Prepare for a positive birth with The Birth Class

Episode 470

Abby – three vaginal births, gp shared care, public hospital, pain-free birth

In this episode Abby shares her third pregnancy and birth story. She opted for shared care with her GP, a decision that really suited her busy family life and offered her continuity of care with someone she trusted. Her third trimester was challenging - she had significant pelvic pain which prevented her from exercising, she moved house and her iron levels were really low so each day was punctuated with significant fatigue. Her first two births were relatively quick so she knew she'd have to get to hospital without delay. She went into spontaneous labour at home on a Saturday morning when contractions came frequently. But one thing was different - the contractions weren’t painful and her labour felt easy. The whole family made their way to the hospital and two minutes after they walked through the door of the birth suite, baby Remy was born in what Abby describes as a completely pain-free birth.

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“I went through the public system with Oliver. My waters broke at 38+5 but didn’t have contractions so I went to hospital for an induction and I had a vaginal birth. With Hugo I opted for a private midwife because I really wanted continuity of care and he arrived at 40+3 in a relatively quick birth. I always wanted three kids but my partner was pretty happy with two. We decided to go ahead and try for a third but it took us over a year and there were lots of things impeding our efforts. After spending six months living in Queensland, we returned to Melbourne and I fell pregnant that month with Remy.

“I opted for shared-care through the clinic I now work at – Maternal and Infant Wellbeing Melbourne (MIWM), where there are a range of specialists for perinatal care. I think one of the best things about it is the day-stay where you spend the entire day being cared for and massaged while getting one-on-one guidance for breastfeeding. It would be so wonderful to see clinics like this across the country because women really need it in postpartum.

“I was feeling good about the pregnancy but at about 8 weeks I got pain in my hip. With the boys I had pelvic girdle pain at 38 and 20 weeks respectively but with Remy it started in the first trimester. It turns out I had Ischiofemoral impingement and I ended up getting two cortisol injections into my hip for it. That was really the only concern in the whole pregnancy. It made exercise really difficult and I basically had to sit the pregnancy out which was challenging on my mental health. We’d bought a house and also moved when I was 36 weeks so it was such a busy time and I forgot about myself in the midst of it, to be honest. In the third trimester I started having more regular appointments at the hospital but it was my appointments with my GP, Miranda, that really offered me so much comfort and guidance.

“I was birthing at the Royal Women’s and wanted a water birth because I’d heard that it was nature’s epidural. I presumed labour would be quick and the midwives were really insistent on telling me to call ahead and request the bath so they could start filling it. I was so fed up, it was coming into summer and I was so uncomfortable and over unpacking all the boxes. I just wanted the pregnancy to be done, I wanted Remy to be here…I just wanted to have my baby in my arms. I was also iron deficient in my third trimester and I was having regular tests and I’m a nutritionist so it just goes to show it can affect anyone.

“On the Friday I had a stretch and sweep and I was getting good, regular contractions. On Saturday morning I got in the shower and the contractions kept coming but there was no pain – I wasn’t in pain at all. I knew they were contractions but they weren’t bad or hard or painful. I got on the bed and James was making breakfast for the kids and I was just finding it all really straightforward. At 10am I heard a pop and my waters broke and I just felt like it was going so well and it was so easy, my contractions were in sync and then 15 minutes later I thought I’d better call the hospital. I was worried about the drive to hospital and I swear I felt every bit of gravel.

“We all got into the birth suite at 10:50am and Remy was born at 10:52am. I just made it into the room and then I had one contraction and she was here. I was just expecting more pain but it was the most physiologically normal birth that was easy. A week before she was born I remember thinking that I wasn’t birthing Remy, we were doing it as a team. I 100 percent had a pain free birth – I felt pressure and movement but not pain. I had the most amazing labour and then a completely uninterrupted golden hour supported by angel midwives which felt like the cherry on top. I even cut the umbilical cord after delayed cord clamping which made me feel like a superwoman – I’d done it all. I was beaming!

“I had some breastfeeding pain at three-weeks postpartum so I went to see Dr Amber Hart at MIWM and she gave me so many good pointers. An IBCLC knows their stuff and once Amber guided my positioning I haven’t had any issues.”

Topics Discussed

Breastfeeding, GP shared care, pain-free birth, Physiological birth, Public hospital, Three vaginal births

Episode Sponsor

Today’s episode of the show is proudly brought to you by Once Upon.

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