Born November 17th, 2020 in OLVG Oost Amsterdam
'Our baby girl was born on 17-11-20 with 38 weeks! So so happy she came 'early'. Her weight was 3612.
Isabel is doing really well; she is growing, eating and sleeping like crazy :) So she makes it easy for us to get used to this amazing, but also sometimes hard new lifestyle.
I wanted to write to you in order to thank you for all your knowledge and support during my pregnancy. Your classed/Zoom sessions really helped me to relax and prepare and during labor I thought of your suggestions regarding the positions which definitely helped with the progress of labor.
My water broke over the weekend. Not like in the movies, but I leaked down there so first I thought it was discharge. On Monday I woke up with stomach ache and the leaking increased, therefore I called the midwife and she came to check the fluid later in the day around 17:00. In the meantime my stomach ache also changed during the day in to cramps but I still didn't put my hopes up and I tried to carried on with the day; I was babysitting my best friends little boy in the morning, I tried to watch series, I showered but all with cramps where I really had to focus on and they did not stop (but also did not came that regularly). I even used the Tens machine.
Once the midwife arrived she checked and it was definitely amniotic fluid. Therefore there was a risk of infections as it wasn't quite clear when the water broke, so I became 'medical' and I was transferred to the care of the hospital. I was disappointed about this, but there was nothing I could do about it so just went with the flow. I was just hoping that labor would start naturally within the 72 hours or that today's cramps already were the start of it.
We had an appointment at 20:00 at OLVG Oost to check me and the baby on any symptoms which could have been caused by an infection. I had some dinner and showered again before we went there and fortunately I didn't have any bad cramps in the car :) (only a 5 minute drive but I was a little bit worried about this before). Once I was monitored in the hospital the cramps started to increase and on the monitor we could see that the cramps were actual contractions. I now realized that it could be the start of labor but still did not put my hopes up. Eventually, around 23:00 we could go to a 'suite' where I was checked by a gynecologist for the dilation and she brought us the happy news that it was 4 cm!
So it started, we could stay in the room and my partner went to grab the hospital bag. From this moment I was checked every 2 hours, around 1:00 I had 6 cm, around 3:00 7cm and at this moment it became very difficult for me, so at 5:30 I discussed morphine as a pain relief, but the gynecologist read my birth plan and encouraged me to do it as natural as possible (as I wrote in my plan, no medical interventions in case not necessary). She did say that breaking the membranes could give me some relieve (It appeared my membranes broke only on the top) I trusted her on this one as she was great and she really referred to my birth plan a few times during labor which gave me the feeling that I was heard.
I was on 8 cm at this time and she broke my membranes. From this moment she told me to keep breathing through the contractions, even though it feels like I already could push. The contractions really changed and I was laying on my back from this moment until pushing. At 7:00 I couldn't breathe through the contractions anymore and my partner rang the bell to get the gynecologist and nurse. Once she checked me she brought me the good news of full dilation and I was ready to push! :) In this stage the nurse and gynecologist gave me very clear instructions which made it possible for me to know what to 'do'. After 30 minutes Isabel was born! I expected this phase to be much worse, but I did not experience this as bad as the contractions between 7 and 8 cm. The gynecologist told me later that the pushing went so smooth because of how I caught the contractions during labor.
I really thought of your advise for positions during the dilation phase; so I went 2 times +/- 2 hours in the shower where I placed one leg on a stool and circled my pelvis, I sat on my birth ball for an hour, I was leaning over the backrest of the hospital bed on my knees and was moving a lot as you suggested :) all this time I was breathing at the most painful moment of the contraction and so did my partner. I squeezed his hands with every contraction, which was very helpful too. During the last cm's I heard myself making proper animal sounds, haha! Something you also told us in class.
The first few days I definitely did not forget about the pain, but now after 3 weeks I can say that I slowly forget the pain I experienced. And even though it was in the hospital, I had such a positive experience and I really appreciate the team and the care they gave us as well as the personal approach with referring to my birth plan.
I hope this positive story about 'hospital delivery' can help other pregnant women so they are not that afraid or worried of giving birth in a medical environment (as I was a little bit). So please, if you come across this topic, share this! :)
Again, a big thanks for your support and knowledge and I hope to see you in the future at BlueBirds.'
Michelle joined weekly prenatal yoga and deep relaxation classes throughout her pregnancy, in person in Amsterdam and via Zoom