Here is a wonderful birth story about how being informed and confident can lead to a really positive birth even if “all the rides at the fairground” are required….
Sorry for the late reply; I know you know how it is with a newborn!
The birth of our baby was quite a marathon experience. My labour started spontaneously at 23:00 on Wednesday 24 July, two days after the estimated due date (I had declined induction). I laboured at home for the first 26 hours, and we finally went to the Birth Centre at 01:00 on the Friday morning. Here I was able to use water immersion, move around, etc, as I had wanted to.
As my labour was progressing rather slowly and I was becoming increasingly exhausted (two nights of no sleep and very little food, plus vomiting brought on by morphine) the midwife eventually artificially ruptured my membranes. By early afternoon on Friday I was finally fully dilated and bearing down, but my surges were too infrequent (only 2-3/10 minutes) to enable me to push my baby out.
We then transferred to delivery ward for an epidural and augmentation of labour. Once there, preparations were made for these interventions to happen but before they could my baby decided that she, like my uterus, was also exhausted and she started showing signs of distress. We then transferred to operating theatre for a spinal anaesthetic and forceps delivery. Despite three attempts with the forceps she wouldn’t budge, and we had to proceed with a caesarean.
My daughter Luna Scout was finally born at 17:12 on Friday 26 July. As my partner says, I got to try nearly all the rides at the fairground! Luna spent a few hours in neonatal HDU to recover but she bounced back quickly and joined me in the postnatal ward.
Her birth was a very intense experience, and a number of people have commented that it must have been scary and traumatic, but the one emotion I never felt was fear, and so I never felt traumatised. Whilst I would have loved to have been able to birth my baby in the water, with the assistance of my midwife, it just didn’t work out that way, but that’s OK.
We received the very best of care, and whilst a number of interventions were required in the end nothing was forced on us and I felt I was appropriately consulted and informed, and my wishes respected throughout the process. We did get to labour at home for a long time, and I had the mobile and active labour I wanted, with the use of water, TENS and nitrous oxide as required, and I don’t feel like I missed out on anything.
In the end my baby came to me safely and calmly, and that’s all that matters.
Looking forward to bringing Luna to the next Coffee & Cuddles so you can meet her.
Heidi & Mark