On Friday the 19th, I had my last 41 week CTG monitoring appointment at the hospital before our scheduled induction for the 21st. I had been having some stronger braxton hicks surges while being monitored and unfortunately the team interpreted his trace as having changes. The doctor seemed very concerned and started mentioning an emergency c-section for that afternoon.
I instantly called Woosub and told him to come to the hospital because I had no idea what was going to happen. Thankfully, after continued monitoring, his heart rate normalised and the doctor discussed our options, keeping in mind our calm, natural birthing preferences. She suggested we keep monitoring baby overnight. We agreed on being admitted to maternity and being induced the following morning at 7am.
The next morning came and I was officially 42 weeks. Our induction kept getting pushed back due to staffing issues, and baby boy was fine, so we made the most of it and did some stair walking. Surges started on their own not long after. Woosub and I had the best morning together passing time, it was time together that we rarely get. We ate lunch while I swayed through my surges. We decided to do a fear release script which helped immensely to get into the right mindset.
At 1:30pm we were taken to our birth suite where we set the room up to how we wanted it. It was dark, filled with affirmations on the walls, essential oils, tea light candles and music. Surges kept coming as we waited to be assessed. We met our midwives and spoke through our birth preferences, they were extremely supportive and excited to be part of our birth, mentioning that they very rarely see the effort we had put into preparing our birth space. The midwife ruptured my membranes at 3pm and also put a foetal scalpel electrode (FSE) on baby’s head as we couldn’t keep a good trace on the wireless monitor.
I took instant comfort leaning over the birthing ball while listening to my affirmations and the surges kept coming and increasing in frequency and intensity. We navigated our preferences with the doctor to hold off on the syntocin drip - something I very strongly didn’t want to have, following my traumatic experience with Louis’ birth. Our midwives were absolutely incredible, making sure they did everything to support us with our birth preferences.
Baby’s heart rate wasn’t compensating very well, possibly due to sitting directly on the ball so we changed positions - the midwife suggested a side laying position to get some rest which just did not feel right to me at all. I could not get comfortable and I started doubting myself. The fact his heart rate was decelerating made me scared and I lost my ability to concentrate and relax. I agreed to a VE at 5pm as we thought I was getting close to transition, however I was "only" 5cm...
The midwife gave me a pep talk which I am so grateful for. Woosub suggested we head on into the shower and it was instant relief! I found my happy place and was able to get back into control.
I continued to slow dance through my surges while Woosub ran comforting hot water over my back and continued with slow touch massage - the shower was seriously my best friend and I never wanted to leave. I felt safe being in such a small and dark room. It felt very private and I was able to drift off into deep relaxation.
Eventually, I felt like I needed to get onto my hands and knees. We brought the birthing ball in and I had a feeling I was in transition at this stage. I went from quietly breathing through surges to making many calm, maternal noises I needed to help breathe baby down.
I knew it had to be close as I got the feeling of giving up and I was ready to tap out. I started to rest between surges, nearly falling asleep between them leaning over my ball. I noticed the surges had become further apart together, allowing me to rest more. I then felt immense pressure and also what they call “the ring of fire” (which surprisingly, was just a burning sensation), my body took over and started bearing down itself.
I decided to quickly go to the bed where I leaned over the bed head and the midwives could see baby’s head. At 8:02pm, on the 20th of March, within 2 surges and with ease, I (apparently quietly) roared my baby out. He was born very happy and healthy! Woosub helped catch him with the midwives and bring him to my chest.
We waited for the cord to stop pulsating and I got to cut the cord myself. We had the most beautiful skin to skin time that I never got to experience with Louis! It was amazing watching Nathaniel find his own way to latch and have his first feed.
The whole birthing experience was hands down the most empowering, invigorating, magical journey of my life. I was given the gift of healing and I am so happy we put our whole trust into my body.
A big special mention to the beautiful Jess from @mothermoon_hypnobirthing for educating us and inspiring us to experience the calm, positive birth that we longed for. Even though we still had to go ahead with our induction, we felt we had made an informed decision and it was still the most beautiful, positive experience! It was the most surreal feeling and I am still in awe of what we achieved all together!