Category archives: Labour and Delivery

  • Women birthing on the Community Midwifery Program are overwhelmingly positive about their experience of birth, even when things do not going according to plan:

    Here is Madelyn’s story:

    Happy Health Baby Paige

    My birth story was completely not what I had imagined but it taught me that you cannot control everything and that the only thing that is important is that you and your baby are happy and healthy at the end of it.

    Ever since finding out I was pregnant I was dead set on a natural as possible birth, at home with my hubby Paul, birth pool, candles letting my body do the work. I spent my pregnancy going to Hypno birthing classes, learning how to relax into the surges and trust my body to do its thing. I was Zen with a capital Z.

    Then my due date came, and ten more days after it and still no baby. My mum, who had flown over from New Zealand had to extend her stay. I alternated between good days and bad wondering if my some women just never went into labour naturally. I had had five stretch and sweeps, ate currys, pineapple, nipple stimulation, acupuncture; everything I could think of and I didn’t feel any closer to meeting my baby. I referred back to my Hypno birthing which helped to keep me calm and to trust my body.

    Late Monday evening I began to have low pains in my abdomen and wondered if this was finally it.

    I went to bed, quietly excited but after two hours of the same waves at 15 minute intervals I woke Paul and we lay in bed together, enjoying our last moments as just the two of us. The surges came stronger and stronger through the night. Around 1 am I felt a small trickle of fluid run down my leg as I got up to go to the loo, then two hours later I had my bloody show.

    We decided not to wake my mum just yet but spent the night watching TV with candles and set up the birth pool as my surges got stronger and closer together. In the morning my midwife Sue Ann came over to check me as my surges were getting to 5 minutes apart. I was so excited at how well I thought I was coping, surely I must be about 4 cm by now. Nothing. Not even 1 cm dilated. I was gutted. I had an appointment booked anyway at my domino hospital that morning for a scan and trace to check on baby’s health so we decided I would go along to that and see if we could get any answers. The scan didn’t tell us much and I was then strapped up to trace the baby’s heart rate for a couple of hours. Sue Ann noticed that the baby’s heart rate had elevated from that morning but the on call doctor seemed not too bothered by it. After a few hours it was decided I would be sent home.

    As Sue Ann started to leave I was hit by a huge surge and felt a gush of liquid coming out of me, thinking it was my waters I had her called back and we saw that it was a lot of bright red blood, that kept coming every time I had another surge.

    Consultants were called in and before I knew it there were a number of doctors around me. Still in my Hypno birthing calm phase I thought they were students and was continuing to joke with my husband and mum while the doctors and Sue Ann discussed the plan of action. I didn’t realise how serious things were getting until one of the doctors put an IV into my hand and they started to wheel me to the labour ward. Then the word Caesarean was brought up and I was terrified. My waters were broken to see if that would get me dilating which, combined with my fear sent me into painful surges that I was struggling to get through.

    I was still only 2 cm and my baby’s heart rate kept dipping with every surge. Within the space of about 45 minutes I went from getting ready to go home to being prepped for a Caesarean.

    Sue Ann was amazing at talking my through my surges and keeping me calm. She was very vocal and took charge with making sure my wishes were heard. Although I couldn’t have delayed cord clamping, she made sure Paul was the one to announce the sex of the baby; a beautiful little girl.

    Within minutes she was on my chest and didn’t leave my side for the rest of the night. If Sue Ann wasn’t there, making herself heard, I’m not sure if we would have had those things which were very important to us. In the end Paige had the cord tight around her neck and a placental abruption, so we were in the right place at the right time.  Even though I didn’t get my home birth I dreamed of, far from it, as soon as Paige was in my arms I didn’t care. Our bond is amazing, and I credit that to Sue Ann making sure what we could control we did, and the rest just makes for a good story.