Monday morning I lay in bed not awake but not asleep waiting for my alarm, it was around 3:49am
I am startled as I hear Lisa’s voice with excitement say “babe I think it’s time”! I sit up in an instance and meet her in the bathroom where she is looking at the toilet of which showed the (bloodly show) this of course is the mucus plug and the beginnings of labour. Lisa said to me she had been having cramps and most probably surges since 3:00am
As I quickly wake up I think to my self I have been waiting for this moment and I hug and look at Lisa with a nervous but excited look.
Lisa phoned the hospital, the midwife said to take some pan ado land try to get some sleep. That she would probably see us tonight!
As I have not planed anything at work for my absence, I decide I have to go in and treat the morning as normal, knowing that we have hours of early phase labour I open up and write up the sign in and pre-starts, I meet the guys about 6:25am and tell them the news.
I explain that I will have to go at any stage and pass the duties on the one of the boys on site, I do a quick look around and create a list for the handover and grab some materials for the week.
I call Lisa at 8:30 am to see how she is going and just at that moment she was writing me a text msg to ask me to come home, she was progressing and didn’t want to be alone.
I make my way home, and am due around 10:00am but remember we haven’t quite got everything we wanted as we were still a week away from our due date. I call into the chemist to get some oils for Lisa as she had candles burning and the blinds closed trying to stay relaxed and was listening to some nice music she had downloaded for this very moment.
I get what I need and race home -well almost! On the way call into Beth’s house to grab the oil burner.
I make it home and find Lisa doing a load of washing and trying to keep busy but dealing with the Surges when they come along ( around the 7 minute mark ) at this stage.
Lisa decides she wants a bath so we fill it up, set the bathroom to a calm, relaxing environment with the sent of lavender and clary sage.
As Lisa settles in to the warm water of the bath I download the Birthing App on my iPad as it allowed me to time the Surges and see where we were sitting with labour.
An hour goes by and the Surges narrow themselves down to around 5 to 6 minutes and we know that everything is nearing to the hospital trip.
As we did hypnobirthing we were in a good head space and Lisa was quite relaxed and certainly excited.
We had heard stories of people going into hospital too early and having to wait hours and hours for active labour ( which the midwives call 4 + centermetres dilated ) so we were determined to stay at home for as long as possible. We knew that Lisa would be the most relaxed in the home environment rather than a hospital.
Lisa decided she had enough of the bath and wanted to come down stairs on the birth ball and roll back and forth.
As she was for an hour or so Lisa notices that she has a large volume of water come out of her while going to the toilet. She know that this was the waters breaking and rings the maternity ward at the hospital. They ask a series of questions and decide its best to come in as the case of infection is higher with no internal protection.
We grab the last few things for our stay over and I put the bags in the car, it’s about2:30pm.
We make the journey to the hospital, being about 10 minutes down then road we get there and I pull up at the entry and I ask for assistance, the nice lady from information gets a wheelchair for Lisa and starts to wheel her towards Maternity ward. I drive the car over to the parking area and run back in a few minutes.
We get to the reception of the Maternity ward and we are told to have a seat as they need to prepare a room, Lisa having Surges around the 7 minute mark, breathes through them and leans on the chairs of the waiting room. After 15 minutes We are directed in and taken to the birthing room, we meet the midwives on for that shift, we make Lisa comfortable in the room and talk about how everything has been for the day,
Lisa explains that she is hoping to have a perfect all natural hypnobirth and the midwife agrees.
It’s now about 4:00pm and Lisa’s Surges continue at 6 minute intervals for a few hours.
The midwives come and go within the room and I have the music playing, the lights dimed down and the oils burning, the mood is set.
Lisa asks the midwife if she can get into the birth pool and is told that she must be entering active labour of 5 cm dilated to do so or the pool can slow down labour in early stages.
(How would we know she asks without an internal) the midwife says experience and the Surges.
You need to be having 3 within 10 minutes and consistent she explains.
A few more hours go by with a slight change and Lisa has a few contractions 3 minutes apart. We ask with excitement what do you think now?
The midwife is using all her knowledge and experience to make the call and is leaning on doing an internal.
With Lisa having Surges since 3:30 am and continuing through the day and until now we would have thought active labour must be getting close, the midwife has a look at the cervix and tells us that Lisa is only 2 centermetres and far from entering active labour, this certainly put a different mood on the situation, using the techniques and tools learnt in hypnobirthing Lisa had a positive outlook on what had just happened and reminded herself and I that what ever path her birth went it was going to be a beautiful experience.
We wait some more, hours go by, Lisa goes from the shower to the bed to the ball and with the Surges not getting any closer it’s evident that labour is not progressing a quickly as we thought.
It’s now around midnight and Lisa is getting tired. The midwives come in and let us know that there is a room up stairs in the new born ward, somewhere where we can rest the night and see how it goes.
We make it to 2:00am and with Lisa still having Surges she is in need of sleep some how some way.
The nurse comes in and explains the early stage of labour is know for the first timers to carry on for a long time, she insists on having a pethidine injection to give Lisa some much needed rest and to ease the Surges until the morning where in most cases they will kick back in stronger than ever.
Lisa accepts the need for rest and agrees it’s the best thing to do at the time, she finally now can shut her eyes and gain some strength for the next day.
I set myself up on the ledge bed they have and say goodnight to Lisa.
I awake to a midwife or (middude) I named him speaking to Lisa’s about how her rest was, it was about 5:00 am Tuesday morning.
The topic came up about being induced, this was one thing Lisa didn’t want to if She could help it. The midwives explained that the early stage of labour could go on for a while longer and with no change to the Surges this was something to consider.
