Bex’s Right birth on the day!
You may recall from my blog. New Year New Life (Part 2) I discussed my five birth choices which are below. Would it surprise you if I said I did not get any of these choices outright. My baby and body made it’s own choice on the day. Let’s remind ourselves of what these choices were;
Birth choices open to us for my Wise Hippo baby number two;
- Home water birth in my bath the same way I had my first. (This is what I was visualising daily)
- Water birth on the Midwife Led Unit
- Water birth on the Labour Suite which is Obstetric Consultant led
- Natural Caesarean Section
- Caesarean Section\Hysterectomy – this could be the case if my condition was at its most severe.
After a lot of discussions my medical condition had not be ruled out I was a ‘Known Unknown’ which the consultants and senior midwifes were nervous about. I had a very low risk pregnancy apart from the fact that in my previous pregnancy I had a very rare undiagnosed Placenta Accreta. (If pregnant please do not Google this condition as you will scare yourself with what you will read and that not that this blog intends to do). This is where my placenta had grown past the lining of the womb and into the muscle lining.
This condition is associated with women who have scar tissue from previous surgery or caesarean sections or low lying anterior placentas. So for me to of had this in my first pregnancy was extremely rare as it occurs in 1:2500 pregnancies. After MRI scans it had not been ruled out for history to repeat its self. I had a 30% chance of a repeat Accreta according to Hope for Accreta Charity based in the USA where occurrence is much higher.
Being very confident with my body’s ability to give birth and following my instincts I did exercise my choice to birth at home with all the safety plans put in place for the ‘what if’ scenarios.
On the morning of 29th March 2015. I woke up at 4am with dull sensations, used the toilet and went back to bed. At 5.50am I woke up to surges which were fairly regular. My partner, Lee, got up and cleaned the bathroom, kitchen and downstairs toilet as planned for when I went into labour. I put on my ‘sea of serenity’ MP3 and using open eye hypnosis stared at my 18 month old son whilst drifting in and out of my waves of relaxation and fixating on my son giving me a warm glowing feeling inside (Oxytocin). I text my doula and relaxed until I decided to get up at 8pm and shower.
As I was home birthing Lee rang Maternity Triage at 8am to let them know I was in early labour as agreed in all the plans. Due to my unknown condition the first midwife arrived at 8.30am followed by my two midwives for the day.
We laughed and joked and my surges were steady but very manageable. They kept commenting on how relaxed and calm I was. At 10.30am my midwife said if she was to do a VE and I was still in early stages they would go and come back later. So I agreed to my first VE to find I was 2/3cm with bulging water that could go anytime! Due to the waters, that then meant that my midwives were with me for the long hall. I ate lunch and ate biscuits whilst bouncing on my birth ball. Later in the afternoon I sent Lee and my son out to a soft play place with my mum. My doula gave me a massage and after I agreed to another VE to fund I was not much further progressed except in a surge where I was a lot more open.
It was shift changeover and the midwives agreed to leave me and that the next midwife would call me in an hour. At 6pm the midwife called and things were picking back up again and they were strong and powerful. I had my son back with my mum and Lee. My doula had gone to teach her Yoga classes. Lee was cooking dinner but I knew I was not going to be able to eat it as things were progressing quiet fast and the midwife was due to call again at 8pm but at 7.45pm I called Lee to get the midwifes to come knowing that they were traveling from Maidstone and New Ash Green.
At 9pm my midwifes had arrived and I agreed to another VE as I would have liked to get into my bath. I was 6/7cm I was very pleased with my progress. I labored in my water and around midnight things became even stronger and I could feel bearing down sensations. But my waters still had not gone. I was able to fall asleep and be ever so relaxed between surges enjoying my relaxing place and listening to music. My doula was massaging my lower back in the surges they were powerful and enjoyable. By 2am everything had slowed down so I was encouraged to get out and move around and that I could get back in to give birth. I was 9cm with really strong and long surges with big gaps. Using lots of different positions and rocks. After another hour I agreed something was not quiet right my instincts were telling me to transfer into hospital and I knew this would not be my plan B of the midwife-lead unit and that I would be going onto the delivery suite. You would think I was mad at 9cm agreeing to go into an ambulance, I could have given birth at any point. But, using my tools that I had learned on my course I managed to slow my labour down. Once at the hospital the speed they took me down the corridors was very amusing.
4.15am I met the 6th midwife to be responsible for my care. She spoke to me about the plan of action if I agreed. Using B.R.A.I.N.S I agreed that they could rupture my membranes as baby was still very happy inside. 4.35am The head descended without any complications and we agreed that in 2 hours I would be able to get into the birth pool within the room which did need filling. This was due to the fact my labour has stalled and we wanted it to become well established again before getting in.
So I laboured on dry land which is not what I wanted to do but used my frustration in my surges to help focus my energy to keep it productive. This was one of these curve balls that birth throws at you. So I used the leaning over the bed, being over the bed, bouncing on the ball but this did not work in a surge. They were coming thick and fast when I asked if I could have my pool filled up. This was my biggest wish as I was lent over the back of the bed. Lee was knackered as he had been running around after my oldest all day he was snoozing and my magical doula kept rubbing my back and reminding me not to tense up in any way. This was such a different experience from my other labour.
I agreed to one final VE as I so wanted the pool to be filled up. This showed I was very nearly there and advanced enough for the pool to be filled. Another midwife joined the midwife caring for me to put the liner on the pool and start it filling. My sons head was at an angle and this was not pushing down equally on my cervix which caused a small lip of skin that had not dilated back.
Rigth is how he sleeps a lot still now 2 weeks on.
I could not get back up after the last VE as my labour took its next turn. Hearing and seeing my water running this was my fixation point as my body and baby were finally in full alignment.
I felt the natural expulsive reflex kick-in and between humming and ‘arr’ing’ and roaring, my body and son worked in perfect harmony and he was born in 6 minutes. This is the most magical and intensce moment of my life and my body instinctively wanted me to lay on my left and this made my sons head move into the correct position.
This also meant there was not a huge amount of gravity increasing the downwards motion as my very active baby had been doing somersaults in my tummy and in the process managed to get his cord around his neck twice. Due to the position that my body finally got into this did not cause any concern or emergency situation and the midwife was able to free this in the time between the head and the body birthing.
Nature is truly magical. I feel blessed with the fact that I am so in tune with my instincts and was more than happy that I listened to my body and midwives and transferred into hospital when I did. I then had the most amazing golden hour and more as my baby was born at 7.04am and the shift change was 8am. My next midwife was the one to finally aid Lee to cut the cord and for us to weigh our son who was an amazing 8lb 15.5oz. In total I had an amazing birth experience with 8 midwives who totally respected all my decisions and wishes. I 100% believe I had the right birth on the day. I never ever imagined I would birth on dry land and it was a totally mind blowing experience. I am also grateful that I did not need any drugs as my body had produced its own endorphins to help me.
I would also like to thank the consultants and midwives that trusted my instincts and that were involved in all the planning meetings to facilitate my choices and wishes. Also, all the supervisors of midwives, Delivery Suite Manager and Bleep Holder who were also involved behind the scenes due to my medical condition that did not cause any complications on the day.
I am so please I got my right birth on the day!