Hi Kath, our little girl Lucy was born on 17/10 weighing a decent 4.15kg and 54cm long.
We are so grateful for all we learnt through Calmbirth, it definitely equipped us to deal with the labour and to make decisions in the lead up to birth.
Lucy was born 13 days past her ‘due date’ and this was a challenge in itself. After doing Calmbirth I was very keen to allow my body to go into spontaneous labour if possible. I was born 12 days over and mum was induced for all her 4 births due to due dates. So I was half expecting my baby would keep me waiting. Though that doesn’t make the waiting game any easier, especially when strangers and family felt the need to make comments like ‘Why haven’t you had the baby yet!?’
My body still felt good despite being overdue. I had booked an induction for 42 weeks after weighing up the pros and cons of waiting longer than this. I had a straightforward pregnancy but was still recommended to have CTG monitoring for every day I continued my pregnancy beyond 41+3. This in itself was stressful, having to decide whether l was making the right decision. Each monitoring session meant at least a few hours in a bed at the hospital (cheeky baby not giving reliable readings!) and I knew doing that everyday was going to be a drag. After discussions with my Midwife and Doctor I decided I’d happily go in for monitoring every second day, but if I was going to go into spontaneous labour I would need a break from hospital visits! I had 2 x stretch and sweeps performed in week 41 and my cervix was making good progress.
I spent my last weeks reading, going for walks, cooking and sewing. Kath your suggestion to keep some activities for early labour was excellent advice – but also came in handy for the last few days when the waiting gets hard. I also read over some positive Calmbirth induction stories in your Facebook group to put my mind at ease.
At this stage we were trying everything to bring on babe naturally such as acupuncture, walks, pineapple, dates, you name it! I was two days out from the induction date and I was pretty over the waiting and the angst of not knowing if waiting was the right thing to do. I asked hubby to take the day off work and we spent the day together doing things off our ‘early labour’ activity list. I’d been crampy on and off for weeks but nothing ever convincing of labour. That night, shortly after 5pm I started having regular contractions.
We ordered Nando’s for dinner and tried to distract ourselves. I finished hand sewing the edges of the baby quilt. My husband Matt prepared our lounge with candles, my diffuser, playlist and after a shower I applied my TENS machine and strapped a heat pack to my belly. We stayed at home until approx. 1030pm when contractions were 3-4 min apart then headed to hospital.
I arrived at hospital at 3cm dilated, though chose to only have hubby know this information as I didn’t want to be put off by a low number! I laboured in lots of forward leaning positions over the bed head, kneeling on a chair and over the toilet. I counted my breaths through contractions and focussed with the TENS machine. We also used music and essential oils. We had issues with the CTG monitoring picking up baby, so were recommended to switch to internal monitoring. I was still able to move around with this, so I wasn’t too phased.
As labour progressed I was getting a lot of bowel pressure and finding it hard to right the urge to push. I was using lots of vocalisations at this point – but perhaps not all helpful noises! I remember Kath mentioning she had a similar birth with the urge to push. Matt and the Midwives were great in encouraging me to focus back on my breaths rather than telling me not to push. But it was super hard! My little girl had been posterior for the labour, making things uncomfortable! I battled on like this for hours and had made it to transition. I just needed to dilate a smidge more to then be able to effectively push. My Midwife suggested we try some gas, I’d been thinking of gas for a while now but hadn’t verbalised! We also tried moving back to the toilet.
Finally after fighting the urge for a long time the doctors gave me the ok to push. At this stage I was on my back on the bed and I knew this wasn’t how I wanted to push. I managed to return to forward lean over the bed head and push for a bit before our little girl’s heart rate was playing tricks and the doctors needed to take a lactate level. The reading meant an emergency trip to theatre for either an assisted delivery or c.section. I was hoping so much that I could just push her out. They prepped me with a spinal just in case, but with the doctor’s help to turn her with the forceps, I was able to push her out! She came out healthy with a big cry and hubby was able to announce the gender.
For what ended in a dramatic way, I was able to continue my focussed breathing and stay relaxed and get the job done! My hubby was a great support though it all and had a greater understanding of birth support and strategies etc after our Calmbirth weekend. Can’t thank you enough Kath for allowing us to do the course with you during the crazy Covid times!