The Birth of Lou
On Sunday November 27th, I woke around 3:30 am to the beginning of my surges. I remember feeling so calm and so excited, we were nearly a week past our “due date” and I was getting anxious with the anticipation of getting to finally meet our girl. I was waking up each morning telling her to just give us a sign that she was going to be on her way and that morning she finally did! As my surges were very mild, period like cramps I knew that while things were progressing, things were still very far away. I spent the next 24 hours breathing through my surges one roughly every hour. In between I was sleeping and eating/hydrating knowing what was to come. My husband Matt and I went for a walk that morning and afternoon and I was feeling great! Our birth plan was to have a home birth with our incredible team of midwives at New Life Midwifery, so we checked in with our midwife Jannie to give her an update.
On Monday morning after a restless sleep I was starting to feel surges one every half hour/20 minutes knowing that things were starting to pick up. At 6 am I vomited and spent the day with very little appetite but was able to continue to have small bits of food and kept really well hydrated. I kept telling myself that we were just getting closer and closer to meeting our girl. Around 2pmmy surges started to get a lot more intense and I knew it was time to really start to focus. I spent majority of my afternoon rolling back and forth on my exercise ball, and at this time I got my tens machine out and my birthing comb. This is also when I began using my hypnobirthing tools and I found the meditation tracks the most useful to really focus on my body and my baby. At around 3pm I started to lose some of my mucus plug and I took some medication to help with the nausea feeling I was consistently having so that I could continue to keep down food and keep energized. My surges began to pick up and I was having 2 every 10 minutes. Things were happening!! At 730pm Jannie came to do a home visit and check on me and baby girl, I don’t really remember any of this visit as I was so in the zone, sleeping and breathing through my surges and she was able to do her checks on us and speak to my husband without disrupting my birth space.
By 12 am on November 29th I was well and truly feeling this baby starting to move her way down. I was no longer comfortable lying in bed and I moved to the toilet where Matt had set me up with a pillow so I could close my eyes and sleep between surges. I found sitting backwards on the toilet the most comforting and relieving position to be in and it was great for my husband to access my back to give me a rub, and adjust my tens machine. Around 330 am my waters broke and wow what a feeling! Matt called Jannie at this stage and she was on her way. Once Jannie arrived, her and Matt got busy filling up our pool while I continued to breathe through my surges on the toilet, with my tens machine on, comb in hand, and hypnotracks in my air pods. I was feeling ready to meet my girl.
I spent the next few hours alternating between the pool, toilet and bedroom. I used all of my hypnobirthing tools to really breathe my baby down and was moving my body in all the ways I was taught during my Hypnobirthing classes with Jess, to open my body up.
After hours of different positions and pushing, despite our absolute best efforts at home our team of midwives suggested that we start thinking about moving to the hospital to get a vacuum assist as our girl was stuck. Because of our amazing continuity of care with our midwives I knew whole heartedly that if they were suggesting we go to the hospital, that meant that the hospital was where we needed to be. Matt quickly loaded our bags into the car and we were on our way.
When we arrived to the hospital, things happened incredibly quickly. So quickly that I was worried that Matt was going to miss it all while parking the car. I was starting to get a little bit of anxiety once we had arrived from previous traumatic experiences during my pregnancy and Jannie was an incredible advocate for us in ensuring that nothing happened until Matt had arrived back with us and that nothing happened without our consent and full understanding. There was an incredible hospital midwife that read my birth plans, interventions I was ok with and ones I wasn't. She set up the room as quickly as possible so that it was a calm and relaxing environment. She tried her best with what she has to work with. We were then offered a feteol scalp electrode to monitor baby, which we confidently declined. Upon examination it was as expected and we were offered the forceps or vacuum assist, we chose the vacuum.
After only half an hour at the hospital and 2 big pushes, our girl was earth side, our little Lou was finally here. On November 29th at 2:28pm after nearly 58 hours of hard work, we held our girl for the first time and she was absolute perfection. It was so magical and overwhelming all at the same time. Lou was put onto my chest straight away and once the cord finished pulsing Matt was able to cut it. Lou had her first feed about 15 minutes after she was born which was so special.
Lou had a slight temperature and had swallowed meconium during her birth and because of that there were multiple invasive tests that the peadiatrican recommended we have done and it was at this time that I was thankful to use our B.R.A.I.N.S we had learned through our hypnobirtbing class. I don't think the peadiatrician had ever been told no before because when we asked him for a minute in private to discuss our options I thought he was going to fall right over in shock. We chose to do one of the tests, the one that was the least invasive and would make further decisions depending on the results, thankfully the results were perfect and no further testing was needed.
Despite our original plan not working out, I still got to have my unmedicated birth. I'm so proud of Matt and I for having a powerful, birth experience where we were confidently able to make educated decisions which we wouldn't have had the confidence to do if it hadn't had been for our Hypnobirtbing course, and the support of our midwife Jannie. We feel so incredibly lucky and blessed to have had the support that we did, we can't thank them enough for helping us make the start of Lou's life a positive one.