Maximilian's Birth

Labour started around 3.30am. I woke my husband at 5.30am saying excitedly "I think this is it!" We walked around together in the yard, I sat on my birth ball and leant on the kitchen bench, we did some slow dancing and I had a warm bath to pass the time. By 9.30am the pressure in my pelvis was strong and the contractions were long and regular, so I said it was time to go!

I was examined in the Mater birth suites  on arrival and was 7cm dilated, which was great. We were taken into a birth suite and met the midwife Rachel. I gave her my birth wish list and she agreed to help us achieve as much as possible on it - including keeping things as natural and intervention free as possible and no medical pain relief. 

Contractions were getting really strong now and we focussed on breathing, counting breaths and my positive affirmations. About an hour after arriving, my waters broke in a huge gush. There was meconium in the fluid, so I needed to be monitored, but Rachel found portable monitoring pads so I could remain as active as I wished. 

After 3 hours in hospital, using lots of upright active birth positions, I had only dilated another 1.5cms. Another examination showed that baby was posterior, so progress was slow. The obstetrician on duty wanted to put me on a syntocin drip to speed things up. The baby's heartbeat was strong and regular and my contractions were 2 mins apart, so I refused - things were progressing at my pace.

After another slow hour, the midwives used a rebozo technique to try and turn the baby - and it worked! My contractions continued getting stronger and closer and finally, 12 hours after beginning, it was time to push!

I again used breathing and counting to help, and upright positions. Half squatting on the bed was comfortable and so was dangling from my husbands shoulders - he was very bruised the next day!! It was really hard work and after two hours, the baby still hadn't crowned although my husband could see the head as I pushed. After another examination, the obstetrician said she'd like to bring in the ventouse (or vacuum). I asked for time to think about it and my husband and I discussed it. I was starting to get tired and the contractions had also slowed down, but the babys heartbeat was still regular and strong. After much thought, we agreed to use the ventouse although it wasn't what we had wanted.

Things moved very quickly then, and within half an hour and only a few more big pushes and help from the ventouse, Maximilian was born, with no tears or episiotomy and no drugs. It wasn't exactly as I'd imagined - on my back, feet in stirrups, bright light shining, but we were really glad we'd been able to control the birth and make informed choices. With a big thanks to the Yogababy active birth yoga and active birth workshop, we made an awesome team and the three of us worked together to bring our healthy baby into the world.