Podcast Episode #60

Birth Story: Spilling the Milk with Brianne

I’m delighted to introduce you to my guest today on this Birth Story ‘Spilling the Milk’ series. Brianne, one of our lovely FitNest Mama members shares her amazing birth story and her journey into motherhood so far.

Brianne is a first time mum to a gorgeous baby girl and in this Birth Story episode, she shares her journey toward becoming pregnant, the details of her 5 hour labour, and how she has adjusted to life with a newborn. Brianne talks about her experience with relentless braxton hicks contractions, her mental state throughout the pregnancy and how she coped once she reached 41 weeks.

We talk about how Brianne prepared for childbirth and she shares some of the relaxation and hypno birthing strategies that worked for her. Brianne is a naturally organised person and she shares how being proactive in preparing for labour, breastfeeding and those newborn days helped her and her partner settle in and embrace their journey.

Grab yourself a cuppa, and wee trust you will enjoy this Birth Story, Spilling the Milk series of the FitNest Mama Podcast.

Episode Links

Freya App:https://apps.apple.com/au/app/freya-surge-timer/id1447509164

Join FitNest Mama: https://www.fitnestmama.com

Free Pregnancy Workshop: 3 Ways to Prepare for Labour:
https://members.fitnestmama.com/pregnancyworkshop

Free Postnatal Workshop: Returning to Fitness After Birth:
https://members.fitnestmama.com/postnatalworkshop

Freebies: https://www.fitnestmama.com/quiz

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Birth Story: Spilling the Milk with Brianne

Transcription

DISCLAIMER:

Please note that this transcription was completed with computer voice recognition software. Quite often unanticipated grammatical, syntax, homophones, and other interpretive errors are inadvertently transcribed by the computer software. Please disregard these errors. Please excuse any errors that have escaped final proofreading.

INTRODUCTION

If you are pregnant or you’ve recently had a baby, this podcast is for you. I am your host Kath Baquie. A physiotherapist working in women’s health and mum of three. Join me each week as we dive into all things pregnancy care, childbirth, and postnatal recovery, helping you have a wonderful pregnancy and afterbirth experience. And don’t forget to hit subscribe so you don’t miss any episodes.

KATH BAQUIE

Well, hello there! It is lovely to have you join us this week for another amazing birth story which is part of the Spilling the Milk Series in this podcast. If we haven’t met before, my name is Katherine Baquie. I’m a mum of three young girls, a physiotherapist for women and I have an online community FitNest Mama, which helps to provide pregnant and to new mothers with exercises support and resources they need to feel good from the inside out as they prepare for and recover from childbirth. FitNest Mama has workouts that are tired-mum friendly, achy-mum friendly and toddler-friendly that you can do it in the convenience of your home, at the end of a long day, whilst your bubba sleeps, or whilst your toddler is running around causing havoc.

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So I had the pleasure of chatting to a lovely member inside FitNest Mama and her name is Brianne and she is a mum of a gorgeous little girl who is now about five months old. And in this episode Brianne discusses being a first time mum, her journey to becoming pregnant and how COVID impacted this. Brianne describes how she prepares for childbirth, and she really takes us on a journey. Whilst she describes her four-hour labour and postpartum hemorrhage. Brianne describes the different strategies she used to really help her through her labour, including relaxation and hypnobirthing strategies that worked for her. So I really do hope you enjoy this episode and stick around.

But I do have a quick reminder that if you are pregnant to come and join the Free Fitness Pregnancy Workshop. This is a free one-hour long workshop and it’s perfect for you if you are pregnant, and you are keen to learn more about your pelvic floor muscles and their role in labour, including the benefits of perineal massage. We also discuss active birth techniques, as well as lots of tips for that after birth recovery. It’s a super popular workshop and to help you feel more confident and empowered about your upcoming childbirth experience, be sure to sign up for free at www.fitnestmama.com/free.

Alright, let’s get into this episode.

Brianne, thank you so much for joining me today.

BRIANNE

Thank you for having me.

KATH BAQUIE

It’s so lovely to chat. So we are talking about your birth story and your experience with as life as a mother, experience of pregnancy. So it’s beautiful to chat. So thank you for coming onto the show. Could you please give a little quick introduction into who you are? And you know a bit about your motherhood journey. How many kids do you have that sort of thing?

