Sarah’s birth story
I woke up at 6am with period cramps so just lay in bed with my eyes closed relaxing. Eve my 3 year old daughter woke at 7am and the first thing she said to me was “I think my baby sister is going to come today!” And I said “maybe? I hope so!”
The cramps continued and little surges were starting to come in and out but I wasn’t timing them and just ignored them while I made Eve breakfast and tidied the kitchen. I lost my mucus plug throughout the morning which made me think maybe this is really going to happen today!
I played with Eve while bouncing on my fit ball for a couple more hours.
At about 11am The surges grew more intense to the point where I would have to stop playing with Eve and focus and breathe through each one so I knew it was time for Adam to drop her at my mums house so I could put on my Hypnobirthing tracks and relax for a couple of hours. I then had a shower, tidied the house and sat on my fit ball listening to my HB tracks. I also had a warm wet flannel with drops of lavender oil that I was breathing into with each surge and this was really helping too (I used lavender oil as my relaxation trigger throughout the pregnancy- a few drops in the corner of the shower each night smells amazing as it steams up and is so relaxing!)
When Adam returned I asked him to put the tens machine on me and once I started using it I said to him “wow I can deal with surges all day with this thing on!” It made such a big difference and I was loving the “boost” function.
As Adam put our hospital bags in the car and was getting ready I felt myself going deeper into the tracks and walking around the house with my eyes closed swaying my hips during the surges and I found that leaning over the table and pushing down onto it helped me through them, I also asked Adam to massage my lower back and put pressure on my sacrum with each surge which felt great.
By 1pm Adam looked at my tens machine and saw contractions had gone from 4-5 mins apart to 2.5 mins apart pretty quickly so he called Ashford and told them we were coming and requested the room with the bath and a midwife who is well versed in Hypnobirthing. They told him the room with the bath would be ready for us when we got there and when he told me that I was so happy and relieved.
He told me he thought it was time to go to the hospital and I said “no I’m still in my thinking brain!” (But I don’t think I really was at that point)
Anyway he encouraged me and persuaded me that it was time to go and looking back I’m so grateful that he did, surges in the car sitting down were a bit harder to deal with. To get through the drive I had my eyes closed, headphones in, tens machine on, hot wheat bag on my belly and was gripping onto the car handle and pulling down with each surge.
2.30pm we were walking into hospital and getting to the maternity ward took a while. Any sudden movement of my body was triggering a surge. Getting out the car triggered one. Then we walked in and Adam did all the paperwork/check in stuff and I had a surge on the desk that I had to lean over for a breathe through. They were getting very intense now and I was definitely in my primal brain now. Waking down the hall way to maternity ward I had 2 intense surges that I had to stop for and I hung onto Adams neck and pulled down on him.
We entered our birthing suite with the bath and the lovely midwife Chanel did some monitoring (10 mins of standing in one place was all a could handle before needing to walk and move and pee) and she did a cervical check (which I didn’t enjoy and triggered a surge) but I requested she tell Adam how dilated I was and not to tell me which neither of them did. (I found out later I was 5/6 cm at that point)
From the monitoring she told me my contractions were “coupling” where I would finish one and another would start straight away and then I would get a 2 minute break or so.
I kept asking if I could get in the bath yet and no one seemed to be giving me the all clear so Adam just went over and turned the water on and started filling it up and I was so grateful for this!!! He also sorted the lighting by turning it all down low, blinds closed and scattered candles all around the room -it was so beautiful.
By this point the tens machine wasn’t working and I kept pressing the boost button and wondering why it wasn’t working as it didn’t feel any different. I was worried what the surges would be like once I took it off but I took it off and got straight into the warm bath which felt AMAZING! Instant relief from surges and it felt like my whole body relaxed as I immersed my entire body into the water with just my head poking out resting on a flannel.
Adam put the Bluetooth speaker next to the bath and played my Hypnobirthing playlist.
Surges were getting very intense now and I asked the midwife if I could have the gas and so they brought it in for me.
I’m not sure it did much but I got myself into a little routine where I would start breathing up on the gas at the start of a surge and continue through the contraction, then keep hold of it in my hand waiting for the second surge to come. Then after the second surge I knew I would have my big 2 min break so I would put the gas down and rest my head on the flannel and be almost asleep resting with my eyes closed. The breaks felt so nice and long and the slight head spins from the gas felt nice. Adam stayed next to the bath by my side the whole time.
