For a few weeks I had been having pre-labour signs and on/off strong BH’s which would trick me into thinking I should start thinking about things and then they would disappear. On Tuesday October 31st we had an appointment with an OB at our hospital and she wasn’t too kind basically stating that my birthing choices would be disappearing…
I was planning on a VBAC, natural birth with little to no interventions. Highly unpopular with the hospital but the only possibility I could see for having an empowered birth for me this time around.
So The next OB appointment came on Monday November 6th and I was 41+2 weeks. The OB was very blunt and basically said that they would induce me straight away because everyday over 10 days post EDD was a risk of stillbirth and uterine rupture. I had done extensive reading during pregnancy and knew that my risk of uterine rupture with a spontaneous birth was exactly the same as someone giving birth the first time around. less than 1% difference in risk so I told the OB that. She pushed the stillborn issue which brought my husband and I to tears at the thought of risking our precious babies life. We asked for time to discuss. When she came back we asked for the reasons, and told her that we could not agree to the induction without proof that there was a reason for it in our case. Matilda was 17 days overdue and came out with a score of 10 Apgar and the placenta was in great condition so we saw no reason to push it this time around. Tuesday 31st October we had a scan which shower part of the placenta to be heavily calcified (there are normal degrees of calcification that happen at the end of pregnancy), and a low level of amniotic fluid (again something that can be normal at the end of pregnancy). The sonographer was horrified to see that the measurements showed an 10lb 10oz baby (THANK GOD I knew how wrong they can be). An OB rang me on Wed to say that there was reason for induction Thursday with the calcification & the size of the baby. I immediately dismissed the size factor and after discussing with DH we knew that Thursday or Monday were basically our only options for accepting the induction, we were leaning towards Monday but were going to go to the appt with the OB on Thursday morning to try and see if we could push the the time out with daily CTG readings.
So… Wednesday…. I had niggling all day but decided to ignore it as it was the same as the weeks previously. I felt awful so Matilda went to day care and I slept most of the day and ate copious amounts of food. We put Matilda to bed on Wednesday with the idea to sit down and plan out what was going to happen on Thursday at the appointment and what we were going to do. Our friend and birth support Britt was going to come to the appointment with us. I was petrified of induction due to my previous birth experience with it. It was the most awful and traumatic experience in my life so I didn’t want to be induced without knowing my options and choices and how I was going to handle it emotionally.
So … Wednesday evening… we put Matilda to sleep and prayed as we had everynight for Jovie’s arrival. 5 minutes later I noticed I had a more intense BH than ever noticed before…. 5 minutes after that another, then another…. I started contracting 5 minutes after Matilda went to bed. And they didn’t stop. After 2 hours they were more intense but still very tolerable. So I had the normal panadol and shower trick and they kept coming.
At 12.30am our friend arrived to stay at home with Matilda and we got on our way to the hospital. When we arrived they had no rooms in the ward so we were sent straight to the birthing suites. We were the only ones there and the midwife who took us through was the one who came to theatre with us when Matilda was born and was the one who made sure everything we wanted from birth was done with Matilda. So I instantly was relieved that it wasn’t someone I had to fight with. She asked to do a 20 minute trace CTG and I agreed. Everything was fantastic so she offered us a shower and set us up and then went to have a coffee. Pete and I spent the next hour in the shower, a fantastic thing!!! Then we came out because I was getting more and more tired… I actually asked to lay down on my side for a little while but couldn’t handle it. So I was back on the fit ball leaning over the bed. Things intensified so she did a VE and we asked not to know what was going on. (she filled us in later that I was 4cm at that time). I was having a hard time relaxing in between contractions & focusing and was really tired… I started to get concerned that I wouldn’t have the energy to hold out. Pete tried desperately to talk me out of it but I asked for pethadine. I am not friendly with gas as it goes badly with my brain and I didn’t want pethadine but knew that I needed something to help me relax and gain my focus again. After the pethadine injection our birth support person arrived (we only called her on our way to hospital and she needed to feed her baby and get things organised to come in). She was a bit worried when she arrived because of me taking pethadine & the midwife told her I was only 4cm. She then got to work rubbing my back and helping give Pete a break.
2 hours later… I was grunting with the best of them and yelling “NO NO NO!”, “I’m going home now” and then sleeping between contractions. The midwife asked to do a VE again and rupture my membranes as they hadn’t released yet. Britt knew it wasn’t something we wanted and so did Pete so they said do a VE and we’ll see. Everyone was surprised to see I was 8cm. So the midwife pushed for a AROM (artificial rupture of membranes), Pete said no and she asked me and I just stared at her apparently… She asked Britt to get the needle and suddenly my membranes released of their own accord … they were clear!!! So she asked to put a scalp clip on and immediately Britt and Pete said no. She asked me and I stared at her… I was incapable of answering her. So she left it and Britt got the CTG working enough to avoid any further interventions. I slept between every contraction and every push and during them I went primal.
Jovie Lee came into the world with her hand next to her ear… so it took a bit longer to push out her head with a hand… and it caused a bit of tearing and grazing.
BUT I am so empowered. I knew what my body was capable of, and I had amazing support on the BellyBelly forums with Kelly and Cailin and all of the mods and girls checking on my journey. I had amazing support in the room with Pete and Britt and even the midwife who although pushed some interventions, didn’t do as much as we expected. My body took over when I had the pethadine and my brain relaxed and went into some weird primal state where I let go. I mean I moaned and I groaned and I yelled and I even pushed (shhh don’t tell the hypnobirthing coaches ). But my baby came out healthy and with an apgar of 9.
The placenta was out within 10 minutes, bit of bleeding so the midwives asked Pete if they could give me syntocin, he ummmed and ahhhed but I was bleeding and he said yes, but within 2 minute of the injection the placenta popped out quickly. So the injection did nothing anyway. The cord stopped pulsating 15 minutes later and my beautiful girl got all her precious cord blood.
She went straight onto my chest for 2 hours and breastfed within 20 minutes. She stayed with me until I needed suturing & then went with her daddy for measurements 2 hours after she was born.
Jovie Lee Janssen
36.1cm head circumference
Beautiful girl. She looks just like her sister!