BRIANNE

So my name is Brianne. And I’m 30 years old, and I live in Brisbane with my husband, Nick, and we have our daughter Elle. And she has just gone five months. So it’s just the three of us, and we’re very much enjoying the single child freedoms we have at the moment.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah, gorgeous. And has life changed much for you in the last five months? Silly question.

BRIANNE

Yeah. Well, I would say it’s probably been similar to what I expected to kind of this period of maternity leave today. I know a lot of people talk about this whole kind of, you become a mother and your whole world changes. And I don’t know, maybe that’s still yet to come. But I felt like that’s kind of what I expected it to be. Which is probably a nice thing. But I’m very fortunate I’ve got a year off work. So just really enjoying this kind of quiet time where we can just go with the flow really.

KATH BAQUIE

Well. That’s lovely. It sounds like it’s been a bit of a seamless transition.

BRIANNE

People say that to us. But you know, it’s hard. It’s hard. It has its ups and downs. But I think we did quite a lot of preparation. And maybe we’ve been fortunate to have a lot of family and friends around us to see their journeys and kind of understand the realities of what parenting is. So it wasn’t so much a shock. Yeah.

KATH BAQUIE

Okay, well, let’s dive into that a little bit more then. So, tell us about your journey, first of all, in becoming pregnant.

BRIANNE

So it was quite planned. We’ve been married for quite a few years. I’m very organized person. So I think we’re all kind of lined up to the point where, you know, had a date in my calendar where I said, if I get pregnant after that date, you know, my long service leave will come in and it will all everything will line up, you know. So it was like, I’m waiting for that calendar to tick pass, and then we were good to go. But it’s I guess COVID was that thing you couldn’t prepare for? We had planned to go to, I said to my husband, one last overseas trip. And we plan to go to Iceland in March of 2020, which didn’t end up happening. So around that time, things were a bit unknown. And COVID was just kind of boosting up around the world then. And so we had planned to start trying, I guess, from that trip onwards. So then we thought, well, I don’t really want to wait, how long until I get that Iceland holiday before the kids will just get into having the kids now then. And we did actually hold off. I felt a bit nervous about engaging with the hospital system when it was so kind of unknown what was going to happen at that time. So we held off and July I think was July came around a few months later, we felt a bit more comfortable about what was happening in Australia. And just Yeah, a bit more confident than just that trying. And we were extremely fortunate and shocked to fall pregnant. And that first cycle. And yeah, just complete shock. Really. I know, you know that it happens, but you don’t expect it to happen to you.

KATH BAQUIE

That’s brilliant.

BRIANNE

Yeah, that was a bit of a whirlwind.

KATH BAQUIE

And did you do a home pregnancy test?

BRIANNE

Yeah. So I had said, you know, I’m a bit of an over analyser. So I had said to my husband, I’m not doing a test until I’m, I’ve missed a period. Because if I start testing before, then I felt like I was going to go down a rabbit hole. So we waited until I was a few days late. And yeah, got that test straightaway. And yeah, I was shocked. But I’d also been watching my body very closely. And I just had this feeling. I was pretty sure I had seen some implantation bleeding happen early in that cycle. And I thought, oh, but it was the first time so I thought surely not. But no, it was. So we did that test together at home. And yeah, it is.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah, brilliant. And at what stage did you start to tell everyone?

BRIANNE

Pretty much straightaway. I’m not very good at keeping secrets, and kind of wanted to share because I wanted to also help if something did go wrong, help reduce that stigma of things going wrong. So I knew it would be really tough to have that out in the public eye. But I felt that that would have been the right thing for me just to share that struggle. And realistically, we were only telling people that were close to us anyway. And other people we would have wanted supporting us. So I think at five weeks, we literally went, I think, yeah, the stick was a blast. And we started seeing people in person. I just didn’t put it on social media or anything like that. Started sharing it.

KATH BAQUIE

Okay, so you fall pregnant, you started telling people how was the, how was your pregnancy? Like how were you feeling? Did you have any aches and pains? What sort of transpired?

