From Jasmine, Dave
I just wanted to share my story to inspire others of how things don’t often work out as planned, but can still be amazing.
My husband and I did our Calmbirth course when I was 31 weeks with Denise Round. From the moment I found out I was pregnant I was incredibly anxious about giving birth. It was suggested by friends of mine to do the Calmbirth course.
After the course my husband was so equipped with knowledge and skills to assist me during labour and felt empowered to be able to advocate for me during labour.
I was a high risk pregnancy from the start due to a fast heart rate I have been medicated for since I was 18. When I reached 36 weeks we were ready, we had created a music playlist, bought a tens machine, an ice towel and little spray fan to keep me calm and cool.
I was told at my next appointment it was unlikely I’d be allowed to walk around or get in the shower or bath due to wanting to monitor me and baby the whole time.
I was also told at multiple appointments I would more than likely be encouraged to have an epidural to keep my heart rate slow and so the pain had minimal effect.
At 37 weeks I started to get some headaches and being a nurse had an electronic blood pressure machine. My blood pressure was borderline and contacted the midwives and was asked to come in for monitoring. I was cleared for pre eclampsia on multiple occasions and they just continued to monitor.
At 39 and 6 days, my blood pressure was still elevated and it was decided I would be induced that weekend. I was quite upset because I really did not want to go through an induction knowing that I would then likely need the epidural.
On the Saturday morning after accepting induction was happening, we arrived at the hospital at 7am for a cervidil pill. The midwife did a cervix check and I was still long and closed when she inserted it.
I was moved to the ward and advised that the drip and breaking my waters would probably not happen till Monday as I would likely need another cervidil pill in the morning.
At approx 1230 I asked for some Panadol for some mild cramping which they said would happen.
At about 3pm I asked for more pain relief and was given endone. They explained that the pill does make you cramp and it’s doing its job.
We walked around the hospital a few times and kept busy as we discussed random thoughts and my husband kept me distracted.
At about 630pm we were down in the hospital coffee shop with my parents and I started to develop quite sharp regular pelvic pains, I decided it was time to head back to the ward.
Once in the ward I asked them to check bubs in the CTG because these cramps were really intense and they were worried it was hyperstimulating the uterus and the pill would need to be pulled out.
The machine showed so pretty consistent contractions which according to the machine started to settle down after more pain relief. I kept telling them but they felt like they were getting stronger.
Dinner came and I started to vomit, which they kept saying was a good sign. My husband helped me in the shower and I sat and just sprayed water on my stomach as the pain came, they told me this was early labour and I was starting to panic that if this was early labour how could I do active labour.
After a midwife checked my stomach she still thought the contractions were irregular so I wasn’t in established labour. I felt ashamed that maybe I had a very low pain threshold, it turns out it was quite the opposite.
Some where between 8:30-9pm that night I demanded they check my cervix in the ward and pull it out it was too painful.
She checked and I was 7cm dilated, next thing they were telling my husband to pack up my bags as I needed to be in birth unit.
I had about 5 minutes of gas in the ward which they had to take off me to move me. By the time I got down stairs I was screaming for an epidural and it happened to be a friend of mine as one of the midwives on duty, I was so thankful!
They said they would organise it, as soon as I got into the birth unit room, I lost my mucous plug and waters broke all at once. The midwife checked and said ‘look it’s too late for an epidural, let’s just have a baby’ I was 10cm dilated.
I was convinced I couldn’t do it at this point. My husband helped me count through the contractions, reminded me to relax my jaw and breathe.
They gave me the gas in the delivery room again it made me feel sick so I utilised it to help control my breathing then would stop and have a break from it.
I developed an extreme urge to push and made sure to listen to the midwives so that I pushed with each contraction.
25 minutes of pushing later our little girl was here, she came rather quickly, and I unfortunately pushed when I wasn’t contracting and I did have a tear I needed theatre for after.
My husband had to double check twice it was a girl as it was surprise to us as we did not know what we were having. She also needed a good suction and to be checked by the NICU doctor as she wasn’t crying due to her quick delivery. Within 10 minutes she was back on my chest and with little assistance found the breast and started to suckle.
They clocked active labour from 7pm and I delivered at 9:52pm.
I could not believe that my high risk delivery turned into a quick, no doctors in the room just two midwives and my heart rate stayed stable.
I was so proud and happy that I got to go semi Natural, no epidural, no need for them breaking my waters or the drip the next day. I got to utilise the shower and my tens machine briefly.
We are so thankful for Calmbirth, it empowered us, we were equipped with different pain relief options, but also it really helped my husband encourage and assist me to be calm through out. I remember concentrating so hard in the pushing stage and using the rest time in between to get my breathing back on track. Although it wasn’t completely as I imagined it, it still allowed me to have a relatively natural birth like I wanted.
Thank you Denise and Calmbirth for your wonderful course and empowering couples in birth.