Birth story - Amrei and baby Tobin

My husband and I were recommended the digital pack which we watched together around 34 weeks.

My pregnancy wasn’t as straight forward from 24 weeks onwards when a private 4D scan revealed I had off the charts fluid.

After several more scans and a diabetes test I was finally given the OK to be referred back to my midwife which also meant I could birth at the local MLU, which was supposed to open on my due date.

I felt ready to go from 38 weeks onwards, having put my birth preferences in writing. The heatwave did its best to make me housebound during daytime and we went for a walk every evening when it cooled down a bit. I kept telling myself that my baby will come when it’s ready. I felt good.

My midwife, who I had seen at 37 weeks, had already talked about booking in for an induction which I found completely out of order and rather hindering considering it put pressure on me. My ‘due date’ came and went. Luckily I saw another midwife the day after my due date who offered a sweep which I declined.

Nervous about ending up having to have and induction I decided to just keep trying to walk this baby out. My husband read up some ideas on how to get things going and I was happy to give it a go eventually.

On Saturday the 7th, 40+5 I decided to go get my toe nails done and just relax. Sunday morning after another restless night I went and had a long bath - long in this case was actually two hours of spa music and me almost falling asleep I was that relaxed. My husband went out and bought pineapple and also convinced me that we had to go for a curry that night. So we did. Oh and sex was also on his list, so we did that too. I fell asleep at around 11pm and woke up from a surge at 2:30am so went downstairs on my birthing ball and put the tens machine on. I left my husband to sleep thinking it’ll be a while anyway. The surges came a lot quicker than I expected and I suddenly felt the urge to completely empty my bowls (hi there, Curry, I was worried you’d show during birth!). Sitting on the downstairs loo I posted a photo of my contraction app in my July Facebook group and some girls commented immediately that it was time for me to go! From nothing to 2 mins apart lasting 45-60 seconds within 10 mins was quite an experience. So I got myself upstairs and woke up my husband. He asked whether he had time for a shower so I said yes, a quick one, but I’ll go first. If you knew him, you’d know that 10 minutes is a very quick shower for him. I rang the MLU and the midwife said “so, you woke up half an hour ago with contractions and now you want to come in? Are you sure? I’d say stay at home for a bit, it doesn’t sound like you’re very far progressed.” During another surge on the phone I told her we’d be coming anyway, she could send us back home if she wanted.

The surges were getting stronger and I rushed my husband who then suddenly looked at me and said “Oh, maybe I didn’t realise it was happening that fast.”

The 8 mins drive to the MLU was awful, I felt like the tens machine just didn’t work for me. Maybe that’s because I accidentally hit the power button twice.

We got to the MLU at 5:30am. At this point I was 5cm dilated, very much to the midwife’s surprise. I went straight in the pool which was a huge relief and kept progressing fairly quick. The breathing I learned from the digital pack helped immensely. It was 28 degrees C in the room and the midwife kept topping up the hot water because she said baby will be here soon, which almost had me faint and we secretly changed it to cold every time she left the room. At around 7am I felt the urge to push but the midwife said to keep breathing, so I did.

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At that point I wish I had listened to my body more but I was too tired to talk. My husband kept offering me coconut water and just sat by my side in silence like I had asked him to. I remember getting frustrated and saying why doesn’t she offer gas and air, I don’t want to ask for it, I stupidly thought I would be weak if I had it. So my husband did, and that was a game changer.

At 8am there was a shift change so the lovely new midwife came and examined me again after I had to have a catheter, I was fully dilated (which was expected after I felt like pushing for almost an hour). Back in the pool, gas and air was great and I was allowed to start pushing! I kept putting my hand between my legs trying to feel the baby but I just couldn’t. I pushed for hours. And during every surge the midwife would say “it’s nearly done, you’re so close” but I was not. I was getting tired and so was baby. His heart rate went down during every surge and the midwife asked me to step out the bath which terrified me after lying on my back for the catheter. Thankfully my amazing husband stepped in using BRAIN and first checked with me and then asked the midwife to give it another couple of surges. I changed position in the bath and after two more surges and pushing without surges (I didn’t know that was a thing and I’m wondering whether this was the reason for tearing) the head was finally out, one more push and there he was. I lifted him straight to my chest for our very first cuddle, which was the best feeling in the world. I’ll never forget that I immediately checked the time and also baby’s fingernails (dad has club nails but no health issues). It took a second but I got really impatient knowing who I was holding there so I lifted up his little leg and cried out that it was a boy, I knew it all along.

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We wanted delayed cord clamping but the midwife was getting more and more concerned about my blood loss, my hero husband stepped in again and asked if you could try and get to 10 minutes to see if the placenta came naturally. It didn’t, but the cord was almost empty and I was happy to have it cut (by husband) and have the injection. Being on my back again was painful again for some reason, but holding my baby while the midwife pulled the cord and the placenta came out made it very much bearable. I had second degree tearing which was stitched up after we enjoyed our first hour together.

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Baby latched immediately like a superstar and 3 hours later I managed a shower and to eat before the in-laws came for a quick first visit. We were ready to go home but the midwife said we needed to wait and get my temperature down a little. It was summer, the room was boiling, it took until 7pm when we were finally allowed home, as a family of 3 for the first time ever.

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9 months later, we couldn’t be happier with our little man. A little bit more sleep would be nice, but I’m sure we’ll get there.

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The birth itself was more than I could’ve wished for and I cannot thank the positive birth company enough for guiding us through the life changing experience. Both, my husband and I, recommend the digital pack all the time.

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