The Birth of Robyn
I found out I was pregnant in October 2017 and I knew from the very start that I wanted to to have a natural birth. Unfortunately from the point that we announced our pregnancy at the end of December, all of my mummy friends and colleagues had already started to fill my head with horror gory birthing stories and i knew i needed to hear some positive words if I was going to achieve my goal. I did some online searching and followed some links on positive birthing and birthing without fear. Through my online searches I found the Scottish Doula Jen Muir of 'Badass Birthing' and after a short email chat with her, I signed myself and my husband up to a workshop she was leading in March 2018, Glasgow.
The workshop was great. I learned about the different stages of labour. About how to breath through contractions, how to stay calm, and lots more. The other participants of the workshop shared their experiences. I left the day-session completely confident that I would birth with no intervention in my local community midwife led unit. When I got home I created a birth plan and stuck it in the front of my maternity notes folder for all of my local midwives to see. I felt ready and empowered.
As my due date came and went at the end of June my readiness to give birth became an uncomfortable and heavy impatience. I found myself agreeing to attend my community midwife led unit for a sweep 40+6. On that morning I woke up 0530 am with contractions. What a relief. Things were starting!
I felt it unfair that my natural birth 'might' not be possible.. so, I left that appointment with determination and stubbornness on my side and power-waddled the 3 mile walk home.
I was advised to attend the midwife unit that same day for a check-up and attempted sweep anyway. I attended 11am and was examined and quickly disappointed when I was told that the sweep wasn't possible because my cervix was tilted and it was unlikely that birth was imminent due to this. It was not possible to assess if I was dilated because my cervix was out of reach and I was told by the midwife that what I was feeling was probably braxton hicks. (Ha!) I knew very well that it was not braxton hicks. Anyway, I was then talked through the induction process and was informed that if I had not had my baby by the following Thursday (41+6) I would need to attend the Royal Alexandra Hospital (not my intended local midwife unit) to be admitted and induced.
I wasn't happy about this. I did NOT want to be induced and medicated in order to birth my baby, especially because my pregnancy had been GREEN pathway. I was healthy and most importantly my baby was healthy. I felt it unfair that my natural birth 'might' not be possible.. so, I left that appointment with determination and stubbornness on my side and power-waddled the 3 mile walk home. By the time I got myself home, the gravity and heavy footed steps had progressed my labour to regular and predictable contractions. . Hooraaaah
By 7pm on the same day my husband and mum had joined me at home. I phoned the midwife unit back up again to tell them my contractions were now 5 mins apart. I was told to keep monitoring them and after 8pm to phone the RAH to update their midwives because my midwife unit would be closed. By 11pm contractions were 3 mins apart. RAH midwife advised me on the phone to take two paracetamol and wait till the contractions were closer still.. I did, and within an hour my contractions were lasting over a minute and I was starting to push my baby. I was in my bath in our second floor tenement flat. Yaiks! My husband made necessary phone calls to RAH again and arrangements were made for the on-call midwives to meet us at our local maternity unit in the early hours of Friday morning which marked the 41st week of my pregnancy.
A dramatic and uncomfortable car journey, a heavy hobble, a mega gushing of waters breaking and some deliberately focused moans and groans got me up to the birthing unit . We were greeted by the two on-call midwives who introduced themselves and gently encouraged me into the birthing suite. It was quickly confirmed that I was fully dilated and baby's head was on its way. I could very much feel that this was the case. The birthing pool was quickly filled at my request. The midwives had a quick read over my birth plan, dimmed the lights and allowed me some quietness as I got myself into the zone and in the water. I spent some time in the birthing pool where baby started to move down. It was intense. After an hour or so I was encouraged by the midwives to get onto my feet to help progress. I finally gave birth to our daughter Robyn whilst on all-fours on the bed propped up with lots of pillows with a blanket over my back 0431am on Friday 6th July 2018, less than 24 hours after I felt my first contraction. Robyn was a healthy 8lb 7.5oz. I had a wonderful, silent, dimly lit, intense natural birth with my husband, mum and two midwives present. My gorgeous daughter lay on my chest skin to skin for over an hour before the midwives checked her over. We had a delayed cord clamping and the placenta was delivered naturally after a push or two as I cuddled my beautiful girl in my arms. We did it!! We were discharged to go home before mid day, the same day.
We had a very positive birthing experience. Thanks to Jen and the rest of the badass workshop ladies for encouraging me to believe that this was possible.
We did it.
Jane & Graeme