My birth was very different to what I imagined it to be! I was in labour for four days, waters breaking on the Friday and eventually giving birth on Monday evening which was 9 days after my due date!
I so wanted a water birth but unfortunately because my waters had been broken for so long I wasn’t able to do that. Basically everything that was on my birth plan slowly got crossed off as not being possible, so I very quickly learned that my word for this birth was “surrender” and being okay with things not happening as I imagined.
There was still a sac of water between baby’s head and my cervix so once that was broken on the Monday things moved a little quicker. I used the Calmbirth breathing techniques the whole weekend which helped so much and visualising my cervix opening. I was in a great head space for the majority of my labour, thinking of the waves as an intense sensation but not painful.
But after it had been around 56 hours and no sleep, I was absolutely exhausted! I started out on the gas which helped a lot but it got to the point where I asked for an epidural – something I didn’t necessarily want but I don’t regret getting it or beat myself up for getting it.
I got to 6cm before having the epidural and after receiving that I quickly came to 10cm. My baby was being monitored from the minute I entered the birth suite so it was hard to move around freely before having the epidural. They also struggled to get continuous readings of my baby’s heart rate which had the doctors concerned.
As soon as she was born they put her on my chest, but she was floppy and pale and wasn’t breathing so in a very small amount of time the cord was cut, lots of people came in to help her and then she went to special care nursery, in a matter of seconds it went from twenty or so people in the room to just me and the doctor and my student midwife.
Thankfully our baby (Isla Rose) bounced back really quickly and was able to breathe on her own. We stayed in special care for a week while she was on antibiotics. I really pushed hard to breast feed and avoid giving her any extra top ups- and had a lovely LC at the hospital who helped me.
Isla is now thriving and at the top percentiles in weight, height and head circumference. Even though it was quite a traumatic birth I must say the Calmbirth course really helped me be able to just surrender and let myself feel peaceful throughout it all!
I had my salt lamp and diffuser on the whole time and my music. And the midwives and doctors really respected my birth plan and tried to keep it as close to it as possible.
So thank you Dawn for teaching me the Calmbirth course! I’m really hoping next time I give birth it’s a lot quicker and hopefully able to have a water birth!