Updated: Aug 6, 2019
Following my pregnancy and birth with Danilo I wanted to do things completely different for my second birth.
I wanted to eliminate as many tests as I could to prevent the unnecessary stress I felt each one had brought me.
I wanted midwifery led care.
I wanted a more comfortable environment.
I now fully believed that my body was perfectly designed to birth and I was determined to do it on my own terms.
Luckily, my first birth had been so textbook medically that I was a perfect candidate for birthing at the Family Birth Centre, and I was accepted. The only concern was my weight - I had to watch it didn’t cross the threshold for birthing at the FBC. I was super healthy through both my pregnancies, so this wasn’t an issue in the end – but I did get close!
This is the e-mail I sent to Pip, my Hypnobirthing Practitioner, following Maja’s birth.
I have been wanting to send this email to you for a while - so glad to be finally getting to it. With a 7 week old and 16 month old things have been pretty crazy!
Maja Ruth was born at the Family Birthing Centre on 10/1/18...and it was fabulous! My waters broke at 38 weeks on Tuesday 9/1 at around 2pm. I had several days of pressure and discomfort leading up so it wasn't a surprise to me at all! I didn't go into labour however and, after speaking to the FBC midwife, was told I would have 18 hours to give birth before they would suggest antibiotics and, if I refused, I would eventually have to go to KEMH. This was disheartening for me, given my experience with Danilo's birth and the pressure, during labour, to have antibiotics for GBS.
So, the race was on! I needed to give birth by 8am Wednesday. We went for a long walk, put the meditations on, bounced around on my fit ball and crossed our fingers! By 10pm I was only having a surge every 30-60 minutes. I was starting to get anxious, so I phoned the midwife to confirm an action plan. After talking to her I felt a little more relaxed and, on her advice, took a nap!
I woke at around midnight to an intense surge and, thankfully, they continued. They were very irregular, sometimes at 3 minute intervals, and then a 10 minute gap so it was hard to know whether to go in or not. Eventually, I just knew...my legs felt a bit wobbly and the surges had intensified.
We arrived at the FBC at 4am. It was peaceful, dark and quiet with only us and the midwife there. My dilation was never checked but the midwife did monitor heartbeat intermittently. Dragan was fantastic at protecting my peace and quiet throughout. We had the affirmations on, used the shower, and Dragan was there to coach my breathing when I lost focus. Everything was progressing quickly, and I was totally in the zone. At some point I even laid down for a rest.
Suddenly I felt the urge to bear down and I let Dragan know that she was on her way! I could see light coming through the window and knew we must have been close to our 8am deadline. I squatted, leaning on the end of the bed, and Dragan buzzed the midwife. Fifteen minutes later Maja was born, at 7:07am. Perfect timing! The birth was as simple as I could have hoped, and the midwife commented on how calm and controlled it had been.
Following Maja's birth, there was some difficulty birthing my placenta. I had initially refused the syntocinon injection but eventually agreed to be given a shot (actually 2!) to help the placenta out. It still didn't come, and the midwives became concerned about blood loss. My allocated midwife wasn't on roster when I gave birth so I had a different (lovely) midwife through the birthing process. My midwife, however, turned up for her shift at 8am, in the middle of the placenta panic, and was able to assist with the birth of the placenta after 1.5 hours, apparently with the longest umbilical cord in history!
Because of the extra blood loss it was recommended that I head up to the hospital and spend the night on the ward. I refused to go, given my previous experience and the fact that I felt ok. Thankfully my midwife agreed to keep me in the FBC for observation for the day and I left to come home at 5pm that evening, so grateful for the simple, magical birth I had experienced at the FBC.
Thank you for your wisdom, guidance and encouragement throughout both my pregnancies. I'm so glad I was able to use the hypnobirthing methods to their full extent this time and experience such a positive birthing experience.
I couldn’t have been happier after Maja’s birth, and being able to come home on the same day was a blessing (I was in hospital for 5 days with Danilo).
When I was squatting at the end of the bed to birth, I remember thinking with excitement, ‘Oh my god...I’m actually going to do this’. I'm so glad I was able to breathe my baby down the way I wanted to. It really was an amazing way to give birth and I did feel like superwoman afterwards. The way every mother should feel after birth...
Meeting a very excited big brother at home.