Ready to Embrace

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“I’m losing my plug! And my mood has totally changed in the last 2 days. I am so excited and ready to embrace the whole labour process now!”

What a fabulous way to approach something new, something with the power to transform, something like birth.

Two and a half days later, she is still losing that plug and now she is feeling some cramping, along with back ache. A few hours later the cramping turns into contractions. The pattern is irregular but increasingly more intense.  Then they seem to be coming more often, longer, stronger. She wants to go in to see what is going on.

In triage we find out that the labour is definitely having an effect on the cervix, but it is still early.  There is time to go home and get some rest if possible. I suspect her body is trying to help baby move into a more favourable birthing position, so we do some abdominal lifts before heading home.

The bath helps for a bit. And the contractions seem to be mostly in the front and less in the back now.  It has been 7 hours and things are getting intense again. They ask me to come to the house to help.

She is so willing, he is so helpful, moving and changing positions.That uterine muscle is working hard, contracting every 4 minutes on average.  Suddenly she is feeling a lot more pressure. We decide to go back to triage to see what is what.

This labour is so intense now!

Back in triage and her cervix has opened up some more, and baby has shifted down significantly in her pelvis. We only have to wait half an hour for a room, and shortly after she is in the tub.  He is pouring water down her back, and everything feels more manageable.

She is moving and resting to the rhythm of her birthsong, it is amazing to observe.

Two hours later she comes out of the tub, she is so hot There has been progress but because her water sac is really bulging there is a conversation about breaking the waters.  This feels scary, will it mean more intensity? She is coping, just. It is hard to imagine more. We ask for time to consider the options.

An hour later she thinks maybe her waters broke on their own?  But there are still forewaters, and another surge in dilation! Now she is 5-6 cm dilated. She decides to try the laughing gas to see if that will help her relax her muscles between contractions. That persistent back pain is making it hard to stay soft.

This helps a bit, she is able to get a bit of rest between the waves of contractions. Then she is up again and back into her favoured position on her knees against the back of the bed. Another assessment, another dilation jump and more pressure to break the amniotic sac.  This time she agrees. So much pressure after the sac is broken!  And more back pain.

Time to try the sterile water injections for that back pain.  It helps. But the contractions are just piled up on each other, it’s time for something stronger. She gets some rest, her body relaxes. He gets some rest, he is getting ready for the next part.

There is a shift change, and our new Nurse is one of those ones that is hands on and believes in trying all the things. This is just the fresh energy we need to get us actively back into this labour.

We have had our rest, it’s time to birth.

There she is moving around again, in all the positions. Whatever we suggest, whatever she feels she need, she does it. This baby is clearly looking for the way, hung up somewhere.  Four hours of this and there is only a rim of cervix left. And her waters break again!

She goes back to her favourite position against the back of the bed.  This is one strong birther.  She has been in a labour state for 38 hours.

Nothing stops her, she just keeps doing.

An hour later she is starting to bear down, her cervix is fully dilated, her baby is very low in the pelvis. Nothing is holding her back now. She is working with the force of her body, rocking that baby out.  Mostly on her knees.  This is what works for her.

Only 45 minutes later she is embracing her first born, their daughter, his eyes are shiny with joy, everything brought us to this moment. 



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