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Henry's story

We chose to take oral antibiotics and go home rather than remain at the hospital and go on IV antibiotics. We proceeded to encourage labour using all the wives tales - eating chili, nipple stimulation, driving on a bumpy road, smelling Clary Sage, drinking raspberry leaf tea, even going for a run around the block (quite a sight on a hot windy day!). However to no avail - suggesting that there is wisdom in the belief that babies come when they are ready :).

We decided to go into hospital for induction on the Thursday morning. We had the privilege of having a Registrar by the name of Paul Knight (who said he and his wife had done the Calmbirth course with Tracey). This was a huge help as he understood our goals and was very supportive. One thing that Paul mentioned was the coat of a 1000 mothers, which you'd mentioned to him, and I found that to be a lovely empowering thought. I was induced at about 10 am, and it took until about 2 pm for the contractions to become effective. We kept ourselves relaxed by playing cards, listening to music, bouncing on the fit ball and moving around. Once at about 4 cm the intensity increased and we managed with heat on the back and listening to wave sounds.

Then I was keen to get in the water bath (able to even with fetal heart rate monitor and Syntocinon drip). I continued to listen to wave sounds and imagined the cervix dilating (flower opening, the water lapping gently at and under the cervix opening, a jelly fish swimming, and imagining the satin circle I had made to represent full dilation). With the surges I kept thinking surrender and imagined diving out into the ocean and bringing Henry back with the waves. Scott held my hand and used the warm water to assist with the contractions. I found kneeling in a squat position whilst holding on to the edge the best position. I remember being quite delirious in there but very inwardly focused. Due to the fetal heart rate dropping I had to get out the bath. Any upright position (all 4's, standing) seemed to make the heart rate drop so I ended up on the bed in an upright sitting position. This concerned me, but at the end of the day the baby's safe arrival was the most important thing.

 

On examination I was fully dilated which was great news. I was quite dehydrated and 4 bags of saline were administered. After an hour of second stage with not much progress (should have thought of the J curve!) a kiwi cup was used to assist the birth. When the baby's head was crowning I remembered loose lips, relaxed face, you're huge, and imagined the baby's head coming out, him turning and the rest of him sliding out. Scott cut the cord and lifted him up on to my chest for skin to skin and a feed. It was such a surreal and awe-inspiring moment. We were both just so proud and full of love. We worked together as a team - all 3 of us. Gosh, womens' bodies are amazing and I have a new-found respect for mothers. It's funny the things you think of in hindsight that you could have done differently - although at the time you are so focused inwards that you forget things like drinking water and going to the toilet. The calm breathing was so useful. I think mastering meditation would be hugely beneficial to enhance the ability to continue the calm breathing between the contractions as they intensify. Overall it was an amazing empowering experience. I am so glad we did the Calmbirth course and that Tracey was our facilitator. Many thanks, and keep up the great work.