“Once I started breathing correctly again I felt I could manage the surges. I began breathing the baby down.”
This week’s birth story comes from Reena and Amit, who attended Hypnobirthing classes with our own Liz Stanford at Enhance Your Birth.
“At 7:00 am on Monday morning I had my show. Although I knew that it could be days before I went into labour, I couldn’t help but feel excited and hopeful that it wouldn’t take that long.
I phoned the Women’s hospital to let them know and to ask for their advice as I had Group B Strep and I needed antibiotics as soon as I was in established labour. They reassured me that I could carry on as normal and I need not come in until I thought I was in established labour or if my waters had released.
So I carried on with my chores at home, picked my daughter Sienna up from preschool and took her to weekly pre-tennis milkshake at Morrison’s. After Sienna’s tennis lesson, we went home, I gave her dinner, cleared up and started getting her ready for bed.
Just as I finished reading her bedtime story I felt a “pop”. I looked at Amit and mouthed that my waters had popped. I tucked Sienna in and said goodnight to her as normal and then I phoned the Women’s, who advised that as waters had released (although it was just a trickle) I should come in so that I could take the antibiotics in time.
I phoned my brother and asked him to come and stay with Sienna until my in laws were back home and Amit and I headed to the hospital.
We arrived at the birth centre at 8pm and were assigned a midwife, who was quick to tell me that I wasn’t in labour and upon checking me advised that my waters hadn’t released. When she checked again a little later she changed her mind and said that she could feel the baby’s head; my waters hadn’t fully released. Then came the words, “Oh you’re 3cm dilated”. When Amit got excited and said, “I told you you were in labour” she was quick to correct him and said, “She’s not actually in labour, as she’s not contracting and is only 3cm”.
She then said that she believed I would need to be induced to prevent the risk of the Group B Strep being passed to baby. Up until that point I was so focused on having a calm, natural birth like I had previously, but the midwife had completely thrown me off. It hadn’t even entered my mind that I may need an induction, purely because I had told myself that this wasn’t an option.
In Liz’s classes my brain had blocked out the section on induction and now I was in a mild panic that I wasn’t prepared, as I hadn’t listened. Amit reassured me that he had been listening and told me not to worry or lose focus. He asked the midwife if it was possible to carry on as we were naturally for a couple of hours, but the midwife was adamant that the doctors would want to begin induction by syntocinin drip.
When the midwife left the room, Amit went out to speak to her again away from me. Amit tried to persuade the midwife to let us continue as we were for a couple of hours, as he believed I had been having surges, even though I had said I hadn’t felt any. The midwife told Amit that we would either have to go home (as I wasn’t in established labour) or start the induction process.
Thankfully the midwife was called away to another labour and a new midwife was assigned. Amit explained again that we had been doing Hypnobirthing and that he thought I had been having contractions and asked if we could have a few more hours to see if things started naturally, as I was already 3cm dilated.
The new midwife was much more understanding and agreed that as it had not been long since my waters had released, there was no reason why we could not review in tywo hours to see if things had progressed naturally.
Whilst all this was happening, my surges had indeed started and Amit was happy to discover this when he came into the room to tell me the good news.
I continued to labour naturally through the night. At points I felt very tired and had to rest; after resting I found that my surges had slowed down and reduced in intensity.
At some points I began to doubt that I could do it, and Amit would tell me that I could and remind me to breathe correctly, as I had lost focus with it and forgot about the breathing techniques. Once I started breathing correctly again I felt I could manage the surges. Amit also gave me sacral massage which really helped.
At about 03:00 we moved into the pool room; by around 3:30 I went in to the pool. Moving to the pool helped ease the pressure and was quite soothing. At this point I was feeling exhausted, which again was affecting my focus and I was falling asleep. When the surges would start I would be half asleep and so wouldn’t be breathing correctly. Amit would encourage me and remind me to breathe as well as breathing with me to bring me back on track.
At 5:20 I felt like I couldn’t continue. The midwife, who had been with us for a few hours and had been observing and gently encouraging me following Amit’s lead, recognised that I was in transition and requested a mirror to check me.
After checking me she told me that I would be holding my baby soon.
Shortly afterwards I felt the urge to push, and I began breathing the baby down. The midwife said that she could see the baby was still in the amniotic sac (it hadn’t fully ruptured when my waters released!).
At 06:05 Anya was born. I was overcome with emotions and asked if it was a boy or a girl – the midwife reminded me two or three times that I had to have a look to see for myself!
Thank you again Liz for your amazing support and helping us prepare for the arrival of our second little princess. We couldn’t have done it without you!”
Anya Chandarana was born on Tuesday 13th February at 6:05 am.