“I’m proud of myself even if I didn’t have a perfectly natural birth”
Cora was born by spontaneous labour at 37wks+5 on the 28th January 2021.
I’m feeling amazing 2 weeks post and very satisfied with my labour and birth experience even if it wasn’t perfect. Hypnobirthing and use of warm water helped so much. I really don’t think I would have had the same experience without the hypnobirthing. Nick feels the same way.
Labour was very intense but progressed well for the most part.
I started period type cramping and back pain the morning of the 27th. They came and went in irregular surges that day (wasn’t sure if I was having braxton hicks or similar). That night the surges were every 40mins, enough to wake me up. I slept in the next morning (due to disturbed sleep). I had a midwife appointment at midday.
On the way in the car I had 4 more intense surges about 10mins apart. By the time I got to my midwife appointment, they were 7mins apart. She advised I stay at the hospital but I decided to drive home and meet Nick there. By 3pm when I got home they were 5.5 to 6 minutes apart. We went to the hospital at 4pm at 5 mins apart.
I didn’t get to feel labour at home- mainly because I didn’t recognise it as labour!
One of the worst periods was “being assessed to see if I was in true labour” at the hospital when we arrived – which in hindsight should have been very obvious. I had to lie on the bed with the monitor on for 30mins. At the end of the 30 minutes I was in a lot of pain and told the midwife I had to get up and be in hot water. I consented to an examination (after she asked) first and was 4cm. This examination was very painful.
I then spent 3 hours sitting on the toilet in our bathroom, using the hot water shower hose and listening to the hypnobirthing tracks with lights off. I wanted to go to the birth suite earlier but they were “waiting on a midwife to be allocated to me” for transfer to a birth suite. This frustrated me as I knew I was in well established labour by then and I really just wanted to be in the bath, but I put it out of my mind and coped well in the shower.
My allocated midwife came at 7ish and took me out of the shower to walk the long walk to the birth suite. I remember this period being pretty awful (the transition out of the hot water of the shower; losing the headspace, low light and tracks. Once I got in the birth suite and bath water and set up again I felt instantly better and got myself back in the headspace.
Throughout the labour my back pain was significant. I had always been toldbaby she was anterior facing but it turns out she was posterior during labour and at birth.
I was in the bath for 2+ hours. Things slowed a bit so we tried a few positions in the water, I was getting overwhelmed by pain so I tried the gas which didn’t do much. I told the midwife I couldn’t feel her move down or any pressure to bear down even with intense contractions so we tried getting out of the water. This unfortunately made me lose my calm state and I requested an examination. I consented to the midwife breaking my waters (which were bulging) and I was 8cm.
I then requested an epidural which both Nick and the Midwife successfully talked me out of.
Without meditating in the bath I started to get overwhelmed. I got back in the bath and could feel pressure to bear down on and off. The midwife could feel her head and I was fully dilated but I couldn’t feel her. We tried a few different positions out of the water again ie birth stool and side lying but I couldn’t feel her coming down. By this point I was very tired and in a lot of pain. I was frustrated that I couldn’t feel things progressing. I requested help to “get her out”.
The Obstetrician came in and offered the vacuum. I was given Syntocin to bring my contractions 2mins apart. This teamed with being on my back with legs in stirrups was extremely painful. At this point he figured out she was posterior (which might explain why I could feel things come and go to bear down + the back pain throughout). With the first contraction the vacuum was used to rotate her anterior and bring her down. The second contraction the Obs said I did the work of bringing her right down (he didn’t have to use the vacuum). The 3rd contraction she was born slowly and the obs resisted to prevent tearing. I sustained a Grade 2 tear and had a few stitches. I feel like the tear was minor as I’ve healed quickly.
I was up walking and showering not long after birth and was so glad I didn’t have an epidural!
Cora was perfectly healthy and tiny (not a big GD baby as predicted!) 2.995kg, head circumference 33cm, 49cm length. Apgar at birth was 8 and 9. Her heart rate throughout labour was perfect. Her blood sugars post birth were perfect. She is progressing well with feeding and I feel like we’ve been blessed with an even temperament baby!
Thank you for everything you taught us! I’m proud of myself even if I didn’t have a perfectly natural birth.
I’m proud of how I coped. I’m really happy with my easy post birth recovery. And I feel incredibly blessed to have such a perfectly healthy baby.
Karly and Nick, January 2021, Eerwah Vale