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Maeve Elizabeth Keely 30.12.2020

Not every birth goes smoothly or to plan. When I got in contact with Jemma after her birth and read how her beautiful girl entered this world, I knew her story would help so many other parents preparing for birth.

Yes, things did not go to plan as you will read in this story. But what you will learn from this story is how beneficial birth education is. How it empowers you in a way to make informed choices, understand what is happening and come out the other side feeling positive and proud, despite what circumstances you encounter.

Jemma & Antony's story includes - GBS positive, membranes releasing/broken, epidural, foetal distress, use of ventouse, episiotomy, post-partum haemorrhage.

Our beautiful GIRL, Maeve arrived on the 30th of December at 38.6 weeks. I was so convinced we were having a boy that I kept referring to her as a ‘he’ for the first few hours of her life.

It’s safe to say our birthing preferences did not go to plan. In fact, if anything it was the complete opposite!!

Our birthing story

My bloody show came on the 28th of December. On the 29th I messaged my midwife with pictures of the bloody show. As it happened, I had an appointment with her later that day where she was going to tell me I was GBS positive. As a result of being GBS positive, she told me to go to emergency to check if my waters had broken.

We got to the hospital at 10am on the 29th of December. It was later confirmed that my waters had broken (hind breakage) and as a result I would be induced and I would be giving birth in the next 24 hours!!!

It would be fair to say that both Anto and I were not expecting this, but were anxiously excited that we were going to meet our bub.

Over the course of the next few hours my body naturally went into labour and at this stage I did not need to be induced. This was part of the birthing preferences, but probably where it started and finished!

I got put into the birthing suite at 5pm on the 29th and I was managing each surge very well with my breathing and mind. I later found out I was 4cm dilated.

Unfortunately I was restricted to the perimeter of the bed because the Bluetooth CTG machines were not charged, which meant I had to be connected to the wired ones. I had planned to use water as a pain reliever so this unfortunately was scratched!

At around 7pm, the midwife broke the rest of my waters. I guess they were trying to keep things moving along.

From there I felt like everything went extremely quickly. Surges became more intense and closer together. The surges got to a point where I felt totally overwhelmed. I wasn’t liking the gas and the tens machine felt a little ineffective at this stage. After finding out I was 6cm dilated I requested an epidural and I was absolutely exhausted. The epidural slowed down everything, but I was able to get some ‘rest’ for a few hours which I definitely needed.

Around 4am on the 30th the obstetrician checked me and told me I was 9cm dilated and the baby was in the right position and I would be ready to go in the next hour.

After pushing for about an hour with my midwife we were not making any inroads. The obstetrician came back and could see Maeve had turned within the last hour and was now sideways. She was also starting to show signs of distress.

All of a sudden our calm dark room with 3 people turned into all lights on, 3 obstetricians, 2 midwives and a paediatrician. This was quite scary and particularly overwhelming.

As I kept pushing with my surges, two of the obstetricians were trying to turn Maeve using the vacuum to allow her to move down the birthing canal. This was proving a really tricky manoeuvre. Thankfully on the last effort, they managed to turn Maeve for her impending birth.

I ended up having an episiotomy and was very close to having to go into theatre. However, fortunately at 6:28am, Maeve successfully got into the correct position and I was able to pull her to my chest; the best moment and a memory I will forever cherish.

After a very brief cuddle on my chest, unfortunately she was not crying and showed signs of breathing difficulties. The paediatrician tried to give her some oxygen in the room but was still showing signs of needing extra help. She was taken to the nursery for monitoring.

At the same time this was happening I was being stitched up and had a haemorrhage. I lost just over 600ml of blood! The pain when the obstetrician was pushing down on my stomach was like nothing else!! Luckily the bleeding stopped and it was put down to the trauma of the birth, but I was very, very faint. They put Maeve back on me before going to nursery and I completely passed out.

Thankfully Maeve only needed monitoring and was out of the nursery within 4 hours and we were all back together. Antony managed to give Maeve her first feed in the nursery using my expressed colostrum using a syringe.

On reflection. . .

Whilst our birth was very intense and not what we were expecting we have so much to be grateful for;

Our beautiful girl is here, healthy and thriving.

The healthcare professionals, especially our midwife, were absolutely fabulous. They made sure we were consulted during every decision throughout my labour. They were able to explain the reasons why intervention needed to occur in a respectful and caring manner. We felt empowered even despite the hurdles we encountered.

Because of your training we understood that you can’t have fixed plans as so much can be out of your control and you need to be flexible.

The obstetrician had told me I avoided having to have an emergency caesarean because of how well I was pushing along with my contractions. Because of you I understood the importance of timing. I could visualise what my uterus was doing.

Antony has mentioned a few times that the knowledge he had gained from your classes meant nothing was a surprise to him. He knew what was to come and had said this had helped him so much when things didn’t go to plan.

Antony was so strong and empowered to help me through the labour. He set up the room with the led candles, played our relaxation music through the speaker, gave me a light touch massage on my head at the perfect time and applied deep pressure on my shoulders when my surges were coming through. He was my rock and got me through all the obstacles we were facing. I cannot imagine how I would have coped without him.

When Maeve went to the nursery, Antony and I had already discussed that he would go with her. He was able to have skin to skin and give her my expressed colostrum for her first feed. Again something that you had prepared us for.

So whilst the birth of our beautiful Maeve had a lot more medical intervention than we had hoped for we are so thankful that we were still able to use your teachings to assist us in welcoming our daughter into the world - thank you!!!

Well done Team Keely!


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