|Posted by Christa Buckland on March 12, 2013 at 5:50 AM|
Christine's birth was an amazing learning curve for me. It was an honour to witness her strength and perseverance. And it was humbling to learn how to truly surrender when things aren't going to plan. I also learned about my physical limits and reflected on how I could keep my energy up during a really long labour. Congratulations Chris and Simon - you were an awesome team. Christa xxxx
Birth Story of Azrielle, the journey of a VBAC turned empowering positive CBAC! by Christine Hornstra
After my first birth where I did not know as much about birth & that the hospital system doesn’t always know best, I had decided that I wanted my labour to start naturally. My first birth ended in a cesarean section, as when the hospital tried to induce me due to my pregnancy being ‘overdue’ my son (Xavier) went into distress, just from the cervidil tape. I felt that a part of me was missing, that I had been denied a right to experience labour. All of this led me to the choices I made for my next birth.
I was sure throughout my whole pregnancy that I would not go past 40weeks this time, so as that ‘due date’ got closer & closer, I got more & more anxious! Then when it passed it was a bit disheartening! I knew that being a VBAC this time would mean that the pressure would be on if I reached 41weeks. So when I did & there was still no baby in sight I had to then decide my options. I was still set on letting my body & baby decide on when the right time would be, so I consented to going in every couple of days for monitoring. Each of these were picture perfect, my baby was very content & happy in my oven! Although this did not stop one of the OB’s trying to scare my husband & I into induction. At this stage I was only 41+5! After this experience my husband changed from being happy to follow what I wanted, to being determined that we would not be inducing, even doing his own research, so he was better informed to back me up if we had another situation like that!
My labour began on the Friday night (41+6); both my husband & I were very excited! At its peak my contractions were 5mins apart, lasting for at least 1min. So we had messaged our hospital midwife (Janelle) & doula (Christa). I felt I was coping well, so didn’t see the need for my doula to come round yet. Then just before sunrise, my contractions slowed down. By the time the sun was up, they had stopped completely! We were a little disheartened, but I had read of this happening, so tried to still be positive about the fact that we were getting closer. When the same thing happened again Saturday and Sunday night, I was starting to get really down. We had sent Xavier to stay with Grandma and Opa from the Wednesday night, as we were sure we would have had a baby by this time!
At this point I was in contact with my doula Christa multiple times a day. She was amazing at keeping me focused & giving me encouragement to stick with my decisions. On the Saturday we had another appointment for monitoring, this time we were more prepared. Christa came along with us for support & I had spoken with my midwife about the last appointment & how we felt regarding it. Luckily for us, the Ob we saw that day was much more respectful! I was getting desperate at this stage! Every natural induction method was not working! I had tried all the well known methods, including acupuncture. After 3 sessions, still no baby!
On the Sunday Xavier came back home, as I missed him too much! Once again the contractions started again the Sunday night. But on Monday morning they didn’t stop completely. They were only random, but still hanging around! I was also getting snappy with Xavier. I tried to have a lay down in the afternoon, while Xavier slept, but I was awaken by more contractions after only about 1hr of rest. When I heard Xavier waking from his nap, I decided I needed to call my husband home, as I wasn’t able to think about trying to take care of him. I knew this ment something more was happening, but after days of starts & stops I didn’t want to get my hopes up!
That night (Monday night) my contractions had been building from the afternoon & actually got regular again. This was the first time we had gotten a regular pattern since Friday night! Christa was sure this would be the night. But then once again they slowed down come sunrise! By 9am that morning Christa thought we needed to get together, so by about 10am Christa & her friend Alex (who is also a doula & a kinesiologist) came round to see if there was anything we could do. Alex asked if she could try moving my hip around. I was still getting random contractions at this time, but they were few & far between. By about 12pm, Christa had gone to drop her son off when Alex did the movement with my hip. We did one side, then I changed sides on the bed & we did the other side. Just as Alex was finished I felt bub give a really big kick, then felt a pop that was slightly painful. Then in 1 big gush I felt like someone was pouring a hot water bottle out of me, MY WATERS HAD BROKEN!! Just as Christa arrived back... THIS WAS PROGRESS!!!
Not long after I had processed that my waters had actually broken, my contractions really kicked in! There were only a couple of minutes in between each one. The loose dress I had been wearing was rather wet now, so I decided to jump in the shower to both clean off and to help ease the waves. We rang our midwife (who was now Nicole because Janelle had gone on holidays!) to let her know. She had just finished a birth, so told us she would go home for some rest and to let her know when we were heading to the hospital. We also rang Opa to come pick Xavier up, but as he was working it was going to take a little time for him to arrive. So I asked Simon to call my sister, as she was much closer and could at least stay with him if we needed to go. Xavier was having his nap while all this was going on, but not long after getting in the shower my moans woke him up. Once he saw I was in the shower he decided he wanted to join me. Simon was stroking my back to help, so Xavier decided to do the same. Just as he was doing so another contraction came & he got scared, thinking he had hurt his mummy! By now my sister had arrived & was able to take look after Xavier.
