I had always had my mind set on a drug free and completely natural birth. I was against medical intervention and all the books that I read in the 9 months of being pregnant focused on being positive and staying healthy. I enjoyed being pregnant and wasn’t scared of labour, although everyone told me I should be. When I spoke about my views on child birth everyone told me I as being naïve and that it was a horrible, painful experience that brought out the worst in all women. My partner was warned about the monster I would become and was told that it was part of the course and to just accept it and forget it afterwards! This made no sense to me! SO, I removed myself from negative influences, stopped watching One Born Every Minute, stopped talking to friends who liked to share their horrific birth stories and steered clear of online forums regarding birth! MY birth was going to be peaceful, free of drugs, medical interventions and fuss, and above all… pain free.
I had a pretty amazing pregnancy. No morning sickness, exercised daily and enjoyed re energizing at pregnancy yoga. I remained small all throughout my pregnancy, but additional scans along the way showed that my bub was developing perfectly. The only real concern was that my little girl just didn’t want to turn. She was already showing signs of the stubbornness her mum has! At the 30 week mark, my midwife started talking about my options should my bub remain breech. To be honest, I really didn’t pay much attention, thinking that she still had plenty of time to turn, and I honestly thought she would! At the 35 week mark that the reality of her not turning really started to set in and I needed to find out more.
At my next midwife appointment we spoke about my options again and this time I actually listened. We discussed the possibility of an ECV but I declined based on the fact that I had decided I wanted no medical intervention. It wasn’t until I got home that afternoon though that I started to question my decision. After careful deliberations I called the hospital and booked in for an ECV at 37 weeks. I got to the hospital but she had moved into a position (her spine in line with my spine) which wouldn’t allow for a successful ECV, so it was postponed until the following week. She was in a perfect position to be turned this time, but no amount of pushing and pulling were getting her to move. She was VERY comfortable where she was and had no intention of budging. Maybe she was going to be even more stubborn than her mum. Eeek!
My partner and I had a great chat with the obstetrician at this point and he assured me that my dream of having a vaginal birth was still alive and well despite my bub’s frank breech presentation. I was so relieved! He made me feel so comfortable about my decision to proceed with a VBB, assuring me that I was the perfect candidate for a successful delivery (she was a good size, I was healthy and had a good amount of fluid). The man was a godsend (I know, I was surprised too)! Bring on labour!
I woke up on the Monday morning, to discover I had had my first show. I was so excited and noticed all day that I was having lots of Braxton Hicks contractions. I was in a real sate of euphoria all day, and just knew it was going to happen soon. I had an appointment with the obstetrician that afternoon and found out that I was 4cm dilated already. A stretch and sweep was performed and I was told to expect to be back in hospital that night! YAY!
I went to yoga that night, got a great massage from the instructor and went home feeling relaxed. I had the second show later that night and called the hospital because I was unsure what it all meant. I was still having lots of Braxton Hicks contractions. She assured me I was only in pre-labour and to have a cup of tea and go to bed. Advice which I took. I woke up at about midnight with some minor contractions, but was able to get back to sleep. I then woke again at about 2am with more intense contractions that I had to walk around for. They weren’t painful, but they were more intense than any contractions I’d had before. I knew things were progressing nicely!
When I called the hospital I was once again told I was in pre labour because my pain rating was only a 3 out of ten and I was able to talk through contractions. The midwife told me in a very condescending voice to have a bath and try to relax. About 30 min later, I went to the bathroom and felt what I can only describe as something shooting out of my body… was that my water breaking? I called the hospital AGAIN to ask if I should go in because the obstetrician had recommended I go in as soon as my water broke. The midwife assured me again that I was not in established labour because I wasn’t in enough pain, but confirmed that I should come in for ‘observation’. I only obliged because instinct told me that things were really getting going.
When I got to hospital, the midwife was shocked when my internal examination indicated that I was 9.5 cm dilated. Shock horror! Labour does not have to be excruciating! My obstetrician was called and 15 minutes later was sitting in the room with me asking if I had the urge to push yet. When I decided I didn’t he left me to labour with the best advice I had heard all night/morning. “Just do whatever your body is telling you to do. If you feel you need to push, then push. Just trust your instincts!” He assured me he would be back for the fun part.
An hour and a half later I was sitting on the amazing birthing stool watching my bub come out bottom first! My obstetrician did not intervene in any way because with each push she slid that little bit further out with no dramas. It took no more than 3 minutes from the emergence of her bottom to complete delivery! My partner who swore he would not go down the ‘business end’, could not take his eyes off her entry into the world. When my bub was completely delivered, she was laying on the floor not making a sound. The obstetrician assured me that she was fine and her heart rate was good. She was taking her time to breathe. Then, I saw what looked like a drowning victim from ‘Baywatch’ take that much anticipated breath and we heard her beautiful cry. Her daddy cut the cord and she was placed straight onto my chest. When I looked into her eyes I said “I think she’s a Charlotte”. And so she is. Charlotte Mollie Gladys B, born at 8:25am on Tuesday 16 April 2013.
I am grateful to have been given the opportunity to have the birth that I wanted and that I knew was best for my little girl, despite the fact that she was breech. No one forced me to do anything I didn’t want to do. I had control over every aspect of my labour, and that was so important to me.
I am proud to say that my little girl entered the world in a truly extraordinary way. Her birth was peaceful (I did not turn into the monster my partner had been warned about), free of drugs, medical intervention and fuss , and above all… pain free!