“7:15am- I woke up and went to the bathroom and got dressed for the day. I then felt a wet feeling in my underwear and had a assumed that at 39 weeks and 6 days pregnant I might have wet myself for the first time. So I went to the bathroom again and got changed. I went down to have breakfast and to take my dog, Daisy for a walk. As I bent down I felt my underwear fill with liquid, I ran to the bathroom and it kept running down my legs. I called the hospital and they told me to come in ASAP. I tested positive for Group B Strep, so they needed to start me on antibiotics. (I do wish we had asked for a second test at 38 weeks) but we trusted our OBYGN.
I called my husband as he was about 40 min away at work. My emotions hit me and I sat and cuddled my dog and had a little cry.
My parents came over with the biggest grins and helped me pack everything into the car. We then drove to the hospital listening to our hypnobirthing tracks. This helped a lot to calm me as I was anxious due to it being a 30min drive and there was traffic.
We arrived at Sydney southwest private hospital at 9:30 and they put me straight into a birthing suite. The nurse checked my pad and confirmed my waters had broken and then started the antibiotics. I advised her that we were using Hypnobirthing techniques to help deliver our baby and she was very supportive.
My surges were about 15/20min apart at this point and just felt like period cramping. So we took the time to review the Hypnobirthing techniques (I printed everything out and had a folder for Matthew to use). We then set the room up to how we wanted. Dimmed lights, affirmation cards on display and I had headphones in with my tracks playing.
I was disappointed that there were no baths as I really wanted a water birth (next baby hehe). So I bounced on the medicine ball and did laps back and forth of my room. By 1:30 my OBGYN came to check on me and asked my permission to do a internal check. I advised her I only wanted two checks over the course of my labour and she could choose when to complete them.
She did the check and said I was 1cm. So the news came that I didn’t want, the dreaded hormone syntocinon drip. She advised that due to my waters breaking and it being 6 hours since my water broke, baby could be risk of infection and we needed to speed up labour . I panicked and thought about everything we learnt in our course. I asked her if we could please have some time to think.
She came back and we asked if they could use the gel rather then the drip. She advised that because my waters broke, the drip was the only option to avoid infection. I was nervous as I knew this would make my surges a lot more intense and frequent as opposed to a natural labour. I said that I wanted to be able to move around still. They advised it would be hard as baby has to be monitored once the drip is given, but they did their best to let me move and sit on my ball.
Matthew held my hand and said it will be ok, we want our baby to come safe and sound. So they started the drip about 2pm. At this point I was managing my pain with my breathing techniques and hypnobirthing tracks.
The nurse then came in and increased the drip, my surges then started to become more intense and frequent. I found bending over my bed and bouncing on the ball helpful. About 4pm my surges were very intense and I decided to use the gas to help with my breathing and to help with the intensity of my surges. I had the lights dimmed and Matthew was reading my my birth affirmations and using light touch. I then played my hypnobirthing tracks and went into my own world. I rocked side to side over my bed and got into a calm state.
The nurse then came in and increased my drip. Within 30min my surges were so incredibly intense and were coming every 90 seconds and lasting a minute at a time.
Matthew and I discussed other pain relief options as I was in tears. I felt like a bit of a failure at this point and disappointed, but I just kept reminding myself that the most important thing is that my baby just needs to arrive safely.
My OBGYN then came back at 6:00 pm. She could see I was in quite a bit of pain and asked if she could do an internal. I agreed and she was happy as I was now 7cm. I felt relieved and proud that I had progressed and had only used gas and hypnobirthing techniques to get this far. but also daunted that I still had 3cm to go. I then tried not to let it get to me and read my affirmation cards. My favourite “every surge brings me closer to my baby”. I kept saying this in my head over and over again throughout my labour.
My surges were unbearable for me by this point as I was only getting about a 15sec rest in between them. I was exhausted. I then said that I would like the epidural, but asked if they could keep it on a low dose so that I could feel my boy when I was ready to push. She said that was no problem at all. I had the epidural at 7pm. I felt instant relief and then listened to my hypnobirthing tracks and closed my eyes. Matthew continued to do light touch and read my my affirmations.
About an hour later I could start to feel my surges on the left hand side. They then helped me turn onto my side and this then helped the epidural to work evenly.
At 10:30pm I could feel this pressure and slight discomfort . I asked Matthew to call the midwife. She came with my OBGYN and I said that I think I’m almost ready to push. And then to everyone surprise I was ready to give birth! I asked them to turn the epidural down so I could feel when I needed to push as I wanted to have some control over delivering my baby. I also advised I didn’t want an episiotomy and reminded them that We wanted delayed cord clamping. My OBGYN came back 30 min later to let the epidural levels drop. I held Matthews hand and advised my OBGYN and midwife when I felt a surge coming and then they all supported me to breathe and push. I was picturing pushing like the letter J like we had learnt and using my beating down breathing techniques. After 2 pushes his head had crowned. Everyone’s faces then looked a bit worried and they told me to stop pushing. This was difficult to do when having a surge, so I said my affirmation in my head “I am safe, this surge will not last forever”. I asked what was wrong and she advised that the umbilical cord was wrapped around my babies next twice and she was trying to unwrap it. She was unfortunately unsuccessful as it was very tight and baby needed to come out. She asked our permission to cut it and we agreed. I then had to more surges and 2 more deep pushes and my baby boy was born at 11:20pm! I only had a small first degree internal tear and was stitched up. We then asked for an hour of uninterrupted skin to skin contact before they took him for his measurements. Matthew was also able to cut the remainder of the umbilical cord. I delivered my placenta not long after and my OBGYN showed it to me and gave us a bit of lesson about it.
Although I was not able have all my birth preferences to deliver my baby, I could not have gotten through it without the Hypnobirthing techniques we learnt. Matthew was also so involved in the birth. He asked several questions and asked for time before we made a medical decision. He also voiced our preferences throughout the day and made sure we were heard. I felt so supported by him.
Our beautiful boy Asher was 3.2kg and 54cm in length. Birth is by far the most empowering thing I have ever been through. I have a whole new level of respect for my body.”
Thank you so much for sharing your story Chloe. Want to be as prepared as this couple? Read more about the same class they did HERE!