I first noticed ‘wave like’ back pains on the Friday night, they were intense enough to keep me awake but I just put Surge of the Sea and Rainbow Mist on repeat and breathed through it, snoozing in between what I later realised were surges. I couldn’t understand why the pain was in my back, they felt like surges in that they were wave-like and were coming at 10 min intervals.
Went to hospital at about 9am Sat morning (only because I thought my fluid has started leaking the morning before and labour hadn’t started) so they said to pop in and they’d see of the fluid was amniotic. Turns out it wasn’t so I was free to go home. Yay! In the mean time the back pain had gone away, or lessened, so I figured it may have just been really early labour pain or maybe a false alarm.
Anyway on way home from hospital, the back pain reappeared with a vengeance and I couldn’t really talk during the surges. Got home and just quietly worked through it, really just breathing, relaxation in between surges and surge breathing during surges. I had a bath and did a few slow laps of the back deck. Managed to snooze in between surges, listening to Surge of the Sea. After about an hour I realised the pain was at the front as well and I found the only place I could get comfortable was sitting on the toilet. That’s where Mum found me and asked me to tell her when the surges were starting and finishing (because I wasn’t making any noise, she couldn’t tell!). Turns out they were 5 mins apart!! So we head up to the hospital.
We get there and we get a calm birthing midwife and she’s quick to remind me about the importance of keeping my jaw relaxed. Yippee! She says to me ‘I can tell that you’re only about 1cm (from my behaviour and the timeline, I’m guessing) so I’m not going to do a vaginal exam’. I’m equal parts pleased and heartbroken because while I’m glad she’s respecting my wish not to have too many dilation updates, it dawns on me that I’ve got potentially another 14 hours of this. And to be honest, I started to lose heart a bit. I went straight to my fave place, on the toilet and hunkered down, just breathing through it all. I tell Mum that I’m not sure I can go that long without pain relief and she tells me not to focus on the time, just to keep breathing. Anyway, about 45 mins later, the midwife says ‘let’s just do an examination hey? You might be curious’. Damn straight I was! Anyway, turns out I was 6cms!!! She said she felt so awful about saying I was 1 but she said I was so calm that there was no way I could have been that far progressed! ‘Fill the bath!!! Fill the bath’ so we start filling it but then bub’s heart rate starts decelerating and midwife wants to keep an eye on that before we get in bath. She tells me I have to let her know when I’m surging because she can’t tell because I’m not making any noise! Woah!
Anyway, it all gets pretty full-on from here. It’s agreed that I shouldn’t birth in bath because heart rate is so low and I’m dilating really quickly so I need to start pushing to get her out asap. The ob arrives, takes a look at bub and realises the cord is wrapped around her neck twice so he calls for forceps because she has to get out, stat. So they give me some gas and get about getting her out. And out she comes!
The most amazing part is that when things got a bit scary toward the end, I don’t ever recall feeling like anything was out of my control or feeing terrified. I just went with it and I put that down to the ‘I will remain calm whatever turn my birthing takes’ affirmation which I really related to pre-birth.
Mum was absolutely astounded at how calm I was the entire time. And I can’t say how great the Glove of Enorphins was. Actually, Mum and I used a combo of that and soft touch. So earlier on in the labour at the hospital, Mum gently stroked the back of my hand and the relief was instant and wide-spread. So much so that I didn’t let Mum stop doing it during the entire labour!!! Which, by the way, ended up being 3.5 hours!! And Jade (my husband) even managed to watch on, despite his medical phobia stuff, which was special too.
So that’s how Emily May came into the world. And even though the conditions at the end were far from calm I feel like Emily and I were, and that’s all thanks to Hypno. Oh and despite her dramatic entrance, she is so laid back now and I look back on my birth with such a sense of accomplishment, pride and positivity. I’d also like to give a shout out to the incredible staff at John Flynn, Maxine was an incredible, supportive and intuitive midwife who went above and beyond, always respecting my wishes and played a pivotal part in making sure Emily arrived safely.
Kelly, Nerang, Gold Coast