Friends of Belmont Birthing

Big Love, Big Bub

I have previously had two wonderful home births with Belmont Midwifery Group Practice. These births each are a story of their own and I can’t thank and praise Jenny enough for going above and beyond to ensure I was able to beautifully birth my first two babies in the birth pool in my home. I loved my home births and I was planning a home water birth again with my third. 

My pregnancy progressed beautifully, aside from lots of pelvic pain from having three babies in three years. I’d previously had two large babies. My first baby was 4.3 kg and my second baby was 4.1 kg. I was nervous about developing gestational diabetes and producing an even bigger baby but all tests were negative. I was healthy and good to go for my home birth. 

I had my first baby at 41 weeks and 6 days. Therefore I was frustrated but unconcerned when my baby wasn’t here by 40 weeks. I was sure that she would come in her own time. Once I reached 41 weeks I knew the post dates drill from my first pregnancy and booked in for an ultrasound to check that the baby still had enough amniotic fluid. At the appointment I learned that my baby was happy and healthy with an estimated birth weight of 4.7 kg. 

I cried for the entire journey to my midwife appointment. I was picturing the cascade of interventions that would now occur because of my baby’s size and I was mourning the loss of my home birth. 

My primary midwife, Jenny, had started annual leave and I’d been transferred to the care of Jane. When I arrived for my appointment Jane was so patient and compassionate. We spent as long as I needed to discuss my options. I decided that I’d like my baby to be born. I had been experiencing latent phase contractions for six days, but labour wasn’t showing any signs of establishing, I knew that an induction was the right choice for me and my baby. I described my ideal induction to Jane, thinking that there was no chance my wishes could be accomodated. Jane was able to accommodate all of my wishes and ensure I had such a positive supported birth experience. 

I was booked into the JHH birth centre to have an artificial rupture of membranes at 41 weeks 2 days. I called at 5 am to see if there was a bed available. I was told to call back in two hours as there was no space for me. At 8 am I got a call informing me that I could be admitted at 9 am and that I would be cared for by my Belmont Midwife, Jane. 

After checking into the birth centre routine observations and foetal monitoring we attended. My baby and I were well and my membranes were ruptured at 930 am. I was already 6 cm dilated. I went for a quick walk and started to feel pressure but no contractions. Back in the birth centre I tried smelling some clary sage and nipple stimulation which worked to get contractions going. I was able to labour in the bath for over an hour. When I got out to use the toilet the intensity of the contractions really picked up. I got back in the bath but my legs were starting to ache from kneeling so I lay on my left side on the bed. This position was so intense. I spent about an hour and a half here screaming that I was probably going to die with each contraction. After each contraction I could hear the soothing voice of my student Midwife telling me that I wasn’t going to die and that I was doing very well. Eventually I changed position to kneeling on the bed and asked for some gas to help me relax. 

That gas really worked to help me relax and allow my body to open. Three contractions with the help of the gas and I felt my baby’s head drop and I was ready to push. I got back in the bath to push my baby out. Jane and I had already discussed the best positions to birth a large baby. I got straight onto my knees and pushed out her head with two pushes. Jane reminded me to bring one leg forward to widen the pelvis for her shoulders. With the next contraction and one more push my baby was born in the bathtub at 221 pm. 

After spending some time bonding with my baby girl in the bath she was handed to my husband to have some skin to skin cuddles. During this time I birthed the placenta and had my perineum checked. I had only the second degree tear that had occurred with my other two births. My baby was weighed and she was 5.1 kg. I had birthed a 5.1kg baby in the bath with 3 pushes and only a 2nd degree tear!

We had an overnight night stay for my baby to have 3rd hourly blood sugar monitoring due to her size. Everything was perfect and we were able to come home the next day. 

I had planned a home birth with group practice midwife care as I wanted an intervention free birth and I wanted a positive birth experience. When my plans changed I feel that being cared for by Jane still ensured a positive birth experience just in a different environment. The interventions that were used to safety bring my baby to the world were kept to what was only truely necessary and were the interventions I had chosen as they felt right for me and my baby. This birth was exactly the ideal induction that I had described the day prior (with a much larger baby!). 

I’m hoping my story can encourage other women who are faced with changing their birth plan. I want to encourage the Belmont midwifery group practice staff that their care is truly valued and providing this care in the hospital environment makes a real difference in ensuring a positive birth. 

Please pass on my thanks to the Belmont team for being a part of bringing my three babies into the world in such a positive way. Especially to Jenny and Jane  who have played such an important role in my pregnancy and birth journey.