Our baby girl was born early, she was due today so it was a bit of a surprise!! We had a scan the day before she was born at 38 weeks + 2 and her head wasn’t engaged yet so we thought she wouldn’t be making an appearance for a while. But my waters broke at 11.15 that night and we headed into the Rotunda Hospital. I wasn’t feeling any surges at that stage and when I was assessed at about 1am they put a trace on and all was well with the baby. They said they’d admit me and hope I went into labour within 24 hours. I was thinking of going home at that stage but the doctor said she thought I was actually having a surge so asked about examining me before letting me home and I agreed. She said I was 1-2 cm dilated but not fully effaced and said I might be better staying in. I’m glad I did in the end!
I was admitted to the annexe of the delivery suite and around 2am or so my surges started and were quite intense from the start I thought, although there was no regularity to them. I managed quite well for the first few hours listening to music and using the TENS machine. When the surges ramped up, I started listening to the affirmations and birth rehearsal. I was anxious to be examined around 5am or so because I really wanted to be moved into a delivery room as we would be on our own instead of the annexe with others and no space. They were reluctant to examine me as I wasn’t in established labour and my waters had broken but they did at about 6am and I was only 2 cm and fully effaced. I found that quite hard to deal with as I thought my surges were very intense and almost on top of one another. The midwives tried to reassure me there had been a change but I still wasn’t established enough to be moved into the delivery suite. I was using the gas and air at this stage which was helping with my breathing. I was very worried I was facing into another 8 hours of the pain and not sure how long I would have coped without stronger pain relief.
Anyway things seemed to ramp up again and at around 8am I started feeling pressure. My memory is a little fuzzy for those few hours but I was examined again and was almost fully dilated!! There was a bit of a scramble trying to get a delivery room (they were very busy during the night) but I was eventually brought by wheelchair into a delivery room at 9.10. I started pushing at that stage and our baby girl was born at 9.43am.
She weighed 8 pounds 8 1/2 ounces and I was given immediate skin to skin with her for about half an hour and had delayed cord clamping. I had a 2nd degree tear which needed to be repaired and my husband took her for skin to skin for a while as I lost a bit of blood (about a litre) while the placenta was being delivered.
So I had the gentle birth I had imagined (even though it didn’t always feel ‘gentle’) as it was quite short and I didn’t need an epidural or any interventions. It was disappointing to spend all of the labour in the annexe rather than in a room on our own. I found the midwives and the Consultant very open to GentleBirth and knew in advance what my preferences would be (I didn’t have written birth preferences).
The workshop and using the app really helped me prepare my mind for the big day. I think the daily practice helped me even more in the lead up to the birth rather than the birth itself, I had bad pelvic girdle pain and didn’t sleep well in the 2 months beforehand and listening to the tracks helped me cope with that. Thanks a lot for the support.
Read more fantastic GentleBirth stories here.
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