Knowing what your choices are and making informed decisions is the best start to any labour. Adrianna shares her birth story, where she was initially booked in for an induction, yet after looking at all her options and evidence-based resources and confirming that she was well and her baby was doing well, she then used her BRAIN technique, to make an informed choice to keep waiting a bit longer to see if she would go into spontaneous labour.
Here is her story…..
I had agreed to go in to be induced at 39+4 due to the baby’s growth rate dropping in percentiles, however after having my labour focus massage with Vicki and talking some things over that were causing me fear then going home and talking with my husband Fabian, we decided to decline the induction especially considering I was starting to have some surges that felt very different to any of the Braxton Hicks I had felt prior.
So when I spoke to the midwife that works with my doctor she said that was all okay and I just needed to come in to see him on the Friday. We went in on Friday afternoon and he checked that the placenta and heart rate were still good and he was happy so he said he thought he might see me over the weekend but if not to book an appointment for Monday and we would go from there.
On Friday night I went to Ian at East Meets West Chinese Medicine and had acupuncture. While I had the needles in I had some really strong surges which felt promising. I came home and had dinner and put our 3-year old Alessia to bed then Fabian and I finished watching the series on Netflix we were in the middle of and went to bed around 10pm.
By 1.30am I was woken up by the surges I was having but just stayed in bed and breathed through them. By 3.30am they were getting quite painful, so I woke Fabian and asked him to put my tens machine on for me. We did that, and I started listening to the Hypnobirthing tracks and drifted in and out of sleep till about 6am when I felt I couldn’t stay in bed anymore and had to get up. I had a shower and some breakfast and continued breathing through the surges. At 7am Fabian and Alessia woke up and I called my mum to come and get Alessia. Over the next few hours I listened to the tracks, used the tens machine and focused on my breathing.
The surges were a bit all over the place sometimes lasting 30 seconds sometimes over a minute and they were still randomly spaced apart going from every 5 minutes to 10 or more minutes apart, so I called the hospital just to let them know I would possibly be coming in today. Given I was induced with Alessia I wasn’t really sure how my body was going to progress through labour, so they said I could come in any time, but I decided to stay home for a bit longer.
Shortly after mum left with Alessia I got in the bath and was smelling the clary sage inhaler I had made up. While I was in the bath I lost my mucous plug, so I decided to head to the hospital which was around 10am.
Whilst walking down to the birth suite and waiting for the midwives I had a few good surges but was still managing well with the tens machine and my breathing techniques. They put the CTG on me to get a trace and she said they may need to do a vaginal exam but I asked if we could avoid that if possible.
The trace was going along nicely however my surges stopped and I had only a minor one the whole time I was on the machine. She said it looked like early labour and a bit of irritable uterus and she thought it would be likely that we would be back at midnight, so we should get some rest. I asked if I could go home and come back when labour was more established, and they checked with my doctor and he was happy with that so we headed home at around 11.15am.
Once home we got in to bed to try and rest as I hadn’t had much sleep the night before and I also wanted Fabian to rest so he could be ready if we needed to head to hospital in the middle of the night. Almost as soon as I walked in the door at home the surges started up again, but I used my tens machine and my breathing and tried to sleep while listening to the tracks. They were coming almost one on top of each other and Fabian questioned if we should start timing them again, but I said no as I thought it was just irritable uterus like the trace had shown.
I listened to my Rainbow Mist hypnosis track (which is only available to those who attend the Hypnobirthing Australia classes) and just as the Surge of the Sea track started I felt the urge to go to the toilet. I had already emptied my bowels several times that morning so thought this was just another episode of this. However when I got to the toilet everything felt different, it wasn’t the normal urge to go number 2 but did still feel a bit like it so I was confused as to what was going on.
My body started pushing itself and I heard a loud pop of my membranes releasing. I leaned back on the toilet and asked Fabian if he could see a baby head. He couldn’t but he said it was time to go to the hospital and I agreed so went to get up however found I couldn’t actually walk so crawled to the front door while Fabian quickly gathered our things.
He helped me into the car and we made our way to hospital not even having time to put on shoes or lock up the house! We called the hospital on the way and asked them to meet us at the night entrance, so we didn’t have to walk through the hospital, this was at 12.06pm.
We arrived at around 12.10pm and the midwives and Fabian helped me get to the birth suite as I was still struggling to walk. I got up on the bed and they helped remove my clothes. I was on my knees with the back of the bed up leaning against it. Naomi (the midwife) asked to examine me and I was 10cms and the baby’s head was right there.
The next bits are a bit blurry as it all happened very quickly, but I remember using my breath and also some deep vocalisations to get through the surges. Naomi was trying to get the baby’s heartbeat with the doppler but kept hearing mine instead and I was struggling to move back off the bed far enough for her to move it around as being pressed up against the bed felt the best.
I was pushing with my surges and when my doctor arrived a few minutes later he was concerned with the amount of blood that was present so wanted to get baby out quickly. In the end he had to get me to turn on my back, which I wasn’t thrilled with but understood that he was worried because of the bleeding and them not being able to detect the heartbeat. I tried to push baby out with the following surges, but she wasn’t coming so he decided to use the vacuum to bring her more to the surface then he got me to push the rest of her out.
It was all very fast, and she was born at 12.34pm (well no one really looked at the clock, so this was their best estimate but I think she was born a bit earlier then that). She came straight up to my chest and stayed there for the next hour or so. We got to have optimal cord clamping until the cord went white, however I agreed to the syntocinon for the delivery of the placenta given the concern with the blood loss, but he didn’t pull it out he let me push it out, so I was happy enough with that.
Turns out that because my first Obstetrician with Alessia gave me an episiotomy then sewed me up incorrectly it was just the perineum that was bleeding, so my doctor had to recut me to fix up the initial mistake.
Although I didn’t have the typical relaxing hypnobirth experience and didn’t get to use all of the “props” I had intended like my affirmation cards, candles etc. I am still very happy with my experience and feel that what I learnt in Vicki’s classes helped me get through. Because it was all so quick I panicked a bit and did struggle to regulate my breathing when we first got to the hospital, but Naomi was good at getting me back on track and encouraging me through the whole time. And even though I ended up birthing on my back I still feel that everything went well, and I am very happy with the experience I had and how my doctor and the midwives helped me meet my baby.
So all in all not your poster hypnobirth but it worked for me and helped to bring our beautiful Carissa in to the world.
Thank you so much Vicki for your support through the classes and our chats during my massages. I really wish I had known about this for Alessia’s birth, but we definitely got a better story this time.
Adrianna and Fabian – Perth WA
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My name is Vicki Hobbs and I am a Childbirth Educator (Back to Basics Birthing), Hypnobirthing Australia Practitioner, Certified VBAC Educator, Remedial Massage Therapist specialising in Pregnancy & Postpartum Massage, Birth & Postpartum Doula, Certified Placenta Encapsulator, Hypnotherapist, Aromatherapist, Reiki Practitioner and Life Coach. I am a serial workshopper and learner, so that I keep up to date with new research and information so that I can provide you with up to date resources. My focus has always been on the mind, the body and the emotions and how they all need to be in balance for harmony. You can subscribe to my newsletter by adding your details in the box on the right-hand side and when you do I will send you a free relaxation meditation to help you feel calm and relaxed. I am based in the northern suburbs of Perth and can be contacted by email at [email protected] or phone (08) 9303 9111 or click here to go back to my Blog Page for more great articles and information.