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Welcome to the world Henley Croft 

Birth Stories

Story by Bethany

Henley Wayne Stanley Croft

Born 06/03/2020 at 2:12pm
9lb 2oz (4.12kg)
54cm long
37cm head circumference

“I believe I largely owe my positive birth experience to Calmbirth. Most importantly it gave both my partner and I a complete understanding of the process and I felt I was aware of what and why things were happening as they happened. The course filled us with knowledge and from the moment I left the class that weekend, I went from being anxious about giving birth to excited!”

I felt completely confident and comfortable to labour at home for as long as possible before heading into hospital.
I was able to count and breath through my contractions and remain as calm as I could throughout labour.
My partner was also taught tools like massage techniques etc to help and support me through my contractions. He never left my side the entire labour. His calming presence, hands on support, and positive words of encouragement made the whole experience what is was, and I could not have done it without him.
I truly believe Calmbirth helped him prepare and be the best support person he could be.

I think one of the most important things Calmbirth helps with, is teaching both mum and the partner to feel educated about the process of labour and being taught the important tools to help throughout the birth. I don’t feel I would of had anywhere near the calming experience I had if it wasn’t for my partner being so hands on, and supportive the entire process.

Overall my labour ended up unfolding just how I wanted it too, and this was largely thanks to Calmbirth and also all the special people involved in it. My partner Nathan, Our doula Cherie, Midwife Isabel, and Dr Shannon. It would not have all gone as it did if it wasn’t due to these amazing people. 

I was and still am so lucky and thankful that little Henley ended up coming on his own and that I was able to experience natural labour, just as I always wanted to.”

 

Welcome to the world Henley Croft 

A natural drug free (water) birth was always what my heart desired and what I believed was best for myself and our son. It was something I felt very strongly about, and took the time to extensively research. This also included my partner & I attending a Calmbirthing class with Cherie – which for many reasons turned out to be one of the best decisions we made!!

My whole pregnancy was low risk, with no complications. I was also lucky enough to experience barely any side affects, apart from some mild heartburn and sore hips from sleeping on my side. I actually really enjoyed being pregnant and loved having a baby belly.

At 41 weeks I was monitored by doctors at the hospital and given the ok to proceed with my pregnancy and wait for this baby to naturally come on his own. I continued to try everything possible to help this bub along.. from acupuncture, reflexology, raspberry leaf tea, exercising, eating hot curries, using clary sage, and living on my fit ball, but this baby was clearly comfortable and didn’t intend on vacating anytime soon!

At 41+6 I reluctantly gave in to having a stretch and sweep. This was something I was always reluctant to have, and put off for as long as I could.. but at this stage I was happy to have one if it meant I avoided an induction!!

I continued with regular monitoring appointments, and at 42 weeks an ultrasound showed the fluid around the baby had dropped by more than half and was now at 5. The Dr said it was borderline low, and encouraged me to be induced, but in the end agreed I could go home for the night and was asked to come in the following day to be monitored again. My midwife also suggested another stretch and sweep to which I agreed to.

On Thursday afternoon, at 42+1, the ultrasound showed that the fluid had again dropped at was now at 4.. which was considered below low. I was strongly advised to be booked in Friday morning to be induced, and upon discussions with my partner & midwife we decided this would be best for the baby. I was again offered and agreed to having another stretch and sweep.. anything to get this baby to come tonight and avoid an induction!

To say I was devastated about being induced, was an understatement. I cried the whole drive home. My whole pregnancy had been completely perfect, and to get to over 42 weeks & then have to be induced, something I was so against, was honestly heart breaking to me. I felt like I was going to miss out on everything I wanted, and planned for in a natural birth, and instead was going to experience a labour I had not mentally prepared for, and honestly believed would involve everything I tried so hard to avoid. At the same time though, we had to do what we thought was best for our son, given the large drop in fluid.

We went home, and enjoyed our last home cooked dinner together as just the two of us! I started to try and prepare for the following day. I jumped in the shower around 8pm, and whilst in there felt a pop sensation in my tummy. I had heard this sometimes happens when your waters break & wondered if this was the case, but had trouble telling due to being in the shower! After my shower until bed I experienced some mild cramping, but it was nothing more than I had previously experienced after a stretch and sweep. We went to bed around 8:30pm, and I layed there till around 10pm experiencing cramps on & off, which I still tried to not get too exited about.

10pm onwards they amped up and I started to time them. They were consistent and around 8min apart. I was hoping and praying that I was going to be lucky enough to go into natural labour the night before I was booked in to be induced!!
By midnight the pain had become a lot more intense, to the point where I couldn’t lay in bed anymore. My contractions were now around 5-6min apart. I got up and my partner asked if I was ok, and I excitedly said “I think I’m in natural labour!” He replied “omg really!?!” and then instantly fell back asleep snoring again. I let him sleep knowing we were in for a big day and headed to the lounge room to labour.

I had a shower around 1:30am to help try and relieve some pain. I was loving the hot water and felt it was bringing me some relief, but then I started to feel nauseous while in there and ended up vomiting several times, so ended up having to hop out. I continued to labour in the lounge until around 3:30am when my contractions become so strong & were around 2min apart. I decided it was now time to wake my partner & tell him we needed to go to hospital. He jumped out of bed, I think in shock that I was in full on labour and called our doula, who agreed to meet us at the hospital once we arrived.

