Dorothy’s birth- my third, was the hardest so far – I narrowly missed having a C -section!
We planned a home birth, had the pool up and everything.
After several weeks of contractions and her not fully engaging…and going 11 days over, we succumbed to a hospital appointment to book her induction. This was scheduled to be in 2 days time. While there we overheard another couple arguing over a C-section- they had a breech baby and mum had high blood pressure- she was 42 weeks and being very aggressive and defensive- but couldn’t give the doctor any good reason not to have the section. Overhearing this really upset me and I couldn’t understand why she would put herself and baby at risk. This conversation caused such a shift in me it became my gift of surrender.
We came home from the hospital, had lunch and I planned a nap- but no, 2pm contractions started…getting stronger and stronger by the minute- by 3pm we phoned the midwife- I was already groaning and almost ready to push but managed to hold off till she came and then went for it…I was having such strong contractions my whole body was convulsing, I was roaring and as much as my husband was reminding me to breathe and relax- I was just being controlled by my body. I refused any internal examinations- this was my birth plan choice but also I was stuck in an ‘all fours’ position and just couldn’t physically roll on to my back! After another hour baby’s heart rate began to drop, the midwives were concerned that she wasn’t coming out and we were taken to hospital in an ambulance. My husband was amazing getting me dressed and ready when I was finding it so difficult.
On internal examination it showed I had been pushing against a semi open cervix which had now become sore and swollen…so nothing was going to come out of that.
I had a spinal block to relax the contractions and stop me pushing, the baby’s heart rate had come back up, and then I had an epidural- to be honest it was a relief to be myself again- not a roaring animal!
My best friend (a trainee midwife) arrived – it was wonderful to have the support of her and as well as my husband.
I suddenly had a bit of an epiphany moment…remembering that I broke my coccyx 12 yrs ago and they had fused- so I wondered if this was why my pelvis couldn’t open to let her out! When I told the midwives they agreed this was probably causing the problem!
The doctor and midwives managed to push my swollen cervix out of the way and baby began to crown, I was able to begin to push her out but again her heart rate began dropping…the emergency cord was pulled and all hands were on deck….out came the stirrups, scissors for an episiotomy (I had 2- ouch!) and the forceps!
I pushed and pushed, (fantastic midwife, and support from my friend and husband at this point- I was on the verge of giving up) finally after a few goes to get the forceps in place Dorothy Grace was born! The registrar who delivered me said I wouldn’t have got a bigger head than that out of my pelvis!
This whole journey took 9 hours and although everyone kept saying how sorry they were about all the intervention and that I didn’t get to stay at home- I was OK, I surrendered to THIS birth and what it needed to be safe. I was just so thrilled to have been able to push her out myself and have a beautiful baby girl and blessed to have my husband and my best friend with me…it was perfect in its imperfection.