Baby Mack’s birth – “I was calm, wasn’t scared, felt informed and that the decisions I was making were right for the circumstances”.

Amy & Michael attended the course in the lead up to their first birth. They welcomed their beautiful baby boy Mack Harvey into the world at Hurstville Private hospital with the support of an obstetrician.

Here mum Amy tells us all about Mack’s journey into the world…

“My membranes released early in the morning, 1:50am. I went to the bathroom and came back, sat on the bed and thought I had just lost control of my bladder. I went back to the bathroom and saw a bit of mucus and realised it was my membranes releasing. We actually couldn’t believe that it was all happening now! 2 weeks early.

I wasn’t having surges and felt fine so I got up and got ready, had a shower, washed my hair and shaved my legs 🤣 I had to go to hospital because I needed IV antibiotics due to testing positive to group b strep earlier in my pregnancy. This was the main factor that dictated what my birth would be like.

We dropped Samson our dog off at Mum & Dad’s place and went to the hospital, we got there around 3:30am. I started having surges but they were about 15 minutes apart and stayed that way for a while. I felt really calm and ready, I had a birth ball and was breathing through my surges resting on that on all fours. I really wanted to do things as naturally as possible.

When the obstetrician came in around 9am she said she wanted to move things along. I was 2 weeks early and being my first pregnancy she thought my labour could take quite a while because my cervix wouldn’t have softened enough. Also because I had GBS and my membranes had released the risk of infection was higher. She said I could wait until 10am and move around a bit and try and move things along but if my surges weren’t more frequent I would need the drip. I was wearing a fetal monitor so that made moving around a bit hard, it kept sliding down my stomach. I finished my 2nd lot of IV antibiotics around 10am and the midwife came in and said it was time for the drip. Both my husband and I wanted more time to move things along naturally but the midwife insisted that the obstetrician had said 10am so we just took a deep breath and went with it. I really didn’t want to be on the drip however all I could do at this stage was trust the obstetricians decision.

I started the oxytocin around 10am and stayed pretty calm breathing through surges on the birth ball but within about 2 minutes I started having strong regular surges that just got worse and worse. There wasn’t much of a gap in between them, I was able to breath through them for a while and used the gas but that made me feel a bit nauseous and I was vomiting a bit, the gas doesn’t take the pain away it just makes you a bit giddy. Mick was amazing throughout the whole birth but this part especially. His touch was very comforting and holding onto his shoulders got me through a lot of surges. I eventually got to a point where the contractions were basically constant and I couldn’t get comfortable at all so I asked for an epidural. I didn’t want an epidural prior to starting labour however my biggest concern about the epidural was not being able to move around and my movement was already severely restricted so I decided it could only provide me with some relief.

I got to about 7cm dilatation when they put the epidural in. That was the hardest part, breathing through contractions; staying still and sitting upright while they put it in. Mick really helped me through this.

Once it was in I could finally talk again, I basically couldn’t say a word throughout the whole first part but Mick said I looked really calm 🤣 about an hour later I was fully dilated, and they turned the epidural down so I could start pushing. Another thing I didn’t want to do was push but the baby’s heart rate was dropping so I continued to trust the judgement of the obstetrician and midwives. I pushed the baby as much as I could but the obstetrician had to use the vacuum and do an episiotomy in the end because of the way I was positioned on the bed and the baby couldn’t make his way out by himself and he had the cord in like a figure of 8 wrapped around him!

The obstetrician helped his head out and I was able to push his shoulders out. He was placed onto my chest immediately, he let out a few cries, Mick and I both cried and then he settled almost straight away! He was a calm baby from the very beginning. The cord was clamped and cut by Mick after it had stopped pulsating and I birthed the placenta easily. Mack, Mick and I all bonded while I was stitched up.

I didn’t want to be induced, use gas, have an epidural, have an assisted delivery or episiotomy 🤣 but hey in the end it was all good. I was calm, wasn’t scared, felt informed and that the decisions I was making were right for the circumstances. It was still a natural birth and we are both healthy! The obstetrician was impressed with how quickly my labour progressed once I started the oxytocin and how quickly I dilated, I was visualising the baby moving and my cervix softening the whole time. Mick used acupressure points and I smelt some clary sage throughout the my labour. I think I did my best considering the circumstances. Unfortunately testing positive to group b strep and having my membranes release set me on a path where intervention was inevitable.”

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