My guess date was Jan 12th 2013. A week passed with no real sign of labour. I tried just about everything possible to get things going. After three acupuncture sessions and trying some Clary Sage essential oil from Marie, I finally started feeling some surges at 1:00am on Jan 23. I was so excited that I was going to meet my baby! I got up and took some gravol and Tylenol to help me sleep through the rest of the night, but excitement of timing the surges kept me awake anyway. When my husband woke up to his alarm at 6:30, I told him he should call into work and tell them that today is the day! We called our parents to give them the heads up. My mother, who was to be my second birth partner, told us she would come as soon as she could get away from work. When my mother got to our place, we decided to go for a walk around Walmart to get things moving and to pick up some last minute things for the hospital bag. I could feel the surges getting more intense as we were walking, but there was no definite pattern forming. We walked for about 2 hours before deciding to head back home.
At home, I used the birthing ball to get comfortable. I found being on my knees and leaning over onto the ball to be the most comfortable. This position also made it very easy for my husband to massage my hips and lower back. As the day continued, the surges still didn’t seem to be consistent. They were as far apart as ten minutes and as close together as 2 minutes. When I felt myself getting frustrated, I focused on my breathing and repeated affirmations in my head such as “Soon my baby will be in my arms” and “I am relaxed and comfortable”
At 11pm, my husband called our midwife to let her know the situation. She decided that she would come and check me. She got to our place about an hour later. After the check, it was determined I was only 1cm dilated and 80% effaced so, therefore, was still in early labour. I found this very discouraging since I had been having fairly intense surges for almost 24 hours.
That night, I spent 8 hours in the bathtub. I found the tub to be the most comfortable place to be, and was able to sleep between surges. The same thing continued into Thursday. I listened to the Rainbow Relaxation and spent most of the time in the tub or on the birthing ball. I found it comfortable to sit on the ball while my husband sat on a chair. I would lay my head on his lap and rotate my hips. The urge to spiral my hips was so strong I could barely control it.
My midwife had called that morning and asked if we still wanted to keep an appointment we were scheduled for that morning. I said we would because I thought it might be good to get out and drive on some bumpy Regina roads. This enhanced the surges greatly. At the appointment we found out I was 4cm dilated, and she did a second sweep and stretch. I was happy with the outcome of the appointment and was hoping it meant the baby would be here soon!
That night, I continued the same routine, in the tub or on the birthing ball. In the morning, the midwife called and told me I would have to be put on the induction list in order to stay under her care. The hospital called us at noon and told us to come in as soon as we could. I finished a smoothie that my husband forced into me and we were off! Not the way I had planned on going to the hospital, but I was relieved to finally be going.
At the hospital, I was put into a triage room right away and hooked up to monitors to monitor the baby’s heart rate before starting the Syntocin. It was only suppose to be a 15 min process, but because they needed to see some spikes in the heart rate before starting the meds, it took about 1 ½ hours. Since the nurse had told me to stay lying down on my back during this process, I found this time very difficult. I made it through that time by using my breathing techniques, and listening to Rainbow Relaxation.
When we finally were taken to a birthing room, the nurses were quick to get me a birthing ball and start the Syntocin. After one hour, the nurse checked my cervix and I was 5cm and 100% effaced. We were excited and I was encouraged by the quick results. My midwife came soon after this and I was very happy to see her! She was so great and helped me into positions she felt would help progression with the smallest amount of Syntocin. I labored easily throughout the evening using visualization, breathing and massage. I found it especially helpful for my husband to put pressure on my hips during surges.
The midwife checked me again at about 10pm and we were discouraged to find that I was only 6cm and we would have to up the syntocin. After that I noticed a huge difference in the intensity of my surges, they started coming 2 or 3 in a row with no break in between. I found it extremely difficult to stay focused during those doubles and triples and had to rely on my breathing and added some vocalization into it at that time as well.
The Synto was upped again at around midnight. At that point, my midwife told me that if the contractions didn’t start coming in a regular pattern, we might be looking at an epidural, as this can help to regulate contractions. An hour later, with no improvement, I had an epidural. Even though this wasn’t in my plan, it felt wonderful to be able to sleep after going three nights without. It never did work to even out the contractions but I progressed slowly while sleeping. At 3:30 the midwife checked me again and I was 10 cm! Finally!! I began pushing, in the usual way. My midwife felt that was the best way to be able to coach me, as I wasn’t able to feel much. I pushed in numerous positions such as kneeling on the bed, on the toilet, on all fours on the bed and the birthing stool. It was so rewarding to be able to feel her head when I reached down. This kept me motivated to keep going.
At 5:20 am our 6lb 15oz Kinley Ella Dawn came into the world. She was placed on my chest and my husband and I announced her gender. We were able to enjoy a minute of skin to skin, but since she had passed some meconium during the birth, she had to be suctioned. Within a few minutes she was back in my arms and latched on right away.
In the end, almost nothing went according to my birth plan. I am so thankful for the Hypnobirthing techniques that we learned. Even though we didn’t get the exact birth we had planned, Hypnobirthing helped me to be able to cope with the things that didn’t go as planned and to stay relaxed and focused throughout the whole labour and birth experience. Thanks so much, Marie!!
Written by Alyssa D., May 2013
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