One of our very own Calmbirth Educator’s, Samantha Knight, shares with us her challenging yet triumphant healing birth of her second baby, baby John. The mental and emotional strength she had on the day helped her get through her own pain to birth her baby naturally. Her birth shows us just how amazing and strong a woman’s body is when it comes to birthing her own child.
” It really was the birth I had imagined and focused on, only a little different. My plan A and B did not happen and I never imagined I’d end up with an epidural – but the goal of a healing birth was achieved and it was absolutely amazing.
“I had such a supportive team around me which made such a huge difference. I wasn’t rushed on any decision and every one respected and trusted my decisions along the way.”
With my first birth I was induced due to being a gestational diabetic and having a large baby who measured on the 95th to 99th percentile. It was a very quick birth with a haemorrhage and 3rd degree tear which meant separation from bub as I went to theatre afterwards. I had an amazing private midwife and did all the right things, however I still ended up having a long 10-month recovery and prolapse as a result, and the birth left us traumatised. I ended up with PND, Anxiety and PTSD. It took us 2 years to feel like we would have another baby. However, it took us a lot longer to fall pregnant and told that we had a 1% chance without fertility treatment.
God had another plan for us! During John’s pregnancy I had a few 2nd trimester bleeds and was diagnosed with gestational diabetes again at 15 weeks and commenced insulin early which only heightened my anxiety. I also had SPD, pelvic floor and back issues and cardiac investigations so my pregnancy was not an easy one! I also had to make a decision on the mode of delivery, whether it be vaginal or caesarean as the Obstetrician recommended.
So I got onto the midwife group practice program and requested to see a consultant Ob for antenatal Dr visits. All of who were so supportive of my decisions.
I knew I’d likely be induced again if I chose a vaginal birth so I waited for growth ultrasounds to help me make my decision. Bub was on the 45th centile at 36 weeks and after discussing at length with drs, midwives and physio – I knew I didn’t want a Caesarean and I’d regret not attempting to have a vaginal birth as this will be our last baby.
Induction at 38 weeks again went ahead after a few days of minimal sleep due to nerves and all was going well, until it was time to break my waters. Our baby’s head kept bobbing away out of my pelvis which made it unsafe to go ahead. We were offered a c section again but decided to go for a walk to try to get bub into my pelvis more and wait for the morning staff and the Ob I’d been seeing to start on shift.
The decision was made to try the gel to get some contractions happening. I reacted so quickly the 1st time it was likely to be the same result. I did indeed start having tightenings rather quickly after but as baby’s head dropped it hit my sciatic nerves. I have issues on occasion with sciatica but this was something else. Both legs were affected and I could hardly move and was in agony. We filled the bath up but I couldn’t get in safely. I couldn’t move to the shower and the only relief was lying on my side but baby was posterior and the next few hours dragged out. I noticed baby was starting to get tired and I was over it by then as 20hrs into the induction and exhausted. I decided I wanted to know where we were at and if still a while to have an epidural incase of a c section when my waters were broken. I was still 4 to 5cm with him being direct OP.
I’m so protective of my spine due to my back issues so didn’t make this decision lightly. I was upset I couldn’t go into the bath but I soon realised the most important thing to me was being present for the birth however that may be.
It ended up being the best decision as I could move with relief from the sciatica and managed to use gravity to help turn bub, and shortly after Bub was ready to be born. I could still feel every thing and move around the bed and felt very in control, present and calm which I realised on the day were the most important things to me and my husband. I didn’t push for long and my amazing midwife worked hard to prevent any significant tearing again and I got to lift him up to my chest and had the best birth possible. I had a small second degree tear where he came out with his hand by his head which has healed quickly with no issues.
It really was the birth I had imagined and focused on, only a little different. My plan A and B did not happen and I never imagined I’d end up with an epidural but the goal of a healing birth was achieved and it was absolutely amazing.
We both felt on such a high afterwards and I felt a million dollars compared to my 1st birth and 2 weeks on I can’t even believe I gave birth not that long ago. I still have some ongoing pelvic floor and back issues but I wouldn’t change a thing. My prolapse doesn’t feel much worse and I have physio follow up booked in.
We got some amazing photos and video of the birth and having such a supportive team around me made such a difference. I wasn’t rushed on any decision and every one respected and trusted my decisions along the way.