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Birth Stories – Anna

Anna ~ Bunbury Hospital ~ 14th September, 2019

 

I was wanting an unmedicated, water VBAC following the hypnobirthing practise. We had hired a birthing pool to take with us to the hospital, I had affirmations made up, and I was ready for a calm birth. Id listened to the tracks every single night, I had clary sage in the diffuser from 38 weeks and I had envisioned my birth a million times.

We had an appointment booked with the high risk clinic on the 11th to “speak about my options” and my anxiety was through the roof as I knew this meant induction, as they had told me they didnt want me to go over. I also knew induction ruled out water birth, which the dr had already told me she was against (thank you MGP midwives for helping me stand my ground in that discussion)..
About 3 hours before that appointment I called and cancelled.
We decided to wait (impatiently) for our baby to arrive on her own without a time frame.

Thursday 12th I woke at 2am to very mild cramping but enough so that I couldnt sleep.
We spent that day walking up stairs, bouncing on the ball, taking baths and just going about the day. By Thursday lunch time my surges began getting a little stronger, but would fizzle out after a few hours.
Thursday night things definitely began to amp up and surges were averaging 5 minutes apart, all in my lower back.
10pm we decided it was time to call our amazing birth photographer, Jodi, as things looked as though they were happening! Jodi captured some beautiful, organic photos of my partner and I in our home home.
Friday 13th at 12am we headed off to the hospital, where I was told I was 3cm dilated- so not in active labor. But my body was doing what it needed to do.
Not long after arriving things began to slow right down, and the surges almost stopped completely. Jodi and my sister went home (but not before Jodi captured some more gorgeous photos of us). James and I stayed until 6am before deciding to go home too.
During the day surges were becoming increasingly more intense but still with no regularity. I spent the day in and out of the bath and shower, some surges I had to really focus on breathing through, some I hardly even noticed. My back pain was increasing a lot so 3pm we decided to get checked again to see if things were progressing, where I was told I was still at 3cm dilated (15 hours after the first check), but baby was possibly OP and appeared to be asynclitic (head on an angle and no longer in line with the birth canal), which is possibly why my back pain was so intense with each surge. We were given some exercises to do from Spinning Babies and were sent home.
By 10:30pm surges were increasingly more intense, and I was really needing to focus, but still no regularity (sometimes id have 3 or 4 within 10 minutes, then nothing for about half an hour), by this point I was exhausted and starting to think my VBAC journey was coming to an end.
11pm we again went back to the hospital. Surges were so intense my partner had to bring a wheel chair to the car as I could hardly walk.
After being examined again, I was told I was 5cm dilated- I was now (barely) in active labor.
After being taken to the birthing suite I was given morphine to help ease my back pain and continued to labor in and out of the shower. I was then given sterile water injections as the labor pains were still in my back still hadn’t eased. I labored in and out of the shower for the rest of the night, trying to rest when I could.

Around 4:30am we decided to check to see how I was progressing and I was around 7cm, still with no regular contractions. Some would come in 2 minute intervals, some would have spaces of up to 20 minutes.
5ish-am I began to feel extreme pressure, by this time the morphine had completely worn off so we inflated the birthing pool and in I got, where we decided it was probably time to call Jodi again. (Sorry for waking you up Jodi!)
From here I had increased surges and pressure, but no further progression.

Around 6:30am I had a second round of sterile water injections, which were hands down the most painful thing I have ever experienced! I do not recommend.

Around this time I decided it was time for the epidural, due to the exhaustion I was feeling (we we’re close to 51 hours now). My midwife asked if this was possibly due to entering “transition”, which I very calmly denied.
The pool was emptied and deflated- there goes my natural water birth.
At approximately 7:30 an obstetrics Dr came and preformed an examination, i was still at 7cm and we agree’d for her to break my waters. I was then put on a fluid drip as I was becoming very dehydrated and had bloods taken to be sent away for the epidural. (Just want to add that while the DR was hooking up the drip she had no idea I was having surges, I had to tell her, it was all so calm!)

 
Not long after having my waters broken, I had one VERY long surge. It felt like it lasted forever, and it was the first to be in my front instead of my back. At this point I knew I needed to get in the shower but it was so intense I felt like I couldnt move! But thanks to my amazing midwife and James, I slowly made my way into the shower, the whole time thinking “GIVE ME THE EPIDURAL ALREADY” the second I got under the water something switched in me and my whole body relaxed and I was on all fours. My body instantly did 3 big pushes all on its own. I told James to get in with me and get the moveable tap on my back (poor guy was still fully clothed). Just my luck, the water went cold. I remember yelling “The waters cold! The waters cold!” When my amazing midwife popped her head in and calmy said “are you having a baby Anna? Do you want to come hop in the bath?” This amazing lady never called for the epi, and instead had snuck out to fill the hospital bath for me. I charged out of the room in search of the room with the pool, (James and I accidentally walked into a storage room) all while my body was instinctively pushing. As soon as we got to the bath I was in, and I was pushing. I was still able to talk in small intervals between pushes, but when my body pushed, it pushed! Long and hard! I put my hands down after a while where I could feel babies head and everything else disappeard. She was coming. A few more big pushes, I heard my midwife say so calmly “here she comes! Do you want to help james?” and bless him, he almost jumped in the water with me (still fully clothed and wet from the shower), but instead him and my midwife both pulled her up out of the water and straight onto my chest. Pushing time was just over 30 minutes, and I can very honestly say “pain” was never even a thought. There was no “ring of fire”, and no moment where I thought I couldnt do it. Your body knows what its doing and how to do it, and I told my self that repeatedly in my head. She was here. And she is perfect. Maisie Rayne Meikle was born at 8:52am on the 14th of September, weighing 3550 grams. After getting up out of the bath and back to the birthing suite, I birthed my placenta (naturally). It literally felt like a big blood clot, again no pain, just a “what the fuck was that” moment when it came out. We left Maisie attatched until it stopped pulsating and then James cut the cord.
 
And then around 1pm the same day we got to go home and soak it all up. I will never have the words to express how grateful I am for Jodi. If we werent laughing and chatting, I didn’t even notice her in the room. She captured every detail, every emotion and every aspect of my labour and birth in such a respectful and gentle manor. Jodi stuck around for a few hours after Maisie was born, and captured all our first cuddles and kisses, our family visiting, and all the love in the room, and now I have these memories to cherish forever.

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