The birth of Baby Sadie…7th January 2016.
There are many parts of this birth story that I REALLY love.`
Firstly, I love that Em and Russ, negotiated with their caregivers, extra time after 41 weeks to wait for labour to have a natural onset. Em was healthy and their baby was healthy, so after using their B.R.A.I.N technique, kept going with their preferences.
I also really love the lead in to Emmah’s labour…
The day before her baby was born, Emmah: stayed in bed for a while (rested),went to her acupuncture appointment, went for a 2 hr walk on the beach (with intent, welcomed her daughter’s pending arrival), called her husband and said see you after work…thiswill take time. She was relaxed.That night they went for another walk where they got married, watched a movie,had dinner and tried to get to bed… all the while she was surging away.
First time birthing Mums take a while for their bodies to get into a rhythm and go into real labour. This part of our labour is the first stage or traditionally early latent phase. It takes our bodies time to get ready for birth. The uterus works harmoniously to first soften the cervix (effacement) which can take time, up to 20 hours in a first time birthing mum (Williams Obsterics) , then it dilates the cervix. Sometimes there isn’t ANY dilation at this point. Which is exactly what happened with Russ and Em. They arrived at the hospital and after finding out they were 0cm made a quick decision to go home, where she was in familiar space, felt safe, wouldn’t be disturbed and free to labour in private, however after just 40 minutes in hospital, Em’s cervix went from 0cm to 7-8cms and labour had intensified. This often happens with hypnobirthing Mums who have conditioned their bodies to relax deeply and breath effectively through their labour. When a birthing body is ready to go boom, it certainly will, but it needs to be ready.
Top Tip: Be like Em and Russ… Don’t rush into labour too soon, when birthing in a hospital it is important to spend as much time at home, until you don’t feel comfortable or you are getting three really good surges (lasting more than a minute, with intensity) within a 10 minute period.
Once at hospital time restrictions can come to play on your labour.
Sadie Bridget arrived on the 7th Jan (labour came on naturally so I avoided induction – yeah!).
5th January 2016
We went into the hospital for our appointment with the obstetrician, I’m 10 days overdue and so we discussed induction which was booked for Saturday 9th January which would have been 42 weeks. While there the obstetrician did a stretch and sweep (which can help to bring on labour in 1:4 women), where my cervix got 2/10 for being ready for labour and was incredibly painful.
I was very upset about the forthcoming induction, as I really wanted to have a natural birth.
6th January 2016
Woke up emotional with a sore back and period pains, stayed in bed. By midday the cramps had started becoming more intense. I drove to my acupuncturist appointment where I was having an induction session – pretty sure I was coming into labour at this time.
After the appointment I went for a walk along the Brighton foreshore for a couple of hours, there were tears of joy in my eyes as I talked to my baby and welcomed her beginning entrance into the world. Russ was in meetings until 3pm, so let him know then but not to rush home as this would take a long time and I would be home about 5 to see him. I also let Alex know.
Russ and I were overjoyed when we met up, and after a brief catch up decided to go and walk in the Melbourne Botanic Gardens where we got married. Around 5pm is when active labour started, with surges 5 – 10 minutes apart and lasting for 30 – 60 seconds. After a beautiful walk through the bush, where, when a surge came I would lean against the railings and breathe through it, we returned home to watch a movie, have dinner and tried to go to bed.
7th January 2016
I could not get comfortable lying down with the surges, so got up and sat on the exercise ball leaning against the table listening to hypnobirthing for 2 hours. At 1.30am the surges were becoming more intense, so I got Russ back up and he came to do light touch massage and support me with suggesting other positions.
When I was lying on my side a 3 minute surge came, and I felt my waters releasing, Russ got towels and after it was finished called the hospital who told us to come in. I had a shower and we drove to the Royal Women’s.
When arriving the midwife did an examination and swab test to check the waters – my cervix was at ‘0’ . I was completely undilated and it was not my waters that had broken (on talking to Katy my cousins wife who is a nurse, she said that it would have been urine, but the contraction would have pressed on my bladder in a different way which is why there was so much fluid).
