Prepare for your birth journey today with our birth class

Episode 28

Louise Bannister

In this episode I chat to Lou from @hellolunchlady who shares her three birth experiences. After a missed miscarriage that wasn’t discovered till her 19 weekscan, Lou opted for private obstetric care for her first birth but she admits she had no idea how strict hospital policy was regarding induction. She experienced the cascade of intervention following an induction at 40+10 and was left traumatised after a forceps-assisted birth and postpartum hemorrhage. In her second and third births she had continuity of care with a midwife through her local birth centre and embraced active birth skills to embrace the labour and birth process.

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“I’ve always been quite a workhorse so I was always thinking of the right time to fall pregnant. Before Lunch Lady I was editing and publishing Frankie magazine and at that time I was pregnant but I miscarried. A doctor I saw told me not to have the 12 week scan so of course I listened but then I didn’t realise I’d miscarried at 8 weeks until it was my 19 week scan. It was a really sad experience.

“Harriet’s pregnancy was really good and it made me more open about discussing miscarriage. We were building a house at the time and I was stressed about money but I wore it all well. As my pregnancies progressed I became so much more open to the slow option, the yoga and meditation. 

“After my first experience with the GP I wanted to go through a private hospital with Harriet. It was a weird experience because it’s what I thought I wanted but then my first birth was horrendous. I was ‘overdue’ and I went in 10 days past my due date for an induction. I was so excited but I had no idea what was to come. The cervical gel was applied and soon after I was in full labour; it was happening really fast. It was a series of bad decisions although I had one midwife who was just lovely and she really helped me get quite far into my labour. 

“My sister had two babies naturally and she encouraged me to really get some tools for labour so I did hypnobirthing. My goal was to get as far as possible without drugs and I got to about 7cm. Harriet was birthed with forceps assistance and I was begging for a caesarean….and it was everything that I’d heard about inductions, even though I now know that you can have a positive induction. I just didn’t have the knowledge or the support from the midwives. I remember saying to my husband that I would never do it again. It was a big learning for me about trusting your body, trusting yourself, and understanding how private hospitals work and the system. 

“It took me longer to bond with Harriet because of the traumatic birth. That said, it taught me a lot about myself. 

“I fell pregnant with Pearl when Harriet was nine months old. I became obsessed with having a natural birth; I knew I needed to create control and trust my body. I went to the Mullumbimby Birth Centre and I embraced active birth and sound so I learnt alot about those things. Pearl’s labour started spontaneously; I was pacing the deck, eating sushi, my parents were sitting near me. I was in it, it was fast and furious, and once I got to the birth centre I got in the bath and I had these revelations. It was awesome because I felt at one with what was happening. I just remember being absolutely in love with her from the moment she was born. 

“Bon’s pregnancy was intensely different. I wasn’t diagnosed but I think I had antenatal depression. I got an ear infection and sinus and I couldn’t hear for 10 weeks and I was in my head a lot. I ended up going to an ENT who popped one of my ears so it could drain. I was frightened of the thoughts I was having and I did express it to Rick but regardless, I still felt really bonded with Bon. I went to my GP and she was awesome and she recommended a psychologist and she also encouraged me to reevaluate my life; stress, sleep, the busyness of two small children and a business. When someone listens to you and normalises it, it’s the most helpful thing you can do. 

“I went to the psychologist and I felt so weird in the first session but by the second session I really felt safe to tell her everything. She gave me some really great tools and they worked for me. 

“I was more anxious about my third birth because I was just so exhausted by work and family life. I was just exhausted. I had the same midwife at the birth centre and I told her that I just couldn’t be bothered. Bon was overdue and I felt so calm; I was completely still, I was totally trusting, and he is a gentle soul and it felt like we were looking after each other.”






Topics Discussed

Waterbirth, Miscarriage


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