Confidently prepare for a positive birth experience – Join The Birth Class

Episode 407


In today’s episode Georgia shares her two positive birth experiences; her first an induction with epidural, her second a physiological birth seven minutes after she arrived at the hospital. She admits that she’d not a big reader but was determined to finish ‘The Complete Australian Guide to Pregnancy and Birth’ and 24 hours after reading the last page her waters broke. She chose Midwifery Group Practice (MGP) at her local public hospital for both pregnancies and second-time around, credits education and active preparation for her positive, empowering birth and postpartum experience.

Download Episode

“Harvey was a lovely surprise. I always wanted to have kids when I was young but my partner would have preferred to have waited. My partner’s cousin was pregnant at the time and she told me I needed to get on the Midwifery Group Practice (MGP) program so I contacted the hospital straight away. I had my own midwife and I started seeing her at 14 weeks.

“One of my best friends is a midwife and she suggested listening to the podcast so I listened on my work commute every day. I was excited but I was also overwhelmed. I was diagnosed with an underactive thyroid so I went on medication for that and had a few appointments with an endocrinologist throughout pregnancy. I had to get bloods taken every four-five weeks and increased my medication as the pregnancy progressed.

“We went into hard lockdown at the end of my second trimester but I stayed active – there was nothing else to do but exercise – and I was really over pregnancy by 36 weeks. Mentally I was done because so many people had told me I looked like I would come early so I had that in my mind. We also moved house at 38 weeks and then by 39 weeks I was so impatient. I was taking raspberry leaf tablets and walking and eating hot curries – all the things.

“I had presented at 37 weeks with reduced movements but the CTG showed that he was fine. He just wasn’t moving enough to convince me that he was okay. I found it really hard to get my head around his movement pattern; that was really difficult for me. The midwives were always welcoming of me and they reiterated that if things changed in six hours, I should come back.

“I went in for a stretch and sweep at 39+1 which wasn’t pleasant at all. I went in the next day for reduced movements and they sent me for an ultrasound to check that everything was okay with amniotic fluid and the placenta. I also had an acupuncture treatment with Claire Jennings who is also a midwife and she took me through the stages of labour and really helped prepare me.

“The results from my scan came back and they were all okay and my midwife gave me the option of continuing to 41+2 or book me in for an induction. The hardest thing was making the decision but as soon as I’d booked the induction I felt instant relief. I went in on the Thursday at midday and the balloon catheter was inserted at 1pm and I stayed overnight. I didn’t sleep much at all and the next morning they took me to birth suites and broke my waters. It wasn’t painful at all; it brought me a lot of relief. I was hooked up to the syntocinon and the contractions came on straightaway. At 11am I was offered sterile water injections because I had a lot of back pain. I screamed so loudly – they were so painful – but they helped the back pain for about an hour. I really wanted my mum so Nick called her and she arrived soon after.

“I was in the shower and by about 1pm I had an urge to push. My midwife checked me and I was 7-8 cm and she told me if I kept pushing I may swell. I lay down on my side with the peanut ball and it helped open one side of the cervix so then I moved to the other side and had sterile water injections again. The midwife suggested an epidural and I agreed to that but I had to wait about two hours for it. Once I got it my head went into a really good place; I was instantly back to happy, positive Georgia. I was fully dilated at 5:30pm and I had to be coached to push. I could feel my legs but not my tummy.

“I pushed for two hours and I was never given a time limit. The midwife was using the warm compress but she could tell I was about to tear and she suggested an episiotomy. My cord was short so Harvey was on my tummy and he started crying and then pooped all over me. Then they stitched me up and that was it.

“He was born at 7:30pm and he lay on my chest for two hours but no one told me to feed him so I didn’t feed him till 10pm when I was on the postnatal ward. We had a rough start to breastfeeding and I think that initial ‘not-knowing’ wasn’t the best start. I had flat/inverted nipples and I wasn’t comfortable in hospital so I opted to go home and have midwife support at home. I was at home for longer than a day when I had my first at-home visit and looking back I wished I had advocated for myself to have a visit on my first day. I eventually got on to a lactation consultant which I highly recommend. It took us three months to be able to breastfeed exclusively but we got there and now he’s a little pud.

“Harvey was nine months old when I found out I was pregnant with Murphy. I was out for breakfast with my mum and sister and started feeling really strange so I did a test and it was positive straight away. I bawled my eyes out but eventually accepted it. It was a lot to take in.

“Your book came out on the 31st of January and I bought it that day. I kept telling myself that I would probably go to 42 weeks so I was prepared for that and I decided not to tell anyone my estimated due date because I didn’t want people asking me all the time. I don’t like reading but I read your whole book; I read all the way through the first, second and third trimester.

“Someone asked me how I was planning to give birth and I knew that ideally I wanted a physiological birth but I was happy to see how it went. I knew I definitely didn’t want to have an induction again. I got to 39 weeks and saw my acupuncturist again but I was also physically and mentally prepared to keep going. She asked me about the book and she said maybe I just needed to finish the book and then I’d go into labour.

“I finished reading it on the Sunday evening and the next day I went to buy some pineapple, did some curb walking and it was early evening when my waters broke. Nick went and got a towel and I called my midwife and she just told me to call back when I was having contractions. I couldn’t walk around without filling the adult nappy. It wasn’t till midnight that I started to get irregular contractions and by 3am I knew that I really needed to rest. I kept waking up to contractions and they definitely hurt more when I was laying down.

“My midwife called me at 7am and asked me to come in for monitoring and to discuss the next steps. Everything looked fine so she encouraged me to go home and by 11am the contractions really ramped up. My sister was timing the contractions and Nick was taking care of Harvey. I put the TENS machine on and I started to make a bit of noise. By 2:30pm I had four contractions in ten minutes and I started to feel like I was losing control so I called my midwife and told her I would feel safer in hospital; I needed that reassurance.

“Halfway to the hospital I started to push involuntarily and I could feel the head. We pulled up at the hospital at 3:08pm and I walked up two flights of stairs and the midwives came running down to me. It was comforting to see all these people waiting for me. They pulled my pants down in the hallway and they could see his head. I walked to the birthing suite, got on the bed on all fours and after four or five pushes he was born at 3:15pm.

“I was in shock! My midwife checked me and I only had a first-degree tear and didn’t need stitches and I couldn’t believe it. I felt fine and he latched on straight away. I stayed that night as I wanted help with breastfeeding again. I’d done preparation with my lactation consultant at 34 weeks and she talked me through everything so having her support was just amazing. I was triple feeding for a little while but it was too hard with a toddler as well so I did formula top-ups but he’s now exclusively breastfed.

“I 100% put my birth and breastfeeding experience down to education and preparation. The most important thing I’ve learnt the second time around is to ask for help and accept the help.”

Topics Discussed

Breastfeeding, IBCLC, MGP, Physiological birth, Two Babies

Episode Sponsor

The Birth Class is an online birth education course that helps you confidently prepare for a positive birth experience.

Featuring 10 audio lessons with perinatal health specialists, you can listen from the comfort of your home when you’re relaxed and receptive to new information. The Birth Class is a conversation starter between you and your birth partner that informs, encourages and empowers you to journey towards labour with knowledge and confidence.

Sign up to get the latest updates, freebies, podcast releases straight into your inbox