Our Midwife’s Birth Story – My Positive Birth Experience!
Jessie is an Australian trained and registered nurse and midwife. Since 2013, Jessie has been supporting women during labour, birth and the postnatal period and is incredibly passionate about helping couples have a birth experience that leaves them feeling empowered and happy.
JESSIE'S BIO & CLASSES
I was 41 weeks and 2 days pregnant, and had tried all natural methods of inducing labour without any success. I was very motivated to have a vaginal birth without an epidural. I wanted to avoid being induced as I knew that induction was often a cascade of medical intervention that resulted in an epidural, instrumental delivery or caesarean section. However, I was also concerned about the increasing risk to my baby and my health if I was to continue the pregnancy, so for that reason I decided to start the induction process.
On the day of my induction I remember feeling incredibly calm. I knew how important it was to remain as relaxed as possible, so any anxiety I felt I was able to quickly shift to a positive mindset: ‘I can do this!’. I felt completely at peace with the situation and was just so ready to have my baby! I was feeling physically and emotionally strong, and felt confident that I would labour well and that everything would go smoothly.
To start the induction process a prostaglandin pessary was placed into my cervix in an attempt to soften and open it so that the amniotic sac could be broken the following morning. There was also a slight possibility that the pessary alone would stimulate contractions and I would begin labouring, however this didn’t happen.
The following morning around 8am, my midwife came to check on me. A vaginal examination was performed and my cervix had done what it needed to do, soften and open slightly so that a amniotomy could be performed (rupture the membranes).
My membranes were ruptured at around 9:30am and the syntocinon drip was commenced not long after. My husband Alex was with me and my friend Katrin who was also a midwife. Katrin was there to capture my labour and the birth on film.
I started off just sitting on the bed relaxing, and little by little I began to feel contractions. They started off very mild, and over the course of an hour they quickly increased in intensity and frequency. While I had wireless CTG monitoring throughout, the IV drip did make me feel more restricted than I would have liked – but I was determined to follow my body’s lead and move if I needed to. I was up and down off the bed, moving to and from the bathroom every few contractions. It took about 1 ½ hours before they felt very uncomfortable, and by 11:30am I was having very strong and regular contractions. By this stage I was struggling to move and found that I was most comfortable lying on my left side on the bed. With every contraction I found myself tapping the bed head with my hand and breathing slowly and deeply in through my nose and out through my mouth.
By around 1pm I was experiencing excruciating back pain. I had Alex pressing firmly on my sacrum with every contraction, this helped to relieve the pain a little but it was still very very intense. My midwife offered to inject sterile water subcutaneously into two spots on my lower back- this helps to relieve pain by increasing the flow of beta-endorphines (a naturally occurring hormone that helps to alleviate pain). The injections were so incredibly painful going in, but did give me some relief for a short period of time.
By 2pm I was getting very distressed again, so I began using the gas. At 3:30pm the pain had intensified and I was unsure how much more I could take. It was at this stage that I asked my midwife to check my progress. I felt that if I hadn’t made good progress I would probably need to have an epidural. Moments after requesting her to check me, I began involuntary pushing. My midwife checked and I was 10cm dilated! I continued to push, changing into a number of different positions before progress was seen. After pushing for over an hour I finally managed to push my baby into the world at 4:29pm, weighing in at 4.3kg. He was placed directly onto my chest and I was overcome with the most profound sense of emotional and physical relief. Seeing my perfectly healthy baby crying on my chest and at birth was amazing, the happiness I felt in that moment was extraordinary. I was so thankful labour was over and that I had given birth the way I had longed for; vaginally, without an epidural.
The 24 hours following birth I felt very euphoric and could not sleep. I just sat staring at my son in absolute amazement. My motherly instincts kicked in instantly, I wanted to breastfeed and keep him warm and not lose sight of him even for a second.
Whilst labour and birth was extremely uncomfortable and intense, I would do it all again tomorrow. I found the whole process incredibly empowering. I have always been in absolute awe of how incredible pregnancy and birth is, and now having experienced it myself I have a newfound admiration for all birthing women.