BRIANNE

So started off really well, I guess I just had that normal morning sickness and fatigue till about 16 weeks, but it was quite manageable. So I was lucky. You know, with COVID. I was working from home a lot. So I was able to take naps whenever I really needed them. And my manager was very supportive. So just as long as I got the work done, that was fine. So I was really lucky in that sense. I did get quite early pelvic girdle pain from about 14 weeks. But that was really on and off through the pregnancy. And I did see the physio at my hospital quite early on. They gave me a band, which to be honest, I didn’t win as much as I should. But just really managed that with the chanting and exercise I’d say. Reduced walking. Started swimming a lot.

KATH BAQUIE

How did you feel that pelvic girdle pain? What did it feel like to you?

BRIANNE

I think it’s called is it SAJ? On my left.

KATH BAQUIE

Sacroiliac joint?

BRIANNE

Yeah. On my left side. So just on one side, it was kind of in that back. Yeah. Back of your pelvis, I guess.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah. In the gluteal, buttock area.

BRIANNE

Yeah. So it would be walking, if I was walking up a hill, it was very painful, or any one legged steps or a lunge or things like that were pretty painful. So I was just doing some exercises to try to relieve that really, from quite early on, but it seemed to flare and, and dip for you know, I might not notice it for four weeks, and then it would come back up again. So that was kind of the physical side. And then I started out with the fair side of getting Braxton Hicks quite early in my pregnancy.

KATH BAQUIE

Oh, how early?

BRIANNE

I was getting frequent Braxton Hicks from 22 weeks, every kind of 30 minutes for a long time.

KATH BAQUIE

Wow. Every 30 minutes.

BRIANNE

Yeah, so when it first started, it was pretty difficult to manage. You know, they’re uncomfortable and they’re distracting and when you’ve never had had them before. It was quite alarming. I guess when I was so early in my pregnancy, they did end up getting me to go into hospital just to check. I wasn’t, you know, my cervix wasn’t lengthening or. And I wasn’t going into early labour, which thankfully I wasn’t it was just Braxton Hicks pretty relentless. So I had some time off work, actually, because I wasn’t sleeping very well.

KATH BAQUIE

So you notice them even at night time?

BRIANNE

Yeah. So again, I guess it was similar to the pelvic girdle pain. That’d be weeks where it was very disruptive for my sleep, and then baby weeks where wasn’t so bad. But of course, yeah, everyone thought my baby would come early, because I was getting back from it. But that wasn’t the case. Anyway. Yeah, that just became part of my normal life.

KATH BAQUIE

So how did you start to differentiate between the Braxton Hicks and you know?

BRIANNE

I didn’t. I didn’t. And for that reason, I think it was helpful actually, because I was just kind of used to living with it. So when I did go in, perhaps I was in early labour, but I was just going about my day as normal, because that just seemed normal to me, which I think was probably helpful.

KATH BAQUIE

Were they uncomfortable?

BRIANNE

Yeah. And of course, there’s the pregnancy went on, they got stronger and stronger. So you know, definitely when I was 40 weeks, plus, they were much more tense. But again, still, yeah, I think maybe the all the practice had got me to a point where they didn’t seem that bad.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah, right, so how did you know you’re in labour?

BRIANNE

I was probably in labour before I thought I was. I went overdue. So I was 40 weeks, had a 40-week appointment and everything just normal, you know, Braxton Hicks on and off a normal. In 41, I think the next day, I lost my mucus plug. I didn’t know this, that. But nothing else, just still Braxton Hicks and keep going with your day. And then I had an appointment at 41 weeks, and requested a stretch and sweep at that point, because I had an induction booked not too far away by this point. And I was starting to get a bit nervous. And then it was two days later, I was lying in bed ready to go to sleep. It was nine o’clock at night. And I was reading a book. And I was actually quite desperate to go into labour at this point, because I had my induction was two days away. And I had bought some clary sage oil that day, which is not really the kind of thing to do. But I was very desperate. So I’m lying in bed at night missing this clary sage oil. And yeah, felt just an internal pop. And once my waters breaking and thankfully made it from the bed to the bathroom without any mess. And yeah, so I guess for me, that’s what I, you know, that was breaking was that moment of oh, I’m in labour now. But realistically, I’d been out that day. And I’d been with my mum and she said you’re in labour? And I was like, no, no, no, like, these are just the same, you know, contractions and tightening as I’ve had ages, that’s fine. But you know, maybe a couple days before maybe I really was in early labour, but couldn’t really tell.

