The Birth of Clementine
What a bloody crazy amazing birth we had!
First off, our first birth was a caesarean, and I wanted to do everything in my power to avoid that this time.
I had gestational diabetes controlled with insulin. I declined routine induction as my blood sugars were normal with the insulin. I asked about the risks and was told the relative risk of stillbirth was increased – so I did further research and decided I was happy to continue my pregnancy and monitor. They had said they were expecting over 4.5kg, so I had an ultrasound and baby was only the 70th centile – 3.3kg. I had to sign a bunch of paperwork declining the policies.
I had been also attending birth suite frequently for the past few weeks for monitoring of my blood pressure, which kept elevating at my appointments with the doctors. I would go to birth suite, have a CTG, bloods and screening for preeclampsia, and then be sent home when everything was normal. At 40+3 weeks the obstetrician told me I needed to stay in for an induction because I could get preeclampsia and it was extremely dangerous to be refusing induction at this point. They said myself and my baby could die. But I didn’t have preeclampsia. So I kindly declined and told them I would see them in a few days for my next CTG.
I started early labour on the 3rd of March. Surges were every 6 minutes by the 4th of March.
I went into the birth suite at the hospital at the suggestion of the midwives and was monitored for a few hours, and then told to go home as everything had slowed down while I was on the CTG. The midwife was instructed to do a VE. I declined, and they refused to allow me into a birth suite room until they confirmed I was at least 4cm dilated (what they deemed to be active labour).
I went home and laboured until the surges were 4 every 10 minutes, at 5am on the 5th of March. I returned to hospital and agreed to a VE so I could gain access to a birth suite, as again they insisted this was required before I could go into the birth suite.
I was 5cm dilated with a soft and stretchy cervix.
We used acupressure points, light touch massage and the shower for pain relief, which worked a treat during surges.
In the birth suite they put me on a CTG although I said no to continuous monitoring. They said it would only be for an hour.
As the hours went by they told me baby’s heart rate was dropping to 70bpm during surges and taking a while to recover.
My membranes released and I agreed to internal monitoring with a foetal scalp electrode as I was becoming concerned. I had foetal blood sampling twice which looked at baby’s lactate, to reassure everyone that baby wasn’t in distress. The result was 1.5, which was normal (should be less than 4.1).
At 1:50pm they said baby’s heart rate was not recording (well actually they said their heart had stopped and I had 5 minutes to get them out – obviously not though because she is here safe and well with us). They pressed the buzzer for a Category 1 caesarean.
It was so scary. Both hubby and I were freaking out. I went into my Bubble of comfort during the scary conversations which helped to ground me and bring me back out of that fear state. We got to theatre and they wanted to put me under a general anaesthetic. I declined. I wanted a spinal anaesthetic. The anaesthetist got to it and while they were inserting the spinal, baby’s heart rate stabilised.
I was all ready for a caesarean by 1:56pm.
The obstetrician went to do an internal to remove the foetal scalp electrode screw, and said I had progressed from 5cm dilated to fully dilated and baby’s head was almost crowning!!
He said “follow my lead, we will have this VBAC”.
I couldn’t feel a thing obviously. I pushed three times through two surges, and Clementine was born vaginally!
The obstetrician did an episiotomy which extended to a severe tear. But I am okay with that. I didn’t have that bloody caesarean! I am sore, but it is nothing compared to the pain of my caesarean recovery. I am thankful the lead obstetrician saw how determined I was to have my VBAC.
I am so happy with the outcome despite some of the trauma throughout the day. I was 5cm for like 8 hours, and progressed to baby out in minutes! It was all how it was supposed to be.
I am so glad to have done Jess’s course. It really helped me to navigate the entire pregnancy and the birthing techniques were amazing to ease the pain during labour. Such a great toolkit to have going into birth! Women really don’t get enough education to feel confident in the system.
All of the midwives were so excited for me, they knew how much I wanted a VBAC. They are magic people.
I feel pretty badass!
Pic of our first feed in recovery