For weeks prior to welcoming our baby, we were #manifesting an ‘8 hour shift on the 5/10/2020’. Two days before her official due date, but it would have been perfect for everyone on that day, and an 8 hour shift meaning a steady labour that wasn’t too quick, nor too long and drawn out. (And a short stint for my hard working midwifes!)
Nathan and I had completed our hypnobirthing classes and we were informed, calm and more than ready. The 5th came and the small tightenings I had been having for weeks began to change in the evening and I told Nathan something was happening and that I felt different as we went to bed. I felt it beginning to pulse in my lower back and I had some pressure low in my abdomen. However when I woke the morning of the 6th, expecting to be awoken by strong surges, all I had was a kink in my neck and felt I was back to just having simple tightenings.
I called my chiropractor right away to book an adjustment and planned some errands. At 11:30am I went in for my adjustment. As I left at 11:45am and got into my car I was hit with a surge that took me by surprise. 7 minutes later I was met with another, and another, and another. As I sat in the car park outside the pet store, getting ready to buy some food for Triko (our dog) I felt a pop which took me by surprise. I opened the door to the car and got out and realised it was my waters releasing. I started laughing and hobbled to the back of the car to get a mat for the seat so I could drive home. I called my midwife, still laughing and let her know - the irony being I was her next appointment for the afternoon anyway. I rang Nathan and let him know, and he met me with a towel when I got out of the car and helped me to the bathroom. I stripped off and with each surge I had, I was able to see my waters and it quickly became apparent my desire to birth at home was not going to be, as there was meconium in my waters.
My midwife soon arrived and confirmed we needed to make the journey to hospital. Birth Plan A was out the window, and we were onto Plan B. I understood and was calm and collected, my surges grew stronger and even closer together. I practiced some ‘J breathing’ and entered into a visualisation in my head with each new onset to maintain my focus and allow my hormones to do their job. Walking through the halls of the hospital just after 1:30pm with a towel rolled up between my legs, I laughed between my close surges with my midwife until the suite was ready for me. Monitors were placed on my belly to keep an eye on baby’s heartbeat and the surges continued to roll. My midwife discussed with me the routine process for a meconium baby, a process I was already familiar with and had experienced with my first baby, Sebastian’s birth. Understanding my previous experience, she offered me a VE and a sweep.
Knowing that this was my only option to avoid starting syntocinon right away, I agreed. I couldn’t believe it!
2pm, 5cm already and surges pressing on with fiery intensity that left my skin hot to the touch, I progressed on naturally. I laboured on my feet and when my legs couldn’t take it anymore I moved to my knees, determined not to end up like a turtle stuck on my back again.
I rocked back and forward and listened to my body, waiting for it to tell me where to move and how to position myself best to allow my baby to move through my pelvis. As the surges continued to strengthen and intensify, time stood still and all I could do was focus on my breathing until transition hit me. My breathing changed from controlled and meditative breaths, to long groans as my body began to move differently.
I remember my midwife trying to get a read on baby’s heartbeat between my intense surges, and that she was concerned as the readings were low. She empathised knowing it wasn’t my wish to have the clip on baby’s head, but it was the only way to confirm what my baby was doing and I understood. However, overcome by the intensity of my surges, I requested gas to get me through the process. I may have gotten a little too excited about the gas and given myself phantom limbs before I even got on the bed. Fortunately Nathan, who was by my side the entire time, practically pushed me up there and held me tightly.
It felt instantaneous. The moment my midwife had put the monitor on my baby’s head, something changed. I was rolled onto my left side and my midwife held up my right leg and I was bearing down, roaring like a dragon between quick and purposeful breaths. It felt like only 3 surges and Nathan had delivered her up onto my chest.
I was enamoured by my baby, and when I finally checked to see the gender and announced it was a girl, a new wave of emotion rolled over me.
A daughter, a new goddess had entered the world, coming into this world with the same big roar as the one I gave out to bring her earth side at 5:03pm.
I was assisted to my knees to manage the delivery of the placenta physiologically myself, as with the diagnosis of VCI from our 20 week scan (velamentous cord insertion) we were cautious to avoid complications. Fortunately I delivered it with little concern, and after inspecting the placenta we were pleased to see it was healthy, and that the cord insertion was actually closer to a Battledore than Velamentous. After her cord had run white and she was flushed in a gorgeous hue of pink, Nathan cut it.
Complications arose post birth for me, but Primrose was perfect in every way. I lost quite a lot of blood (750mL) and it was decided I should stay in overnight with a drip of syntocinon to encourage it to stop. Everything ran smoothly after my drip ceased and I responded well to the medicine. I was home in time to enjoy morning tea.
This was not the birth I had originally imagined in my head, but I am left feeling empowered and relaxed and at no point did I have any fear. I can not recommend Hypnobirthing combined with having a private midwife more. It’s such a difference in the level of care and education you receive, compared to going public.