Rebecca Barr has recently joined our team at Perfect Pelvic Floor as our guest blogger. She has been a Physiotherapist for over 10 years with years of experience in pelvic floor retraining and incontinence. Here is her beautiful birth story and I just love her beautiful baby girls name Emmison.
After seeing those two lines appear, I knew I had to do another test just to make sure. This time the digital pregnancy stick which told me I was 1 - 2 weeks pregnant!
I had feelings of excitement and elation, which quickly turned to slightly frightened and nervous about the long nine months ahead. I was healthy and fit, what could possibly go wrong?! After the initial nerves, I did sail through most of my pregnancy without a worry. Even my obstetrician made a comment asking if I had done this before!! He had never seen a first time mum so relaxed. Each appointment he would ultrasound scan me and say yes baby is perfect, and measuring well.
At 37 weeks when I went in for another routine check, the obstetrician wasn’t so quick to say what I had been hearing from him at every other appointment. Instead he said he would like me to have a different scan to measure size and weight more accurately. Off I went to have this scan and returned to him telling me I had low amniotic fluid levels. Not too low to have anything done right away, but low enough to be closely monitored to ensure my baby was still growing.
Over the next two weeks I was a lot more aware of my precious little bubs movements. There used to be a lot of kicks when I would drink a cold glass of water, and as soon as I would get into bed to relax after a long day on my feet, I would usually feel the summersaults inside me. This had certainly started to reduce and I was quite anxious about what bub was doing in there!! The hospital were fantastic when I rang to say I felt there was reduced movement. I was told I could go in as much as I want and have a CTG whenever I felt I needed reassurance. A CTG is a Cardiotocography which monitors both the foetal heart rate and the contractions of the uterus.
My obstetrician decided at 39 weeks that I would be induced, which was a relief to be honest, as everyday I felt like I was overanalysing my baby’s movements or lack there of!
So the induction day came around quickly and it was lucky I was super organised and had my bags packed ready to go! My husband and I went in to hospital and I was first given the gel which helps to bring on contractions and soften the cervix. My waters would then be broken the next morning if nothing happened spontaneously. Overnight I felt mild contractions at no regular intervals, surprisingly I did get a good nights sleep! The midwives were in getting me up early and took me around to the birthing suite where I was to have my waters broken and then get comfortable for a long day ahead of me.
Once my waters were broken the contractions started almost immediately. What I thought were contractions overnight were measly little cramps, this was the real deal! I was able to walk around and there was a fitball in the room which I could use to hug and lean forwards onto during the strong contractions. My husband was very supportive and was following me around the room helping to massage my back but it got to the point where nothing I or he could do would help the intense pain! I then opted for an epidural and alas, I was able to function again!!
Having an epidural was great, I could lie down and relax after all those exhausting contractions. It did however prolong the active labour, although the obstetrician was in regularly checking my progress. I got to 8cm dilation when the obstetrician said my baby had turned posterior. Bummer! I was so close. He organised a theatre room and said we could try turning baby with forceps or vacuum. I was not keen on either of these methods as I had done my research and knew particularly forceps was quite damaging to my baby and my pelvic floor muscles. I had discussed this with the obstetrician during a previous appointment and he knew I did not want this method in my birthing plan. So I then consented to an emergency caesarean.
Within 10 minutes I was down being prepped in the theatre room. I could see on the monitor that baby’s heart rate was dropping, however all the staff seemed so relaxed and positive for me. The caesarean section was the quickest part of the whole experience, I just remember seeing my beautiful baby girl passed over the drape so that I could cuddle her straight away. My husband then cut her umbilical cord and seeing her being held in his arms I knew we had unconditional love for her.
I'm Melanie, a Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist.
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