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Calmbirth baby Angus (Gus) George de Haan is born…

Birth Stories

The main reason I’m glad I did calm birth as a dad to be, says Jai was because, even though I knew a lot about the medical side of things from my work and that of Grace, from a practical supportive partner stand point I didn’t know much.

The partners toolbox was invaluable as it gave me some things to focus on that we’re helpful for Grace.

It allowed me to be a better physical and emotional support for her and didn’t leave me feel as helpless as I had imagined previously.

The calm birth class was also a great space the clarify and reaffirm any thoughts I had concerning childbirth.

I left confident that the knowledge I had was up to date and relevant to the big event looming in our future.

Grace says,  My waters broke at 0530 which was the first sign of labour! First discomfort started at 0630. I started contracting at around 0930 had a shower then realised I hadn’t felt bubs for a while so I called the hospital and we headed in for a CTG at about 1030 fully expecting to come back home after getting the all clear, and so I /we left lots of things at home! Expressed breast milk, massage oil, the tens machine etc.

When we got to the hospital I realised that contractions were quite close together and that I was really starting to feel uncomfortable! I told Jai that I didn’t think we would be going back home. We checked and contractions were only 4 minutes apart! The midwife came in and did my vital signs and said she could tell I was quite uncomfortable and asked if I wanted to try some gas. I said YES PLEASE! This was at about 1100. Jai called my mum and told her to get to the hospital as soon as she could.

The midwife got me a fitball, I got undressed and tried to get “in the zone” the contractions were quick and painful. Mum arrived and we moved into the shower and increased the gas to 50% as water had helped me with aches and pain throughout pregnancy and things were ramping up. I laboured in the shower for a while and I asked for more pain relief. The midwife asked if she could do an internal examination to see how far along I was- as it could change what pain relief options were available to me. I moved back to the bed and had the exam. Much to everyone’s surprise I was already 9 cms! This meant morphine wasn’t an option so I asked for the gas to be turned up. At this point the gas was too high for what I could handle and I begun hallucinating, I became quite scared as I didn’t know what was real and what wasn’t.

I remember pushing on my hands and knees, but as I had so much nitrous on board I wasn’t pushing effectively, I was pushing through my legs and pushing myself up the bed. My baby’s heart rate had begun to drop and was sitting pretty close to what my own heart rate was reading, so the team wasn’t sure if it was accurate and asked if they could use a scalp clip. In my original birth plan I didn’t want to use a scalp clip unless necessary but at the time I just wanted to know my baby was safe and Im glad I did it, because his heart rate was dropping with every contraction.

The doctor came in to see how it was going and she expressed some concern to me. As it was clear I wasn’t pushing effectively one of the midwives took the gas off me and I started to come back too. With the next two contractions my baby’s heart rate dropped and got as low as 88. The doctor said she was hesitant to intervene because she could see the baby was so close. But with the next contraction his heart rate dropped and didn’t come back up. We spoke for a brief moment and as a group decided an episiotomy was necessary. My baby needed to get out. She said we could do an episiotomy and see how we go without the use of anything else and if need be we could use the ventouse or forceps. She put my legs into the stirrups and used some local anaesthetic before making the cut. I didn’t feel a thing.

It quickly became clear why I couldn’t push him out- he was a compound delivery (his hand and arm was up next to his head)! With the next contraction his head came out, and his body followed with the next. He was finally here.

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