We welcomed our little girl Ariya Leigh (pronounced a-rye-a) into the world 9pm on Monday night, about 4 days early! I had a feeling she might come early after I had an acupuncture treatment with Nadja on the Thursday… She mentioned that my pulse signaled some letting go and she wouldn’t be far off and that night I started losing my mucus plug. Spent the next few days resting and watching my body for signs…
By Saturday and Sunday my Braxton Hicks had increased dramatically and Sunday afternoon I rang my mum, set up camp on the lounge room floor and tried to relax and not get too excited! About midnight I rang Nambour birth suite and told them I was about 2mins apart lasting about 1min. We all felt it was time to go in… The car ride wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be and my biggest fear was getting there and then being told to go back home again. So I did a few laps of the car park, walking and breathing and mentally preparing!
I went in and they left us to ourselves for a few hours before my first examination…. I walked and used the ball and stayed very active… My first check I was fully effaced and 4cm dilated! I was happy and thought it was going well…. I laboured for another 2-3hrs and was checked again and only dilated 1more cm… Although I didn’t lose my steam, it just made me want be stronger and get into it more.. I had you in my head saying ‘breathe down to your baby’ and I was completely focused on taking big deep breaths.
Next check they said the same thing and suggested to break my waters to try get things moving… I declined and wanted to try let it happen naturally. After another 2-3 hours I was still at 5cm and decided to let them break my waters. I knew the contractions would become very intense now so I hopped on the ball in the shower and tried to relax. It was so nice having the hot water on my lower back.
I laboured again for another few hours and had another check… still the same!!!!!!!!!!!! I was getting a little disheartened now because I felt like I was doing all the right things!!! I was groaning low deep sounds and rocking and swaying and moving through every contraction, walking around, using the pressure points and my mum rubbed clary sage into my back the whole time.
The next step was Oxytocin and I really really didn’t want it! Beth is a midwife and a friend of mine who is a very strong advocate for natural childbirth and not making decisions based on fear! She came in and showed us a few different positions to try, sitting on the toilet and leaning forward, hanging off my partner’s neck and letting my legs go, also leaning over the bed squatting while he held my bum and legs to make the bottom half relax. Also she suggested trying to completely relax in between contractions lying down! The contractions went to another level now and I was starting to lose my focus. The doctor came in and checked me again and said that I had gone back to 4cm and my cervix was now thickening!?! Also her head was poking out and starting to swell. She suggested that my pelvic floor muscle was not releasing; it may have been too strong and not letting her head down to fully dilate the cervix.
I had heard enough and just wanted her out. When she said it may have been my pelvic floor I thought that it was out of my control now and I was exhausted!!! I grabbed the gas to help me through the next contractions and asked for an epidural. It was so nice to finally have some rest after over 24hrs of intensity! The midwife came in and told me to let go of everything and imagine my pelvic floor opening like a flower. I relaxed and visualized for 2 hrs and back came the dr….she checked me once again and grabbed the mirror. Her head was right there! She laughed and I cried and could not believe my eyes!!! Luckily the epidural still left me with some feeling and I felt the contractions like someone was squeezing my ribs. I had to lie on my back but I managed to push her out in under an hour! She had a little round lump on her head the size of 5cm but other than that she was perfectly healthy and content. I was so amazed and happy I was able to give birth vaginally in the end. What an experience!
When Maggie said in her birth story to not have an expectations and go with the flow I didn’t really understand what that meant! But she was right! Remain calm while making all your decisions and don’t be afraid to say no and ask for more time!
Very much looking forward to bringing her to meet everyone and best of luck to all the girls! You will be amazed at what your body can do! And such a big Thankyou to Karen; I learnt so much from your classes and really believe you have a gift for making all pregnant women feel both calm and empowered.