Since before I even started trying to conceive I knew what my dream birth would look like and it’s fair to say induction was definitely not part of that dream. But throughout my pregnancy I knew that a number of factors including a two vessel cord and our fertility treatments meant induction was very likely for us and after developing preeclampsia late in my pregnancy we decided to book an induction.
I made sure to have really open and honest conversations with my obstetrician about my feelings and fears around induction and what I wanted my induction and birth to look like. The hypnobirthing course really helped me to be confident in having these discussions and knowing what the induction process would look like. I also spent the week and a bit leading up to my induction trying to prepare my body as much as possible with acupuncture, chiropractic treatments, two stretch and sweeps, raspberry leaf, dates, etc etc. I also made sure to listen to my hypnobirthing affirmations and hypnosis tracks daily and completed extra fear releases in the lead up to my induction.
At 37 + 6 I went into hospital in evening to have the cervadil tape administered at around 8pm to help ripen my cervix. I woke up around 3am with some lower back pain and what I now realise were early surges. At 5am I asked for a heat pack for my back which gave me some relief and I listened to surge of the sea to try and help me relax and go back to sleep. My obstetrician came in at 8am to remove the cervadil and break my waters. I had a shower and noticed that I was having stronger surges that felt like they were just a few minutes apart. My husband and I decided to go outside and go for a short walk so I used our tens machine to give me some extra relief. Our walk was very short lived because it felt like every 10 steps I was having a surge that was enough to make me stop walking and need to hang off my husband while focusing on my breathing. I made sure to use the surge breathing we learnt and practiced as part of our hypnobirthing course and it gave me something to focus on during each surge. When we made it back to the birth suite I tried a few positions around the room but couldn’t find any comfort through my surges so hopped in the shower.
I spent the next few hours in the shower and felt like I was really able to get in the zone. I would rest on a shower chair and then stand up and sway while holding onto the chair through each surge. My husband was amazing and set up the room with our LED candles and Bluetooth speaker with my playlist to keep the environment super relaxed. Around 12pm my midwife checked my cervix to determine whether I needed the synthetic oxytocin drip. I had told my midwife I didn’t want to know anything about my progress or dilation but I was having four surges in 10 minutes (and I now know I was about 5cm dilated) so was progressing well enough without the drip. It was also around this time that I could feel my body pushing on it’s own during each surge and this was more uncomfortable for me than the surges themselves. I felt that I needed something more so decided to try the bath but couldn’t find a comfortable position. I got back into the shower and I think it was at this point I asked my midwife for an epidural not because the pain was unbearable but because I really wanted to lay down for a nap haha!
Around 1pm I asked to try the gas and unfortunately had to get out of the shower because the mobile gas wasn’t available. I spent the next few hours on all fours on a floor mat and using the bed to prop myself up during surges. This whole time my body still felt like it was pushing during each surge. At 4pm my midwife asked to check my cervix again and I was fully dilated.
From this point I stopped using the gas and tried to bear down with my body with each surge. I did this for more than two hours still on all fours on the floor mat and was able to doze on the floor in between each surge. I tried pushing in a few other positions but the floor just felt most natural and effective to me so I stuck with it. Around 6.15pm my obstetrician offered me the ventouse/vacuum because both my baby and I were exhausted and I was struggling to get her past the final point in the pelvis. I was happy to do the vacuum and it felt like in a matter of seconds they had the room set up and ready to go.
Within two surges and the help of the ventouse, baby was crowning and our obstetrician asked my husband to help deliver our baby’s shoulders. She then told me to reach down and deliver the rest of my baby and pull her onto my chest. This wasn’t something that I had included in my birth preferences but it was the most special moment and I’m so grateful to my obstetrician for encouraging me to do it.
So at 6.33pm our baby girl Olive was born and we enjoyed two hours of skin to skin and bonding time in the birth suite.
Going into my induction I had a lot of fears and concerns but our hypnobirthing course and working with Hannah helped us to go in completely prepared. We felt confident that we knew what questions to ask and how to work with our providers to make the whole experience everything we could’ve hoped for and more. Even things as simple as the affirmations, fear release and hypnosis tracks made such a difference to my mindset about the experience and I’m sure it helped me to have the birth that I’d always hoped for.
Birth story and photos shared with permission. Congratulations Kaysee and Kieran!
Photo credit: Shaylie Marie Photography Insta: @shaylie_marie