After having two home births, it was a no brainer that I would opt to have a home birth again for my third baby. I did all the prep, listened to my MP3’s, practised my breathing, read my birthing books and generally got myself ready and into the mindset that is needed when you’re about to have a baby! The thing is…..baby had other ideas!
My first curve ball was learning at 37 weeks that baby’s head has not engaged and that she was is in the breech position. I could have panicked at hearing this but it was okay because I used BRAINS to ask all the right questions and figure out what my options were (Benefits, Risks, Intuition, Nothing, Smile):
- Opt for an elective C-section as there are not that many midwives in my area trained to deliver breech babies (Or so I was informed)
- Opt to have an ECV (manual turning of the baby)
- Opt to try natural ways of turning the baby (spinning babies is a fantastic website)
- Opt for a natural birth anyway and have faith that the team around me know what they are doing
- Opt to do nothing and see what would happen
I realised my options were not that great so I decided to do all I could to spin her naturally and booked the ECV for the following week. I really wanted to avoid having to have a C-section unless absolutely necessary which meant I practically hung upside down for a week, went swimming, calmly asked baby to turn for me and had some acupuncture too for good measure!
On the morning of the procedure you can imagine my relief when the doctor told me she was head down and so we didn’t need the ECV after all…great, now I could get back to prepping for baby’s arrival……
That’s when curve ball number 2 occurs… 5 days before she was due I felt the wetness in my undies that I knew was my waters starting to leak. There was no gush or drama whatsoever, just a tiny trickle. I spoke to the midwife who told me to keep an eye on baby’s movements and carry on as normal if feeling comfortable. Hours went by and labour had not started. My husband and I tried all the tricks, going for long walks, watching funny movies, gentle massage and lots of bouncing on my birth ball. She did not want to budge!! On the second day I was informed that it was hospital policy to induce if waters have released and labour hasn’t started within 24 hours. I opted to stay at home with the option for regular checks moving forward to monitor baby.
On day three I knew that my home birth was slipping away and I would have to head to hospital. All of my instincts told me that baby was still happy, she was still active and although labour had not kicked in, I was still able to stay active in order to help things along. Those birth balls are amazing!
Upon arrival at hospital, I had to muster all of my calm vibrations in order to stay calm and keep my mind on the end goal which is to have a calm labour and to hold my baby in my arms. My husband was amazing, he remained calm throughout and was my advocate when I didn’t feel up to the task of advocating for myself. I could have felt angry or disappointed that I was at hospital instead of in the comfort of my home, but I knew that all births are different. No matter how much you plan for them, anything can happen!
By the time I arrived at hospital it had been over 36 hours since my waters had broken. The staff were very keen to induce, and I was keen to avoid that if I could. They hooked me up to the monitors and so I had to settle in and get my head around the fact that this is not what I was expecting. We used BRAINS a LOT during this time as we both wanted to make sure all the decisions that were being made where mine and mine only.
The room had a white board and some pens and so as a distraction, I decided to write up some affirmations. I bounced on the ball and drank LOADS of coconut water to keep my electrolytes up and the hubster was in charge of the relaxing music play list he had created for the occasion. After a few more hours of this the midwife said “I’m afraid we cannot wait any longer. We are going to have to induce you to get the baby out”. My heat sank, but I couldn’t delay them any longer. By then it had been over 60 hours since my waters first appeared. Off the midwife went to prepare.. when
Curveball number 3 – labour suddenly started! My surges were coming strong and quick. I looked at my husband….OMG, she was finally willing to make an appearance! The staff couldn’t believe it and neither could I! She arrived into the world about 3 hours later, healthy and calm. All of us bemused that the drama was averted and that she had decided to come her way (she’s still like that now by the way). I had not used any pain relief either (I couldn’t believe that!) and that was all down to the power of my own mind. Amazing!!
Would I have coped with any of those curve balls without Hypnobirthing? No fucking way!! I am so glad I was able to use what I learned to help me make decisions that were mine to make. What I learned from baby number three is that it doesn’t matter where you give birth, or what twists and turns your birth journey makes, what’s important is that I had the right birth for me on the day and that’s it. Because that’s all it ever can be for women every day, everywhere. You can only have the right birth on the day and if you are using Hypnobirthing techniques to help then you will be able to handle any curve ball that is thrown at you – I promise.
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