My estimated due date was 8th April 2019. This date came around and no signs of little one were happening apart from mild period like cramping and a lot of lightening pains from her engaging. So I decided to book a massage to help me relax and take my focus away from this date. My Husband and I decided that I wouldn’t have any form of induction unless I felt it was necessary and that we would let baby come when baby was ready.
I was offered a stretch and sweep by 40 weeks but politely declined as it didn’t seem to be needed as I was only just 40 weeks and wanted to give baby chance to come by herself. The midwife was supportive and informed me that if I changed my mind I could ask for one st any point.
My next appointment came all observations seemed well and baby appeared well too. I was offered a stretch and sweep again but politely declined. This continued until I reached nearly 42 weeks and the midwife wanted to book me in for induction but I politely declined again and asked for daily monitoring (CTG and scan of baby, cord function and percentage of amniotic fluid left) the midwife was not happy about my decision but went ahead and booked me in the hospital for monitoring.
Over the next week I received monitoring at the hospital and we received excellent care the midwives were respectful of our decision to not be induced and I didn’t feel pressured whatsoever. I finally decided to have a stretch and sweep as I had gone over the 42 weeks and felt I should now be encouraging baby to make an appearance . This helped me lose my mucus plug and soften my cervix slightly but still no labour…
I ended up having another stretch and sweep and then about to receive a 3rd and as a laid on the bed my waters broke!! She just got her glove on lol. This gave me a sense of relief that hopefully baby is coming very soon. I had all checks done that day and as usual baby was fine and the cord and amniotic fluid level were performing perfectly!! I went home and decided to help get things moving by vigorously cleaning, as I was well aware that I was on a time limit with risk of infection. I was happy to go 48 hours without being induced as long as there were no signs of infection (I was constantly checking temp, the smell of my waters, and took all precautions to prevent infection). The following morning at 5.30am I woke up to a strange sensation in my tummy and felt I needed to use the bathroom, I ran to the toilet for it to go away after a minute or so. I went and laid back in bed and I started to feel it again , it did cross my mind this could be labour starting but I didn’t want to focus too much and then it go away so I just remembered my breathing techniques and focused on that. I still wasn’t sure and my husband was asleep so I decided to time them and after around 1 hour I could see I was feeling these ‘sensations’ (now realising they were surges) every 7 minutes or so lasting for around 1.5 minutes!! I woke up my husband by telling him the baby is coming! (This was 42 weeks plus 6 days gestation)
I called the hospital as we were meant to have further monitoring that morning and wondered if we should still go in, they confirmed it would be good to check me and baby due to waters breaking over 24 hours ago. The surges were still around 7 minutes apart and I was just breathing through them it didn’t feel too intense but I was feeling a lot of discomfort in my back which I found more difficult to manage. The monitoring was fine again and I asked to go home for a while to see if I could get things moving in my own environment as I knew it would be my best chance. I knew in the back of my mind the 48 hour time limit I had given us and by this point we had about 5 hours to get things moving before I was going to go to hospital. I fought so hard to get the birth I wanted (MLU water birth) when you are faced with the risk of infection to you and your baby the whole circumstance changes, so by this point I didn’t mind going onto the labour ward it actually gave me piece of mind.
I was at home and my surges just got more and more intense lasting around a minute and every 2-3 minutes apart after a couple of hours I called the labour ward and told them how far apart my surges were and they agreed I should go in and get checked over. Unfortunately the examination confirmed my cervix had dilated approx 1.5 cm therefore I wasn’t in active labour. I decided to stay at the Labour Ward as my waters had been broken for nearly 48 hours now and I knew me and the baby were at risk of infection , after much reluctance I agreed to have the syntocin drip (synthetic oxytocin) to encourage my surges to be more efficient with opening up my cervix. After much personal research and education through Hypnobirthing I knew the experience other women had with the drip without an epidural at the start almost 90% opted for epidural not long after as your body really struggles to deal with the forced surges. I made an informed decision to have epidural before the drip was administered, I also made sure that anytime my baby was showing any signs of distress I wanted it to be taken out immediately and the midwife was agreeable and understanding to this and assured me that they wouldn’t let it prolong any distress as I would be constantly monitored. Throughout this period I was relaxed and felt so in control , the midwife was fantastic she really made the experience lighthearted and not stressful whatsoever. My Husband was so supportive he knew everything what was happening and was so calm and aware he was amazing.
12 hours had passed and I was examined again, my cervix had dilated on half a centimetre , my temp was up and down and things were not moving , baby didn’t like the drip anymore and was showing signs of irritation (not necessarily distress) by this point I was tired, hungry and ready to meet my baby. My Husband and I discussed the risks of waiting and the option of a c section. We decided to opt for a c section as we felt it would probably progress to that but in an emergency situation and that is something we strongly wanted to avoid . We discussed it with the midwife and consultants and they felt we was making a sensible decision. We were prepped for surgery and were informed of the procedure etc . Even though this wasn’t in Plan A it was in fact Plan C we did not feel at any point stressed or unaware of anything that was happening. The C section was actually a magical experience and we were still able to have the preference we wished for in our birth plan and the doctors were so supportive. My little girl was born at 11.59am , she had only small signs of being overdue which confirmed she was probably just 42 weeks gestation and not 43 weeks she is our little Miracle! My Husband was an amazing support through the surgery and he witnessed her being born it is a memory I will treasure for the rest of my life.
All in all , Hypnobirthing does not guarantee you the perfect birth or the birth plan you put on paper, but what it does provide you with is; invaluable antenatal education, relaxation scripts to prepare your mind for the birth, it made me feel so calm and ready for the whole birth experience, factual and evidence based information to assist you in making informed decisions leading up to the birth and during the birth. We thank Christine for all her support and the Hypnobirthing education we received. I truly believe we had a magical birth experience due to being calm and well informed and relaxed.