Kristen's Birth Story
We are all doing really well thankyou! Zoe is wonderful. She’s a great little feeder, and she settles and sleeps well. I can’t believe she was 4.3kg at birth either Nikki! I have NO idea where she was hiding. I didn’t feel that big, and I wasn’t really uncomfortable at all. I suppose I was T+12 by the time she arrived, but still!
So. . Birth story. .
I was induced at T+10 in the end. My cervix wasn’t really favourable and an ARM was going to be difficult, so I agreed to PGs on the Monday night. I had 2 doses because my cervix was unchanged after the first. I cramped all night long and hardly slept.
On the Tuesday morning, I had an easy ARM at 2cm. I started contracting straight away. My contractions were quickly 3-4:10 lasting around a minute. Damo and I walked the corridors and I put the TENS machine on. That was really helpful. The contractions were getting stronger and stronger but I was managing well, mobilising around the room.
After 4 hours, Anne (Midwife) examined me again and I was only 2.5cm! (insert crying face!)
I knew I needed oxytocin and I decided I’d have an epidural. It was not in my plan AT ALL, but I felt as though nothing was happening fast. I knew I was in for the long haul.
The epidural worked quickly but I didn’t really like the feeling. I couldn’t get comfortable in the bed and the block was really heavy. We started oxytocin and Anne said I established at 2pm Tuesday. At 6pm I was 5cm. Shortly after, my epidural stopped working and I could feel so much pain, all in my bum! They pulled it out a cm and topped it up but it didn’t help. Anne thought maybe I was progressing quickly. She re-examined me at 7pm and I was 8cm! She asked whether I wanted the epidural reinserted and I said yes because I thought it could still be a long time before I delivered.
Sure enough! I was stuck at 8cm for HOURS. In fact, Anne examined me at 10pm (room all set up for birth, everyone excited) and said I was more like 7cm now with a thick, swollen 3cm anterior lip! (insert another crying face!)
Anne couldn’t believe it, and before she left because her hours were up, we had a bit of discussion about the Registrar (who I hadn’t seen all day) probably wanting to come and do the next examination because if I hadn’t progressed any further, they’d need to be thinking about a section! I was devastated. I thought after all this, I was going to end up in theatre! The absolute LAST thing I wanted! I was so upset.
By this time, the second epidural had done the same thing as the first. I couldn’t feel any abdominal pain but it was like the worst ever cramp deep in either side of my bum! Awful! I writhed around in the bed and was using gas for hours while they tried to top it up and get rid of my pain but nothing eased it. Luckily the gas did help a bit.
I think the Reg (Doctor) must have come in around midnight. He was lovely. I cried when he again discussed a section. He examined me and I was STILL 8cm! Still very swollen. BUT! He said Zoe’s head was really low. He scanned me and said she was direct OA. I got the feeling he thought maybe she was a big baby. But he said that because she was really low, and in a perfect position, that I ought to have more time. I was so relieved initially. I didn’t want to go to theatre.
It was so hard to push on with a crappy epidural but I did. The new SMGP midwife was young and had only been a midwife for a couple of years but she was great. She had my lying down on either side, rolling a lot. She made me put a peanut ball between my legs. After a couple of hours, I started losing my mind. I started to worry about why I had this thick anterior lip, why I was stuck there for so long, if she was in a perfect position and her head was really low. I felt like something wasn’t right. I started to worry that we were pushing a vaginal birth and maybe she was big. Maybe she wasn’t going to fit. I was worried about a shoulder dystocia really. I started to think, just take me for a section. I didn’t want to hurt her. I asked the Registrar to come back. Not something I’d really imagine asking for usually but I was scared and I wanted some reassurance!
He was so good. He examined me (yet AGAIN!) and said the lip was still there but that I could start pushing in an hour. It must have been almost gone or something. I’m not sure. I didn’t know how I was going to cope with another hour of discomfort while we waited for it to go away, but somehow the time went by. Before the hour was up, I started involuntary pushing anyway! I knew her head was right there. I tried so hard not to push but I couldn’t help it.
At 3am, I started actively pushing and her head was on view with the first push. I pushed for an hour total, in a few different positions, and ended up birthing her leaning over the back of the bed at 4am. She came out without any issues. Her heart rate didn’t skip a beat the whole time. She cried straight away. They passed her between my legs and I was shocked to see we had a baby girl! I was convinced we were having a boy! I knew straight away that she was at least 4.2kg! She jumped straight on the breast.
Unfortunately my membranes were ruptured 20hrs and I didn’t have any antibiotics because the birth was imminent. Something in her CBP was a bit off and a few hours later she had some effortless but rapid breathing. She had to have 48hrs of antibiotics in the nursery, and we didn’t get to go home until the Friday. We were so elated to finally be going home with her.
The days that followed have been an absolute dream. We are SO in love with her. We have loved every minute as new parents. We feel so lucky to have her.
Although I didn’t want to be induced, or have oxytocin, or an epidural. . I feel fine about all of that, because in the end I had a vaginal birth (with no stitches!?) and we have a beautiful, healthy baby girl. That is my ideal.
Maybe I’ll have a completely different birth next time, and I’ll be able to rely more on the hypnobirthing techniques throughout the labour. Who knows. But I did find it all useful in preparing for the birth, staying relaxed in those final days of pregnancy, and also during the night of the induction and in early labour before the epidural. I think Damo found it useful too. He did everything he could to keep me calm, positive and focused. He helped create a great atmosphere for me. He was honestly amazing. I couldn’t have done it without him.
I’ve written you an essay, sorry! Haha.
Wow what an incredible birth story! I thank Kristen for taking the time out to share it with us! What a strong woman she is!
She did amazing and made some really important, meaningful and right decisions for her and her baby at the right times given the circumstances and turns her journey took. What a Hypnobirthing Star! Hearing her describe it in such a positive light is credit to her and her hypnobirthing practice and the preparation in the lead up to her birth as we don't always know what the journey is going to hold.
I just loved reading Kristen's birth story, it is what Hypnobirthing Australia™ is all about, riding the waves of labour with the circumstances you are given on the day, so even with Kristen having an induction, epidural, oxytocin she was empowered by making those decisions and they were HER choices, supported by her birth partner, Midwife and Hospital OB.