A moving account of a challenging but empowering birth experience for this wonderful couple. Posted with permission.
Oh Alice – it was the opposite of everything that I would have planned but I felt empowered and armed with the necessary information to make sure I was making the decisions and arming myself with all the info and asking all the questions at the relevant points so I feel happy with my decisions and like it was my experience.
I can’t tell you how many times we have discussed how thankful we are we did the hypnobirthing course and how empowered it’s made us feel over the last few days 😊
So…Thursday night my waters burst spontaneously and spectacularly (just like in the films even though I know that’s unusual) and we headed off to get checked out even though I knew for certain they had gone and had soaked my dress and three tea towels. I knew the drill was that from a policy perspective they would want labour to start in 24 hours and I knew what I needed to do to try and help that happen (the midwife on delivery suite was very impressed 😇)
They booked me in for an induction on Friday night at 11 pm and explained that was my choice and that we could discuss nearer the time. I went for a lovely walk, afternoon tea, did lots of ball bouncing and by 5 pm contractions had started but were irregular and not very strong
We went back to the MLU at about 11 pm and this is the only real negative part for me. I had decided that I wanted to give it a bit more time and see if I could get into established labour on my own – I had all the info and I had a plan, was tracking my temp etc but the midwife who saw us I felt was a bit of a bully and essentially kept arguing against what I was saying and saying that in hospitals where they let you go longer than 24 hours after PROM they also give you antibiotics and that was I sure I wanted to risk my baby going into neonatal care for 5 days and that she had seen it happen and basically making me feel a bit spoken down to
So after all that and against the plan that I had been very confident in up to that point I went onto the mat ward for that gel (pro-something)? The midwife I had here though was amazing and picked up straight away on the fact I wasn’t 100% happy and bleeped the consultant so I could ask all my questions and make sure I wanted to go ahead before we did anything so that was amazing
Long story short I had a good chat with the consultant- she was super open and helpful and we went ahead with the gel but then when they monitored me the trace wasn’t good so I got taken up to labour ward. They knew that I wanted to be mobile and said we could set up the telemetry but wanted to check things first so I was all strapped up and unfortunately things never got better enough to get swapped over ☹ Contractions stopped and monitoring still wasn’t excellent but I felt I was being totally supported and listened to and that we were active contributors to the plan. I said I was happy to try syntocinon drip but that if things didn’t improve I didn’t want to go down the fetal blood sampling route I wanted to have an elective c section before it ended up being a panicked emergency with a distressed baby.
Clearly (just because that seemed to be the order of the day) his trace got even worse on the drip and so they stopped it and we went off to theatre in a very calm and positive fashion which was amazing. Everyone was so lovely 😊
I got given a spinal but for some reason could still move my legs so they tried a second and I could still move my legs (and the anaesthetists were flummoxed but we were all laughing about it) but was numb enough on my belly for the op to go ahead. It was a super natural caesarean and we watched him be born which was AMAZING but then I realised my belly maybe wasn’t quite so numb so I had to have a quick general (literally everything that could have gone against my preferences did 😂). I did have a quick bit of skin to skin before I went out and everything after I woke up was fab
Anaesthetics are going to invite me to an outpatient appt so we can discuss my apparent medical marvel resistance to spinals and we came back home yday night. I’m super tired and sort of feel like I’ve been run over about 4 times and swelled to the size of a hippo but other than that and the exception of that one midwife on the MLU I would consider myself to have had a totally positive birth experience albeit nothing like the one I would have planned for myself. I felt in the driving seat and empowered and very supported.
Thanks so much Alice for all your support and interest- I know that things would have gone very differently if I hadn’t done your course and that I would not be feeling as positive as I do now. The course has really fundamentally changed my perspective- I’m usually a bit of a perfectionist and would have considered anything other than breathing my baby out totally naturally a ‘failure’ but the course taught me how much power there is in driving a process and being involved rather than simply focusing on a pre-defined outcome and as a result I’m really chuffed with how I birthed my baby even though it’s not a classic positive birth story 😁
Looking back through our birth pictures I think the lovely thing is how happy everyone (me and the team) looks and that is genuinely how it felt even though circumstances were less than ideal and that’s how it felt and so positive 😊🥰