Pretty soon Simon decided it was time to go to the hospital, as my contractions were still very close together. I was well & truly into it, so had no idea if it was time to go or not! The car ride was horrible! I felt every little bump, turn, stop & start! It also felt like it was the longest car ride of my life (even though we only live 20mins from the hospital!)! By the time we arrived, my contractions had slowed down. We got into the birthing room & I did my best to find my groove again. We had requested a bath, but there wasn’t any available when we arrived. I tried the shower, but the water was luke warm at best, so got out pretty quickly & put my bath robe on (that someone must have brought with us, coz it wasn’t packed in the bag). From there I tried the bed, using the raised top & pillows to try & get comfortable. Once I found my groove I lost all sense of time & anything that was going on around me. I went with the flow of my body. I remember Christa stroking my back gently, but when my husband tried, it felt like sandpaper being rubbed over me! I can’t say how far apart my contractions were at this point, as I was well into my own little world. I asked for an exam, just to reassure myself. I was 6cm (Christa later told me she was sure she would be home for dinner!). My contractions started to slow down at one point & I was falling asleep in between. I noticed the room got darker, so knew it was getting into night time. Nicole advised me that my temperature was high & tried to get the robe off me, but I felt so cold without it on. We compromised & I took my arm out. Eventually it came off all together. Time went by & sometime later in the night I asked if there was a bath available yet. Nicole checked & came back saying there was one available, but I would have to wear the monitor belts, as there was a slight amount of meconium in the waters. I agreed, anything to be able to get into a warm bath! By midnight Nicole advised us that she was no longer allowed to stay, as she had been on for 24hrs by that time. But there was another caseload midwife for me, Geisha, who could take over. I was disappointed, but understood & I still had Christa with me. Getting into the bath was heavenly! My contractions were coming strong & regular. After a little while I started getting a feeling of wanting to push soon, I was told to wait until it felt like I couldn’t hold on anymore, then it would be time! The lower monitor was digging in with each contraction, so I asked 'if I’m feeling like I want to push soon, could I take it off?' Geisha said that was fine, as I’d had it on for a while & everything was fine. Not long after that, my contractions slowed AGAIN! So I rested in between, even falling asleep, only to be awaken by another one. They slowed down so much I was coming out of my world. I looked over to Simon & Christa who were sitting next to the bath telling me I was doing awesome, all the while struggling to stay awake! It was at that point I realised for the first time how long I had been going! But I hung in there, sleeping when I could & asking for the bath to be warmed up when I felt cool. Geisha was worried about me being dehydrated, as I had not eaten & was unable to make myself drink. My stomach just didn’t want anything in it! We tried watered down apple juice, but it just made my mouth drier & my stomach not want it more! I’d also had trouble peeing, I think bubs head was in the way (coz no matter how hard I tried to let go, nothing would come out!), so I’d had a couple of in & out catheters before the bath & asked for another one. I was definitely dehydrated, so we decided to put a drip in, to get my fluids up. After a while I started feeling better, but I realised I had lost the urge to push. I asked for a check, I was 9cms. My last check had been 4hrs earlier & then I was 8cms, could I do this for another 4hrs? Then when I did get a contraction it felt like bubs was trying to push up & out the top of my stomach (aliens movie style! :P). I was feeling something was wrong. I was also totally worn out; physically, mentally & emotionally. The choices ran thru my head: wait it out, try an epidural or have another caesar. But no matter the option, I could not shake the feeling that something wasn’t right. So I spoke up & said I wanted another Caesar. Simon tried to talk me out of it, reminding me of the recovery, but I couldn’t be swayed, something wasn’t right! Geisha came in to discuss it with me & when she realised it was what I wanted, she went out to speak with the ob. She came back in & told me that the ob on at the time was very pro Caesar for VBAC women, but if I waited 20 more minutes, the next Dr on was more pro epidural & a small dose of syntocinon. I didn’t see the use in waiting; I’d made up my mind! Christa & Simon helped me out of the bath & to dry off. The Dr came in & tried to talk me into having an epidural & getting some sleep. But I still listened to my instincts & they were telling me it wouldn’t make a difference. So for the 2nd time, I was prepped for surgery.
It was ok this time, I knew what to expect. It took a while to get me ready & into the operating room, yet my contractions did not get any closer again. From the time in the birthing suite to when they were injecting the spinal block I had maybe 3 or 4 contractions. Before I went in the ob that was going to do the op came to say hello. I was extremely relieved to see it was the only Dr who had been nice & respectful to Simon & I during our ‘post dates’ monitoring's! (Dr Cristiana) The surgery went well, I requested to keep baby in with me, to get skin to skin & delayed cord clamping. The only thing I didn’t get was the delayed cord clamping. But I did get to see her as soon as they had her out, as one of the attendees brought her straight around the curtain & showed her to us. She was all covered in goop & looking just precious! After I got to hold her on my chest, she went to the other side of the room for her checks, with daddy in toe. I could hear her crying, so I called out for Simon to talk to her. I heard him say ‘hello Azrielle, its daddy’ & just like that she stopped crying. Daddy’s little girl already!
Just before I left the OR Cristiana came up to me & told me I had made the right choice. They were expecting to have to lift her out of pelvis first, but she had already moved up, so she was easy to get out. After being engaged for over 6weeks & all the pre labour, followed by 19hrs of active labour, my cheeky little miss went the wrong way! She also told me her head had swollen & that the lower part of my uterus was close to separating. I was so glad I listened to my instincts!
Azrielle Jamie Hornstra was born 9.21am 10/10/12, 4.08kg, 56cms long, 34cm head circumference & just perfect! She wasn’t even wrinkled from being in the bath a bit too long! I may have not gotten a VBAC, but I did get everything else I needed. I was not induced; I went into labour when my body & baby were ready. My baby chose her birthday & what a date she picked! I love you Azrielle, you did an amazing job coming into this world!
Categories: Birth stories & Testimonials