Prepare for a confident birth – The Birth Class

Episode 486

Suze – MGP, induction, syntocinon, epidural, forceps-assisted birth,

If you’re in the mood for a birth story full of truths and just as many laughs, this one’s for you. Suze started listening to the podcast years before she conceived so in early pregnancy, she started an evening ritual of going for a walk and listening to every episode from #1 (the very rustic eps!). She takes us through her MGP care, birth preparation and induced labour where she felt empowered to make informed decisions every step of the way.

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“I’d been on various kinds of hormonal contraception for ten years so when I stopped taking the pill, my period returned straightaway. I conceived on the first cycle with a chemical pregnancy – I had a few days of positive pregnancy tests with a very faint line – but then I got my period. As soon as you have a positive test you start planning. I don’t consider it a loss because I have so many friends who have experienced multiple miscarriages and late-term losses and I’ve witnessed their grief and the depth of their losses.

“My cycle is 25 days long and I know when I’m ovulating so we had sex every second day and I conceived on that second month. One early symptom was cramping, just like period pain at about 5-6 weeks. I was really keen to get into the MGP programme at my local hospital, RPA. My GP sent a referral to RPA but I didn’t find out that I got in till about 14 weeks.

“I was listening to the podcast for years before I conceived and then I had a ritual of going for a walk every evening so I started from the beginning of the podcast. I also did your course, Welcome to the First Trimester which was really helpful. I felt quite informed but my midwife was wonderful; she was never pushing anything on me and she was very good at directing me to resources and letting me make my own decisions. We did the hospital birthing classes, The Birth Class and I went to pregnancy and birth preparation sessions at Sydney Pelvic Clinic in Bondi.

“I was hoping for a low intervention birth but I was also happy to embrace intervention if needed. I got a tour of the birthing centre and the birthing suites were just across the hallway. Chloe was tracking big and I know it isn’t always accurate but it was in her case; she was 4.4kg. I was quite happy to book an induction and I knew it could possibly lead to a cascade of intervention and I was okay with that. I also liked that I could book it on a day when my midwife was rostered on. I had three stretch and sweeps in the lead up and on the third I was 1cm dilated.

“Brendan tested positive to covid the night before our induction which meant I got my own room because I was a close contact but the midwives had to wear full PPE. I went in and got the cervidil and I hung out for the day in my isolated room. At around 5pm I had a lot of pressure and by 9pm I was only 1.5 cm so I was advised that a balloon catheter would be the best next step. I asked to use the gas+air when they were putting the balloon catheter in and it was really painful; I actually started crying. The next few hours were awful; I was in constant pain so the midwife gave me some endone which helped and it meant I could sleep. The next morning they broke my waters and they took me to delivery suite and hooked up the syntocinon drip. My body responded really well to the synto – I didn’t need a high dose to get labour going.

“My waters kept coming; I was changing a pad every ten minutes. My midwife gave me an adult nappy but with every contraction more water came out. Claire, my midwife, told me to ‘just breathe it out’ because every time I managed to do it instead of screaming, it was much better. I started vomiting which Claire told me was normal.

“Just as I was about to get in the bath I felt the ejection reflex and when I was in the bath I started vomiting again. I was pushing but Claire wanted to check me and I was happy to be checked. In my head I decided that if I was under 7cm I would ask for an epidural but if I was over 7 I’d keep going. I was 6 cm and it was 12:30 so I requested the epidural and then had to wait for the anaesthetist. I loved the epidural – I was chatting and had a nap and then Claire checked me and I was 9cm with a cervical lip s she moved it out of the way and I started pushing.

“I loved pushing and I know that’s easy to say when you’ve got an epidural. Claire really coached my pushing which I appreciated. I was pushing for an hour and half and then things started to go downhill. I got a temperature so they gave me antibiotics and then I was told I needed an instrumental-assisted birth because of her position. I was finishing their sentences because I knew so much from listening to the podcast.

“I had to go to the theatre so I pushed all the way there. Kate, the OB, told me that she’d manually rotate Chloe while I pushed and if it didn’t work, I’d need an emergency caesarean. I knew my pushing had to get her out; they used forceps and I was so excited that she was out. The vibe in the room was extremely positive. They had to take Chloe to the resus table because she needed a bit of oxygen and it was very, very stressful because she was limp. I also had a postpartum haemorrhage but it was only 500ml so not big but still stressful for Brendan.

“I was taken to recovery and Brendan went to the isolation room with Chloe. An hour later I was wheeled back to the room and there they were.

Topics Discussed

Breastfeeding, Epidural, forceps-assisted birth, Induction, MGP, nipple shields, One baby, syntocinon

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