Updated: Aug 17, 2020
On Tuesday the 28th of April I went to my usual doctor's appointment. I was 36+3 weeks pregnant and because of covid 19 I hadn't seen my doctor in about 2-3 weeks as all appointments were over the phone at this time. She did her usual checkup and noticed my blood pressure was high. This was concerning to her as I got pre-eclampsia at the end of my first pregnancy and had taken aspirin from 12-36 weeks as a preventative measure. My doctor asked me to come to back that Thursday so she could keep an eye on my rising blood pressure. Thursday came around so I went back and to no surprise my blood pressure was still rising so she made me an appointment at ultra sound services to check the baby's wellbeing. My doctor and I also decided to try a vaginal examination and stretch and sweep as we had previously spoken about induction and I knew I didn’t want to have to go down that path unless it was completely medically necessary. Things sounded promising, she explained I was 2cm dilated and my cervix was less than a cm long but she booked me in for an induction on May the 5th giving me 5 days to go into labor on my own which she was confident would happen.
I went to my last ultrasound appointment later that afternoon. I had been to the ultrasound services a few times now as I had a Low PAPP A score so had to keep an eye on the baby's development. When she scanned me this time, she noticed I had lost a lot of fluid and asked if I had been leaking. I had been having wet patches but never a continuous leak or abrupt burst so I thought it was just a normal discharge and when I spoke to the doctor about it, she didn’t think It was my waters either. Everything else was fine so I made my way home and, on the way, I started having Braxton-hicks so I was hoping it would progress into the real thing.
That night I noticed I had a missed call from the doctor so I called her back. She was so concerned about the amount of fluid I had lost she asked if I would be okay to go to the hospital in the morning for an induction. I was so scared but I agreed. I was still having Braxton-hicks and I was still hoping it would progress and I wouldn’t need the induction. We dropped Hamish off at his nanna moos and came home. I went to bed and put on my hypnobirthing meditations and tried to relax as much as I could.
I woke up throughout the night and the Braxton-hick's contractions had stopped so I was a little upset but I would remind myself I still had time until I woke up to my alarm. It was then I knew my baby was going to enter this world via induction but I wasn’t going to give up. We gathered all my things and made our way to the hospital. When we arrived, I was given a room in the maternity ward, had my blood pressure taken and hooked up to the monitor while waiting for the labor ward to be free.
It had been a few hours so I was starting to get a bit restless, the only thing that made me feel better was the fact the midwife noticed I had slipped my birth preferences at the back of my folder and insisted she read them so she could still follow them as much as possible. When I was finally taken down to the labor ward, I was so anxious I was shaking. I asked to have my waters broken first and have a few hours to see if I would go into labor without the false hormones and even though the doctor didn’t think I would she let me try anyways. I was so anxious I was crying. It was like I just knew I wasn’t going to be able to get labor going on my own. Dylan held my hand and they broke my waters so I put in my head phones to get into my own space. I was hooked up to the monitor still so the midwife brought over the birthing ball and turned off the lights.
I focused on being completely relaxed and entered the birthing space I had created, before I knew it, I felt the surges begin. I was over the moon. I kept myself as relaxed as possible and used the breathing techniques I had learnt and practiced throughout my pregnancy. The timeframe I was given had passed and I wasn’t progressing as fast as the doctor would've liked so I had the synthetic oxytocin put into the drip. At this point I knew I had done everything I could to try and birth without the false hormones but it wasn’t the way my baby was going to be born. I was more content than I was scared now.
In my birth preferences I had included that I didn’t want to know the time or how far dilated I was. I knew I could trust my body to know I far along I was. Movement was key to me in my labor it really eased the discomfort so I opted to have a clip put onto the baby's head and have him monitored that way as the straps were just not working and kept falling off which was not only frustrating but very distracting. Laying on my side with the bed in an upright position and I noticed the surges were so strong I couldn’t focus on my birth space and breathing techniques were no longer easing the pain and only just enough to keep me calm so I asked for the gas but my midwife stuck to my preferences and encouraged me to keep going. I don’t think that long had passed but I was certain I wanted help to relax so I asked for the gas again. It worked wonders. I was so relaxed I was able to focus once again.
I was visualizing myself rising to the top of the room with the start of each surge and slowly making my way back down as they passed. It was almost like having an out of body experience. This is not what I had planned to visualize it's just what came to me so I rolled with it. Then it was like my body just took over, I found myself laying limp over the top of the bed head waiting for the surges and as they came my body would slowly squat down. I was encouraging the baby down and out. I had an incredible experience when I felt my baby’s drop down in my cervix so for a second, I took my headphones out and told the midwife what I had experienced. She confirmed it had actually happened and that the monitor read the baby had moved down.
Now with the movement of my body up and down the bed head I could hear my affirmations getting louder as my surges peaked and quitter as they disappeared encouraging me to breathe my baby down. My body decided this time on the way down the bedhead I would go to the side which freaked Dylan out. I heard him yell I was going to fall and he pushed my back so I wouldn’t. I knew I wasn’t going to fall. I had complete trust in my body, and I was holding onto the railing of the bed but the feeling of the pressure on my back from Dylan was so soothing I had him do it each time I felt the surge. I would grab his hands and place them on my back. I do remember also yelling at him once or twice to push.
Only a few surges later I heard slight crying and I had the nurse tap me on the shoulder telling me I needed to push so I took out my head phones and realized everyone was telling me to push and I had actually given birth but needed a little extra push to get the rest of his body out. He was here. I held him close to my chest and birthed my placenta which was placed next to me so I could have delayed cord clamping. George spent the first hour of his life on my chest feeding and bonding before he was weighed and measured.
I felt an immense amount of love and so empowered. My decisions were both informed and honored which enabled me to birth my way.