Sammy is a NICU nurse while knowledge is power, sometimes too much knowledge can work against us. Throughout her pregnancy she worked on compartmentalising her experiences at work and focusing instead on a positive birth.
As her pregnancy went past 40 weeks and then beyond 41 weeks, she found herself getting anxious and made a fully informed decision that an induction was the best way forward for her.
And she was able to work with her caregivers, her partner, and her self to have a positive induction!
This story is a beautiful testament to what a positive birth actually entails…and that is feeling informed, feeling supported, and feeling safe.
Congratulations Sammy and Reuben and welcome beautiful Lottie!
Here is her birth story, in her own words.
My birth definitely did not go to plan but I used all my hypnobirthing tools to keep calm and focused throughout.
I had a dream of waking in the middle of the night in labour and labouring at home for hours before breathing my baby out while kneeling in a calm, dimly lit birth suite with my favourite music in the back ground…what I actually got was a 32 hour labour, epidural, and narrowly avoided a c-section.
But I still feel so positive about my whole experience.
I found myself being induced at 41+2 weeks. While I really didn’t want to be induced I had to balance my fear around the induction with my fear around being overdue.
The plan for induction was to have a balloon catheter placed in the evening, membranes ruptured the next morning.
I desperately wanted to avoid the syntocinon drip. I was told I could have 2 hours after breaking my waters to see if labour began before needing to start the IV. They basically told me as a first time mum it was highly unlikely to happen without the synthetic hormones but did support me to try.
I got the balloon on Thursday at 5:00pm, it was not as uncomfortable as I thought. The midwives told me to sleep and I’d be taken to Birth Suite at 6:00am to have my waters broken.
I started having regular surges every 5 minutes within about an hour of the balloon being placed. They progressed to every 3 minutes through the night. I was breathing through them and managed to get about 45 minutes sleep.
Birth suite was busy the next morning so I wasn’t taken down until midday. By now, the balloon catheter was uncomfortable. I couldn’t bend down and was having trouble peeing from the pressure of it. However it did its job as I was 4cm when they took it out and broke my waters.
I was told I had to go back upstairs until I started the syntocinon but thankfully my surges immediately became very intense, every 2 to 3 minutes.
I spent the next 5 hours in the shower and then the bath. I felt amazing, I was breathing through the surges. I had music in the background and birth affirmations running through my head. The surges were so strong but I was so calm, my husband and midwives didn’t know when I was having them and I was falling asleep in between.
However I began to get severe back and pelvic pain between surges, it was almost more painful than the surges and I could not get relief. I had been vomiting for hours, doubts were creeping into my mind about how much longer I could do this for.
I thought I was in transition.
I had to get out of the bath to pee and get checked at 5.30pm. The pain became unmanageable and I began to panic. My baby had flipped posterior during my labour, I was still only 4cm.
I begged for an epidural.
My obstetrician came in at this point and explained to me that my baby wasn’t moving through my pelvis. My options were for a c-section or an epidural with high dose syntocinon to try to move her to the correct position.
They somehow got an IV and epidural into me while I rocked on the bed and sucked the gas like a crazy woman – we were 24 hours in, I couldn’t keep down any food or fluid and I had definitely lost my cool at this point.
My wonderful husband tried so hard to bring me back to a state of calm and once the epidural began working, we managed to get there.
They gave me a few hours for the epidural and synto to do their jobs. They kept losing the trace of her heartbeat on the monitor which was frightening. By 1:00am we had to make the call whether to go to theatre or push.
Just before this I began to panic, I had a feeling something terrible was going to happen to my baby and I said I just wanted to go to theatre and get her out safely. Maybe this was transition.
My OB did a check and I was fully dilated. I managed to push her out in 45 minutes with no vacuum or forceps required.
I used the mirror during pushing, I thought I’d hate it but it was the most amazing thing to see her head emerge! She was a little Superman baby, coming out with her hand on her face.
Our preferences for immediately after birth were upheld and we were able to do delayed cord clamping, uninterrupted skin to skin, and the room was dark and quiet while we got to know our baby.
It was not what I imagined but it was so incredible and the hypnobirthing techniques got us through some very challenging moments.
I also want to mention that Reuben was absolutely amazing for my whole labour. He incorporated all of the techniques he had learned, helped me to stay calm, reminded me to relax, and just knew what I needed. I know I could not have gotten through it without him. He complained a lot about having to spend two Saturdays at birth classes but I know he gained a lot from it and realises now it was so worth it!
Thank you so much again Caitlin for your course and everything you taught us! I highly recommend hypnobirthing to everyone who will listen to me!