To be in hospital you need to be 4 – 5cm dilated. At this stage we were going back home. Before this was allowed they needed a particular trace of the baby’s heartrate that was not coming through so we had to wait.
The surges were continuing to come more frequent and strong, they were particularly uncomfortable as I had lost my mojo and had to lie on the bed, we both felt very deflated. I turned to Russ and said that when we go home, we will call Alex (our doula) to come over to support us, and when I come back into the hospital I’m having a bloody epidural.
Russ very calmly advised me that that’s not really what I want and let’s see how it goes (this voice of reason pissed me off of course!).
After about 40 minutes I was busting to go to the toilet, so Russ found the midwife who unhooked me from the EFM. It was at this point that Russ said – Em before you go out did you want to put some trousers on? No, knickers are fine was my reply (I have realised that during birth all aspects of modesty are forgotten!)
Going into the bathroom I was overcome by nausea and had two big vomits into the bin. When returning to the bed, the midwife came to do another examination, then went to get the obstetrician.
The doctor came, and said I was 8 – 9cm dilated, my waters had broken and we were going up to the birthing suite now.
Wow! We couldn’t believe it (and neither could the midwife or obstetrician, 0 to 8cm in 40 minutes!)
I lost track of Russ then, as I got back into the zone, but he contacted Alex and Erika while he was getting the bags out of the car. The midwife was wheeling me up to the birthing suite.
Once there we ran a big bath and I hopped in –I went into meditation / hypnosis having back massages through the surges, listening to the Christopher Lloyd soundtrack and having hypnobirthing scripts read to me.
After about 2 – 3 hours (I had no concept of time) the midwife wanted to check me again, so we hopped out of the bath and I was fully dilated +2. I went to get back into the bath as I wanted a water birth. While in there I was having some surges with the urge to push.
Then the midwife came in and said she’s really sorry but there was meconium, which means baby has pooed so I needed to have EFM monitoring. Therefore a water birth was not possible.
Coming out of the bath I went to the bed and again lost track of time, breathing through the surges, this time though having no desire to push. I wanted to breathe my baby down and out.
Unfortunately after approximately 2 hours fully dilated, the midwife came and said I was going to have to work with the surges and actively push, as the baby is starting to show signs of distress. This was really really hard, as I just had no desire to push – the midwife did a fantastic job of coaching me through the process and we all worked together for 30 – 40 minutes – this is where it became really hard as I felt I was working against my natural urges.
After this the doctors (who the midwife had been holding off) came in and said bubba needed to be out in the next 10 – 15 minutes, and explained that if she didn’t cry immediately they would have a resuscitation team there as it is important she doesn’t breathe in the meconium.
By this stage I was exhausted, and happy to have some help, as I was really struggling with working against my body to push when I had no desire to. They used a ventouse and little bubba was born at 9.37am, with a great set of lungs so could go straight onto my stomach.
They delayed cord clamping for as long as possible, but did clamp a bit early as they needed to give me an injection to separate the placenta from the uterus as we used a ventouse they advised a natural 3rd stage was not possible.
We had welcomed our beautiful baby girl into the world – Sadie Bridget 3.4kgs (7.5lbs) 52cm.
We would have loved to have a fully natural birth, however feel really satisfied with the experience overall – no synthetic oxytocin, no epidural and no C section – yeah!
I also feel that had I been in the bath, and been able to have more time I would have been able to breathe Sadie out, as the surges were intense but absolutely manageable.
Russ and I decided that the best place for our new family was home, so we stayed 7 hours in the hospital after Sadie was born where they did their required monitoring and checks then we were home in time for dinner.
Emmah and Russell did a Hypnobirthing Australia course with Big Hearted Birth in Melbourne, Australia.
Big Hearted birth teaches woman how to achieve a positive and calm birth experience through hypnobirthing skills and techniques.
For more information and bookings go to www.bigheartedbirth.com.au
Big Hearted Birth