At my second midwife appointment I asked about birthing classes and was recommended to do a hypnobirthing class. Declan and I did a hypnobirthing course with the wonderful Melissa from Little Bird Hypnobirthing. We both learned so much and started to put things into practice. I hired a tens machine as I wanted my labour to be as natural and active as possible!
Jayme-Lea's Birth Story
l had my 38 week midwife appointment on the Tuesday the 13th of July. Was a bit apprehensive as I'd been told I had GBS from a test my GP has run. I had spent 2 weeks changing birth plans and mentally preparing for potentially needing to be induced, being monitored constantly and having antibiotics. But suprisingly the one that the hospital ran was negative. I could still have the natural active birth I wanted!
I suppose that's what my body needed to hear as at 8pm the same night I started having mild cramps. I'd been having cramps intermittently over the last few days and thought I'd lost my mucus plug as well. I took a Panadol and lay down thinking they were brackton hicks. But they didn't stop. At 10pm I started timing them as I had loose bowels and was feeling nauseous. The cramps were coming about every 15 minutes. At 2am they were every 12 minutes for 45 seconds. I called birth suite just to see if I could be in early labour. They said yes, however that the surges could go away. They said to call back in the morning if they still were still happening and to take a Panadol to help me sleep.
On the 14th, at 8am the surges were every 8 minutes lasting about 30 seconds. I called birth suite again and they said that I was definitely in early labour! Oh my gosh it was happening!
The cramps were increasing in intensity. I did a lot of bouncing on my ball, had a shower then got Declan to help me put the Tens machine on my back. What a godsend the tens machine was! It helped keep me distraction during every contraction. I noticed straight away that it was better for me to be active and walk around during a surge. By 2pm they were every 6 minutes lasting 45-1 minute. I had a bath and Declan and I went for a short walk. I was constantly sniffing lavender and using the tens machine. I called birth suite and they said to come in if I was getting really uncomfortable or to wait until the surges were 3-4 minutes apart and lasting 1 minute for an hour.
The pain wasn't too bad and I knew from doing the hypnobirthing that labour can slow when at the hospital so I decided to stay home. I continued to move around and use the Tens Machine to help me through the sugres. I often walked around her room in circles breathing and reading my affirmarions.
At 7:30pm the surges were 4 minutes apart lasting for over a minute and I was getting quite uncomfortable so off to the hospital we went!
As we were driving to the hospital, I felt some fluid slowly trickle down my leg, i wasn't sure but I thought it could be my waters breaking. Once at the hospital at about 8:30, they admitted us and put a monitor on my belly just to see how baby was doing and my surges. They wanted to check if my waters had broken so while they were doing that, Declan set up the birthing room with candles and music. They did an internal exam and said that I was 3cm dilated. That's when it really hit me that it was actually happening, holy crap I was in labour!! The midwife read through the birth plan and then left us to do our thing.
Im still a little fuzzy on the details but Declan retells it like this . I was constantly walking around during my surges. The tens machine was still on my back and I had turned it onto boost 2. Each surge bring my baby closer to me was what I kept saying to get me through. That and this healthy pain will be worth it. I tried the ball and light touch massage but it didn't do as much as walking around and swaying so I continued to do that.
At about 12:30am, the surges were almost continual. It was getting harder to move around and the tens machine wasnt doing much anymore so Declan requested the gas. They wanted to place the monitor on my belly again to see how the baby was going as I had had some cervical bleeding at 24 weeks. I used the gas while they were monitoring me and they asked if I'd like to know how dilated I was. I said yes as I was curious. I was 7cm! They asked if I'd like to go into the shower as it was in my birth plan. I was very keen for that apparently. They got a Bluetooth monitor for the baby and gas so I could move into the shower. I felt so much better in the shower. It was dark and warm. This is where I also lost track of time. According to Declan, I did a lot of stomping around in the shower during the surges using the gas. Declan queried this with the midwife and they said the stomping can be the bodies indtinual way of giving me something else to focus on other than the pain. I Also plenty of squating and swaying. At about 1:30am I stared feeling a pressure saying I needed to poo. I started saying to Declan that I couldn't do it. That the pain was just too much! Another sign it was close! I breathed through it but 30 minutes later the urge to push was so strong. At 2am they moved me to the bed and I got on all fours. They checked me and I was fully dilated. It was officially go time! I continued to use the gas while I could, swaying my hips back and forth. However this position made my back hurt a lot so Declan continue to massage it while I did my best down breathing. After 30 minutes of bearing down, with little progress the midwife suggested that I try to do it without the gas to help me with my breathing. I agreed and stopped and could already feel the difference. After 15 minutes her head was beginning to crown but was struggling to come out so they suggested a change of position. I got onto my back and continued to bear down where they could actually she the head I bore down on my back for 30 minutes as she continued to crown. However the midwife was concerned about baby's heartbeat being irregular so with Declan's permission they did a small cut to help me get her out. After 15 more minutes of the hardest pushing of my life her head emerged. 30 seconds of waiting and 2 more pushes and she was out! 3:05 am, our beautiful daughter Cora was born. She was placed on my chest for skin to skin for 15 minutes and immediately did a wee and poo on my stomach! They clamped the cord after 3 minutes , and Declan cut the cord. Then they gave me the injection.
After 12 minutes the placenta came out but it was incomplete. The midwife was concerned about the amount of blood I was losing. She paged the other midwife who called a code pink immediately. One minute the room was empty, the next minute it was full of people racing around doing things. Cora was given to Declan and taken to the other side of the room to be checked. I wasn't really aware of what was happening, but Declan said they were concerned about the tonal blood from my uterus and also how the blood from the cut hadn't stopped. They said that they wanted to take me to theatre to ensure that everything was ok. They rushed me down and checked my uterus and bleeding and removed several large clots. They also stiched up the cut. I woke up in recovery at 7am and was very keen to get back to Cora and Declan. The brought be back up to them and I had more skin to skin cuddles straight away.
I wasn't aware of this at the time but I Declan told me after that I had lost over 2.5 litres of blood. So because of this they wanted to keep me in overnight to monitor both me and Cora to make sure that we were ok.
The last bit of the labour didn't go as expected, but I am so happy I had the natural and active labour I wanted! I feel quite proud of myself, part of me thought that I would want the epidural or struggle with the transition stage but I got through it and it was so worth it!
30 hours of labour and I am so glad I did the hypnobirthing course and hired the tens machine!