This birth story is a great example of taking control of your birth.
This couple had to make some tough decisions, but they asked questions, did their own research, worked with their caregivers, and ultimately opted for a plan that they felt was best for them and for their baby.
And, despite the threat of an early induction, ended up having a 2.5 hour labour!
Written by an inspiring client and new mother!
Our baby boy was born early – I was 36 + 2 .
I had a PPROM – preterm premature rupture of membrames.
And the labour ended up being a total of 2.5 hours!
A week and a half before the birth, I noticed I had some fluid leaking and the tests confirmed it was amniotic fluid. What followed was lots of monitoring and testing, overnight hospital stays, and many discussions about induction.
I contacted you at this point and read all the information you emailed me.
After we were told yet again different information but yet another doctor, this time that hospital policy was to immediately induce, my partner and I asked for more information – what were the risks to our baby, what were the risks to me, why was this the policy.
I really felt that the Hypnobirthing Australia™ classes empowered us to ask those questions and not just take what our doctor said as gospel.
Because of the Hypnobirthing Australia™ classes, I also felt confident in declining vaginal exams due to the risk of infection – I was surprised that they even wanted to do a vaginal exam given that they drilled into me the risks of infection associated with premature rupture of membranes (for example I was not allowed to have a bath or have sex because of the risk of infection).
After questioning that doctor and realising he was not able to provide the answers to our questions, we asked for a second opinion and were visited by the registrar. He was very helpful and provided us with a print out of the percentages of risks of infection associated with PROM and we spoke about weighing these risks against those associated with induction and having the baby early. We spoke to him for about half an hour and together my partner and I decided that we would wait for another five days. If I did not go into labour naturally, I would be induced on Wednesday 14 February. I agreed to visit the hospital for monitoring every two days and to have IV antibiotics during labour.
I then tried everything I could to bring labour on naturally. I saw an acupuncturist, expressed colostrum, carried cloths drenched in clary sage, and my partner massaged the acupuncture points that we discussed in class.
On Tuesday 13 February, my partner and I went on a long walk with our dog in the morning, then I had an acupuncture appointment, and then I had a nap. I woke at 2:00pm…my waters had broken in a bug gush! At around 3:00pm, I started to experience what felt like mild period pain. I started listening to the Hypnobirthing Australia™ tracks. As our doctor had recommended coming to hospital as soon as I could after my waters had broken, at 3:30pm we left home.
At 4:15pm we arrived at hospital and by this stage, my contractions were very strong. I couldn’t walk so my partner got a wheelchair to take me in. At the reception desk I was groaning and all I wanted to do was to take my clothes off. I told them to hurry up a few times! I made eye contact with a few pregnant women and I remember seeing the scared looks on their faces!
Once I got to the assessment room, I immediately took off all my clothes, started pacing the room, and started squatting. The midwife asked me to get on the bed for monitoring but I told I couldn’t – it felt impossible to sit still and to be on my back. I kept saying that something was wrong and that the contractions were too strong. Finally I had a break in the contractions and I got on the bed.
Looking back, I was probably in transition during this time. The midwife looked at me in shock and said that I was fully dilated! I couldn’t believe it but it made sense given how strong my contractions were.
I was sent straight to a birth suite…it was too late for antibiotics…and soon after I settled in there, I started pushing.
At 5:28pm he was born!
Everything happened so fast – my birth preferences were still in the car! My partner asked for delayed cord clamping and the cord was not cut until it stopped pulsating.
Unfortunately, at this point things turned a little ugly as I had a retained placenta and started haemorrhaging. In the birth suite I was given syntocinon, then I was rushed to theatre and given a general anesthetic.
The syntocinon was horrible! It was more painful than labour and I was hanging onto the side of the bed begging them to give me something for the pain.
This aspect of the birth was disappointing – I had wanted to avoid syntocinon and pain medication. I was proud that I had managed to get through the birth without both. But then I ended up having them anyway!
Waking up a few hours later and seeing my baby was such a relief.
I love telling people that I had a 2.5 hour labour because they are always so shocked – and especially given it was my first!
I also wanted to mention a few points about how I think Hypnobirthing Australia™ benefited me and my partner:
- Dealing with the premature rupture of membranes, we felt empowered to question what we were being told, to investigate ourselves, and to make sure we were involved in the decisions being made about our baby. From the Hypnobirthing Australia™ classes with you, we knew we had the right to do this and we felt in control of the situation.
- My partner was incredibly supportive, was on my side, and knew my preferences. He had been skeptical about hypnobirthing at first but after taking the classes, we both became of the same mindset around what we wanted for the pregnancy and labour. I also felt it gave him a special role in the birth – he wasn’t just a bystander but an essential part of the birth and the classes helped him see this. In the rush, the hospital was not given my birth preferences but he knew what these were and advocated for them.
- When I was told I could start pushing, I said “But I’m on my back! You aren’t supposed to push on your back!” I was told I could get into another position if I wanted and, thanks to the birth videos, I remembered I could turn on the bed and hang onto the back of the bed.
- During the car ride to the hospital, when I felt like my labour went from 0 to 100, the affirmations and hypnosis tracks got me through an uncomfortable ride
- The classes lessened my anxiety of birth. Before the classes I was nervous and worried about the labour. After the classes I looked forward to the labour!
So thank you for the Hypnobirthing Australia™ classes and for your teaching.
I’m very glad I attended the classes and I don’t think I would be as happy with my birth and pregnancy experience if it wasn’t for Hypnobirthing Australia™.