Dr Lane my obstetrician and midwife Sally were so respectful of my birth preferences, they spoke quietly when in the room and would always speak to Adam first so that Adam could either answer for me or he could ask me anything they needed to know at the right time when I was not experiencing a surge. This meant I could be in my own little world and I felt uninterrupted and calm.
Just before 5pm I had about 4 or 5 big surges that felt so intense they made me feel like I maybe couldn’t do this and I told Adam. He assured me I was doing great and promised me it was not much longer to go.
The last surges in the bath I found myself “pushing” uncontrollably and making deep grunting noises from my belly. I couldn’t stop it and my belly was tensing up out of the water with each surge.
Dr Lane and Sally must have noticed the change in my surges and behaviour and they asked Adam to ask me if I felt like I needed to bear down and when he asked me I said I didn’t know because I could feel these pushing sensations happening in my stomach muscles and not so much in my pelvis. They said they thought it was time to get out the bath and I was a bit worried about getting out and it not being fully dilated so I asked Adam if it wasn’t time to push do they promise me I can get back in the bath? And they all said yes so I agreed.
5.06pm They helped me out the bath and once I was standing and gravity kicked in I could then feel all the pressure in my pelvis, vagina and bum and knew it was pushing time.
Dr Lane asked me to lie on the bed and I tried but it triggered a surge and I immediately said there’s no way I can lie down and told them I wanted to stand over the bed so they all agreed and moved the bed up to a good height for me to lean over. Adam was on the other side holding onto both my hands.
All of a sudden I felt a HUGE rush of adrenaline pump through my body and I felt like I “woke up” and came back down to earth. Adam said I just popped my head up, opening my eyes and said “wow I just got an adrenaline rush!” with a big smile on my face. All of a sudden I felt so alert.
Then the next surge started and my body starting bearing down automatically.
Dr Lane was sitting behind me on a stool encouraging me with each surge but not pressuring me to push just telling me I was doing great and that she was coming down with each surge and not going back up again which I was happy about.
He asked me if I wanted to feel the head as she crowned and I reached down to feel and I felt her head! I was so happy she was nearly here.
I kept baring down with each surge and Dr Lane asked if I could feel stretching or burning yet and I said no. He said I was stretching beautifully. Then all of a sudden I felt this stretching and burning he was talking about and this motivated me that the head was almost out. It wasn’t painful at all just an intense stretch sensation. I kept pushing past this point as it felt good to push and then Dr Lane told me to start panting as the head was coming out so I began to pant and then the head popped out! It was such a relief!
I reached down and had her whole head in my hand! It was amazing, then I had what seemed like such a LONG break before the next contraction- just standing there with the head out! Dr Lane told me she would be out after the next surge as the shoulders would come out. When the next surge came I began to push and I felt him hook her top shoulder out and then her whole body just flew out after this little manoeuvre! He caught her and I heard her cry and the relief I felt was INSTANT!
He passed her through my legs and I put her on my chest and they helped me onto the bed to lie down with her on my chest for immediate skin to skin. I was SO ELATED and relieved and said “we did it Bubba!!!” to Sadie and just lay there on such a high. Adam cried and hugged Dr Lane. It was the best moment. I couldn’t believe I did it, and pushed her out all by myself.
I asked for a physiological 3rd stage and it was only about 10 mins before the placenta came out with one little push.
I had a small second degree tear down the midline so Dr Lane stitched me up.
I asked Adam to change the playlist to “Sadie’s birthday playlist” and we enjoyed listening to some beautiful songs playing while the lights were still dim and candles still going. It was the most beautiful and perfect moment.
No one took Sadie from me she stayed skin to skin with me for about 5 hours! They just wiped her down a bit and put a blanket on us. She latched pretty quickly after and had a breastfeed. Our midwife Sally was amazing and did not try to rush us at all and said weighing and measuring can wait so we did these things about 5 hours after birth and then I got up to have a shower and Adam had some skin on skin time with Sadie.
Thank you Megan for your amazing course. I had the most beautiful and positive birth and I am so grateful I was able to receive the education that empowered me to ask for exactly what I wanted. I felt so prepared and ready for birth this time around. The midwife we had for the first part of the birth actually came back to visit us the next day and thanked us for letting her be a part of such a beautiful birth, she said she really enjoyed seeing a natural birth and Adam and I working together as partners as it is rare for the midwives to see this at this hospital. I was so proud ❤️