“Everything was so natural and perfect! We’ve told everyone all the learnings from your course, it’s so empowering. We felt so good having prior knowledge, especially declining the CTG early on as we really feel things could have played out so differently. I’m so glad we felt so well informed.”
Karen, Peaceful Birthing Mother
My surges began the evening before Nico was born, starting around 11pm. I was 38 weeks pregnant. They were very mild, so I managed to rest overnight between the surges, and they continued through the day when Simone came to drop off the TENs machine and have our postpartum planning chat.
After Simone left, I had a shower and put the TENs machine on. My mucus plug came out along with some water, but I wasn’t sure if it was my membranes or not. I called the Midwife and she advised to go to the hospital to make sure either way. It was about 3pm at this point, and the surges were getting more intense. When I arrived, the Midwife presumed it was my waters as the pad was too heavy, but she checked anyway and confirmed it was. She then said that because my waters have broken that I had two options – I could do a vaginal examination to see if I was progressing, but that because my waters had released this would have a risk of infection. The second option was to use a speculum to visually asses if I was dilating. So I chose that option, it was painful to be on my back but I really felt like I wanted to know if I was progressing! She confirmed my cervix was closed.
With this in mind, she then said I could either go home to progress, or stay at the hospital but if I did that, she said it was a good idea to put on the CTG monitor.
“I knew I didn’t want that, I didn’t know how long it would take to dilate and I didn’t want to be stuck on the monitor. So we chose to go home. On the way back to the car park it was already difficult to walk. I felt perfectly fine between surges but when a surge was happening, I needed to stop and breathe through them using the techniques Simone taught, and I also found the TENs machine really helped. “
Once we got home Otaivo and my mother set up the living room, closed the curtains, put the hypnobirthing tracks on through a speaker, lit candles, placed pillows and towels everywhere. I feel like this really helped get me into deeper relaxation. Having a familiar environment really helped too.
“Otavio helped by reminding me to relax my shoulders, my jaw, to concentrate on my breathing, and he also did some hips squeezes and light touch. We tried different positions including the slow dance, but all fours leaning forward on the bench, couch or sofa felt most comfortable.”
Around 7pm my surges were 3 every 10 minutes so we called the midwife again. She asked to speak with me to asses how I was going. She said “you’re doing really well, but as it’s your first baby you’ve still got time. You were here a few hours ago with no dilation so your baby will come tomorrow, don’t worry just keep going”.
“I decided to try a warm shower which helped me cope through the intensity, and then I hopped in the bath for a while. It did mean I had to take the TENS machine off which I was reluctant to do, but I managed to be in the bath for an hour until I really felt things were getting super intense and I was struggling to stay calm. I felt like I needed help (in hindsight this was the adrenaline of transition!). “
We called the hospital again, I was even thinking I might ask for a caesarean or at least some pain relief. They said to meet at the hospital in an hour. It felt too long, the midwife was probably trying to buy time, but in reality it took that long to actually get out the door anyway! It was a slow walk from the bathroom to the car. It was at this point that I starting to bear down, after getting out of the bath, perhaps gravity helped him move down. I wore an eye mask and ear phones in the car which helped so much as I wasn’t aware where we were and was able to remain pretty calm. When we arrived, a Midwife was just starting her shift and she got a wheelchair for me to lean on rather than sit in. She wheeled me inside and took me directly to the birthing suite.
“I still had the mask and hypnobirthing tracks playing so I was completely in the zone. Once in the birth suite I took these off and I saw the Midwife who gave me a hug, she was so warm and kind which made me feel so safe. The room was dim with the fairy lights which was also lovely. “
I accepted a vaginal examination which meant I had to lay on my back, it was incredibly uncomfortable so I tried the gas. I did this for about 4 breaths, then she did the check, and much to our delight I was fully dilated! She could feel a bit of my cervix (cervical lip) and she did a manoeuvre to move it out of the way and apparently I squealed! The Midwife said she’d fill the bath as my birth preferences were to have a water birth. In the meantime, she suggested I go to the toilet to release my bladder as a full bladder can sometimes get in the way of a direct birth path. I moved to the toilet but I couldn’t release. Another Midwife was called so we knew it wasn’t too far away! From here I felt Nico making his way out, and I realised there was no getting back to the bath!
I found the best position for me was leaning over holding the bars in the toilet. The student Midwife arrived then, but I was completely unaware of others in the room except Otavio & our primary Midwife. Shortly after that I felt like things were really happening and the Midwife got the mirror, we could see our son crowning! Pillows and towels were brought in to get me more comfortable. I also remember the Midwife tried to move the tens machine wires out of the way but I yelled at her saying ‘Don’t take the TENs off!!’ I didn’t realise it was because she was trying to clear the path!
Nico was born with me leaning forward, in one surge his head was out, my legs were shaking so I ended up on my knees leaning forward and about 3 surges later he was able spin, and released into the hands of the Midwifes. Much to everyone’s surprise Nico was in fact born that day, 11.33pm only an hour after we arrived at the hospital!
The final sensations didn’t hurt at all, it was more of a relief. My mindset was all good as I knew I was going to meet my baby! Incredibly as soon as he was out, the sensations completely disappeared. I felt completely normal.
We then walked to the bed for a skin-on-skin cuddle, and we did the breast crawl, it was so good! I really wanted to let him do it in his own time, so we were patient and didn’t interrupt. It was amazing.
We had skin-to-skin and fed for about an hour, then Nico had his newborn check and then was then passed to Otavio for some skin-on-skin which was so beautiful. I went to the birth stool to birth the placenta. It felt like mild surges to birth this, and it helped when Nico came back to me to encourage this process. The placenta was very healthy, and we had this encapsulated which I think has really helped with feeling good postpartum especially energy levels.
I had a stitch due to a superficial wound, and was able to walk to the maternity ward which felt pretty amazing. We arrived about 2am I slept for an hour, Otavio stayed awake and watched in awe of his new son and amazing partner! Everyone was exhausted! It is definitely a team effort.
Everything was so natural and perfect! We’ve told everyone all the learnings from your course, it’s so empowering. We felt so good having prior knowledge, especially declining the CTG early on as we really feel things could have played out so differently. I’m so glad we felt so well informed.
I felt elated for a few days, like I had so much energy and that I could do anything! We stayed in hospital for 2 nights mainly because the hearing check hadn’t been done so we stuck around for a bit longer. We didn’t even know how to change a nappy so it was nice to have the hospital support at this time.
It was so good for me, to be shown what my body can do. I was confident the whole time, except for when the adrenaline kicked in but Otavio knew what was happening and was able to coach me through this. It was so good just having him there. It was such a nice, positive experience. If we had of stayed a little longer at home it would have been an unplanned homebirth!
Thank you Simone, the course played such a huge part in our beautiful positive birth!
Welcome earthside baby Nicolas!
Baby Nicolas was born March 10 2023 at 11.33pm