Chrissy’s story:I loved my pregnancy, which surprised me, we always hear about how bad/uncomfortable being pregnant is or about all the complications, I honestly kept expecting something to change and for it to get ‘worse’. When I would tell people I was enjoying being pregnant I would always hear, ‘oh just wait’ or something like that, but for me right up until the day I went into labour I was comfortable, happy and had no complications. I loved watching my body grow and change and experiencing all the ups and downs that came along the way. On Friday morning (19th Feb, at 40weeks + 1day) my waters broke as I got out bed at approx 6am. It was only a small amount and clear so popped on a pad and carried on doing what I had set out to do for the day…. just finishing moving house! I called the hospital to let them know and they asked me to come in so they could quickly monitor bubs. By the time I showered and finished packing a car load of things labour still hadn’t started so I went into the hospital and they hooked me up to the CTG machine. After 20min of monitoring they sent me on my way with instructions to call them that evening for an update or if labour started. Once I got to our new house I set about unpacking the last car load of stuff and then getting ready for what was ahead. I knew I had to go into labour overnight or the hospital would want to induce me in the morning. So I drew the curtains, lit candles, and burned some Clary Sage. I stuck my affirmation pictures to the wall and bounced/swayed on my fit ball listening to some of the Hypnobirthing Australia relaxation tracks and later to the Fear Release track. When my partner came home from work we went out for a big long walk up and down the biggest hills we could find. We tried to relax, lots of lovely massages for me, and to get some rest. But I couldn’t sleep; nervous excitement to meet my baby and I think the worry of being induced was playing on my mind. Through the night I had light tightenings but nothing regular or strong. Early the next morning I received a phone call from the hospital; because my labour hadn’t started they wanted me to come in and see a doctor about ‘hurrying things up’, however, being a small hospital, they already had one woman in labour and weren’t staffed to have another, so they would call me back in a few hours to come in. This was my sign to get things happening or else! So off we went for another walk and then I spent some time relaxing and preparing myself for the fact my birth wasn’t going to go as ‘planned’. Maybe it was that moment of accepting that there would be some twists and turns along the way because at around 10 am I started to get more regular stronger tightenings. When the hospital called at midday to say I should make my way in, I was ‘in labour’ but I guessed only early stages as I was still able to talk through surges. By the time I had showered and gotten organised to go to hospital things had stepped up a little, I could no longer talk during surges. My partner and I were actually using a little print out from the hospital to try and guess ‘how far along’ my labour was. Once we arrived at hospital I was monitored on the CTG again while waiting for the doctor, we could see that the tightenings were approx two minuets apart and baby was very happy and I was jittery with anticipation. When the doctor arrived we discussed the risk of infection due to the length or time my waters had been broken, approx 32 hours by this stage, and how we would progress. The doctor requested to do an internal and I agreed. I was so curious to know how much work my body had been doing, that I asked her to tell me how dilated I was, much to my surprise (and the doctors) I was already 7cm so there was no need to augment labour! I was so happy with this news. The doctor also told me that there was still membrane intact (my fore waters) and she thought once they went things would speed up. She was right, not long later my waters broke for real, and things began to move much more rapidly.
Almost right away I could feel pressure from baby’s head, I couldn’t keep still during surges (much to the young midwives annoyance, because of the delay in labour, bubs had to be monitored constantly, and also somewhere along the way they began monitoring me because my heart rate would skyrocket and then fall quite regularly). From here on I only have a vague recollection of events, I was aware of what was going on around me but deeply focused on what was happening within me and the task ahead. I continued to move and change positions to try and find something that felt right. I felt best on all fours with the end of the bed propped up to support me. I soon became exhausted and had to be held up by my partner because I didn’t have the energy. My surges were still coming frequently (less than 2min apart) but the urge to bear down was only lasting for around 20 seconds so progress was slow. I had been in the second stage of labour for 2 hours at this point and the midwives were starting to get a little uneasy.
The older of the two midwives asked me to reach down and touch baby’s head, and gently told me that if we didn’t have baby out soon the doctor might want to intervene. As soon as I felt baby’s head (and could tell he was close) and with the midwives encouragement, I dug deep and found some energy. To me it felt like only a few minuets later (but in reality it was over half an hour, the doctor had arrived and ‘allowed’ me to continue unassisted as baby’s heart rate was good and strong) baby was crowning. I was apparently talking to the doctor having a laugh about grabbing hold of his head and pulling him out by the hair…. and before i knew it our little boy was born. My exhaustion soon melted away and was replaced by the most amazing natural high, I was overwhelmed with emotion and completely blissed out at the same time. A few minutes after Sam was born (although he didn’t have a name for a few days yet) I began to haemorrhage, so his cord was clamped and I was given the syntocinon injection while the doctor and midwives worked to control the bleeding. But, I had my boy on my chest and he was making his way towards my breast looking for his first feed so I hardly noticed the goings on; it was only the worried look on my partner’s face that made me aware of something else. The bleeding was soon stopped and our little family left in peace.
I said to Dave at one stage ‘I can’t do it anymore’, and we both knew instantly that meant I was probably in “transition”, which gave me confidence to keep going. So in the end I got to experience a natural drug free birth, with a few twists and turns (I honestly didn’t at any point think about pain relief, I’m not sure the midwives even mentioned it at any stage). I had a few minor grazes but didn’t require any stitches (even with Sam’s ‘off the charts’ head circumference) and was up and about with no problems shortly after. Thank you so much Elyse, for everything we learnt and for your support along the way. I honestly loved my birth (even with a few twists and turns) and feel empowered and confident looking ahead to motherhood. Sam is feeding like a champion and is (mostly) a super chilled little guy. Definitely a hypnobub. 🙂