Updated: Jul 23
Hypnobirthing Refresher course for baby #2
Leading up to my labour I was deciding whether stay with my current care provider or transfer to another hospital due to feeling like my concerns and preferences were not being heard and respected.
After some upfront discussions with the doctors and midwives I decided to stay with my current team, with a plan in place and an understanding of our expectations.
In my previous birth there was some question of a potential shoulder dystocia, as I had a third degree tear and baby had a clavicle injury. I was planning a vaginal birth this time, and wanted to ensure I had the support of my birth team.
I had a growth scan at 36 weeks, which was all normal. It showed baby was an average size. We made the decision to continue as normal, with no need to make any plans for an elective caesarean or induction. We were confident.
At 38+4 weeks, a week after finishing work, I asked for a stretch and sweep at my doctor appointment, to possibly kick start labour. I was already 2cm dilated and my cervix was soft and stretchy. I left already feeling crampy at 4:30pm.
The rest of the afternoon was pretty chilled even though I was experience some cramping. I cooked dinner and went about my evening routine. Our toddler was acting off and had trouble getting to sleep (maybe he knew something was about to happen).
I went to bed at 9pm hoping to get some sleep, but alas all I could manage was my Hypnobirthing relaxation and breathing.
At 11pm the cramps were clearly becoming surges (in hind sight they probably never were cramps at all but this helped my state of mind) and were becoming more intense so I got up and walked around. At 12am I called the hospital and said we would be coming in a few hours.
Between then and 2am, when I woke hubby, I was comfortable on all fours with a TENS machine and heat pack on my lower back and headphones in listening to the Hypnobirthing tracks. Just before waking hubby, I packed our bags (I know, I know - a bit late). The baby's car seat was still in the unopened box, but that would have to wait!
We got to the hospital at 2:30am, and they took us straight into the birth suite, bypassing the assessment unit. This was a relief as I was having intense surges close together; 3 in the 20 meter walk from the car to the main reception. They checked my dilations once we were in the suite and I was already 7cm.
For the next hour I was on all fours again, kneeling on the bed this time.
I was having back pain so I opted for sterile water injections. What a relief! I was able to refocus on my breathing and relaxing my body.
I wanted to change position so I was helped off the bed, and very soon after I was feeling the urge to bear down.
I birthed Felix standing/squatting next to the bed at 4:21am at 38 + 5 weeks. (My first baby was 41 + 2 weeks). He was a healthy 3.2kg, 50.5cm long with a head circumference of 33cm.
After birthing the placenta and climbing back onto the bed, they placed Felix on my chest.
I had a 2nd degree tear (piece of cake compared to my previous 3B tear) so they called the obstetrician in to do the stitching with local anaesthetic.
At this point I was still contracting with a stronger intensity than expected, so the doctor decided they needed to investigate. When massaging my uterus a golf ball sized clot was removed. 30 minutes later more clots were expelled. They thought there may be some membranes stopping my uterus from contracting down properly, causing the clots.
Rather than going to theatre to remove them, Felix was placed skin to skin with my partner, while I chose to use the gas and the doctor manually removed the clots. Finally my uterus began to contract properly and my bleeding settled to normal, however I had lost just under 1 litre within the 2 hours after birth. I would stay in hospital for 2 nights so I could be monitored, and receive an iron infusion.
Felix was placed back on my chest and had his first feed. The birth went so beautifully, and I felt informed and calm despite the change in circumstances after he was born. It was great doing the Hypnobirthing refresher course to refocus my mindset, and remind me of all the techniques I had available. Every birth is different and I used different techniques this time than with my first.