“I DID IT AND SO CAN YOU!!!”
Zoe's Birth Story
Previous birth: In 2018 I was booked to be induced at 41+2 but thankfully went into labour naturally that morning at 3am. I planned to have a drug/intervention free birth with KEMH birth centre but ended up being rushed to the main hospital ending in emergency c/s. Baby was posterior and could not get in a good position. I didn’t know about 'spinning babies' & exercises that can move bub so I didn’t progress ‘quick enough’. My waters were broken after about 16 hours. There was mec in my waters so they rushed me with bells & whistles to KEMH main hospital. The pain was in unbearable! This was so traumatic for me, being ran through a hospital on a hospital bed completely naked & losing blood everywhere! I literally wanted to die & was screaming asking for my life to end. It was such a horrible experience. Once in the main hospital I was given an epidural & put on a drip to induce labour but this caused baby’s heart to stress. We ended in an emergency caesarean due to fetal distress and after a very long 34 hour labour! This whole experience resulted in PTSD.
This pregnancy: I was getting pushed to be induced for being over 40wks pregnant. I declined an induction & agreed to book a date closer to 42 weeks as I trusted my body needed a few more days. I went into labour naturally at 41+2, the same gestation as my previous labour. I'm glad to have pushed back the induction and trust my body. You truly need to have confidence in your decision making. I knew I could do it. Do not be discouraged if your following pregnancies don’t come sooner, your body eventually knows what to do & when. Although I had been feeling like I was going into labour on & off for weeks due to a few stretch and sweeps, I knew it wouldn’t be far off. I started contracting the morning of 22/2/21 at 2:30am, 10 mins apart and then after 3 hours they were 3-4 mins apart & unbearable. I called my amazing MGP midwife to meet me at the hospital and was 5cm on arrival! This was awesome because apparently, I only got to 6 cm with my first.
Once at the hospital all I wanted to do was lean over the bed & not move. I tried the gas for one suck & almost threw up so didn’t have it again. Pain really started ramping up so I was encouraged to try the bath which I actually didn’t enjoy weirdly enough. I’m guessing I hit transition a few minutes being in the bath as fear started setting in big time. I lost my bloody show & my body started shuddering / bearing down. I started begging for an epidural but of course the doctor was on call & had to come in from home. When he finally got in after about a 40 min wait, I was well & truly not wanting to do it anymore. I started having a few involuntary pushes in the bath & a burning sensation which made me freak out as I didn’t want to do it without pain relief now. I made my hubby help get me get out the bath & move me to the room to try and stop baby coming (so silly!). Thank God one of my friends was rostered on the maternity floor as a midwife & was able to come into my room & pray with me, speak life & encouraging words over me & get me back on track mentally. The doctor came back & tried to get an epidural in & it didn’t work. I had a vaginal examination & was 10cm dilated. I was told the only way to get rid of the pain was to birth the baby. Trust me this is not what you want to hear at this point in time! But somehow, this extremely terrified & fearful of birth Mumma internalised the fear & changed my self talk & decided I had to give it a go!
I totally surrendered to the birth. My baby moved up and down a few times which gave my body the chance to stretch. It was extremely uncomfortable but I really wanted to trust my body to know when to push. Then I got the natural urge to push and I basically roared her out, within 20 minutes her head was out. Then on the next surge her body came flying out. My midwife was amazing at coaching me & held a warm compress to my perineum so I did not tear. Just a small graze, no stitches needed & I was even able to have a natural placenta delivery which wasn’t even my plan to do. I got to the hospital at 5:30am & checked out at 5:30pm! How cool is that!
The feeling of total achievement & shock took over. I could not believe I birthed a baby through my vagina! I want to encourage anyone who is fearful of this as I was extremely! I would have panic attacks just getting the stretch & sweep done or having anyone look 'down there'. But I can now tell you this- Our bodies are 100% capable!
My advice: I highly encourage you to find a good support network, do a hypnobirthing or calm birth course, knowledge truly is power, know your rights, be aware of what your hospital guidelines are but also know they are just a guide & you Mumma are able to advocate for yourself & request differently by signing a 'Non Standard Management Plan' (basically saying you understand the risks etc stepping out of guidelines & agree to them) such as not being connected to CTG constantly, not having a cannula, using a birth pool etc!! Listen to positive birth stories on audible, get your hands on some positive birth book stories, if you need to change care providers last minute.. do it! I was so grateful to be with MGP for continuity of care & if you need, like I had to, delete all social media. Those last few weeks can really eat you down emotionally e.g. getting messages "are you stillll pregnant?", "when is this baby coming?" Blah blah! How about when baby is ready!
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