This Birth Story has been shared by a woman I was honoured to work with on the Badass Birth Method Course. I adored working with her and her partner. I’m delighted to bring her story to you.
She has opted to remain anonymous.
My waters broke just before midnight on Friday the 9th November, I’d seen a bit of blood and mucus in the shower and was pretty sure things were going to start moving. I was 40 plus 4 although actually wasn’t sick of being pregnant yet so would have been happy to have another few days at least!
I decided to go to bed and call the hospital in the morning. I was just praying that I could get through the whole night without having to leap (waddle) up and rush out the door as I really didn’t want to wake my wee boy or the babysitter! Through the night I had what felt like cramps but I guess they were contractions (ahem surges!) probably every 45 minutes, so I felt safe that I was going to get through the night; they weren’t THAT painful. In the morning we got my wee boy picked up at 9ish and headed to the hospital, they wanted to check the baby's heartbeat and examine me to see if my waters had definitely broken. When the midwife was checking the waters she asked if she could check how dilated I was which I was fine with and she exclaimed “Oh I can see his hair, he’s got black hair! You’re 4cm”. I was pretty pleased with that. They kept us there monitoring the heartbeat for a couple of hours, as it was dipping here and there. I asked if I could go home, but they thought I might progress quickly so said they would rather I stayed, but I knew nothing would happen lying on that bed because I was so uncomfortable and also starving. Eventually after a few different midwifes/doctors okayed it, we were allowed to go home.
I felt eerily calm and when I had a contraction I was repeating my little mantra in my head ‘*Surrender. Open. This too shall pass’ (*Thanks Jen!)
When we got home, after eating our M+S sandwiches, I went to bed. I didn’t feel like I’d had any pains for ages. Its only now that I am typing this I am realising I slept through half my labour haha! I put some drops of clarysage (*thanks Jen!) in my wee lamp diffuser thing and had that pumping mist by the bed and then snuggled down. After an hour or so I started to feel cramps again roughly every 20 min. I wasn't timing them but my partner was listening from the other room and he said I was moaning every 10-15 min. I felt eerily calm and when I had a contraction I was repeating my little mantra in my head ‘*Surrender. Open. This too shall pass’ (*Thanks Jen!) I really felt those words helped me even though normally I am quite skeptical and didn’t listen to any of my hypnobirthing audios. Oops. When I got up from my nap at about 5 o’clock I had a voicemail from the senior midwife at the QEU saying could I come back in, she’d had a look at the heartbeat reads and she wasn’t happy for me to be at home. We got ready and headed back in, getting there for about 6. I was getting very grumpy thinking this was going to be a long night, unbeknown to me I’d be holding my baby in about 2 hours time!
They hooked me up in one of the wards and started monitoring the heartbeat again, I was having MILD contractions every 10 min or so at this point, the midwife and my partner were laughing because they said I sounded like whale music, but I had remembered from Ina May Gaskin about how singing is good in labour so I was trying to channel that and keep my jaw loose. This was a million miles from my first labour experience where I was manically bouncing on my ball and shouting ‘I DON'T FEEL SAAAAAAAFE!!!!!!!!!’
A consultant came in and looked at the reads, she said she wasn't happy with the heartbeat and that it ‘wasn't normal’ I asked her; could it not dip for a variety of reasons, babys a bit squashed? Babys in a funny position? She said yes, but she would rather ‘get the show on the road and get this baby out.’ She said I should get induced asap. I felt totally deflated as I knew this would be more painful and I would probably end up asking for an epidural. I asked if we could wait a while and see if I could go for a walk and maybe I would progress. But she said she didn’t see why I wanted to wait when she was telling me she wasnt happy, and that the safest thing would be to get baby out sooner rather than later. I asked if I could be examined as I hadn’t been checked since 10am when I was 4cm and this was 7ish in the eve? She said 'no problem’ but ‘I clearly wasnt in active labour’ She said that because I'd had a baby before..by this point (over 18 hours since my waters had broken) my body should know what to do and you would think things would have progressed by now…..
My boyfriend was saying to me ‘you're going to do this by yourself, you won’t need to be induced, you’ve got this!’ He kept repeated those words and I think I started to believe him.
I agreed to be wheeled down to the labour ward and be examined and then probably induced. I was disheartened as hopes of having a natural birth seemed to diminish but didn’t want to argue if they thought the baby was at risk. By the time they got someone to come and take me down it was just before 8pm, and I was having much stronger contractions. My boyfriend was saying to me ‘you're going to do this by yourself, you won’t need to be induced, you’ve got this!’ He kept repeated those words and I think I started to believe him. When I got to my room, I was losing the plot a bit, the whale music singing was out the window and the aggressive bovine grunting and shouting was in…! The midwife was determined to get me on to the bed to monitor the heartbeat, but I was begging not to have to lie down. My bf was spritzing my face with water and giving me sips of water and in between shouting at everyone, I was also trying to lovingly (!) hold everyones hands … Soon I felt an overwhelming urge to push and by 8.24 baby boy was born and put straight on to my chest, 7lb12 of him, the relief and overwhelming happy hormones were immense!!! I couldn’t believe that I gave birth literally half an hour after been told I wasn't in active labour.
We delayed the cord clamping and had a good look at the placenta which was so cool! We later found out that the cord had a true knot in it (luckily the cord was really long) and thats probably why the heart rate was dipping.
Celebrated the arrival of baby boy with Percy pigs and cups of tea!