I continued to vomit right up until we left the house (literally vomiting in the kitchen sink as we were leaving) and was nervous as to how I would even make it to hospital..We arrived at hospital around 4:30am, where a wireless ctg monitor was placed on me to keep track of the baby’s heart rate. The monitor didn’t seem to be accurate enough so a Dr decided an internal monitor had to be attached to the baby’s head. This then meant I wasn’t able to have the water birth I’d hoped for. As disappointing as this was, I stayed positive and was happy to do whatever was needed to make sure bub was ok.

I was honestly just happy to be in natural labour!!

At 5:15am the Dr placed the clip on the baby’s head and a VE found that I was 4cm dilated. I was a little disappointed as I felt I would of been further along, having laboured at home for so long before heading into the hospital. Nathan called Cherie, our doula, to let her know we had arrived at the hospital and our midwife was also called in.

I was still regularly vomiting at this point and cold and shaking so decided to try and hop in the shower again. I changed positions in the shower a few times while Nathan held the water running over me, but found I was still cold and shivering so decided to get out.
Still vomiting, my midwife Isabel gave me a tablet to hopefully try and stop the nausea, which it did.

Nathan and Cherie put some music on and turned off all the lights and set up all of our little eld tea lights. The room felt calm and peaceful.. exactly how I wanted it.

At 7:30am the Dr wanted to re check the clip on the babies head, as his heart rate looked as though it was dropping.
Another VE showed the clip had slightly slipped off, so this was fixed and i was informed I was now 5cm dilated.
I sat on the fit ball working through contractions for a long time, until around 9:30am when Isabel recommended I change positions to try and make things progress a little quicker.

By 10am I was feeling exhausted as I was having contractions one immediately after the other, with no break in between.
I changed positions again, and now mentioned I felt like pushing! The midwives were again concerned about the baby’s heart rate so the Dr did another VE to check the heart rate and also how I was progressing.

Baby was all ok, and I was now 10cm dilated and given the green light to start pushing!!
I remember feeling reenergised after this, thinking I was at the pushing stage and fully dilated so i thought I wouldn’t have long at all to go, and we’d be meeting our little boy very soon! (I was wrong!!)

I pushed for the next hour and a half, until the Dr became concerned that I didn’t seem to be making any progress and wanted to again check the baby was ok and what position he was in. It was found that his head was sideways and he wasn’t moving down at all. The Dr suggested using the vacuum to help move him down, but another Dr advised me to wait it out for the next hour and not to push through my contractions, in hopes that he would turn and move down himself. As extremely hard as this was to do, it did give me a break from pushing and some time to try and refocus and save some energy ready to push again when the time came.
An hour or so later the Dr rechecked the baby to find he had come down and turned, all on his own! This was such a huge relief, as I had started to worry about the possibility of intervention or even worse, a cesarean.

I started pushing again and around 45min later a superior Dr entered the room and said because I had been pushing for so long, he wanted to help move things along. I didn’t realise by this he meant using forceps and giving me an episiotomy. Nathan and Cherie soon intervened and told him this was not something I wanted or thought to be necessary yet at this point. Still reluctant to accept my decision, the Dr advised that I be given several GA injections just incase I did need an episiotomy later and told it might also help with the pain/ring of fire. I can confirm.. it did not help!!

Dr Shannon was amazing and helped reassure me that he still believed I could do this naturally and that an episiotomy and forceps were not necessary.Relieved but exhausted, after another 20min more of pushing, which at this point felt like an eternity, our beautiful boy was born, at 2.12pm

I waited half an hour for the placenta to be naturally delivered, but ended up having to have a syntocinon needle to help move things along. Another half an hour and catheter later the placenta had still not been delivered. The Dr came back in to check things and ended up having to physically remove it.. an extremely unpleasant experience after having just given birth!

At 4:30pm, after a long exhausting day for everyone, and 24 hours since I’d last eaten, Cherie went over the road to Burger Got Soul and brought us all back burgers and chips…what a superstar!!

With no tears and only an internal graze that did not require stitches, and Henley a picture of health, we were able to go home that night, and left the hospital around 8pm for our first night at home as a family.

I believe I largely owe my positive birth experience to Calmbirth. Most importantly it gave both my partner and I a complete understanding of the process and I felt I was aware of what and why things were happening as they happened. The course filled us with knowledge and from the moment I left the class that weekend, I went from being anxious about giving birth to excited!
I felt completely confident and comfortable to labour at home for as long as possible before heading into hospital.
I was able to count and breath through my contractions and remain as calm as I could throughout labour.

My partner was also taught tools like massage techniques etc to help and support me through my contractions. He never left my side the entire labour. His calming presence, hands on support, and positive words of encouragement made the whole experience what is was, and I could not have done it without him. 

I truly believe Calmbirth helped him prepare and be the best support person he could be.
I think one of the most important things Calmbirth helps with, is teaching both mum and the partner to feel educated about the process of labour and being taught the important tools to help throughout the birth.

I don’t feel I would of had anywhere near the calming experience I had if it wasn’t for my partner being so hands on, and supportive the entire process.

I also feel extremely grateful and blessed that we had Cherie as our doula, and Isabell as our midwife.
Both ladies were so supportive in my wishes, and both advocated these wishes to doctors on my behalf, resulting in the exact labour id always hoped for! 

Overall my labour ended up unfolding just how I wanted it too, and this was largely thanks to Calmbirth and also all the special people involved in it. My partner Nathan, Our doula Cherie, Midwife Isabel, and Dr Shannon. It would not have all gone as it did if it wasn’t due to these amazing people. 

I was and still am so lucky and thankful that little Henley ended up coming on his own and that I was able to experience natural labour, just as I always wanted to.”

 

 

 

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