Natural Water Birth for a Big Baby
Positive Birth Experience - Natural Water Birth for a Big Baby
Being pregnant during COVID was quite the experience to say the least. We completed the Belly2Birth Hypnobirthing course for virtually over 4 weeks. We enjoyed the virtual classes as we were able to absorb each unit over separate weeks and reflect on what we learnt before the next unit.
I was deemed low risk in my pregnancy. We were fortunate to have been accepted in the MGP program with the Gold Coast University Hospital. I met with my midwife, Nikki, at 14 weeks.
I had a 32-week scan which showed bub being in the 95th percentile. The following scan at 36 weeks showed bub was measuring in the 72nd percentile so the midwife was not concerned that I needed to be induced. This was a huge relief as we wanted to go into labour spontaneously.
Throughout my pregnancy, particularly in the second and third trimesters, I focused on remaining active. I went on daily walks, used the exercise ball to help bring the baby in the optimum position. Towards the last couple of weeks, my partner also performed the acupuncture points on me, which we learnt through the course.
I also had regular pregnancy massages with one of Shari’s recommended providers Allysha from Limber Therapies. In the 38th week, I had acupuncture on three occasions.
I listened to the Hypnobirthing Australia tracks daily and focused on relaxing my body from tension and anxiety about the birth.
Labour story -
Our labour storey begins one week prior on a Friday evening when I first had my ‘bloody show’ which was the day before the EDD. We anticipated that we would go into labour shortly thereafter but bub had other plans.
On Monday, I asked my midwife to perform a stretch and sweep. Mentally, I was not doing that well over the weekend as I was expecting that surges would begin but they had not.
After the stretch and sweep was performed, my midwife informed me that my cervix had thinned out to 1cm. This was the positive news that I needed to hear to get through the remainder of the week.
Over the next four days, my partner and I tried to distract ourselves from being ‘overdue’. We continued to stay active and go on my daily walks, used the exercise ball to engage bub into the optimum position and listened to the HypnoBirthing tracks.
On the morning of Friday 14 August (one week after the bloody show), I woke up at 530am needing to poop. I had been suffering from constipation that week so I was not surprised that I was finding difficulty to pass my stool. I felt a bit of pressure but did not think I was in labour.
I went back to bed at 6 am but felt really uncomfortable laying in bed. I decided to hop in the shower to try and relax. I hopped out at 630am and tried to head back to sleep again. This time, I was even more uncomfortable so I headed back into the shower.
I was in the shower for 30 minutes. When I got out of the shower, I asked my partner to call my midwife as I could not bear the pain.
My partner explained to the midwife on the phone that I was in pain. By this point, I was screaming in pain while laying on all fours over the exercise ball.
When the midwife attended our home, she assessed me and informed me that I was 7cm dilates. I cried in absolute shock. I didn’t think I was in labour as the surges felt different to Braxton Hicks contractions.
After I was assessed, we went straight to the hospital which was luckily 5 minutes away. I believe I was transitioning between leaving home and attending the hospital.
Our midwife had set up the rainforest room in the Birth Centre and begun to fill up the bath. By 830am, I was in the bath, where I stayed for the next 3 hours.
I don’t remember much of my labour in the bath. However, the surges were intense. I listened to the affirmations track on repeat for the entire 3 hours. I was able to relax between surges. My partner used light touch and anchor points during the surges.
I asked my partner what the time was, and he told me it was 1030am. I was shocked when he said 2 hours had passed as it felt 5 minutes had passed. Knowing that 2 hours had passed gave me the reassurance that we were so close to meeting our baby.
The next hour was even more of a blur. I remember pushing and feeling her head under the water. I was all out of energy at this point, and couldn’t push her shoulders out. I had to stand in the bath where the midwife helped bring her shoulders out.
Next thing I know, I’m laying in bed with our baby Lennon in my arms.
Due to my fatigue at this point, I was out of all energy to try and push out the placenta. I consented to receive the syntocinon injection to help birth the placenta. Unfortunately, I couldn’t push the placenta out within the hour of receiving the oxytocin. The doctor had to intervene so that I could birth the placenta.
Lennon weighed in at 4.8kg, and her placenta was 900grams. The midwives joked that the placenta was one of the biggest they had ever seen.
Although the next part of my birth story may sound negative, it was the total opposite.
I was informed by the doctor that I had a 3rd or 4th-degree tear. I was unsure what this meant at this point, as I was in such a blur. I was advised that I needed to head into surgery due to the tear.
There was approximately 3 hours between the birth and heading into surgery. During this time, both my partner and I had skin to skin with Lennon. While I was in surgery, my partner was with Lennon the entire time.
I would not change one bit of our experience, even though it was during COVIDS, there is a silver lining. I was able to prepare for a positive birth experience and surrender to the experience.
We cannot thank you enough Shari for all you have taught us, you have truly helped us walk into and out of labour and birth with a positive mindset.
All our love,
Jona, Matt and baby Lennon.