Teaching Jade & Laurie was such a joy last year, Jade was focused and knew what she wanted right from the beginning and Laurie was an amazing support and was so hands on and eager to learn throughout classes. Jade & Laurie's birth story includes decreased foetal movements, private midwife, facing an induction, advocating for yourself and making informed decisions. Induction of labour, hypnobirthing tools, the use of water and TENS for pain relief and upright positioning... written by Jade herself, it's a goodie!
I remember the day as if it was yesterday… It all began on Thursday the 14th November I was 37+1 weeks and had spent the day at my mums as I was going stir crazy at home.
All throughout the day I had not felt peanut (baby) move and he was normally very active, however I did notice since being on maternity leave that his movements were irregular so tried to not overthink things. When I got home at around 3pm I decided to have a cold drink & eat something to see if that would get peanut moving and still nothing. Following my gut I called the maternity ward and they advised to come in to get checked out. So I called Laurie (whilst crying) and told him what was happening which he told me he would meet me at hospital from work.
Once we got to the hospital we were seen within half an hour and hooked up for monitoring. Peanut was fine however we did need to be monitored for a couple of hours to establish a stable baseline and as we had not had an ultrasound since 20 weeks (public hospital). The team wanted us to come back the next day to have a scan and check the fluid around bubs etc. Laurie & I did also have a private midwife (external to the hospital) so we could maintain continuity of care throughout the pregnancy, we updated her via text as to what was happening. She was great to offer support and advised us to call any time with any concerns.
Friday morning Laurie and I headed back to the hospital first thing so we could hopefully get in and out. Within an hour the ultrasound was completed, and the sonographer told us that peanut looked healthy and that they were no issues with the volume of fluid around him. We did however need to wait to speak to the obstetrician on call that day to go over results. Going over the results with the obstetrician we were advised that there was nothing of concern however as we were technically classified as full term now the chances of stillbirth would increase as time progresses so we could look at an induction to ensure that peanut arrived safely.
Laurie and I took some time to discuss the possibility of an induction as this was something I wanted to avoid, however following our instincts and not risking looking back one day and saying “what if” we decided to proceed with the induction. We informed the obstetrician of our choice and discussed induction procedures as I openly voiced my wishes to be able to progress as naturally as possible. We agreed on the Foley Balloon Catheter procedure which we were booked in for that evening! Laurie & I left the hospital to go and get ourselves organised, phoned our private midwife to provide an update which she was great to discuss the procedure in detail and to make sure I was happy with the decision as she knew our desire to avoid an induction where possible.
Fast track to Friday evening, Laurie and I had returned to the hospital at 6pm and have been admitted to our room. We were lucky enough to have a private room with a bed for Laurie as well however he did choose to go home and get a good night’s sleep since not much action would be happening Friday night. Around 8pm the balloon was inserted and I was advised that I may experience some period like cramping and if the discomfort was too much to buzz for some pain relief. Lucky for me I had a great nurse who offered to heat my wheat bag so I could use that for relief. Laurie had now gone home, it was around 9pm and the cramping had definitely set in but was tolerable.
As I knew this was only the beginning of things I wanted to try and stay as relaxed as possible in the hopes things could progress quickly and naturally. Out came my hypnobirthing goodie bag with my mini essential oil diffuser & clary sage. Alongside this I started listening to the Rainbow Mist hypnobirthing track on repeat. I was set up for the night and drifted in and out of sleep until morning.
Saturday the 16th at 8am, Laurie arrives with maccas breakfast in hand, once I have eaten I get up to go to the bathroom which is very difficult to do with balloon still in and then the balloon falls out in the toilet. Laurie went to alert the nurse, who after a little while came to check on things and advised that this was positive as the balloon did as expected and my cervix had started dilating. After a quick check I was advised that I had already dilated 3cm and a birthing suite would be arranged shortly. At approx. 10am we were moved up to the birthing suite where we met one of the amazing midwives who would assist with our birth, they were very supportive and excited when we mentioned Hypnobirthing (Laurie had also kept our private midwife updated however she was assisting with another birth as well and would come a little later).
Straight away I voiced my desire to avoid having the Syntocinon drip if possible, the midwife supported my choice, however we did need to consult with the obstetrician on call. In came the obstetrician who listened to my wishes and advised me that they would delay inserting the drip for an hour to see if I progressed, however advised I would still need it in the end as I would not progress without. So basically in her mind she was just humouring me. Out she went and our lovely midwife reassured me that they would do what they could to assist me avoiding the drip and prove the obstetrician wrong by delaying the cannula.
At 1pm my waters were broken and I had already progressed to 6cm without the Syntocinon drip. From this point I had my Tens machine hooked up to my back while I tried to eat some lunch. The surges at this point were becoming more intense so I struggled to eat anything and instead needed to vomit. After this I appeared to have a brief moment of relief, our private midwife also arrived to assist. As the surges continued to intensify and I needed something other than the TENS to distract me from the pain, the midwives suggested I try using the shower. As we kept losing peanuts heart rate through monitor we were advised we could have a clip inserted to the top of his head to allow for more consistent monitoring and allowing me the freedom to move around. We accepted this suggestion and once the clip was inserted, I entered the shower.
The relief from shower was just what I needed, Laurie and the midwife both held a shower head on my front and back allowing me to breathe through surges. I remember the surges continuing to intensify and while the shower was providing relief there was a point when the pain became too much, doubt set in and I told Laurie and the midwives I don’t think I could do this without any pain relief. They were fantastic to support me and reassured me that I was doing so well and to continue to breath and move through each surge.
I never knew what time it was or how far I had progressed after the initial check when my waters were broken, so the focus was on trying to get through each surge, I had moved from the shower, to sitting on the toilet and leaning over the bed. It was then that I had the urge to start bearing down and continued to do so while leaning over the bed. There became a point where this no longer felt comfortable so I moved to all fours on a mat on the floor.
Here I continued to bear down, this pain was intense however I was reminded to breathe and I focused on surges of the sea hypnobirthing track which was still on repeat in the background. After what felt like forever, I remember seeing one of the midwives put on gloves and at that point I felt a sense of relief that the end must be close and it was the burst of energy that I needed to continue to push through the pain. After another moment of bearing down our midwife advised that they could see his head and told me I could reach through to feel him which I quickly did as I had another urge to bear down. With this his head was out and the final moment of bearing down for one more time. He was out at 4:46pm, I still recall hearing Laurie crying and Oscar being placed in my arms. I was exhausted and this moment felt so surreal, he was finally here. While I held Oscar in my arms, enjoying skin to skin time and delayed chord clamping I had Oscar latch for his first feed. After about 30 mins Laurie cut the umbilical cord and now I passed my placenta. After this Laurie enjoyed his own skin to skin time with Oscar while I tried to eat something as I felt very faint and exhausted. We were left to bond with Oscar in the birthing suite while we waited for my 2nd degree tear to be stitched up and a bed organised on the ward. During this time I did lose a significant amount of blood which was due to the placenta so I was given an injection to assist with reducing bleeding & clots. After a shower I was moved to the ward where I had my first night with Oscar.
Completing the Hypnobirthing Australia course with Vanessa not only helped us have a drug free vaginal birth, but also empowered Laurie and I with all of the knowledge and resources we needed to make informed decisions for our birth even through an induction.