Flora - An orgasmic birth
Before we begin, make sure you have read my previous post about Bowies birth. It was devastating and gave me severe PTSD. The thought of going through birth again made me feel physically sick, I spent most of my evenings googling positive birth stories for second baby and to be honest, it just made it even worse! The difference this time was that I was busy, I had Bowie at home keeping me busy so I didn't really have the
time to sit and worry. My pregnancy was okay, better than Bowies, I still had SPD but nowhere near as bad. Around 37 weeks I started to feel less movement, my mind was going crazy all I could think about was 'here we go again'. I went into the hospital to have Flora monitored, she was fine, it happened again at 38 weeks and again at 39, so on the third occasion the doctors decided she hadn't met their DAWES REDMAN guidelines for movement and decided to induce. My heart jumped into my mouth at the thought of having the same experience as I did with Bowie again!
I frantically searched the internet for last minute hypnobirthing, or any kind of meditation I could do to help me prepare but my head just wasn't in the right space. I took a deep breathe and told myself 'whatever happens, I will get through it and my baby will be here by the weekend'. I felt prepared, for the first time in my pregnancy and got myself together ready for the midwife to put the first pessary in.
The pessary was put in at around 6pm, I was told my cervix was completely unfavourable and to expect at least two pessaries before anything would get going. So I got into bed watched some netflix and went to sleep, during the night, two other girls on the ward went into labour and I was feeling all the jealousy! Still nothing, not even a twinge.
The morning arrived, it was just me left on the ward, I had some breakfast and arranged for Khiana to visit, due to covid, she was only allowed in for 1 hour a day until I was 6cm dilated and transferring to labour ward! So, knowing I was in it alone for the long haul, I booked her in for a 12pm visit to break up my day. Throughout the morning I felt a few twinges, nothing extreme just a bit uncomfortable and achey, I expected it was because the pessary had been in for so long so I just ignored it and carried on with my netflix series. The twinges were getting slightly stronger by 11am, not painful, just like a period pain, it wasn't bad enough to need paracetemol and they kept coming and going, so I would forget about it as quick as I felt it! The midwife came in and I mentioned I was having the dull aches so she offered to check my progress, I agreed and was super disappointed that I was only 1cm dilated! They couldnt even break my waters until I was 4cm! ergh. Expected though as the pain was about 1/10.
It hit 12pm and Khiana arrived, she came in and sat on the bed and we were just chatting about Bowie and how her night had been, after about half an hour she mentioned that I was pausing a little every few minutes, I said I just kept having strong aches on and off because the pessary had been in so long, she said 'I'm sure that's a contraction Lauren, you cant speak when you get it' It wasn't painful though, just super intense and I just focused whilst I had it, 'nah its not I'm only 1cm dilated and they wont check again now until 6pm when they put new pessary in' I said, 'its not even that painful'. Khiana told me to get on the birth ball and just rock a little to see if the pain would go. So I did, it got to around 12:55pm, I was clock watching knowing Khiana had to leave at 1. My aches were getting more intense and I had to really focus when the pain came and went, I started getting emotional, I cried to Khiana knowing she had to leave soon and said I couldn't carry on the afternoon in pain without her. She was adamant my labour was progressing but I knew it wasn't as I had only just been checked! The midwife came in at 1:10 to tell Khiana her hour visit was up and Khiana asked if she could check me before she went home just incase I was 6cm and she could stay. The midwife laughed and said 'no, she was only 1cm an hour ago and she's not even in that much pain are you Lauren?' I replied and said 'its not unbearable but it hurts' she said 'well then you're not going to be much further, plus it increases risk of infection if we check again so soon'. So I agreed and Khiana got her coat on to leave.As I stood up I felt a strange popping sensation and suddenly water was dripping down my leg. 'OMG my waters have broke' I shouted to the midwife who was just leaving the room, she came back in and said 'oh yes, lets go into the other room and see what's happening then' sheepishly. My pain suddenly got intense and I instantly felt like I was losing control a little. I went into the examination room and lead down, I asked for some gas and air as I knew this examination was going to hurt like hell. Another strong contraction came so I started puffing as the midwife checked to see my progress.
'Oh! you're 7cm! you can go over to labour ward!' I hardly even heard what she was saying as I was puffing so hard on the gas and air and trying to take my mind away from the pain. I was just focusing on my breathing and focusing on the pressure as it waved through my body.
'I NEED TO PUSH NOW' I shouted. The midwife laughed, 'no you don't, everyone feels like that when they get to 7cm, just hold it and breathe through the pain whilst I phone labour ward.' My body did not want to hold it, I could feel it pushing without even thinking about it. My contraction slowly went and I could breathe again for a few minutes, I heard the midwife on the phone to labour ward saying 'you need to come NOW'. I was okay, my mind was focused and I felt the next contraction build. I breathed in some gas and air as it peaked, I felt a little woozy and the pain was intense, I was in my head, I could hear my thoughts, I was talking to myself and calming myself down, it seemed to be working. In the distance I could hear midwives talking and telling me they were wheeling me to labour ward and just to carry on breathing through the pain. It seemed as though they were a million miles away though. I felt that urge to push again, I couldn't stop it, my body was just doing it for me, I could feel things shifting and the pressure was moving down my body, I was fine, my thoughts were loud, It was as if I was having a chat with someone in my head, I felt really calm, my body and my mind were separated and although I knew I was in pain, I couldn't feel it anymore.
Those voices in the background got suddenly loud and I heard Khiana shout 'OMG the head is out' and the midwives were telling me to hold on until we got to labour ward, they were racing me down the corridor. In my head I was still so calm, it was serene, I was thinking about Bowies little face when I got home with my new baby, I was thinking about that toast they would bring me in a minute whilst I cuddled my new little bundle.
'One big push Lauren' I heard someone say, so I told myself, 'go on Lauren, one more push and she will be here', so I pushed, my mind still completely serene, completely detached from my body, There was the most intense feeling as I felt the baby moving through the birth canal, it was like an orgasm but even more intense, it was so smooth, one smooth transition.
Suddenly I sort of woke up, as if from a dream, I woke up to the midwives voice say 'Happy Birthday little one' and a loud cry. Everything became clear, the colours returned, the voices were loud again and I was passed my beautiful little baby Flora, just 20 minutes after my waters broke.
I felt so incredibly lucky, Flora was born at 1:38pm, I suffered only a tiny stitch and we were at home on the sofa by 7pm.
It goes to show that
EVERY BIRTH IS DIFFERENT
BIRTH AFTER TRAUMA CAN BE BEAUTIFUL
ITS YOUR BIRTH
YOU ARE IN CONTROL
YOU CAN HAVE THE BIRTH YOU WANT TO HAVE
AN INDUCTION CAN RESULT IN A BEAUTIFULLY NATURAL BIRTH
YOUR BABY WILL COME WHEN SHE IS READY
YOU CAN EXPERIENCE THE MAGIC OF AN 'ORGASMIC BIRTH'
YOUR BODY IS MADE TO BIRTH YOUR BABY
YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY, COMPLETELY, INCREDIBLY STRONG
And that's a wrap!
*I am also remembering that not every birth is amazing, not every birth is enjoyable, not every birth results in a healthy baby at the end, and for those Mamas, you are even more than incredible.