Fiona steps us through her labour and explains when she bought in tools and techniques to help her progress. Being prepared for labour is key to feeling in control and having a range of pain relief strategies can make all the difference when your goal is a natural birth.
Fiona used a swiss ball, TENS machine, hot water bottle, birthing pool, breathing techniques, movement (swaying and support), vocalisation, distraction and support from her birthing partner and husband. Congratulations on your natural birth Fiona and thank you for sharing your story.
1.45am - woke with first contraction - was contracting every 15 mins.
Spent this time bouncing on my swiss ball, using my hot water bottle & facetiming my mum & sister in the UK.
6am - contracting every 3 mins by now and much more painful. Woke husband, applied TENS. Still using ball to sit on or kneel over, still talking to my mum & sister.
8.20 - called midwife. Now standing & swaying using husband for support + TENS. Still talking to my mum & sister.
9.20 - midwife here. I was 3cm dilated. She went back home with plan for me to call her when I felt like things were ramping up.
10am - I got in the pool & it felt soooooo good
(Stopped talking to mum and sister around midday with plan to call them back later so they could see the birth).
13.10 - got out of pool to use the loo, had a show & had a bit of rectal pressure so called midwife & got back in the pool.
13.50 - midwife arrived. I was starting to struggle a bit more but managing to keep focusing on breathing and swaying in the pool with husband & midwife's support.
14.05 - starting to get distressed with contractions. Examined while in pool: 9cm dilated, head @ spines so still had a decent way to come down yet.
14.15 - contractions became unbearably excruciating. No particular urge to push but soooooo painful in my lower abdomen, felt like I was going to have an abruption or something. Became extremely loud and vocal, thrashing around in the pool like a possessed whale! Told husband to get in the pool with me as I felt I needed more physical support so he jumped in.
14.20 - midwife called for 2nd midwife to attend. While she was on the phone I started pushing (+ roaring very loudly) then I could feel the head & bag of waters on my perineum.
14.25 - baby born! (Membranes ruptured as head came out).
14.40 - 2nd midwife arrived. Husband got out of the pool & called my mum & sister 😅
15.00 - I got out of the pool with baby still attached to me. Helped over to sofa to deliver placenta.
15.15 - 3rd stage complete, cord then cut by daddy. Intact perineum, bilateral labial tears that don't need suturing.
15.40 - baby breastfeeding.
I found the TENS so helpful and it contributed to a phenomenal birth experience that far surpassed my expectations of how amazing it would be!
Thanks so much