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I truly had such a positive birth and was so proud of myself and my baby

Hey Shari,

Our second baby boy is 3 weeks old tomorrow.

I’m soo thankful for you and that we attended your course, this pregnancy lit such a fire in me to know and learn more about birth and prepare myself and my husband for a more positive experience than my first. My birth was truly incredible and so quick in the end. I felt so empowered and was so proud of myself, I couldn’t believe it. I listened to the tracks and practiced my breathing, as well as other things such as exercises/stretches and more to prepare my body and mind for the birth which made me feel good. My pregnancy wasn’t easy at times with hard to control GD, it was hard physically and emotionally especially at the end but I believe my body was doing what it needed to.

After having GD and a long induction, epidural and episiotomy with my first, I was hoping to let things happen more naturally this time with less intervention, be better prepared but overall just feel positive about my birth. I felt so much more informed throughout my pregnancy/birth and had a wonderful OB this time who supported my choices within his safety for me and bub which was amazing. I saw other providers for emotional and physical support which I feel is so important also! Having the care providers that worked for us and our situation was so important, my OB wanted me to have the birth I wanted and I trusted him to keep us safe as well being higher risk, which he truly did.

Due to my GD I was fairly anxious especially once my “due date” had come and gone, knowing there’s extra risk and lot of GD women are induced/have c-sections but as I’ve learnt there are variations with the reasons for this and my care provider looked specifically at us instead of the textbook hospital guidelines and wasn’t pushing for an induction etc as there wasn’t a medical necessity, unless it was what I wanted to do. I was offered a stretch and sweep at 40+2 which was pre discussed a few days prior if it was something I chose to do, and I felt quite good about if my cervix was favourable at the time. I had this and was surprised that I was 3cm and felt good about my choice. That afternoon and the following day I continued to walk, stay active and do techniques learnt to hopefully have bub in a good position and help labour start, as well as rest and try not to worry myself although mentally it was easier said than done. The hours following the stretch and sweep I started losing my plug/bloody show and had off and on tightenings/cramps that day and next but not anything too consistent.

The next night at 40+3, I knew I was in early labour as contractions were every 5-15 mins roughly and I was breathing through them, with the tens machine on and falling asleep between. The next morning at 40+4 I was hoping things would’ve picked up but felt they hadn’t progressed noticeably. I got my mum to come get our older son but still anticipated that my husband and myself might have the day ahead just relaxing and it could still take a while to progress or that things may slow down.

Contractions stayed about the same earlier in the morning, once our son got picked up my husband and I went for a walk and I noticed when active/upright they were getting closer together and more intense and the walk didn’t last long as it was hard, I’d anchor onto my husband every contraction, breathe and use the tens. We went home and I had a bath and got into bed, still using the tens and breathing. I’d had a post dates ultrasound booked in that morning so I spoke to my OB about 10am on the phone to let him know I was in early labour so wasn’t going to the ultrasound. We agreed it was a good idea for me to go into the hospital for a CTG just to make sure all is good with bub. We could’ve waited an hour or two but decided just to get ready and go (lucky we did lol), I felt good knowing bub would be checked, still I thought we might be coming home after a check but chucked our bags in the car anyway as our hospital is 30 mins away. I remember my contractions confusing me as depending on what I was doing they would vary in time and intensity, sometimes very close and intense and then further apart again.

We arrived and had the CTG done in the birth suite from approx 11am - 12pm. During/by the end of the CTG contractions felt like they were consistently every 5 mins but I was told the CTG showed closer together. I was still breathing through them, using the tens machine (10/10 LOVED the tens) and using my husband as an anchor and I did start using the birth comb sometime after.

My OB called me sometime after 12pm, we chatted and decided for the midwife to do a check, I had been offered to have another stretch and sweep and to have my waters broken if I chose to. I’d said we will have a check and go from there and my husband and I were discussing the options.

I didn’t sound like I was in active labour and I didn’t think I was, so my OB was yet to come in on his day off. After discussing with the midwife, she left the room and was to return to do a check. We still thought we might be going home.

I remember feeling quite scared emotionally soon after this and not wanting to go home.. I soon realised why (in hindsight I could’ve been in transition I suppose).. in the space of approx 15 mins while waiting for the midwife to return to do a cervix check, my contractions starting coming about every minute and stronger and my waters broke on their own!

No time for a check at all or any intervention which was amazing and ideally what I wanted, my baby was just ready and he was coming quick! A few midwife’s came in and I’d asked for some gas. I had meconium in my waters so they were checking bub with a doppler a couple of times throughout which was nice to know he was all good. The next big contraction after my waters broke I said “I’m doing a poo” lol!

3 more big contractions and roars later, 14 mins total from my waters breaking and our beautiful baby boy Harvey was born! 9.1p of perfection and health. I think they said 1.5 hours active labour from what the midwives calculated. Feeling him come down and be born was incredible and what I was hoping to experience (as my first birth I had an epidural and on my back pushing for 2 hours).

I was standing leaning on the bed from the same position where I was when my waters broke it all happened so fast in the end. No time for my preferred water birth or for my husband to do much at all haha but I don’t care I wouldn’t change it for the world!! With my tens still on, my birth comb and some gas which helped give me something to ground me (gas was something I was open to on my birth plan and happy to have if i asked for it) and my husband was reminding me to focus on my breath throughout which I did. I felt in another world but still present! About half an hour prior I had no idea that I would be meeting our baby so soon, our OB got called to come in I believe when my waters broke, he was 15 mins away and he missed the birth (not that I needed him there clearly haha), the midwife’s were amazing and my body and baby knew what to do and it happened exactly how it was meant to I believe. It was intense, full on but my god it was fucking incredible and beautiful and overall so positive! Bub was crying, I was crying and the feeling was like no other.

I grabbed my baby from the midwives after they put the cord through my legs to the front and I held him on my chest where he stayed for the next couple hours before having skin to skin with dad and the checks etc.

I had the injection for my placenta which they asked me about shortly before I had him and although it was in my “preferences” to not have this, in the moment I did not mind at all, and still feel happy with this decision. I had a small tear which my OB stitched, way easier recovery than my episiotomy last birth.

I felt good knowing the physiology of labour and birth and being informed about my decisions which we learnt so much from you!

The postpartum recovery was also incredible this time in comparison to my first. I did more preparation for recovery and what I’d do differently this time.

Meeting both my babies was love at first sight and the best days of my life, but two very different birthing experiences and I am so grateful for both but man this birth was the kind that Id dreamt of and made me want to do it again!!

Thank you for your knowledge and support Shari!! I truly had such a positive birth and was so proud of myself and my baby


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