KATH BAQUIE

Can I just dive into that? You said you’re feeling a bit desperate that stage? How did you feel in that? Do you feel that impacted anything?

BRIANNE

So I was really hoping for, you know, a natural birth and I had done all this preparation and made myself affirmation cards and printed them out and had them around the house. And I was trying to stay positive. And I knew from the reading that, you know, I’m a first time mum, low risk pregnancy. You know, expect I was expecting to go to 41 weeks, I wasn’t expecting to go earlier than that. And so even though I knew that, logically, I was very happy and positive up until I got to 41 weeks. And when I got to 41 my mental state started to get worse and I started to feel a bit more anxious and started just out to my body, which wasn’t nice, really, because I lost my body. But you really start to see like all you just worried that it wasn’t progressing. And it was in the background it was but yeah, so I started to feel that desperation in that doubt was sitting in for sure. So I was sitting in my garden and doing meditations and, you know, I’m on maternity leave and kind of twiddling my thumbs so and of course, you’re getting a lot of messages from people asking with the baby. So I eventually told people to stop and you know, they would be told when they’re told and that contact.

KATH BAQUIE

And did you verbalize like when you say you felt desperate? Did you verbalize that? Or was this all just inside, like internal to you?

BRIANNE

No. I think I was pretty open with my husband were pretty, you know, communicate a lot. So I think he was aware, you know, starting to struggle mentally. I didn’t expect that to be as hard as it was. I really didn’t expect that.

KATH BAQUIE

So you mentioned you’re in the garden meditate. During that time did anything else help for that? Because you’re not alone. I know a lot of women feel that similar sort of angst when it’s coming to nearly the end of their pregnancy. Is there anything you felt helped to get you through those few days?

BRIANNE

Hard to remember specifically, even those days, I was actually the day before I went into labour, I remember to the beach, and I went for a swim. And that was kind of my last swim in the ocean, I wasn’t really able to do lap swimming anymore, I would swim half at length, and I’d get contraction. So it just wasn’t comfortable to swim properly, but just waving around in the ocean. I remember doing that and just sitting and watching the waves. Just trying to not sit around at home, I think that was probably the worst place to be. And just try to go on with my day as much as I could and try to ignore. Ignore that you were overdue. But yes, it was very entertaining. If you’re at the shops, and you know, people ask you because you’re obviously heavily pregnant. “That’s already due.” Like, oh, we could go and the look on their face is just like, “Should you be?” Like, yes, I’m fine.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah, as I said, it’s I think it’s really common and all those text messages that you get, and, and I remember before I had any babies, I was guilty of that. You’re as excited for the person. And then when I fell pregnant and had my first I was like, “Oh my gosh, never again. Am I going to kill a pregnant woman? When is she due?”

BRIANNE

Yeah, and I did. I did probably spend a bit of time doing like spinning babies stuff and yoga and that I was bouncing on the ball a lot. And, and maybe those things that you felt like it was nice to find things that you could control or that you could do that made you feel like you were helping, even if you weren’t, it just made you feel like you could be proactive. I think that was helpful. Probably the saying I can do these things. And I’ll you know, I can control those. And I’ll do those. And that made me feel better.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah, brilliant. So going on to that. What sort of childbirth preparation did you do? You mentioned the spinning, spinning babies.

