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Pippa's Birth

I had an amazing, pain free birth experience without medical intervention. I had a very healthy and easy going pregnancy. However, in the last few weeks my usually low blood pressure had gone way up. At 39 weeks + 4 days I had to go to the obstetrician. On a Thursday afternoon I went to see the obstetrician and because of my age (40 years) she strongly advised an induction due to the health risks involved when going past my due date. I was very disappointed; because I really wanted a natural birth and an induction increases the chance of medical intervention and use of pain relief. The obstetrician did an internal examination and a sweep and booked me in for the following Saturday afternoon to be induced. After that my partner and I went out for lunch discussing the induction and spend the afternoon shopping to take our minds of things. Later that afternoon at home I had a bit of a cry and tried to come to terms with the induction. I mentally prepared myself by leaning over my birth ball rocking back and forth and visualising the birth. At 10 pm I went to bed and not long after I started feeling contractions and they where already pretty strong and regular. About an hour later I timed the contractions and they where roughly 5 minutes apart. They came in clusters of three contractions of which the middle one was less strong and I wasn’t sure if they were the real thing. I tried to sleep, but was too restless and I started wandering through the bedroom, walking, sitting and lying in order to find a comfortable position. Wil, who had been vast asleep and completely unaware of what was happening, started to become a bit grumpy, because he thought I had one of my usual sleepless nights and urged me to come to bed. At 3:30 am I woke Wil and asked him to time the contractions. They were 3 to 4 minutes apart, lasting for about a minute. I called the Hospital and got the advise to take a Panadol and put a heat pack against my belly or take a warm bath and try to get some sleep. I did not want to take a Panadol, but I used a heat pack, which gave a little relief, and I managed to sleep a little. The midwife at the birthing suite had told me to call back when I was getting 3 contractions within 10 minutes and when I did at 7:15 am I called the hospital again. The midwife asked me if I could still manage the contractions and I said I did. (I had found a nice position leaning over the rocking footstool of the new nursing chair we’d bought, rocking back and forth and concentrating on my breathing.) She said that if I felt I needed to, I could come in and see how I was fairing. She also said that if I’d come in after an hour I would have to call again first. Well, I thought there is no rush then and I’ll see how I am going. Slowly the contractions changed and I started to feel the contractions as a pressure at the back and I tried to go to the toilet without any luck. I had a shower, blow dried my hair and even managed to put on some make-up in between contractions. I was still losing blood, presumably due to the sweep, but it was not getting less as the obstetrician had told me, but actually had gotten worse, which had me a bit worried. So I called the hospital again at 9:15 am. I spoke to the midwife and she said that I sounded very calm so it was unlikely that anything was happening, but she advised me to come in to the birthing suite for an assessment. Wil and I got ready for the hospital. Wil insisted on taking the bags, although I had my doubts and thought they would send us home again. When we arrived at the hospital there were no parking spots available outside the main entrance and I told Wil to park the car in the parking garage, while I would walk up to the birthing suite by myself. Arriving at the reception of the birthing suite they told me to wait in the waiting room and someone would come to see me. I waited there for about 15 minutes after which Wil arrived and together we waited for another 10-15 minutes. Apparently I was to calm and relaxed to tip them off. Meanwhile I was managing my contractions by leaning on the table and concentrating on my breathing. Finally, one of the midwifes came to see us and asked me what the matter was. She said she would take us to one of the assessment rooms, but changed her mind halfway and took us straight to a birthing room instead. The way I was walking probably tipped her off. At 10:30 am we were in the birthing room and the midwife did an internal examination and said: “You’re 5 to 6 cm dilated. You’re fully in labour, missy, you’re not going anywhere!” Wil and I looked at each other in surprise and Wil went to the car to get the bags. I asked the midwife for a birthing ball and since we had a room with a bath and a water birth was on top of my list I asked her if she could fill the bath. The midwife said she was going to put me on the monitor and would come back in about 4 hours to check up on me. She put me on the monitor, but never left the room. Meanwhile I had found a great position to manage the contractions, standing by the bed leaning. I was completely in “the zone” and had totally forgotten everything on my birth plan. The lights in the room weren’t dimmed and the TV was on with a talk show (and later even a thriller!), no relaxing music from my playlist on the iPad. My bag with a heat pack, massage ball, iPad, tens machine, muesli bars etc was never opened until after birth. I didn’t touch the birth ball and did not even get near the bath. But it did not bother me at all; my world had become very small. It was just Wil and I, and two midwifes vaguely in the background, anything further than 2 meters away from me did not exist. At noon I felt like pushing and told my midwife who was slowly collecting all her equipment. She told me to start pushing and listen to my body, so I did. After pushing a couple of times my midwife asked if she could do a check and I hopped on the bed. She told me I was fully dilated and nothing stood in the way. When I felt another contraction coming I quickly slid of the bed, back into my standing position. Wil had found a spot on the other side of the bed where he held my hands, handed me my water and whispered encouraging words. That was all I needed. My poor midwife was sitting on the floor behind me ready to catch my baby. I continued pushing and after a while felt my baby’s head crowning. Because I was very calm and completely in control Wil had no idea how fast things were progressing and was surprised when the midwife said the baby was already crowning. I said to him; “ Yes, she is and it feels good!”. It felt good, because I knew it meant it wouldn’t be long before I could hold my baby girl in my arms. When I felt my baby was almost there I gave it my all and at 12.58 pm Pippa was born, 3060 grams and 46 cm. I saw her appear when I looked down and as soon as the midwife handed her through my legs I got hold of her. That was the most amazing and beautiful moment and I could not believe what I had just done. From start to finish I was calm and relaxed, no doubts had entered my mind and even though I had a few small tears not for a moment have I felt pain. I felt ecstatic! I pulled my self on the bed for skin-to-skin contact with my baby girl and after half an hour Pippa had found her way to my breast and started feeding. Pippa is a bright and happy baby and doing really well, and we are utterly and totally in love with her.