After staying a week past her predicted arrival date, Rachel decided she was ready to join the world and she wanted to get here fast….
I met with my midwife, Debbie, on Friday, August 24th for my 41 week appointment. I was healthy, baby was doing fine, but after a quick check, she informed me that cervix was nowhere near ready. Debbie told me she would not be working on Saturday but I didn’t need to worry about it because it appeared that I wouldn’t be going in to labour anytime soon. She offered to do a membrane sweep to see if we could get things going and I accepted. She also advised me on a few natural ways to get things started. We booked an appointment for a non-stress test on Monday and I left feeling very disappointed that we wouldn’t be meeting our baby yet. I knew Debbie wouldn’t refer me for induction until at least 42 weeks, but that day was coming quickly and I was worried that I would have to be induced – I really wanted to go into labour naturally. That evening I was pretty emotional and my husband did his best to reassure me that our baby would arrive before I would have to be induced. That night, I went over the list of ideas for getting labour going that Marie had given us and tried as many as I could – acupressure, eating pineapple, evening primrose oil, and “baby dancing”. I went to bed feeling a little more hopeful that soon we would get to meet our baby, but I had no idea how soon that would be!
I woke up at around 3:00 because I needed to pee and I was hungry. I noticed some bloody show which was exciting – I remember thinking that hopefully my labour would start in a day or two. When I was in the kitchen grabbing a snack, I felt tightening that was different from anything I’d had before. I was pretty sure it was just an intense practice surge but I thought I’d better pay attention to my body just in case it was the real thing so I sat on the couch and very shortly I felt the tightening again and then again and again. I watched the clock and saw the surges were coming regularly every 3 minutes. I changed positions a few times and they still continued. I went into our bedroom and woke up my husband told him that I was pretty sure I was in labour. I crawled into bed and we timed the surges for a while longer and they continued at 3 minutes. I was quite comfortable on my hands and knees using the breathing techniques Marie taught us. At 5, after debating whether or not to call the midwife or go straight to the hospital since she was taking the day off, we decided to give her a quick call before going to Regina (we live an hour away). She told us to meet her at the hospital in Fort Qu’Appelle so she could check me before we went to Regina.
We met her at 5:30 and she was shocked when she checked me and found that I was already 3 cm dilated. She couldn’t believe so much had happened since I’d seen her the day before! She told us to go to Regina, but not to go to the hospital for another 4 or 5 hours so that I had more freedom as I labored. In the truck, I began listening to the Rainbow Relaxation but found that I didn’t need it – I felt better just relaxing and talking to my husband. The most discomfort I felt during the whole process was on the drive because I couldn’t really move. We stopped at Tim Horton’s to get breakfast and I couldn’t wait to get out and move. When we arrived at my mom’s house, I immediately went upstairs, planning to take a bath but when I used the washroom, I noticed that I was bleeding more. As I was in the bathroom, I suddenly thought “I can’t do this anymore” and I remember thinking that was ridiculous because I was not in pain and felt like I could do this forever. However, I remembered women saying they often thought they couldn’t do this any longer when they were getting close. We hadn’t been timing the surges but they seemed to be coming very quickly and I began to think we’d better get to the hospital sooner rather than later.
We abandoned our breakfast and my plans for a nice, warm bath and headed to the hospital. When the nurse examined me she said, “Would you believe that you’re 9 cm dilated?” I wasn’t really surprised but I think my husband was quite shocked. They took me straight to the delivery room and by the time I got there, I was fully dilated. I think the staff was quite surprised because I wasn’t complaining about pain or screaming with each contraction so they figured I wasn’t very far along.
In the delivery room, the nurse kept telling me to push even though I had told her that I wasn’t planning on pushing and I didn’t feel the baby descending yet. I used birth breathing with each contraction but she kept urging me to push. Finally, I gave in and used a combination of pushing and birth breathing. Soon, I could feel my baby descending. It didn’t take long before Dr. Miller announced that he could see the head and baby was coming fast. I was moved from my side to my back because baby’s heart rate was dropping and to slow her down. As soon as I moved on to my back, the heart rate went back up but baby was still coming fast. Dr. Miller told me to stop pushing and to try to slow her down. By using birth breathing I was able to slow her descent a little. Dr. Miller was amazed – he said he’d never seen anyone be able to get through a contraction at that stage without pushing and with so much control. Right after that, her head and left hand came out, quickly followed by the rest of her. We were thrilled to finally meet our baby! Dr. Miller put her on my chest and she did the breast crawl and latched on and began eating right away. It wasn’t until a few moments had passed that Dr. Miller asked if we knew our baby’s gender (we didn’t) and he told us it was a girl. We were so excited we hadn’t even looked!
Thanks to hypnobirthing, I got the birth experience I had hoped for. My mantra during the last months of my pregnancy was “quick, easy, and comfortable” and that’s exactly what I got – I had no pain at any part of my birth experience. My only regret was pushing instead of sticking to the birth breathing. I believe that if I had breathed her down, she wouldn’t have come quite so quickly and I wouldn’t have torn so badly.
Written By Jillian A., March 2013
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