BRIANNE

Toward the end of my pregnancy. We did some online antenatal classes. Actually, this was after I had been swapped at 22 weeks when I went in because they thought maybe early labour, I was swapped for GBs. And I came back as GBS positive. And I didn’t know what really what that was. And I probably didn’t really know enough before I got the swab done to really consent informed. But when I got that positive result and a letter in the mail, saying I was positive, I need to actually do some research and understand what this is and what that means for my labour. And that’s probably what kicked off all of our kind of education for labour until 22 weeks hadn’t really thought about it. So we did some online, antenatal classes, this is all with my husband, we did it all together, which I think was really nice. We did an online hypnobirthing course. And through one of those we made a I made a birth map. So I did map out all those different pathways that my birth could take, and try to learn about, you know, if I was induced or if it was a cesarean, what were my options and write down my preferences for whichever way our birth might go? That was really helpful was just like a two-page document. One side was all the physiological pain relief that we’d learnt about that my husband could try things he could say to me and lay there was like a tip sheet for him. And then the other side was the map. So we did that. And I would say the one thing that I swear by now and I do tell other women about it’s called the Frea app. I don’t know if you know that app. Yeah, it’s like a hypnobirthing, contraction timer, basically. But I ended up using that for all my meditations. So when you open the app, it just plays a meditation. And then when you hit the button, it took to record a contraction, it changes into like a coached breathing. And it coaches you through your breathing through that contraction. And when you stop it, it goes back to your meditation. Yeah, that was amazing. For me in labour. I use that heavily and I used it in the evening before bed, in that latest stage of the pregnancy, just as all my meditations

KATH BAQUIE

Hmm. And how long did you use it into your labour? Was there a time when you thought I don’t need this anymore?

BRIANNE

There was definitely a point where I couldn’t really concentrate on it any longer. And I did go into the shower. And that was pretty much when we stopped using it because I was wearing headphones. Up until that point. So we kind of went without from then onwards. But it was very helpful. Yeah, at home on the transition to hospital in that early stage. I say early stage but I didn’t have very long at the hospital. So in the early hour.

KATH BAQUIE

Okay, let’s dive into that. I’d love to hear. So, can you take me back to when you realize you’re pregnant? And how long it took for you, when you decided to go into hospital?

BRIANNE

Yes. So it was 9pm, I was lying in bed and my waters broke. So I’m on the bathroom, my husband’s trying to call the hospital to say, you know, water’s broken, so I knew I had to go in for a check, which was kind of not what the plan was because I had wanted to labour at home as long as possible. But within the 10 minutes of my husband getting on the phone to the hospital, by the time he had gotten through to someone, I was having strong contractions every two to three minutes. It was really 0 to 100. Maybe my early labour was, you know, those days prior, but once those waters had broken, it was full on. And so we were we headed straight to hospital, but I probably would have needed to head back to hospital. And luckily, we’re only five minutes from our hospital. So we were at the hospital. 45 minutes later, I’d say we pretty much it was just get the toiletries in in the bag. You know, those last things that you hadn’t pack. And I was using the Frea app sitting on the couch while my husband got the car ready to go. And I was, you know, in my own world kind of straightaway.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah. Did it help that you’d been practicing?

BRIANNE

I think so. Definitely. And you had that plan for what you were going to do in those moments, I guess. So it was nice to have the headphones there and just be able to jump straight into it. Yeah, for sure. So we drove to hospital, I think we got there an hour or 45 minutes after my waters broke. And it was evening. So we went through the emergency entrance, which is what we had to do at our hospital. I remember someone sitting in the emergency waiting room yelling at me like you’re in labour, like, Yes, I know. It was causing a scene as they walk through the emergency. But I remember shouting back to her, you know, this is in the night. And this is central Brisbane hospital. I remember shouting back to her, “It’s a good labour.”, “This is a good pain.”, “This is positive.” Just trying to keep my mind happy.

KATH BAQUIE

Oh, that’s lovely.

