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

Episode 411

Jessie – physiological birth, private obstetrician

In today’s episode Jessie shares her incredibly positive physiological birth which was so rare in the private hospital she birthed in, that five midwives came to watch. With the support of her doula and the midwife on staff, Jessie navigated her labour with the TENS machine, the shower, bath and a bit of gas. She admits that it was difficult for her to ‘get’ pushing but when her midwife suggested she sit on the toilet - because it’s just like doing a poo! - Jessie’s baby was born soon after. This is a wonderful episode that will inform and inspire you.

Download Episode

“After I miscarried we went to Europe and I found out I was pregnant as soon as I got home. I’d packed all these beautiful outfits for Paris to wear at night but by 6pm every night I was so exhausted, I just wanted to go to bed. It was unexpected but we were very excited.

“I chose a private obstetrician – Dr Andrew Pickering – because my doula, Danae, who was 10/10, recommended him. I had the standard ultrasounds and then had some with my obstetrician which I know is more than the public hospital system. Andrew said to me: you’re going to have a baby and I’m going to watch you do it and if anything happens I’ll be there to help. We liked it that way; we wanted things to take their course, to let biology happen, and for him to be there if need be,

“I was tight-lipped about my pregnancy because untelling people about my pregnancy the first time was really painful. We shared our news after 12 weeks and it was around then that I contacted Danae and she also teaches prenatal yoga online so that worked well for me.

“I did acupuncture all the way through pregnancy, I was going to barre, I was getting massages and feeling really good. I had a cranio-sacral light touch massage and I felt like I really connected to Bronte at that point – I was 36 weeks and I felt like I was going to cry. I told her: you can come out now, it’s safe, and we’re here waiting for you. Within a week, I did another round of acupuncture and I did some curb walking and labour began.

“I was getting really bad lower back pain and I just presumed it was a pregnancy thing. I googled: ‘what does early labour feel like?’ because it was so hard for me to figure out what I was feeling and what it meant. I started bleeding a little bit, which I presume was a bloody show, and I had on-off contractions overnight. They continued very randomly throughout the day so I just did washing, packed my hospital bag and Danae reminded me that this could continue for a week or two which I didn’t like the sound of.

“That afternoon the contractions were more intense and they were coming every ten minutes. I had a TENS machine which I loved, a birthing comb, a wheat pack, and an exercise ball. Steve helped me put the TENS on when he got home from work. I continued to labour around the house and then by midnight we told our doula that the contractions were three minutes apart and that’s when she told us that she was at a birth. She actually had four births in one day and I was the fifth one so she organised for her other doula, Brooke, to come to me. She arrived and I was half-naked and mooing and she confirmed that I was in active labour and she gave me the option for staying at home or going to the hospital. By 2am we decided to go to the hospital and I got a room with a bath and there was dim lighting; it was really peaceful.

“I got in the shower and Brooke and Steve helped me so much although Steve offered me pringles but of course I didn’t want to eat or smell them. It feels like time doesn’t exist; it’s the fastest and slowest time. I felt like I was in the shower for 15 minutes but then I looked at the clock and it was two hours. In my birth plan I outlined that I didn’t want any vaginal examinations and the midwives respected that.

“Birthing in the water wasn’t part of my plan but I did want to labour in the bath. The gas was really helpful; I enjoyed it. Was it a placebo? Did it warp my sense of time? I didn’t think it helped with the pain but I couldn’t let it go so it must have been helping in some way. I ideally wanted to birth without an epidural and the midwife that was on staff was absolutely wonderful; she was an ex-homebirth midwife so she knew exactly what to say and when and it got me through those times when I was considering drugs.

“The next hurdle was when the doula suggested a vaginal examination and this was about 5:30pm and the midwife looked and she didn’t even really have to touch me because she could see I was fully dilated. At this point I was on the bed on all fours, my arms hanging over the head of the bed. The midwife got the obstetrician and he arrived at about 6am and he just moved around the room with me.

“The midwife told me to imagine I was doing a poo so I could work out how to push. It wasn’t really making sense to me so she suggested I sit on the toilet and that’s where Bronte was born. I understood the pushing when I was sitting there and I had my leg up on my obstetrician’s shoulder. My waters broke about five minutes before she was born. Andrew caught her and I picked her up from his hands while sitting on the toilet and they’d laid out a mat on the floor and I stepped over it and walked across the room and sat on the bed. About five other midwives came in to watch me labour on the toilet because they don’t really see a lot of physiological births because that hospital does a lot of caesarean births. I loved it, I was so proud in that moment and I was happy for everyone to see it. I didn’t have any tears, just a small graze and I think that’s because I took my time with pushing.

“I sat on the bed and Andrew put a bedpan under me to catch the placenta and I didn’t have to do anything, it just plopped out. Bronte latched straight away and she’s still a good little feeder and I’m exclusively feeding. But I really didn’t realise how full-on it is, how often she feeds.”

Topics Discussed

Acupuncture, Breastfeeding, Doula, Miscarriage, Physiological birth, Private obstetrician

Episode Sponsor

If you’re currently pregnant and preparing for your baby’s arrival, you’re navigating almighty change that can feel joyous one moment and overwhelming the next.

BabyLove knows this roller coaster well, so they take care of your baby’s growing needs with superior nappies that you can rely on. It’s one less thing you need to worry about as you prepare for birth and postpartum. BabyLove nappies are high quality and practical, developed with attention to detail for the ultimate comfort and leak protection.

As you gather essentials for your newborn, make sure you get your BabyLove free sample today.

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