Lee born 5 March 2012

IMG_0737-150x150Things started happening early in the morning on Monday 5th March when I was woken up by some irregular but convincing surges at around 3am.  I put on my rainbow relaxation track and managed to fall back to sleep for an hour and a half but was incorporating the surges into my dreams ” so they were certainly still there.  At 5am I woke again and decided to time my surges which went from 8 minutes apart to 4 minutes apart within the space of an hour and a half or so.  At this stage I was feeling very relaxed and finding the surges very manageable,

although I was having to stop, concentrate and breath through each one.  It’s amazing the difference it made having my body relaxed as I met each surge rather than fighting against it which I had done last labour.  With the house still quite (with Hugh and Zoe still asleep) I spent some time on the fitball listening to some affirmations and at 7am decided to call my midwife to let them know what was going on.  Given my surges had gone from 8 minutes apart to 4 minutes apart relatively quickly, we decided to head into the hospital.  Before leaving Hugh read me the depthometer script and we set out feeling relaxed but excited that we’d be meeting our boy very shortly.

At the hospital we were given the opportunity to settle in and make ourselves comfortable without any interference, tests or monitoring.  We were met there by our Doula (Simone), student MW (Taylor) and our midwives (Jane & Julie).  Although these were not the midwives we had originally though would be there for the birthing day, we had built up a good rapport with them and felt very comfortable with them.

IMG_0739-e1332466017422-132x150My surges slowed down initially when we arrived at the hospital and I felt like some fresh air, so after Simone popped in a few acupuncture needles, we took the fire stairs down to the hospital grounds so I could have a wander and my birth companions could get a coffee.  My surges started coming on pretty powerfully at this stage but I was still feeling great ” strong and in control.  After a while we took the fire stairs back up to the birthing suite and jumped into the bath for the next couple of hours.

IMG_0742-150x150We put “comfort zone” in the CD player and I found this REALLY helped to get me in the zone (I almost hadn’t purchased it because I wasn’t sure I would use it). Being in the water was wonderful and while the surges were very strong at this stage, I was still finding them very manageable.

IMG_0744-150x150Between surges Hugh was reading the deepening script and during the surges was using the light touch massage which was heavenly in conjunction with the water.  There were a few times when I started feeling a bit overwhelmed with the surges ” a few moments of self doubt, but Hugh used the techniques we had learned and affirmations we’d been practicing to help bring my focus back to the task at hand!

The next few hours I alternated between the fit ball and the bed ” listening to my body and either resting or staying active depending on what I needed.  At around 7pm my (? hind) waters broke and the MWs noticed that they were ever so slightly meconium stained.  At this stage the MW suggested that it may be an idea to do an internal to check how things were progressing.  I was happy for her to do this

(especially in the context of the meconium) but didn’t want to know how dilated I was unless I was significantly dilated.  A quick check showed that I was 8-9cm dilated, with bulging waters, but with the same persistent
anterior lip of my cervix that had delayed the second stage for so long with my first labour.  At this stage the MW suggested a few ideas of things we could do to get the baby out a little faster (which I was happy to do in the context of the meconium).
We opted for an ARM & she also pushed back the anterior lip and I almost immediately felt that it was time to start breathing my baby down.  I spent a good hour or so using the birthing breaths and could feel my baby moving gradually down.  At this stage however, bub started passing copious amounts of meconium and the MWs suggested that it might be time to start actively pushing him out.  This was one of the only times during the whole experience that I started to feel a bit panicked, but at the same time I then felt excited that I felt panicked (? transition) because I knew that it meant we were so close to meeting our little guy.  After around an hour of guided pushing, Lee arrived into the world a perfect beautiful little soul!  The delivery itself was the most amazing experience ” having had a very traumatic ‘instrumental delivery’ last time, I never knew that it would feel so amazing to deliver my own baby.  I felt so incredibly powerful and it healed me in a way that almost 3 years of counselling had been unable to do!   Although we did err from our birthing preferences on a couple of points, I am so happy with how things went and happy that we were consulted every step of the way and included in the decision making process.  I think personally by being in a great headspace it made it easier to make clear rational decisions during the latter part of the delivery ” and I know we made the right decisions given our unique circumstances.

Unfortunately both Lee and myself had some complications post birth and we both needed to be transferred to a bigger hospital for further management.  He had managed to inhale some meconium and wound up needing to spend some time in the special care nursery and I had a significant post partum bleed and retained my placenta which required a manual removal.  Even with these complications, I still had an overwhelming sense that everything was going to be ok and I fully accredit this to Hypnobirthing!  I think Hugh even utilised a few sleep breaths while having to watch Lee have various drips and lines inserted in the SCN!

Thanks Melissa for your help and guidance.  This birthing experience was an incredible experience ” powerful, healing, cathartic.  K xoxo

Kate and Hugh, Murwillumbah NSW

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