BRIANNE

Yeah, so we checked in the maternity ward. And they took us through to an assessment room. So they wouldn’t take us straight to a birth suite. As they know, we’ll go through to an assessment room and get you checked. And I guess, just check that I was in labour. But you know, at that point, I’m sitting at the reception moaning through contractions, so it’s pretty obvious that I’m in labour. So we went through and got a check done. And so we’ve been put into this little room and told someone will come soon. And I couldn’t even hop on the bed. At that point, I physically couldn’t do that. So we got our affirmation cards out. And I’ve put them all over the hospital bed. And I’m kind of kneeling over the bed, just looking at these cards, using my contraction timer to try to meditate and in quite a lot of pain. And eventually someone did come about half an hour later. And did a check, did a cervix checked before taking me to the birth suite. And I was four centimetres. And I remember feeling quite deflated. Actually, when I told four centimetres and my birth map had said, you know, don’t tell me how dilated I am. I don’t want to know that they just sort of said it without thinking, obviously. But when I had had the stretch and sweep two days earlier, I had already been two centimetres. And so to be told that you’re forcing me I thought, well, this is very full on and okay, you know, and I remember thinking like, instantly thinking, I thought I would be more, even though it’s only been an hour and a half maybe. But then just trying to tell my brain. Everyone dilates differently. Everyone’s path is different. Just because you force enemies now doesn’t mean you won’t be 10 in an hour like this could go in any direction. You don’t know. Stay positive. Stay calm, you know. So even though Yeah, it was a bit of a downer moment. Just trying to get my mind back on the right track. So they did take us through to a birth suite then. And yes, I remember getting into that birth. Then I had a few contractions on the way from that room to the birth suite. And as soon as I was in that verse that stripped my clothes off and run for the shower, I’m just like, I’m in that water. Let me get in that shower. Because we actually when my husband had called the hospital he’d asked Is there someone that can do water birth tonight and there wasn’t anyone roster that had that training. So even though the best weed I was in had a birth pool, no one that was rusted on could use that.

So I was prepared for that when we got to the hospital. So the first thing I did was wrong to that shower and we laboured in there for a little bit, probably an hour.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah. So were you on your knees with hands on a bowl, like how are you positioned in the shower?

BRIANNE

The shower was a challenge, I found it hard to find a comfortable position, I tried on the ground with some sort of boards, they put down for my knees or wasn’t on the tiles, and I got a contraction like that they know, this is not good. So back up I was they kept offering me that yoga for the ball excisable. And I kept in my brain, I was like, No, that’s not going to be any good. I don’t want to try that. And eventually, when I did try that it was good. And, you know, so you don’t know what’s good for you sometimes. But I actually ended up, there’s like the railings on the wall to hold. And I ended up kind of like hooking my arm behind the railing. So my elbows were like jammed in behind there. And I would lean forward. And so my arms were like, hold my weight up. And I would just kind of lean forward and contract like that, which I think would have probably looked quite alarming. But that was what worked. I couldn’t use my legs to stand, but I could kind of hang off those poles.

KATH BAQUIE

And when you mentioned the bowl did end up working, what sort of positioning you’re referring to?

BRIANNE

So I again, the shower was kind of in the corner. So I’m facing the broom, and the bowl was kind of in the corner, and I would sit down on it, I still had my elbows behind those poles, but I would understand or then kind of sit gently on the bowl or stand and sit on the bowl like that.

KATH BAQUIE

And that’s so great. You were just trying different positions, and one didn’t work. So you tried another?

BRIANNE

Yeah, and the things that you think are going to work for you beforehand, you know, you just don’t know until you’re in it. I remember being told about light touch massage. And I’m not going to like that, you know, I like remedial tough massages. That’s what really feel good for my body. And then when we’re in this assessment room, I asked my husband, you know, I need some massage. And so he went to do like the tough, you know, remedial style message was like no lighter. Let me be like lighter. And I’m like lighter again. Lighter again. So you know, something I thought was not going to be nice at all. Actually, that’s exactly what I needed. Yeah.

KATH BAQUIE

And by even just hearing that this is what I say, whenever we’re talking about act of birth techniques, like these are oldest tools in your toolkit, you choose what works for you, you might find something really works that you weren’t expecting it to or, you know, take what’s good leave what isn’t.

BRIANNE

Yeah, exactly. So it’s helpful to just have all those options. And then in the moment, you can choose what works best for you. And you try something that doesn’t work and just move on. So yeah, so in the shower. And there was a point, I think, prior to birth had been told that the baby was a little bit posterior. And there was a point in that shower, the back pain was just getting too much. And so I asked for sterile water injections, because the back pain was a lot. And the midwife said, are you sure that yes, yes, I’m sure that she went off to get those ready. And so I’m not sure how long it takes a midwife to get those syringes prepared and to come back with them. If it’s 10 minutes, I don’t know, probably 10 minutes, that’s what I would assume. But something changed in that 10 minutes from when I had asked her to go get those and when she came back with them. When she came back with those several one injection, I’ve said no, I don’t want them. That’s not going to be anywhere near the level of pain relief that I need right now. Like I just by looking at them, I can tell you, it’s not enough.

