When I fell pregnant with my third child, I knew I wanted their birth to be special and vastly different from their older siblings. I had experienced two vastly different and challenging births. My daughter was born unresponsive and required ventilation and transfer to a NICU where she was later diagnosed with a rare terminal disease. She passed away when she was 8 months old. My son was born at 16 weeks gestation when genetic testing revealed he had the same rare terminal disease.
I originally had been in contact with Brooke to go through the Birth Listening process to ease my pain and trauma over my previous births. We talked a little about HypnoBirthing and after attending an information session decided it was just the thing I needed to help me stay relaxed and calm through the birth of my rainbow baby.
My pregnancy was classed as high risk and given our history I knew that due to special circumstances we would most likely be induced early for baby and my health. In our unique circumstances this was the right thing for my baby and myself.
Arriving at the hospital
We arrived at the hospital bright and early on Monday morning at 37 weeks and 3 days ready to get induced and have a baby. We were excited, prepared and ready for the next stage of our journey.
After the necessary paperwork and baseline monitoring we got down to business. My cervix was high and completely closed, not what I had hoped for but not the end of the world. It was decided that we would start my induction with gel, minimal monitoring and be left to utilise our HypnoBirthing techniques to kick start my labour.
I had my first lot of gel at 8:00am and once administered we started massaging some acupressure points with a clary sage based labour oil to stimulate surges, while we put some more clary sage and jasmine on a face washer for me to inhale. After a little while we switched to some rebozo and light touch massage to get that oxytocin flowing!
We went for a walk around the hospital and up and down stairs while listening to a playlist of calming and soothing songs.
I was feeling really good and had the occasional niggle and surge when we returned to the birth suite for a check on baby.
We continued this way through the morning until it got a bit too warm outside for walking and stairs. We returned to our room to do more massage, acupressure and rebozo. I was starting to get a little tired so I lay down in a cocoon of pillows and listened to my Rainbow Relaxation and then Scott read me out the Balloon Trip script to see if we could get my surges moving along.
After a little while we switched to some rebozo and light touch massage to get that oxytocin flowing!
The evening ahead
We returned to birth suite at 3:00pm for some CTG monitoring and an exam where there was no change to my cervix and a slightly higher dose of gel was administered.
Again, we turned to our HypnoBirthing techniques to remain relaxed and try to further stimulate effective surges into the early evening. We also changed it up and I watched a romantic comedy to see if that would also stimulate any surges with the feel-good emotions.
When I returned for further CTG monitoring and an exam at 8:00pm I was dilated 1cm but my cervix was still quite thick.
I was having regular surges while still remaining comfortable so we decided to try to get some sleep and see what happened overnight.
I was given a stretch and sweep by our midwife as well as a pep talk about how well we were doing and that subsequent labour really are an unknown and change quickly. She also gave me something to help me sleep and told me to have a shower and listen to my Rainbow Relaxation and bonding track as I drifted off to sleep.
Overnight I was able to sleep relatively well while still maintaining regular surges and was hopeful that by the morning my cervix would have thinned and dilated a little more.
The next day
Early Tuesday morning I went down to the birth suite to be monitored via CTG and have an exam. I was very disheartened to discover there had been no change to my cervix and we had a few options.
I could be given a third dose of gel and see if that had any effect by early afternoon, we could do nothing and stay in the hospital one more night to get regular checks on baby and me before going home and starting the process again on Friday, we could administer the gel and in the early afternoon break my water and start a drip with continuous monitoring to really get things moving. I also asked my doctor if having a cesarean section that afternoon was a possibility if I wanted, she knew my preference was a vaginal birth with as little intervention as possible but was happy to perform a c-section if that was my decision.
Initially I opted for the gel to be administered while we had some time and space to think about a longer-term plan.
Reassessing the options
After a big cry and a quick talk to Brooke we took stock and reassessed all of our options. We thought about what our baby needed and what we needed and we used our BRAINS to make a decision that was right for us in our circumstances. We chose to have a planned c-section on Tuesday afternoon. My doctor already had a surgery list going and I was able to be added to the end and start my fasting.
A c-section was something we really hadn’t envisioned for our birth but it sat well with both of us and we felt an enormous amount of relief to have made the decision and know we would be meeting our baby soon.
We returned to our room where I set about organising our space and playing some calming music. I was still having regular surges but remaining comfortable and breathing through when I needed to. If there was any changes I was to immediately return to the birth suite to have baby checked or deliver a baby if my labour intensified.
My husband went home to shower and change and collect a few different things we would be needing for a c-section recovery.
We thought about what our baby needed and what we needed.
When he returned we passed the time by chatting and watching a comedy special until it was time to go through our checklist prior to delivery.
I had a shower and dressed in my very stylish hospital gown, dressing gown and compression stockings. We went down to birth suite and did a check list in regards to the surgery before going through to the anesthesia bay. I have known reactions to anesthetics so we spent some time talking to our anesthetist before our doctor came through to discuss our preferences for our babies birth.
I then had my cannula inserted and was taken through to the operating theatre. After I was seated Scott joined me prior to my spinal anesthetic being administered. Scott handed my phone over to one of the nurses and put on our birthing playlist. I used my calm breathing and surge breathing whilst the needles were being placed into my back and was reciting my favorite affirmations – I am relaxed and happy that my baby is finally coming to me, I feel confident, I feel safe, I feel secure.
I used my calm breathing and surge breathing whilst the needles were being placed into my back.
A calm birth
Our baby’s birth was everything and more than we could have hoped for.
Brodie entered the world in such a calm, supportive and relaxing environment. The entire operating theatre was aware of our journey and helped to make Brodie’s birth incredibly special most importantly they respected our wishes for a calm birthing space.
We were playing calming music the entire time we were in theatre; the drape was dropped so I could see Brodie being born, his eyes were shielded from the bright theatre lights. Scott was able to cut his umbilical cord and assist our pediatrician with Brodie’s initial checks and then Brodie was able to stay with me while they finished stitching me up.
I did start to feel slightly unwell at one point, so Scott picked Brodie up until I was shifted across to the hospital bed and feeling better. We then placed Brodie on my chest to begin our skin-to-skin time.
A chime is played throughout the hospital whenever a baby is born. On our way to recovery, I was allowed to push the chime for Brodie’s birth while he snuggled into my chest and looked for my nipple.
I was elated and on top of the world to finally have my baby boy snuggled against my chest, happy, alert and alive.
Our baby’s birth was everything and more than we could have hoped for.
A huge thank you to Laura and Scott for sharing this amazing rainbow baby birth story. I appreciate my couples taking the time to share their honest experiences with others. B x