(vaginal birth after caesarian birth).
At 39+5 I started to lose my plug. This continued for 6d(!) I was getting so many signs she was almost here, including a false start that week.
At 40+5 I woke to a lot of watery discharge & it happened a few times before 10am so went in just to check it wasn’t leaking waters (wasn’t). Then got home by 1pm straight for a nap, I knew something was shifting. When I woke I continued to fitball bounce, curb walk, hill walk, rest, move, rest. Butt scoot, open my psoas’ & massage my low back n glutes with the massage ball.
I felt WIPED, and had a feeling it was almost go time. I went to bed early, put my headphones in & listened to music in the dark. At 8pm I got my first contraction. I learnt my lesson from last labour - REST and try to sleep as a marathon was ahead of me. But they came on very consistent at 15 mins apart. By 11pm they were 9 mins apart. I got Andrew to give me a back massage to boost oxytocin & to help my body prepare. I got maybe 25 min sleep in/broken sleep between contractions. At 1am they were almost 3 min apart so I hopped in the shower. I swayed my hips & did my figure 8’s while humming a deep hum into my body every contraction & stayed in the hot shower for a good 30 min. Andrew walked in & said - it’s time to go to the hospital, they’re very consistent now. I jumped out n he called the MW, she was pretty chill and said yeh come in if you think she’s ready. We grabbed our frozen colostrum, our bags, snacks, water bottles & heat pack for the 25 min drive. My contractions remained at 3 min apart even through that (very uncomfortable) drive.
We got to the hospital maybe around 245am. Straight into a room (at my first labour I literally waited 1.5 hour in waiting room!) so this felt really good and again. No contraction stalling. I got undressed to be as comfy as I could be in just underwear and sometimes my robe. Started using the end of the bed, my TENS machine on to which Andrew was all over ensuring it never went off. I would have Andrew or my sister Sophie pressing my outer hips, squeezing my hands or simply holding me tight every contraction. I used the fit ball a few times- I’d sit on it & lean my body forward to the bed but when a contraction came on I would have to stand n lean over.
At 345am (ish) the MW did a vaginal exam - I was really reluctant tbh as this was the only thing my OBS & I weren’t agreeing on. He was on my page for all my preferences. But he wanted me having 4 hourly exams. It’s a very uncomfy process when you’re contracting n trying to keep your head in the game. But I consented. And I was at 4cm. The MW who’s name I did not even get, wasn’t really a vibe for me. But she seemed to have a lot of confidence in me & my birth team so she basically left the room n we only saw her sporadically After this, I got in the tub for a good 40+ mins. Oh the sweet relief of feeling buoyant in the water. It was really soothing n calming. I loved contracting in the water much more. By this time I was vomiting a fair bit if I had a huge contraction. Probably all up I’d say 6-7 vomits over the 13 hour labour. not tooooo bad.
I used the toilet a fair bit- facing either direction. Tried both. Helping things open up and drop a little. Whilst more painful IMO, it definitely helped. And again I had Andrew and Sophie holding me n helping me the entire time. I had Soph reminding me pain is temporary, I’m strong, I got this. Andrew reminding me to breathe, how amazing I was doing… and then the doubt crept in. Transitioning was happening. I was saying “I want the epi”. Then Andrew would say, decide after a few contractions or see where you’re at n make a decision then. Then I would say “no I don’t want it”. This happened a few times. I even said at one point - let’s just do a C section. And again, my amazing partner reminded me that we were already doing this. This was happening. I asked for help during one hectic contraction n said continuously “fuck” or “fuck this pain”, many more colourful things. I used my voice, humming n moaning was helpful but taking my time to breathe through contractions was the most helpful. Just hard to do each time. I stood up from the toilet and POP - GUSH, like a water balloon being dropped from a building, my waters broke (yessss all on their own!!!!!!) and this helped release a lot of the pressure I was experiencing!
The (then new and most incredible) MW Amy said to Andrew - okay so there’s some green tinge in the waters, do you know what that means? And Andrew said “meconium?” Yap, so continuous CTG of bub was had which was fine.. and she remained chill the entire time (!!!!) angel. I then got in the shower and stood over / leaning on hand rails with Andrews support as Soph hosed me down - and the urge to PUSH started. It was poo. and I kept saying “ffs this is fucked”. How lovely the student MW caught that on film I went back to the toilet n the urge continued. I said to the MW, umm not sure if you should know this but I’ve been pushing the last 3 contractions…. She said great, let’s get you on the mat n try some new positions!
I got on all 4’s and it was ON. The MW said “I think this is your position”. She said baby would rock back n forth in beginning to stretch the area n to be okay with it taking some time. Andrew held my weight really well in this position but I thank the 15+ years of Yoga for being in table top for 55 mins
We tried side lying, me squatting in his arms, runners lunge both sides but all 4’s was where it was at!!! Every surge, my body pushed. I did not experience foetal ejection reflex tbh. But I did have intuitive pushing n no coaching which is what I wanted. I swear this MW just was the best ever. She was a cheerleader n I felt supported AF. Soph was my water gal, massaging me and encouraging me. Nearing the 55 min push-athon, the MW asked if I wanted to reach down n touch her head. I replied, no, I can feel it this way very well I was getting so tired n so over it. My affirmation the whole time was “I trust my body, I trust my baby”. And with reminding myself that n the MW saying to push through the ring of fire (which she had hot face washers on my peri, recommend).. I gave it my ALLLLLL- and POP, her perfect little head was out. She was squeaking as she popped her head out and then I was gently coached to push her body out n bring her straight to my chest!!!!!!!
I agreed to pitocin injection for placenta.
I had second degree labia tears - sutures.
I had skin to skin straight away for hours.
Sylvie was a little jaundice but nothing major.
I literally had my dream birth (except not in water).
There were no interferences, interventions or pressure.
I was left to do my thing with full support of the hospital and mega compassionate support from my partner n sister.
This is WORLDS APART from my first birth. But I am grateful for both. This was and is a very healing process for me. And I am so proud of myself. So thankful for my partners trust in me n my birth preferences.
I did not do GBS & because it’s an incredible hospital they keep you in 2 nights post birth to ensure everyone is okay. Paeds tests etc. Sylvie had some weird rapid breathing first day but all her gases and bloods were checked n she’s perfect.
For anyone doubting what their bodies are capable of - doubt is part of the process. But you can do HARD things! Xxxx