And I was actually starting to become a bit afraid. I was having these waves of things feeling scared. And I just didn’t quite understand what was happening in my body at that moment. So, you know, it was about an hour ago that I was four centimetres in the assessment room. And I felt in the shower like my body was pushing. And I was I was really just felt scared to be honest, because I just didn’t understand I thought This isn’t right. I shouldn’t be pushing yet. This doesn’t make any sense. So we had two midwives one had gone to get the steroid injections and the other stayed with us in the bathroom. And I’m not sure if she really believed me that that I think nobody’s pushing like I don’t understand but this this isn’t right. And eventually my husband says I think some light stuff just came you know gushed out of her onto the yoga ball that was underneath me. And I think that’s the moment where they were like oh, okay, maybe something’s happening here. And I said no, I need a cervix check like this pain and this feeling it’s too much I can’t in my head I was thinking you know if I’m forced enemies now go I’m probably like five centimetres now you know, one centimetre an hour. That means I’ve got like another five hours of this? I can’t do this for another five hours, this is too much and said, No, I need a cervix, check those still in water injection, take them away. That’s not enough. And then the other midwife to try some gas tracks of gas. I said no. Because in my birth plan, you know, epidurals like the last option, I wanted everything else first in here my like No, no skip to the epidural, like, don’t I’m not even going to try to guess it’s not going to touch the surface. They said, Okay, well, if you want, we need to do a cervix check, then you need to get on the bed.

I think they were trying to determine because I was really the shower was good. I said, No, that’s fine. I’ll run to the bed between contractions. And when I tell that story to my husband, he said, I kind of carried you to the bed. In your mind, a strong woman is like charging to the bed. No, that’s not what was happening. So I got on the bed. And yes, they did a cervix check. And I was actually eight centimetres, and my body was pushing. And I remember just feeling so elated to hear that. I said, I think I turned to my house. I said, I’ve done it. I did it. You know, the baby wasn’t even born yet. But here was I celebrating that I’d done it. But I had in all our prep, I’d been really excited to experience the fetal ejection reflex, I became quite obsessed with that idea. And all of my planning was around trying to hopefully experience that if I could. And so just being told, Oh, yeah, your body is pushing. And you know, you’re eight centimetres, all of a sudden, I just felt just so happy. Really. So that’s kind of when the room changed. I guess they were like, oh, okay, let’s babies like coming in? Yes, I end up staying on the bed, actually, for the birth.

KATH BAQUIE

Do you think reflecting back on it? Like when you were starting to feel worried and concerned? Do you think that was your transition and all that influx of hormones, like in you?

BRIANNE

Yeah, yeah, even when they told me as it sent me this, I was like, Oh, my gosh, I was just having my crisis of confidence, you know, that. That’s exactly what happens. And I was there telling you, I couldn’t do it anymore. And I need the epidural, because this is too much. I can’t do it. And all of my communication had turned to this doubt, you know, of what was happening. So yeah, when they told me that I just felt justified, you feel like, okay, this is this is, right, this is what happening is correct. And I knew at that point, I was like, it’s too late for an epidural. So your kind of just had that moment of like, just being really stoked that I even managed to get where we were. And it was very quick. So I, you know, if it wasn’t so quick, I don’t think I couldn’t without more pain.

KATH BAQUIE

Okay, so you’re on the bed. And it’s all systems go, can you describe to set last stage of labour with the pushing phase?

BRIANNE

My pushing phase is I don’t know how common this is. But because I was only eight centimetres, and my body was already trying to push. I was actually coached to try to stop the pushing. So I spent more time trying to stop my body from pushing than I actually did pushing. So at that point, I said, Look, I’ll use the gas because I, my breathing was very erratic. And I just needed to try to calm because the only way I could get that pushing reflex to, I mean, I don’t know, I personally feel like that’s impossible to actually stop your body from doing that when it when it’s doing it. But the only way I could possibly even like, try to bring it down a little, was just breathing really slowly, which is quite hard to do when you’re in a contraction. So I used the gas for that was probably 20 minutes or so of trying to stop the bushing. And I remember it just being a huge relief. So I was on the bed, but I was like kneeling, and I was kneeling over the back of the bed. So the bed was like in a seating position. And I kind of had my elbows up on the back of the bed facing a wall. So I wasn’t seeing anything that was happening in the room. I was just kind of staring at this back wall. And when the midwife came up around to where I was and said you can push now. The relief.

