Victoria’s Birth Story: A Choice And A Voice

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We loved reading this heart-warming birth story from Victoria, who gave birth earlier in 2018.  She’s another inspiring lady whose strength, determination and resilience resulted in a beautiful welcome for her baby.

“Once baby Jude was five days overdue, we decided to change our plans of a homebirth and opted for a gentle induction at the Whittington Hospital. To be honest, the fear kicked in of being 40 years old, a VBAC, IVF and 40+5 days plus our birth pool deflated on the morning of his due date…. I think I saw that as a sign!

So with our mindset of an active birth using hypnobirthing techniques, deep breathing, feeling in control and supported in our choices, we embarked on our journey to the hospital.

We were admitted to the Whittington for induction on Tuesday evening and after a sweep and check, I was in fact 1cm dilated so we asked to hold off on the induction and were admitted to the Murray ward. We had our own private room and regular monitoring of baby and me, so we felt safe and comfortable beginning our birth journey there. We walked, bounced, danced, cried, laughed, ate and hung out for two days before we agreed for my waters to be broken. The hospital staff were amazingly supportive and understanding of our wishes to try for an active birth.

After moving to the Labour ward, the midwives set the scene to encourage contractions after my waters had broken. One midwife offered acupuncture and turned all lights off for an hour to allow us to rest and encourage oxytocin. It was wonderful.

The contractions were very slow and after 7 more hours we agreed to try synctocin – a gentle feed of hormone to start the labour moving. As the contractions ramped up, I bounced on my ball with our doula by my side and focused on each surge as it came in. Sticking to this mindset and focusing on the waves made me look forward to the downside and the short respite. As Janet says, I was ‘Turning the pain into pleasure.”

The surges grew stronger and stronger as the synctocin increased but we managed them with plenty of encouragement. As the drip reached its maximum and the surges intensified I was checked but I hadn’t dilated more – I was still at 2cm. We agreed therefore to have an epidural, to rest a little and let the dilation increase.

The surges grew stronger in my back and the epidural didn’t take any effect – It was at this point the doctors realised that baby Jude was pushing in the back of my pelvis (OP- Occiput Posterior position). He wasn’t pressing down on my cervix and I wasn’t dilating any further.

After a conversation with our Doula, Midwife and Obstetrician, we decided not to distress baby any further and opted for a C-section.

The team was incredible. Our midwife announced our wishes for dim lights, delayed cord cutting and skin-to-skin, and everybody was really supportive of this.

Baby Jude arrived safely weighing 8.2oz on Friday morning at 5am.

We arrived home on Saturday night and are now navigating our way through some sleepless nights and non-stop breastfeeding as we settle in together. I am recovering well but taking it very slowly at home. He is a dream and our birth journey has been wonderful despite its u-turn.

Enjoy yours, however you birth. Make sure you have a choice and a voice. The midwives, doctors and teams value it.

P.S. I sign off just as my husband brings me chilled cabbage leaves for my breasts! Wow! These really work!”

Victoria had attended Active Birth training in 2017, as well as pregnancy yoga classes  during this and her previous pregnancy.

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Janet Balaskas Founder of Active Birth Director of the Active Birth Centre
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