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Savannah's Birth Story

Updated: Jun 5, 2023

We had an induction of labour for our first birth so we were planning (and hoping) to avoid that this time and to avoid any unnecessary interventions.

We had a lot of pressure from the obstetricians in the hospital throughout the pregnancy for interventions and Hospital admissions due to having GDM and hyperemisis. However I had a Private Midwife who advocated for me and educated me about everything so I was able to make informed choices. It got to the point in the hospital they were discussing having to sign a 'Refusal of medical treatment form' (*this should be a Record of Understanding) with the medical staff but it was not needed in the end.

I stopped going to appointments with the Doctors at the hospital because I felt so frustrated, and just called my midwife if there were any concerns. The hospital kept calling me and tried to recommend induction when I went past 40 weeks but I had no need to as the baby was fine and I was seeing my midwife regularly for check ups.

I got to 40 weeks and 2 days and we thought my water released but active labour hadn’t started. I went in and saw my midwife who assessed me and said it may have been my membranes but we couldn't be sure. I knew from Jess's class that sometimes not all the membranes release at once, and it could have been the outside membrane only. While  I was at the midwifery clinic they monitored me on the CTG and the baby started having decelerations so then I had to be taken to the hospital by ambulance to be checked. My midwife came with me and I was monitored there for a while and it was determined that the baby's heart rate was on the lower side but was actually having accelerations with early labour surges. They weren't concerned about this.

My midwife then said I could stay in hospital until I go into active labour or I could go home to monitor for any more fluid loss, signs of infection, or onset of labour.

I chose to go home to try and get labour going naturally. I went and got pregnancy acupuncture done, did lots of walking, curb walking and walking up stairs. I then did some spinning babies circuits, sitting and rotating on the exercise ball, and nipple stimulation. It got to the afternoon and I hadn’t had any more fluid loss so we thought maybe my water hadn't released after all. 

I went to sleep and woke up at 1 am in a puddle of fluid which continued to leak. Still no active labour surges at this point. I called my midwife and she said to go to the hospital, so we did. My midwife checked me when I was there and my membranes had definitely released. They consulted the Obstetricians and everyone agreed that they were treating it as if my water released today, not Monday . It was recommended by the doctor to consider induction if labour hadn't started in 24 hours. The doctor asked if I would like to be induced now or come back tomorrow if I didn't go into labour before then. After discussing with my midwife my options we decided I would go home and monitor for signs of labour, fluid loss and infection and try and get labour going.

I then had a pregnancy chiropractic appointment, and did more optimal positioning exercises we learnt with Jess.

Everything was fine in the day but active labour didn’t start. It got to lunch time and I took my temperature and it was 37.6-37.9°C. I called my midwife and they advised an induction may be a good idea due to possible infection, and being GBS positive.

I organised care for my daughter and my husband and I headed to the hospital. It was very heavy traffic and I was emotional over having to have an induction in the end so it was a hard drive for me.

I got to the hospital and they put me in a small birth room without a bath as I wasn’t going to have access to have a water birth like I had wanted, due to the induction.

My midwife checked my dilation and artificially broke the rest of my membranes. I was an easy 4 cm.

I had been in prelabour on and off for weeks with intense surges, so my body was already progressing well.

My midwife started intravenous fluids and my antibiotics and I started bouncing and rocking on the ball.

My husband meanwhile set up the room with candles, my twinkle lights and affirmation cards and my midwife put on my TENS machine and I started using that and my birth comb.

Affirmations and candles in hospital birth space, woman labouring on birth ball with IV

Within an hour after that my surges started to get very strong and close together. My midwife then said to me that they could take off the CTG and do intermittent monitoring and have access to the bath as I had gone into active labour on my own without the induction. I hadn’t realised the syntocinon hadn’t started yet, and I was so excited.

They then transferred me to a different room with a bath and started filling up the bath. The surges were very intense by this point and I was using my TENS machine, Hypnobirthing Australia sound tracks and my husband doing counter pressure to get through them. Once the bath was ready I got in there and kept my body moving and breathing through the surges.

Woman labouring in hospital birth pool with affirmations and fairylights hanging on wall

I soon felt the urge to bear down and started pushing on all fours or with one leg up but my leg kept cramping. My midwife then got me in a squatting position and the baby srarted to crown.

I breathed my baby out using J breathing and he was out in 5 mins with no tearing. 

They placed my baby in my arms and clamped and cut the cord. They had to cut it a bit earlier than I had wanted because it was caught around him and was a bit short.

We then went to the bed for skin to skin and a breast feed. I was finding the placenta pressure uncomfortable so asked for the injection of synthetic oxytocon to get the placenta out now. The placenta was then born quickly and I was able to just enjoy that time with baby. 

The whole labour was 2hrs and 45 mins including the 4 minutes for bearing down, and 15 mins for placenta birth.

Smiling woman just given birth having skin to skin with baby

I was able to have an unmedicated hands off waterbirth where I really relied on my hypobirthing techniques, especially aromatherapy, breathing exercises and visualisation whilst listening to the sound tracks and I couldn’t have asked for a better experience!

Thankyou Mama Savannah and Partner Wes

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