After a day of feeling tightenings that I put down as Braxton Hicks, my waters started leaking at 10.30pm on Wednesday. The tightenings immediately became mild surges that kept me awake all night, that and excitement that it was finally happening. I let my doula, Michelle know but felt it probably was too early for her to come round so just kept her updated on my progress. I had my sister come round at 5am to mind my 3yr old son and she took him back to her place for the day.
I’d had a 3rd degree tear with my first son’s birth so had some anxiety about tearing again which is why I’d done a HypnoBirthing course with Michelle and hired her as my doula. We called her to come over about 8am as I thought things were picking up but then my surges seemed to plateau and I didn’t feel like I was progressing. I felt maybe I’d called her too early still but she was great and had lots of little tricks and suggestions to try to get things progressing such as stretches, gutter walks with my husband and making herbal teas, homeopathics, she even had a clary sage diffuser going etc to kick start things again. It was definitely helpful to have someone there who knew what to suggest instead of just sitting at home wondering do I go into hospital or not. My plan was to stay at home as long as possible and I had trust and confidence in doing that, knowing Michelle was there.
I went and laid down alone to get some rest at 11am and listen to my HypnoBirthing track and was woken up by a sudden strong surge at 11.30am. Things quickly intensified from there. During each surge I was using a tens machine (amazing!), squeezing two combs into my palms and having my mum or husband squeeze my hips and Michelle rub my back or head while leaning over an inflatable horseshoe shape pillow (CUB). If I had all that during the surge I handled it fine, if something was out of place it made it the surge feel way more intense. Even though things were progressing, I thought baby wasn’t going to be here until the evening as I imagined we had lots of time still and I was comfortable between surges and was coping so much better than my first birth that I never thought I was less than an hour from meeting my little girl.
At 1pm my doula suggested we time the surges and they were coming every 3 minutes at 1 minute long. She suggested we call hospital and go in. I was hesitant and asked to go shower first, I didn’t want to go to hospital too early. She reminded me that I would have to remove the tens machine to get in the shower so I changed my mind as I couldn’t do it without it. It took 20mins to get everyone organized working around my surges and I started having to make some noise, moaning and crying. Then mid surge my waters fully exploded, it was the most disturbing sensation ever and made a huge mess on the floor luckily missing the freshly steam cleaned carpets we’d had done last week! I was soaked and wanted to get changed but then the next surge was next level intense and I was screaming, so there was a big rush to get in the car. I lost concentration at that point with everyone rushing around and I was being very vocal.
My mum and doula Michelle went in one car and my husband drove me. They got every green light but my husband managed to catch every red light there. It was only a 10 minute drive away but I screamed the whole way and began to say ‘I can’t do this, make it stop!’.
Being in the car meant I couldn’t get in a forward leaning position and I couldn’t get comfortable and the surges were coming one after the other so it got very intense at this stage. We turned onto the street the hospital was on and I felt pressure. I screamed ‘I’m doing a poo!’ Turning into the hospital driveway with the next surge I felt my body push. I said ‘I’m pushing she’s coming!’ My husband didn’t believe me and said ‘stop pushing’ but I couldn’t, it wasn’t me pushing.
Her head came out as the car stopped at the main doors and I have a vague memory of a group of tradies staring in shock. My husband hurried around to my door as I pulled my pants off and said ‘her head’s out!’ My husband took one look, saw her coming out and ran off to get help. My mum was waiting at the hospital entrance and had requested a wheelchair for me, she heard me screaming, came running just in time to catch Chloe as her shoulders came out. I didn’t even have to push she just slid out. Seconds later I was surrounded by hospital staff with towels and blankets and a wheelchair and they checked her over first. She was fine not even much of a cry. She came out so peaceful and breathing. My husband got back in time to take photos of my mum catching Chloe. My doula Michelle was parking the car and got there just after she was born.
It was instant relief and shock when she came out and I just stared at her all the way to the birth suite with random people saying congratulations in the entrance.
Completely over the moon to only get a superficial 2nd degree tear that needed a quick stitching while I got 2 hours skin to skin with Chloe. I missed all that with my first birth so I’m pleased that apart from needing to find a car cleaner for the front seat now, everything went amazing and I have a great story to tell! There was a bit of meconium in the final push so stayed overnight at the hospital for bubs and went home in the morning.
It all really went so much better than I could’ve asked for. I barely remember my first birth because of the drugs so it has been great that I remember everything this time round, it’s all so clear and I was fully present for every moment. At no point did I feel afraid, which is what I’d been worried about while pregnant especially for the pushing stage and it all felt so natural and calm (mostly!) and I credit that to the HypnoBirthing course that let me trust the birthing process and know that I could have the all natural, drug free and fear free birth that I should’ve had with my first birth if it wasn’t for unnecessary intervention. I had wonderful support from my husband, mum and doula Michelle and it made the whole experience one that I look back on with happiness!