bit & Lara bringing the tea! Benjy was putting his weight (hand) on my lower back during contractions & it was really helping & he was timing them. They were very short but close together. Had rescue Remedy & nice music! Contractions getting more intense & I had some more waters come out. After that Benjy got Mum & Lara from the truck & they came in the barn. I was trying to visualise flowers opening. It was all getting a lot more intense & painful. Kept getting too hot or too cold & asking for the door to be shut or opened – got quite irritable. As contractions got stronger I started to roar through them. The noise just started coming out , a real loud shouting roar. Then I didn’t want Benjy touching me anymore & was snapping at My Mum & Benjy ‘Don’t touch me!’ ‘Don’t look at me!’ ‘Don’t talk to me!’ Benjy said he gave me some Sepia remedy but I can’t remember it.
Then it was all really painful and full on – I was kneeling on the couch holding the back of it. I was loving the couch earlier; now I was clutching onto it for dear life. I decided it would be good to get back in the bath cos that really helped the pain. By this time we’d rung the midwife & found that there were no dart midwives working so they were sending someone else. I was so glad Lara & Mum were there. Just before I got in the bath I got a bit violent & hit the couch a few times – luckily that didn’t last long!
Mum reminded me to breathe which really helped with the now powerful contractions, big long breaths & sighs & little pants, like blowing out candles.
I managed to get in the bath between contractions, Lara was getting me to drink more tea ( Feverfew blue cohash & limeflowers) Anyway wasn’t much space between contractions & I was writhing round like a spasmodic fish shouting ‘I can’t do this ! I can’t take it!’ at this point I probably would’ve taken pain relief if any had been available- but in retropsect I’m glad I didn’t/couldn’t. I know now that when I was in the bath was my ‘transition’ ; the last really powerful contractions leading into the pushing phase.
I heard the midwife arrive while I was in the bath & she & Lara shouted & hugged each other ( Jan was the same midwife who delivered Lara’s baby Blue seven years ago on windmill down farm- mad coincidence) Anyway I was still in the bath & was feeling like I needed a really big poo. The midwife examined me & said I was 10 cm dilated & the poo urge was actually the urge to start pushing the baby out! We realised that I couldn’t have the baby in the bath cos there was clary sage essential oils in it. Also Jan couldn’t give me gas & air cos it was too near the burner & it would explode! So I had to get out of the bath which was a major effort!
I got back on the couch & knelt up & started pushing. I was so tired now. I had olive Bach flower remedy & Arnica. I was pushing hard but I felt like I was at the end of a marathon & I really wanted to drop out of the race, I kept shouting that I couldn’t do it ( wish I’d been a bit more positive at this point) Mum & Lara & midwives & Benjy were all encouraging me & cheering me on & mum was putting wet flannels on my forehead. I felt like I was having a humungous poo & every time it nearly came out I couldn’t quite finish it & sucked it back up so I could have a rest before the next round of pushing. It felt like I could never stretch enough to get it put. The midwife warmed up a flannel and put it on me and rubbed my clitoris, normally I wouldn’t want anyone to do this but by now I hardly noticed except that it helped quite a lot! A few more pushes & they were all saying that they could see the head – I wanted to get it out now & I gathered all my strength just pushing & pushing as hard as I could! I was actually only pushing about 50 minutes but by this end bit I just thought – got to do it now then this all will be over. I really wanted it to be over & I knew that once the head was out the body would be easy.
I did it then the body came out ( it felt such a strange shape!) next minute I could see my baby & I’ll never forget! He had the darkest sparkiest eyes just twinkling & looking coy! Cheeky like – are you the mummy who’s going to love me & feed me & I just wanted to cuddle him & put him to my breast. My little man. I would do anything for him. It was love at first sight – I’ll never forget his face looking at me. He knew I was his mummy ! My gorgeous baby! I got the placenta out very soon after & with no trouble. I’d read it was good to put it in your mouth so to Benjys amusement, I the vegetarian had gone really primal & with the midwives help I had a little gorge on the raw placenta ending up with blood all round my mouth! The next day Lara cooked the placenta & I ate some more _ reckon it did me good & helped with my recovery – after all its full of goodness & nutrients! And it’s a free piece of meat with no death sacrifice! Some people were a bit repulsed but who cares !
Me & Benjy both went mushy & totally fell in love with our boy. On that first night, Friday we didn’t sleep but just lay awake looking at him & loving him. All I want to do is be his Mum I’d do anything for him. Nothing else seems to matter i’m so happy!
Forgot to say how beautiful the snowdrops were, flowering all over the farm – little white teardrops, so fragile but yet so robust, standing up to the cold winter – spring elements just like a baby!