Rosanna and Raphael had a challenging labour but they used their tools and made the decisions that were best for them and that it is what it is all about.
This birth story is a great example of knowing your options!
First, Rosanna knew her options around an induction. Including the option to wait until labour started spontaneously.
She knew her options around labouring at home and used her hypnobirthing tools to help set up a comfortable environment and to cope with the intensity of the surges.
She knew her options around monitoring.
She knew her options around breaking her waters and how that might impact her labour.
She knew her options around pain relief and decided which was right for her and when.
And she was able to communicate with her caregivers about her options for birth and come up with a plan that she was comfortable with.
If you don’t know your options, you don’t have any!
And it is so important to also understand your options and the potential consequences associated with different labour pathways.
Rosanna navigated this challenging labour so well and ensured that she was making the decisions that were best for her and for her baby.
Here is Raphael’s birth story as written by his beautiful mother, Rosanna.
Our bub was born on 28 October. We named him Raphael.
I’d like to share the birth journey with you.
Prior to labour, Raphael never fully engaged in my pelvis, his head was at a less than optimal angle.
I went into labour naturally when I was 41 + 2.
I laboured at home for hours and when I arrived at the hospital I was already 6 to 7 centimetres dilated.
The midwife could not believe how well I was handling the surges. Your course totally helped me dissociate the surges as being painful – instead I just felt them as sensations throughout the whole labour.
I was lucky enough to get a birth suite with a bath so I laboured in there for several hours.
Unfortunately from this point onwards, my birth took on a course far from what I expected.
They ended up getting me out of the bath as my pulse got quite high. I suspect it was because I became dehydrated. I was hooked up to a saline IV and I agreed to CTG monitoring.
Raphael’s head was still high so we opted to break my waters, hoping that would help get his head lower. At this point I was about 8 to 9 centimetres dilated.
As there was no meconium when my waters were broken and my pulse had lowered, I was allowed to get back into the bath.
My surges continued and intensified for a few more hours and I began involuntarily pushing.
After a few hours of this, I was still 8 to 9 centimetres dilated and Raphael’s head was still not at the right angle.
My midwife did not want me to push on a cervix which was not fully dilated as she said this could cause swelling.
Up until this point I had not needed any interventions to cope with the surges, but after those intense hours I decided to get an epidural.
After the epidural my cervix dilated to 10 centimetres.
Over the next few hours, I was moved into several different positions to try to encourage Raphael to get into a better position for birth.
During this time the CTG detected a drop in Raphael’s heart rate so we opted for a foetal scalp electrode in order to get better reading.
His heart rate ended up stabilising and being okay.
Even thought he was still not in an optimal position, I began pushing.
After pushing for an hour to no avail I was given an option to go straight to c-section or to try the ventouse. If ventouse was unsuccessful, then we would need to proceed to a c-section.
We were told there would be a 90% chance of a successful ventouse delivery and as I did not want to start motherhood with major surgery we choose the ventouse.
After two good pushes with the ventouse, it popped off Raphael’s head and we proceeded straight to an emergency c-section where they attempted to get him out by hand, then forceps, and then finally and successfully by hand again.
Due to the effects of the ventouse, Raphael needed support immediately after birth.
It absolutely broke my heart that I could not have the skin to skin with (or even touch) my baby immediately after birth. The shining light throughout my whole labour (which ended up lasting around 24 hours) was that I would have my baby in my arms at the end. And when that did not happen, it was devastating.
Luckily Raphael only needed 2 nights in NCCU.
I had expressed a lot of colostrum towards the end of the pregnancy and he went through all of it while in NCCU.
He has made a great recovery and we have had great success with breastfeeding so far. He is gaining weight like there is no tomorrow!
Even though the birth was not the intervention free experience I hoped for, I still found the knowledge I gained in your course so valuable.
It made us aware of our options, aware of the consequences of our choices, and helped us understand the medical terminology and interventions presented throughout the birth.
Your course also made me believe my body could handle a natural birth (which I never previously believed) and made me no longer fear labour and birth, which was a huge deal for me.
Your course also gave me strength to say no to the suggestions of inductions which were offered on numerous occasions as I was over 40 weeks.
Your course also helped me disassociate pain with the birthing experience which I found to be a big game changer. I am someone who always believed my pain tolerance was low (I am known to cry during blood tests)!
The midwife was so impressed with how I handled the surges, she wanted me to teach other pregnant mamas how to handle them too!
I am enjoying the blissful newborn bubble. Even the fourth trimester is challenging at times, I try and look past that as I know this special stage will be over too quickly!