Again with the Hypnobirthing this was not in the plan, but using the techniques again on thought process and decisions we came to the conclusion that Lisa would like to be induced as it will be a promised way of birthing.
About 8:30am we both confirmed to the doctors and midwives that Lisa would Be induced ASAP.
Mid morning went by and I started asking questions, we were told that there were a large number of women coming in,some even giving birth in the hallway, ( really really busy) in other words.
We were told to just try and be patient and they will come and get us when it was our turn. Meanwhile Lisa is having Surges, again e
very 6 minutes or so. She was doing an amazing job.
Hours and hours go by and I start to get a little more frustrated, not only because Lisa is in pain but the tiredness also I think.
Daylight turned into night and with the sound of all the new born babies it just made it harder to know we were so close and should of had our little one by now.
We spoke between ourselves and thought the next day would be it now as it was10:00pm Tuesday night. The door opened and the midwife came in and said “its time”.
We both were surprised and a thought went through our heads of how on earth is this going to happen being so tired and the middle of the night?
Putting the positive into the situation we made our way down again to the birth suites and went into the room actually next to the one we were in the night before, room 15…
Once again I set the room up with the music, oils and dimmed lighting. Lisa propped herself on the bed (this was where she was most comfortable).
The IV was inserted earlier for the antibiotics, then this was were the oxytocin was released into Lisa’s body.
The feeling was different I admit, knowing that most likely in 12 or less hours we would have our baby girl!
Because of the waters breaking Monday morning and the induction, Lisa was not allowed to enter then pool for a water birth. She had her heart set on it for months prior but having the situation change she adapted and created a positive outlook.
Breaking past midnight and the induction 2 hours in, Lisa was set into a steady rhythm of surges and at last everything seemed to be progressing. Lisa asked, and was given a shot of pethidine-as the pain from the Surges was becoming much more intense! She was relived in minutes, also using the gas and air she was in some pain but it was bearable it looked. Really quite hard for me to see Lisa is pain but all I could do was reassure her of the great job she’s doing.
Time went by, several coffees for me and it was about 2:00 am Wednesday morning.
Lisa was drifting in and out with the surges. The surges were every 3 to 4 minutes now and active labour seemed to be here! The midwife wanted to do another internal and with excitement said she is about 5 centre-metres!
I knew we were getting closer and at the same time Lisa was getting more and more tired. She had not eaten much really for the last couple of days.
The music, oil and dimmed lighting was helping, it seemed for Lisa and her relaxation. Her breathing was amazing and the pain and pressure she could handle using this technique was impressive.
Hours went by, the midwife was in and out off the room all night. Also the med student we met the night before falling asleep I felt all alone sometimes. Just me and my wife, so close yet so far.
With Lisa doing a fantastic job I could see the sunlight coming through the window and it was 6:00am Wednesday morning, Lisa was back with us ” the pethidine had worn off. She was doing it all just with breathing. She was amazing!
The midwife wanted to see how things were looking and carried out an internal only to find the head was just there, inside and so close!
This was amazing to hear and I think it gave Lisa the extra strength the finish the job.
Lisa said she felt this urge to push with the Surges and it was time to bare down! Little by little she came closer with every surge.
With a SURPRISE the midwife says her shift is just about over and she is leaving. We both felt a little annoyed as we felt comforable with the current midwife. Lisa even tried to buy her a bottle of wine to stay! The time came for the swap, a midwife named Judy came in and took control.
She said she was experienced with Hypnobirthing and told Lisa she was doing a fantastic job.
This created confidence within Lisa.
Judy asked me how long she had been on the bed on her back- I said most of the night, as it was most comforable for her. She insisted for Lisa to get up and change position. She tried to lean over the back of the bed on all fours but Lisa wasn’t at all comfortable. Judy suggested the “birthing stool”.
She returned with this small looking hollow chair (it looked like a potty) and Lisa agreed to get out of bed and sit down on it, in a great deal of pain she did so well!
Judy said the chair opens up the pelvis and allows baby to pass through easier. With in half an hour, around 7:30am the progress was fantastic! We could see the babies head crowning back and forth!
With motivation from Judy and myself Lisa could sence how close she was and I was trying to keep her relaxed and positive.
Every Surge and every breath brought the baby closer, she was so close I could now see the head from from the reflection in the mirror! The midwife Judy was on the floor encouraging Lisa to push and breath. So close, the head was completely out and the shoulders appeared, Judy actually yells “I can see her trying to say something”!
Judy asks if Lisa can come back up on the bed to give birth as tearing can be a problem on the stool. But she was to close, “she’s coming”! Lisa said.
With one last push and every effort Lisa could do, out she came, straight from the hands of the midwife up onto Lisa’s chest, the feeling was incredible. I was shaking and so proud of Lisa.
Born at 8:22am Harper Leo Bohringer entered the world.
There she lay on Lisa’s chest, so calm, so relaxed straight away- I was amazed!
The next hour seamed like a day as we just gazed at her while the midwife carried out the paperwork and checks. She was weighed at 3.300 kg and measured 51cm long.
All cleaned up and looking beautiful Harper was wrapped and placed into the little bassinet on wheels. The 3 of us headed upto the new born maternity rooms feeling a sence of accomplishment and excitement.
We hugged Judy and said our thanks.
We stayed the day and night in the room and had the checks by the doctors and midwives. We had been given the most perfect baby and so grateful we are.
We now are given the ok to leave and go home and with the feeling of responsibility and excitement we say good bye to the staff and walk down the hall and out the doors.
Welcoming our baby we are the happiest to announce
Beautiful Harper Leo born 8:22am 5/02/2014
We are forever grateful
Mitch and Lisa, Coombabah, Gold Coast, Queensland