The Fear of 2nd Time Around
Fiona's Story - February 2021
Induction induction induction.....as soon as I found out I was pregnant I started keeping my fingers crossed that I didn’t have to be induced. Induction just didn’t work for my body with my first birth. So this time I hoped for a different more positive experience, one where I could be more present, more aware, more involved in what was happening rather than a bystander looking on as they did x,y.z without explaining why or my options.
So I organised a birthing course with Karis for myself 2 pregnant friends (for whom it was also not their first rodeo). I hoped to pick up some tips on how to stay calm, get through labour without a flurry of drugs and essentially do all I could to be more present. Being my second pregnancy, I didn’t think I’d have a whole lot to learn but boy was I wrong!
I had forgotten everything I was told at the hospital birthing course first time round. Karis brought the info to us in a meaningful way with lots of humour along the way. I had faith this was going to turn out differently and boy did it!
Induction, induction, induction, sure enough at week 39, the hospital recommended an induction. A senior doctor who had missed the session on “bedside manner” told me it was best but my choice & things would “only get worse” for the baby. So, the baby was in a bad situation now? I questioned. Turns out no my amniotic fluid was not at nor even bordering a risk level but could become risky...I had a 2 vessel umbilical which was always another unknown. It was like getting blood from a stone trying to understand his main concerns, I left feeling stressed, confused & more worried than I had been about my baby in months.
It wasn’t the easiest of pregnancies for various reasons so I wasn’t about to take any risks. However Karis’ course gave me the confidence to say “I’m happy to have an induction but I want to understand why”....so I asked for a second opinion. Within 48hours we were all agreed an induction was the way to go, my amniotic fluid had decreased further in that time, although still not at-risk level, it wasn’t essential but we wanted the low risk option so decided to induce the next day.
I went home with a herbal tea and a tampon to dip in some liquid in the hope things might get started naturally overnight.
Amazingly by 10pm that night, my mucus plug had come out, I was bleeding and having contractions every 4mins! I went to the hospital because of the bleeding and they kept me in overnight to monitor. By the morning they decided there was enough progression that they didn’t need to do the inducement, he was on the way by himself! What a great boy When contractions slowed, we tried acupuncture, herbal tea and aromatherapy to get him going again.
I didn’t want to rush into pain relief this time as felt it made me too sleepy last time so focused hugely on breath counting to get me through the surges. Around 5cm dilation I had some Buscopan and got into my long-awaited bath. The bath was fantastic and provided great pain relief. Looking at photos of my 3 year old with hubby helping count breaths, I was absolutely shocked when the midwife told me I was already 8-9cm!!
Shortly after I suddenly felt agitated, an urge to get out & have some pain relief. So, I asked for an epidural. The team came extremely quickly and before I knew it, I was wrapped up cosy and warm, lying on my side having a little snooze. It was the best feeling and I immediately knew I’d made the right choice.
I began to feel pressure & knew the little man was starting to make his way down the final stretch! I pushed when I felt pressure & was guided to relax when there was no pressure. It felt like such a short time and before we knew it with the help of some flexibility, we were both able to watch his little head pop out! He was here & I was fully present & relaxed!! I couldn’t believe it, it was exactly what I’d hoped for and more. Hubby got to cut the umbilical cord and just like his older brother baby latched on straight away!
The midwives were amazingly supportive, I had my ideal birth plan written out but didn’t even bother giving it to them as our main midwife automatically initiated and offered everything I’d hoped for.
I’m confident that I never would have believed in the power of breathing if it wasn’t for Karis’ course! To be honest I’m not sure I was even convinced until I was relying on it in labour!! I was so much better prepared mentally this time, I owned the experience more this time rather than being a bystander in my own labour, my hubby was more prepared with his list of jobs, pictures of our little family, a diffuser, watching a cheesy rom-com together at 5cm, relaxing music etc.....all the things I never did first time round all helped make this experience and recovery so much better. Thankyou Karis for sharing your wisdom in such a fun and enlightening way, we are really grateful to have welcomed our little boy into the world in such a positive and calm way.