The birth of my third child was an amazing experience. Whilst I had preeclampsia which him and this prevented me from having midwife managed childbirth (which I would have liked) I had good management with my GP and weekly visit to check on my and the babies health. This was great as it prevented me from having to always be at the hospital, instead I had weekly ultrasounds and GP visits which worked well for me and after having to previous difficult pregnancy I felt nurtured and cared for.
My waters broke naturally at 35 weeks and I went into rhythmic, fast contractions quickly. When I reached hospital the decision was made with my consultation to have an epidural this was explained really well to me and gave me time to think and make the right decision. The epidural helped to reduce my blood pressure which was good for me and the baby and I felt like I had more control. I did have a fear of needles but the midwife was amazing and was real and open with me, talking me through the process of what was happening which made me feel safe and ok. She held my hand through the experience of getting the epidural and stayed connected with me, this nurturing and support made all the difference.
The midwife kept me posted about the progress of the whole labor. I actually felt really in control and was able to let my body do what it was designed to do and he was delivered in what I thought a normal labour would be like, I was able to feel the process and then experience the placenta being delivered which different to my past birth experiences.
I was able to hold him immediately, he latched on and began breastfeeding which felt so good. My previous two births had involved medical intervention so this was a new experience and a very positive one for me. The midwife managed the whole process and it wasn't until he was delivered that an obstetrician came to make sure everything was ok.
The difference was that within the constraints of the medical system, I was cared for, supported, had choice and felt in control of what was happening. This meant I was able to be in the experience and do what was right for me and my baby. I also got to feel a natural childbirth without the distress or crisis of my previous births.
This time the medical staff were insightful enough to see what needed to happen and involve me at every step of the way. There was a risk that things could get worse but also the possibility that things would go well and I felt they were prepared for all options and that I was consulted and involved and part of the decision making process.
Amazingly, I walked out of the delivery room and was home 24 hrs later and supported at home by midwife visits. This was the birth experience I had really hoped for.
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