Laura Natural Hospital Birth

Thank you to Laura for sharing your birth story with us and congratulations on the birth of baby Bonnie,.

“A long account of my long labour! The day before my due date (Saturday) I woke up around 1 am thinking I might be having mild cramps, but they were so mild I wasn’t sure if I was imagining it, or if it was general pregnancy aches. I couldn’t get back to sleep with the excitement I felt so around 4am I got out of bed and watched a movie.

I went to the toilet a few hours later and saw what I thought was my mucous plug (I realised later that I had only lost a very small part of the mucous plug and there was a lot more to come!) We texted our midwife to let her know that there was some action but that it would probably be a while yet as the cramps were still very mild. I spent the day watching movies, walking, bouncing on the fitball, listening to MP3s, using the TENS machine, and even visited some family.

By the evening the surges were stronger and closer together so I was pleasantly surprised how quickly and easily it was all happening. We were timing the surges and they about 2am they were around 3 minutes apart and quite strong, but not unbearable. We called the birthing centre and although the midwife we spoke to was a bit sceptical that I was ready, she agreed we should come in. By the time we had driven the 20 minutes to the birthing centre my surges had all but stopped and I was a bit embarrassed that I’d overreacted.

The midwife said I was in very early labour, which was very disheartening. She offered me an internal exam and I agreed as I wanted to know realistically where I was at. She was surprised to find I was 2cm dilated and completely effaced, so I was actually further along than she thought. She said my waters were bulging and to expect a gush any minute. She sent us home and said she’d probably see us back there in a couple of hours.

At home I got in the bath while my husband slept and had some intense surges. This was probably the lowest point for me, although the surges were still not unbearable I was starting to wonder how much worse they would get, and how long it was going to take. I was also unable to keep down any food or water after throwing up at the birthing centre. By morning my surges had slowed right down to 20 minutes apart. I consulted my midwife and she just told me to relax and try to sleep. I was unable to sleep as every time I laid still my body would cramp, but was fairly comfortable bouncing on the fitball, walking or in the bath. I was starting to feel tired as I hadn’t slept since the first early surges, still couldn’t hold down food or water, and felt like I was going backward. All day was much the same with very mild surges spaced far apart.

Finally, at around 10pm the surges started to intensify and quicken again, and by 1am we were back at the birthing centre where I was very pleased that my midwife was available. I had an anti-nausea tablet, which worked immediately, and I started trying to rehydrate (I hadn’t kept down any food or water for over 24 hours at this point). I got in the birth pool and spent a few hours breathing though my surges, which were quite bearable. My husband was really great, chatting between surges, feeding me ice and water, and counting the breaths for me.

I had been intending to have gas, but kept waiting until the surges were unbearable, which they never were. At one point the midwife mentioned that we’d been there three hours and I honestly thought it had only been one! I was progressing quite slowly but was feeling relaxed and the baby’s heart rate was stable.

By 6.30am (Monday) my waters finally broke and I felt I needed to start pushing. I pushed a few times and it felt like the baby was about to pop out, then I looked down mid-push and realised I wasn’t nearly that close. It took an hour of pushing before the head was out as my surges were about 5 minutes apart. This meant that I got lots of rest in between, but the baby was retreating after each surge.

When the head was finally out the midwife asked if I could push the baby before the next surge as she didn’t think it would be a good idea to wait 5 minutes with the baby half in, half out. I tried but without the surge I couldn’t do it, so I stood up and pushed while the midwife helped guide out the baby. She handed her to me and I held her straight to my chest.

We hadn’t known the gender and it took a few minutes before we thought to check. I laid on a mattress next to the bed and had skin-on-skin while the midwife delivered the placenta (I opted to have oxytocin at this point). I laid my beautiful girl on my chest and she found her way to my nipple within 15 minutes of her birth and latched on with no issues.

She was 4.75kg and 50cm. Bonnie is now 3 months old, feeds like a champion and is a total mumma’s girl. After the birth, I felt so empowered and had such faith in myself that I think it really helped with breastfeeding and caring for my baby. Although I don’t remember it, the midwife later told me that straight after the birth I said, “I could do that again!”

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