Isabella Jane born 4 August 2013

20130804_192350_resizedHello everyone. Just wanted to share the exciting news about our little early arrival ” Isabella Jane. Born August 4 at 715pm, gold coast hospital birth centre, 6.7lbs ” originally due August 20.
Our beautiful girl came earlier than expected but is healthy and content and we are so pleased to have her on this side of the world!
I thought I would share our birth story with those who may be interested while it is still fresh in my mind!
I finished work with 4 weeks before my due date and was so pleased to have time to just focus and plan for baby. The first week I cleaned any and all parts of the house. I thought nesting meant just preparing baby’s room but turns out it can mean cleaning anything in sight and seeing any and every cobweb. I thought ‘wow I’m preparing for the arrival of someone who won’t even know what cobwebs are!’ Nonetheless it felt great to do it. We also got our car seat installed and hospital bag packed and all baby washing done which was something I had been waiting till then to do. Needless to say it was a big first well off but it was great. The next week was so much more relaxing but by the Friday I woke up and said to ben ‘I feel ready for her to come’. Apparently she took that literally!
I booked in for acupuncture with Pip sparks ” who coincidentally was also my Midwife for Isabella’s birth. She is wonderful I would recommend her for anyone considering that treatment. Ps I also recommend Anne at power of touch massage in ashmore for  pregnancy massage ” she is amazing!
Anyways ” I had one acupuncture treatment the first week off and another the Thursday my second week off. Friday morning at 10am I was walking through the shops when I started to feel like I was peeing myself. It was enough to make me think and head to the toilet. By the time I got to my car I had quite a situation ” Thank goodness for black pants! I got to my car and went to the trunk to get a towel which I had packed in case only to discover ben had thought I thoughtfully packed it for surfing and had used it. I was fortunate to have a blanket in my car so used that to sit on. By the time I got home my bum was totally soaked and so was the blanket. FYI- pack a towel in your car ” and tell hubby not to use it! ” even better buy those blue rectangle pads that are waterproof and used in hospitals (perfect for bed at night time and car seats).
To continue I called the birth Centre to confirm my situation and she said it was pretty clear what had happened. As I wasnt due for another two weeks it came as a bit of a shock but I was 37.5 weeks so within the range of full term. I’m not sure what caused the early labor but it was probably a variety of things ” I do believe she was ready to come judging by her size and everything but as I will tell you labor wasn’t very progressive which means to me maybe I had pushed too hard with acupuncture etc? We will never know!
After my waters broke I headed to the birth centre for an external check of me and baby. They were pleased with all of my signs (no fever, no sign of infection, no baby distress, etc) and allowed us to head home to try and wait for labor. I was having steady 7 min apart contractions at that time but they were braxton hicks and not very productive. We were so pleased and thankful to head home. It allowed me the time to practice my hypnobirthing techniques and relax in a safe and comfortable environment. My contractions picked up throughout the day but by later in the night had dropped off and had been getting stronger but largely remained inconsistent in time. I listened to my affirmations, practiced my breathing and relaxed using the scripts. I listened to the affirmations everyday before that on my way to work and found that so helpful with having positive thoughts in my mind in times of need (for example during my acupuncture visits or stressful moments).
Ben and I were disappointed we didn’t have a baby by the next day and had gotten very little sleep that night. The next day I reported to the birth centre for a check up where we discussed our options ” Go home and wait some more or induce and get started. As all of my signs were again very low risk we decided to go home but made an appointment for 10am the next day having decided 48 hours was our personal cutoff. Again I’m so grateful we had that opportunity and again I was able to remain comfortable and practice my birthing techniques. My contractions were fairly steady at my appointment in the morning but fizzled by afternoon. Another FYI ” the midwife we saw suggested ben and I go for a walk on the beach and go for lunch and just enjoy the day rather than head home and wait. This was the best advice and I definitely recommend doing that if you find yourself in this situation! Pip offered me an acupuncture session to bring on labor and we did that in the afternoon. This involved same needle points as usual but much more stimulation ” twisting of the needles (now you can understand why hypnobirthing techniques were useful!) She also marked me with acupressure points which I used a lot that night! I think this helped and my contractions started again throughout the night. I also drank raspberry leaf tea, went for a few walks, read the opening of the Lotus flower etc. The contractions progressed and by 8am we were back at the birth centre 2 hours ahead of our induction time. This was good as it allowed me to really try to bring on labor in the right environment. However, unfortunately for us my labor did progress but at a slow rate. One thing I will say is that the ladies at the birth centre said I looked too calm and happy to be in labor. One team leader mid wife was actually pretty insulting as she gave me a strange look and made me feel very doubtful of my instincts. Two hours later we chose to do an internal exam and found out my cervix was very thin and dilated 3cm. They were very impressed and I was so pleased because I really had felt I had done some good work while at home and it was nice to have that confirmed! However our midwife suggested that even though things were headed in a good direction it might be a good idea to start the induction process. I was a bit iffy as this was not something I was excited about knowing the high rate incidence of epidurals as well as the intensity of contractions during labor. But ben and I discussed our options and decided to start with a slow drip of an inducement iv. This was annoying because I had to drag the IV stand everywhere with me.. I must say though because I was 4cm dilated and had a fully thinned cervix at this point the contractions were tolerable. Hats off to anyone who needs to be induced without having had contractions or cervix dilation!
