Even though this pregnancy was planned, we did not expect that I would fall pregnant so quickly! My GP made a referral to our local public hospital and we decided to also engage a private midwife for pregnancy, birth and after birth care, and met with her when I was 12 weeks pregnant.
Over the months until birth, our private midwife visited us at home throughout the pregnancy for regular pregnancy checks, took time to answer our questions, and provided us with a lot of important and useful information as well as options that were not suggested to us by our hospital. She also encouraged us to consider independent childbirth preparation classes. At 36 weeks we eventually booked a last minute spot at a Calm Birth® course, which was led by a lovely midwife. It made a great difference to the overall birth by encouraging us to pursue the most natural course.
29th April 2014
The night between Tuesday and Wednesday when our little girl decided she was ready to enter the world was pretty sleepless for both of us (most likely for all three of us- I am sure our baby worked very hard as well). We rang our midwife early in the morning, and she visited us at home several times throughout the day to check on us. She also gave me homeopathics to help progress my labour, as well as encouraged me to stay at home longer as my cervix was not dilated enough for hospital. The TENS machine we hired from Ten Moons® also helped immensely.
It was very comforting to have our private midwife look after us at home and assure us that everything was going well. We would have gone to hospital far too early without her guidance, and risked being sent home again.
30th April 2014
Eventually in the evening at around 8pm, our midwife checked my cervix and I was 8cm dilated, so we felt it was time to drive to the hospital. I had never imagined how bumpy and long a 20 minute car ride could be!
We were taken straight to the birthing suite, and to my pleasant surprise the hospital midwife made time to read our birth plan. My lovely husband Matt had prepared a slideshow of photos from all our favourite places and our travels, and had music playing in the background for me, a great distraction as well as making it a more ‘natural’ environment :).
Despite strong and regular contractions though, my cervix had not dilated further for over five hours, and the doctor suggested breaking my waters. I was terrified, as I thought it would inevitably lead to further interventions, but the doctor gave us time to think about it and we had a chat to our private midwife about how best to proceed, and ultimately decided to have my waters broken to see if it would speed things up. It was extremely helpful to have a known and trusted professional on hand for the duration and give independent advice about important decisions, which otherwise would have been very difficult to consider given the intensity of my contractions and my tiredness at this point.
01st May 2014
Emily started feeding straight away whilst still attached to the cord and placenta, and I birthed the placenta naturally 45 minutes after our baby was born. The placenta even still contained enough blood to check Emily’s blood group, which was necessary as my blood type is Rhesus negative. And when the hospital midwife checked me, I was very happy to hear that I did not need stitches!
We also spared our little girl a stab for the Vitamin K injection as we had learnt about the non-invasive oral application from Martina, and also decided to decline the Hepatitis B injection after birth based on our midwife’s recommendation (leaving it until she was 12 weeks old).
After only one night in hospital we got to take our precious cargo home 🙂 and our private midwife continued to provide daily after birth care for the first couple of days home.
As I am writing my birth story our beautiful daughter is fast asleep on my lap. Thinking back, my labour and birth was all I could have hoped for. I did not need any stitches, nor did I receive painkillers (TENS machine and gas and air only) – who would have thought! On the flip side, it was without a doubt the most intense thing I’ve ever done in my life.
I feel very blessed to have had such a supportive husband and a private midwife to guide us through pregnancy and birth.