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Sarah's Christmas Birth

Sarah's Christmas Birth

My birth story actually started on Christmas Eve as my wife and I were out looking at Christmas lights, getting in the festive spirit, like we do every year. We got home at around midnight and tried to go to sleep, but I kept waking with what felt like bad period cramps. At 1am, I went to the toilet (like I did 1000 times a night while being pregnant) and saw a bit of blood, so we called the hospital and they told us to come in. I was in such denial that I was in labour that I even drove myself to the hospital and had to pull over twice for “bad cramps”..  When we got there, they started monitoring me right away and I was in fact in early labour.


I put on my TENS machine and laboured on my own with irregular contractions that were about 4-10 mins apart. The TENS helped me through my contractions SO much, the couple of times I forgot to press the boost button were so horrible, I quickly learned how reliant I was on the TENS to get me through! At around 6am they finally checked my cervix and I was 4cm dilated - I was so stoked I’d gotten to 4cm with no pain relief (I couldn't have done it without the TENS). While they were monitoring me, my blood pressure had been consistently high so they were worried about preeclampsia and recommended we did an induction and break my waters. Lucky they did, as they found meconium in my waters! It got to 8.30am Monday morning (Christmas Day), and I was still only in early labour, not dilating further, and both my mind and body were getting so exhausted that I was losing the ability to stay calm and in control during my contractions, even when using my hypnobirthing techniques.  I felt stuck to the bed from being too tired to be mobile, which was just the absolute worst feeling. The midwife recommended I have morphine, not necessarily for pain relief, but just so I could get some rest before things ramped up, and I’m SO glad I did this! 


After an hour nap I felt like a new woman and was up and about, feeling so positive, and ready to keep labouring. With each contraction I would get into my zone by pressing the boost button on my TENS, covering my eyes with my eye mask (I was surprised at how comforting this was for me), squeezing a birth comb, and listening to my hypnobirthing tracks while focusing on my breathing. I was able to put off starting the drip (which I was terrified of) for 2 more hours, although did end up needing it as labour still wasn’t progressing fast enough considering the risk with meconium in my waters and potential preeclampsia.

Things ramped up from here and contractions were becoming way more regular (every 2-3 mins) and increasing in intensity. It was at this point I jumped in the bath as I really wanted a water birth. Although unfortunately the results came back, and I was officially diagnosed with preeclampsia so giving birth in the bath was no longer an option. The midwives increased my drip and contractions felt like they were one after another from here! I could feel my body pushing while I was in the water, so got back out and tried a few different positions - on a ball, leaning on my wife, leaning on the bed, and I’m sure more but things get a little blurry here haha. 

I tried gas and air but it wasn’t for me. It felt like I couldn’t breathe in deep enough to feel any effects so I started feeling like I wanted an epidural, and ended up asking for one. My wife remembered my birth plan and gently reminded me that I didn’t want an epidural, so I trusted her and continued without (I'm so proud I was able to achieve a birth without it). A couple of hours later they did a cervical exam and I had made it to 10cm! So, it was time to push!! I ended up on all fours leaning up against the bed and was pushing for 15 minutes before my beautiful Kaia Ivy made her entrance into the world. It was such a relief and honestly pushing was nowhere near as bad as I thought it would be. Yes, it hurt, but I didn’t experience the ring of fire (thankfully) and was just excited for my contractions to be over! 

All up I laboured for 18 hours! My birth was truly so magical and (almost) everything I could dream of. I consider it to be such a positive experience, although unfortunately things did go south afterwards

**Stop reading here if you’re only wanting to read positive stories. Trigger warning:  haemorrhaging. Blood loss. Emergency surgery**

When Kaia was born, she sounded very congested and wasn’t crying much, so we were worried about meconium in her lungs and cut the cord right away so she could get some extra assistance. Thankfully she was okay, so they put her back on my chest within minutes, and from here I was able to do my hour of skin to skin.

During this time, we were doing everything to try and get my placenta out, although unfortunately it wouldn’t birth on its own (even after medications to try help it and my Dr trying to manually pull it out herself). I ended up haemorrhaging and losing a lot of blood (3.5 - 4 litres!) so had to have an emergency surgery for them to remove it. 5 hours later and I was back with my little family. 

Even though things took a turn, I still consider my birth to be so positive and beautiful. I am so lucky I had such a wonderful support system, some amazing tools from hypnobirthing, and a TENS machine to get me through
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