Birth Story No. 17: Boo’s dancing birth!

Home » Birth Stories » Birth Story No. 17: Boo’s dancing birth!

I’d been determined that I would not go overdue and had spent the weeks before my EDD doing lunges, squats, plenty of long walks, eating pineapple & dates, taking raspberry leaf tea and evening primrose oil etc.

When I visited my midwife on the Tuesday morning, three days before said due date, and was told the babies head was “five fifths palpable” and they would book me a sweep for next week, I was pretty disappointed. I spent the whole of that day in a bad mood to say the least and decided that furiously cleaning out the kitchen cupboards would be good therapy.

That afternoon I climbed onto my bed to have a nap, and my waters broke; if the babies head wasn’t engaged his morning, it was now.

I texted my midwife to let her know and she demanded that I go to the hospital to be checked, which I didn’t want to do but off we went. There they said they’d book us in for an induction 24 hours later if we’d not gone into labour by then.

I had no intention of being induced and was having mild surges already but we went along with it at that point. We went home, ate some dinner and tried to get some sleep. I had surges through the night but ignored them as much as I could.

On Wednesday morning we had building work going on in the house so I had to stay in the bedroom, and while that was going on my surges were very erratic. The moment the builders left at about 4pm that afternoon, the surges became a very regular 6 minutes apart, so we called our Doula and informed the Whittington that we didn’t need the induction.

We were asked to come to the hospital to be checked, I didn’t really want to go, my intention was to stay at home as long as possible, but we went and once at the hospital they informed us that we had to stay.

Surges were coming regularly, they felt intense but good and when the nurse tried to insert a cannula she had to keep waiting for surges to pass as they were really close together.

I was only 2cm dilated but they said the baby was really low so they thought it would be quick, they said they would just take a trace of baby’s heart beat and we’d be sent down to the birthing centre.

That’s when things changed.. Unfortunately the baby’s heartbeat was dropping with each surge, and the next thing I knew, we had four or more doctors in the room and I was being wheeled to the labour ward and things seemed quite frantic.

Thank goodness for my Doula, who asked everyone’s name, asked for lights to be turned off and for things to be kept calm.

They now wanted me to lay down and be constantly monitored but my Doula negotiated an hour of monitoring and then time to get up and walk around. Laying down made surges more uncomfortable and this sudden stress meant they had all but stopped, which meant they now wanted me on a drip to speed things up, but we asked for more time, which they gave us.

I put on an eye mask, listened to some hypnobirthing MP3s and tried to get myself back into a relaxed state. When ever we could we got up and walked around the hospital & used the birth ball.

By 1am on Thursday, a consultant came & said that I was still only 3 to 4 cm dilated. I could hear the babies heart beat on the monitor, slowing down to a virtual stop with each surge and I’d lost the head space to cope with the surges anymore.

The consultant said that we needed to deliver the baby, they’d tried a drip to speed up the contractions but that was making the baby more distressed and so they were going to give us until 8am and then come back to talk about how long we would “go on like this”… meaning, “we’ll come back to discuss a C-section”.

I had a chat with my husband and my Doula and decided that I’d have an epidural, we’d all get some rest and relax and see what happened.

At 8am the consultant returned and there I was convinced I was going to be taken for a section. But she said, “Well Claire you’ve proved us all wrong, you’re fully dilated, let’s start pushing”. I burst into tears I just couldn’t believe it.

We pushed for a little while but then, – and I would ask for this again in future – they said we could let the epidural wear off, have a nap, get some food and they’d come back in an hour, which meant I would be able to get onto all fours to push, I was so pleased.

An hour later they helped me onto all fours, and I remember Janet saying to dance your baby out so that’s what I did. So with each surge I moved up and down into child’s pose, and between surges I swayed my hips and moved up and down.

The midwives were very impressed with this & said this was working brilliantly. And so with one hour twenty minutes of pushing our little boy was born..

boo-1We had a really positive experience at The Whittington, everyone was really kind, they didn’t pressure us at all. Each time we asked for more time to think, for lights to be turned off, or to be able to get up and move around for a while, they obliged.

Even though things had gotten rather dramatic at points, I am certain that all the yoga really helped.
I learnt a lot about the physicality of labour, so I had a good understanding about what was going on when the staff were talking to me and that helped me stay calm.
The midwife also commented that my breathing was excellent, that all the moving and swaying had really helped and that what ever pelvic floor exercises I’d done had really worked.

 

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