Monday, 9 January 2012

Hannah's Unassisted Birthing of Freya

In her own words..

Hello, Freya is 3 days old now and I finally have time to write some words about her birth :)

So Friday 23rd my contractions started but it was stop-start-stop-start. The longest break I got was about half hour.

Labour didn't progress much over the weekend but Christmas Day Eve I started leaking fluid. On boxing Day Eve I informed labour ward as the contractions were also stronger. A lovely midwife came out and examined me (my choice as I had been contracting for so long I needed to know if anything had happened) I was 2-3cm but stretchy and between 50-75% effaced. Nothing much happened the rest of the night and I went to bed.

On 27th another MW was on call and she was awful, she wanted me to go in for a pitocin induction and cont monitoring due to PROM but I refused, she stalked me the whole day, ringing constantly, told me not to use birth pool as it increases risk of infection & even questioned my plans to tandem feed!! In the end my labour came to a halt, I knew she would arrive if things kicked off and I did not feel safe to birth my baby. She was still on duty on the Wednesday and I had had a big bloody show but I got OH to screen phonecalls and make excuses for me. She told him all the 'risks' and asked him what our plans were to which he replied 'to stay at home and have a baby'. We went out for a drive and came back to 5 missed calls from her and she had even turned up when we were out. We nick named her stalker madwife.

In the afternoon of the 28th another MW took over, she was amazing, came out to see me, trusted in me. She was happy with me & baby and told me to forget about having a baby, watch a film, order a takeaway & have an orgasm ;) She was the best thing that happened as I really relaxed.

Thursday 29th I woke up to a big contraction but went back to sleep. 10am I had another (OH got up with the kids) and went to the loo to have a gush of fluid - waters had def gone this time - yay!! I realised the leaking must have been a hind water leak.

Throughout the day contractions got stronger but whenever MW (the lovely one from boxing day who I really liked) arrived it all slowed down - think I had white coat syndrome! By 8pm I was in pain and asked her to examine me - I was 3-4cm and no more effaced than Monday! Could not believe it! I sent MW and my Doula home and we ordered Pizza, I was having painful contractions but I wasnt sure if this was it as nothing seemed to be happening!! I was sounding through every contraction and needing to rest on Toby. Toby said the sounding sounded so different when I was actually in labour than when I had practiced.

I called everyone back at 11 as I was in pain. we talked and labour seemed to carry on progressing so I wanted to get in the pool. MW advised best not to quite yet as it may slow labour down so I asked her to examine me at midnight to see where we were. I was still only 3-4 cm but cervix was more central. MW suggested I take some paracetamol and try to sleep, I was devastated and told her I was convinced baby was going to be born within a few hours so could not understand why I was not dilating.

Bed was a bad idea, could not sleep, asked DH to rub my back and he fell asleep mid contraction - I flew out of bed and ran downstairs! I had had enough! I told my Doula I needed more pain relief and she gave me some homeopathy to help back labour, I was upset as baby was no back to back yet the contractions were so intense I could feel them EVERYWHERE. She phoned the MW who said to let me get in the pool & she would be over about 4am. At 230 the pool was ready. Climbing in was a massive relief, the water seemed to absorb my contractions and finally I felt I could cope!

At about 3am I felt restless, I couldn't cope again and was telling myself I needed to get out the pool and transfer to hospital as a cesarean or epidural seemed like a good idea - I now realise this was transition but I had convinced myself it could not be as a few hours ago I was less than 5cm.

Then at 305 I needed to push, Dana (my doula) and my other half heard the noise and immediately called my MW then 999 - with the first contraction I put my hand down and could feel her head, I was told by Dana to get out of the pool (she was talking to emergency services) but I refused, I felt it was safer for me to stay there. Dana jumped in the pool on the phone to emergency services and followed their instruction. Second contraction and the head was born - 3rd contraction and Freya was born at 315am.

I sat back in the pool and fed her, she was awake and alert. 5 mins later paramedics and MW arrived, MW asked to cut the cord as she wanted to check baby over, I let her as I wanted the reassurance she was ok. MW sent paramedics away and I got out of the pool - placenta arrived at 340 naturally and we cracked open the champagne at 345!

I was checked over and had no tears just a couple of internal grazes. I felt on top of the world!

It was the most intense, amazing experience of my life and had restored my faith in birth, such a healing experience after a traumatic first birth.

The only things I would have changed were the vaginal exams, they set me back emotionally which is why I did not recognise transition. I also would not have informed the hospital about the waters leaking and I would have refused to let the cord be cut so early - in fact the only things I would have changed were things involving the medical profession ;)
One thing I will say is that Freya is a completely different baby to Amelia, she fed immediately after the birth, she is more contented and alert. There has been no issues with breastfeeding and it feels like she has been here forever! I also feel differently, I was on a real after the birth and managed to get showered and dressed within a few hours. Amelia was poorly after her traumatic birth, didn;t breastfeed until about day 4 (she was admitted to SCBU) and I felt awful, drained, tired & uncomfortable. I don't know if that is coincidence but to me the two very different outcomes speaks volumes!

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