I've finally gotten around to sending you and email to say that we had our little baby Alfie on August 28th at 0302. He's a pretty chilled out baby, just feeding and sleeping most of the time!
I had the midwife come for a visit and do a stretch and sweep to get things moving on the Saturday morning and was already 2cm, but it wasn't til the next day that everything happened.
He was born at 40 weeks and 3 days with labour starting naturally on a busy Sunday- Paul and I had walked the dog down at the beach, stopped for a coffee, had lunch and then I went with Paul while he did some work driving around some bumpy paddocks in the ute checking on some sheep. It was the bumpy ride that I think really kicked started everything!
By 2.30pm I was getting more uncomfortable and started timing contractions while finishing off packing my bags. At 1700 my waters broke and we made plans to head in to meet our MGP midwife at the hospital as I was GBS positive so commenced antibiotics. By 6.30 contractions were regular and increasing in strength, and we moved around to the birth centre around 8.30. Paul setup our Clary Sage diffuser and started playing my hypnobirthing tracks via speaker. Soon after this I was 6-7cm dilated.
I was up and moving around the room/ leaving on the bed/ into a beanbag/ over an exercise ball. I used the TENS for a while but as he was direct OP (posterior) I really couldn't find the right strength for the boost function during contractions as the back pain was so much stronger than anything else. I also found it really fiddly having to consciously think about pressing the boost button, rather than just switching off. I wouldn't use it again.
I moved into bath as I had wanted a water birth. I wish I could say I liked the bath more than I really did! I just couldn't get comfortable in it, and even with the nitrous oxide gas it still wasn't really helping so I moved into the shower which kind of helped.
I really started to get so uncomfortable and doubted myself - and I did even ask for an epidural. Turns out I was in transition and 9cm dilated. It's not that I wanted the epidural, I just wanted the back pain gone, and straight away! I found the only thing that kind of eased my back was my hot pack, super hot.
I moved back to the bed onto my hands and knees/ beanbag and kept using the nitrous gas, and started pushing/bearing down shortly after. I didn't mention the epidural again.
I did need a ventouse as I had made progress with pushing but just couldn't do anymore as he remained direct posterior. I had a lovely young female Dr who I have worked with before come. It was so lovely to have someone known to me come in at that stage. He was born gently with some assistance from the Ventouse with me reaching down to help bring him up onto my chest. It was a really calm instrumental birth with just Paul, my midwife, the Dr and a lovely young paediatrician.
Thinking about it now, the hypnobirthing really helped antenatally and gave me that belief and focus on our normal pregnancy and birth. And to take away the fear of all of the complications I've seen being a midwife.
During labour I just breathed through every contraction and moved around. As labour progressed I literally couldn't even hear the hypnobirthing tracks above anything else, as I was just so focussed on each contraction.
Posterior labours are horrible though!!! My goodness the back pain was absolutely unbelievable and if I didn't have that back pain, it really wouldn't have been that bad!
I am so proud of myself for really not using much pain relief at all- only used the nitrous for maybe 4 hours but that didn't do much at all during contractions- just made me relaxed after they ended.
I am so, so happy I didn't have an epidural too- I never wanted one and to know that I can do it without one is the best feeling! Next time will have to be easier, I keep telling myself!
Alfie is amazing, and we are just so happy to have him, breastfeeding is going really well and he's already up above his birthweight.
Labour was the hardest, most intense thing but also the most rewarding! Being a midwife it was probably 10x harder than I thought it would be, but it was just the back pain that was the worst, and then closely followed by transition. It's such a horrible feeling at that stage doubting yourself and feeling so out of control, before you have the urge to push, but then that urge completely takes over and it is different being able to push and knowing that you are close to giving birth.
Thank you for the classes, we found them really useful and they helped prepare Paul also. I've recommended the classes to so many of my friends!
Congratulations Bek and Paul! Alfie is gorgeous. I am so happy that you were able to achieve the calm, positive birth that you had worked so hard to prepare for - Hannah. Birth story shared with permission.