My labor progressed after the induction and I was really set into the swing of things. I had my hypnobirthing Rainbow (track) playing and affirmations the entire time after that. I had already had to cross out my desire for a water birth as with the higher rate of infection with having had my waters break over 18 hours before they were not willing to risk it. I was completely fine with this even though it was my first choice. I definitely believe in remaining flexible and not letting your preferences get the better of your common sense. Instinct, instinct, instinct was so important throughout the entire labor and I am so glad we trusted ours!
I was induced at 1030am August 4th and had baby Isabella 9 hours later still maintaining a natural birth process (no pain relief at all). I must say about mid way through I went in the shower where I enjoyed a little relief for about 30 minutes. They had to remove the contraction and baby heart rate device strapped to my stomach to do this though so they weren’t wanting me to stay in too long. I also had my good friend the IV drip stand beside me to make
it more tricky. The transition out of the shower was so tough and I had quite a moment where I sincerely doubted my ability to cope and begged for an epidural or for it all to stop ” bit late for that. Ben and the midwife encouraged me to just play it by ear and go in half an hour intervals ” checking again for dilation. Unknown to me they were ramping up my iv drip… I didn’t know this but ben told me after and had chosen to keep it to himself ” he made the right choice there!! After that point my body started getting the desire to push. As Melissa said this comes so naturally and without thought. You just change within yourself and start breathing differently. Again ” listen to those instincts. I had a few moments where it all felt like too much I must be honest but in the last few hours I just dug within myself and ‘went deeper’. Isabella was born between using a birthing stool and standing leaning on a bed. One thing I must advise is getting up off the birthing stool frequently as I stayed there for the better portion of the last couple hours and have some bruising and swelling from being in that position too long with such intensity.
Once Isabella arrived life changed completely and everything I had just gone through was irrelevant. Meeting your baby for the first time is amazing! We enjoyed skin to skin and she started breast feeding -something we still need to work on. Another note is that if you are induced for labor they want to induce you for the delivery of your placenta too. The midwife put a needle in my leg just telling me what she was doing but didn’t ask. To be honest I didn’t care anymore and wanted it out but it hadn’t been my preference so again remaining flexible was important.
I had chosen to birth at the birth centre in part because I loved the idea of the three of us going home 4-6 hours after birth. However baby and I had to stay overnight and Ben had to leave us to go home as they are no facilities for dad’s at GCH. They wantedto keepan eyeon baby for signs of infection. This was one of my original concerns birthing at a public hospital. But we went with the flow and again just remaining flexible is helpful. I also believe and trusted at the time that the most important thing was the health of this baby and that everyone is just trying to keep her safe. Everyone had opinions but it’s just using that knowledge we have learned, asking plenty of questions and trusting your instincts that will guide you.
One note to the dad’s ” Ben was absolutely amazing and I credit him largely but also the hypnobirthing training. It really gave him the confidence and understanding to approach this birth informed and feeling prepared. He had a very active role ” was always with me, asked tons of questions, cut the cord and had skin to skin afterwards. He was so important to have there and even though I wanted to hit him at times ” purely my discomfort and mental state and not anything he was doing wrong ” I truly feel so grateful having gone through all of that together.
As I lay here this morning after only an hour or so of sleep ” listening to screaming babies as I share with 3 other women and some discomfort ” I just wish the very best for all of you in your upcoming births. Remember to believe in yourself and trust your instincts. You are capable of more than you would ever know before this experience and it will go smoothly and wonderful ” regardless of whichever path your birthing takes. Remember to keep an open mind and really trust and rely on your birth partner.
Sorry for the long story. I hope some of it may be useful. I definitely feel that my hypnobirthing experience was so crucial to the entire birth and it helped me in so many ways. Don’t be afraid to fully embrace it and use any of the techniques any way you wish! Melissa ” Thank you for your guidance and advice. Your voice was a constant source of peace and wisdom during my birthing and I am so grateful. Thank you to you lovely mum’s who have already shared your stories and I look forward to hearing about everyone else’s as well! And definitely will organize a mummy and bub catch up in the coming months.
Best wishes to you all and sending you much strength and serenity as you approach your birthing day! Xo
I attached a couple of photos. Sorry for the shot of me and bub it is straight after birth. But I wanted to show how energized I looked ” and felt. I could not believe the adrenaline I am still experiencing and the energy I have after such little sleep over the 3 days and 9 hours of intense labor! One definite bonus of pain relief free birth!
Jacqueline, Ben and Isabella
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