Just remember they thought thank push. And that felt good. I mean, I know that it hurt but it felt productive. It was nice to be able to contribute. And then she was born quite quickly. I think maybe two or three contractions.

KATH BAQUIE

Wow.

BRIANNE

Yeah, from lying in bed about to go to sleep. That was 9pm and she was born at 1am. So it’s a pretty quick labour that I did not expect.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah, for sure. And when did you know she was a girl?

BRIANNE

No, no, we didn’t know that was well, I was about to say that was a nice surprise. But I was pretty out of it. We had in that I wanted my husband to discover the gender. And a month later I said, I said to him, oh, you know, that’s one thing. We didn’t actually follow on the plan, because the midwife told me it was ago. And he’s like, No, I told you that. So that’s how well, you know how with it I was in that moment. But I was quite in shock, because I expected it to be a boy. So I remember just thinking, who brought this girl to the room? Where did she come from? She didn’t come from me. Like, that’s not my baby. It wasn’t nice. It was a surprise.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah, gorgeous. So did your husband. Like, was he one of the first to hold the babies? Like what happened when she was born?

BRIANNE

Yes, that’s correct. So we did the delayed cord clamping, and my husband cut the cord. And then I said, I will pass you the baby brown between my life because I’m still facing away from the room. And I said, no, no, I don’t want the baby right now. Can you pass her to my husband? I that took a while to reconcile with myself that understanding that in that moment, I just wasn’t ready. And I needed time for me to recover from what had just happened. And I remember thinking, I’m a patient, I’m the patient, you know, I need, I need help. And I did have a postpartum hemorrhage at that time that I think the broom didn’t really know what’s happening yet. So part of me thinks potentially, like, that was me caring for myself, that I needed to focus inwards, and I wasn’t ready. I just wasn’t ready to hold her. So my husband, they cut the cord in everything. And then they gave her to my husband. And he went and sat in this kind of nursing couch that they had doing skin to skin with her, which was good, because I don’t know, maybe a minute later, the emergency button was hit. And the room changed a lot, quickly.

KATH BAQUIE

Can you describe what happened?

BRIANNE

It was a beautiful birth to that point, I feel very grateful. It was just my husband and I and these two midwives through the whole thing. It was such a calm and beautiful environment. So yes, so the emergency button was hit and the room became very busy very quickly. So we had a lot of nurses and obstetricians within the room, then my body kind of went into a bit of shock. So I ended up turning back over and I’m just like kind of lying on the bed. And my whole body was kind of shaking. And that can happen when your birth is so quick. They just adrenaline in the system. From such a quick experience. Yeah, my body was just in a bit of shock. And obviously, I was bleeding a bit more than they had wanted. So then I had IV was put in one arm, and then someone was taking bloods from my other arm. And I’m just kind of lying there letting all this happen around me. I think a few people put the kind of fists into my belly, just to try to check that the uterus was contracting well, I guess trying to figure out where the bleeding was coming from. Unfortunately, the uterus was contracting normally well, or they did, sorry, they also, I took the injection to deliver the placenta quickly. So I think they actively helped the placenta come out as quick as possible, which, you know, didn’t hurt. I can’t remember it hurting, really in that moment at all. Thankfully, after a while the bleeding did start to slow. And so the first obstetrician that had seen me did want to take me off to theatre. But I think the reason I was bleeding a bit more was because they said the term was only second degree, but it was quite deep internally. And I think that’s why I was bleeding a bit heavier. So I over 500 mils of losses of postpartum hemorrhage. I have 800 mils. So not a huge amount over but it was enough to leave me pretty faint. The, you know, just lightheaded, really. So they didn’t do a blood transfusion. straightaway. They did. They gave me a whole heap of fluids. Thankfully, my body started to calm down and like the shaking and stuff went away. And I generally got a bit felt a bit better. And they took a blood test. So to go and check if I did need the blood transfusion or not. And somewhere along the line there. That yes, obstetrician said we’re going to take you to theatre to stitch you up. Just because we want to do we want to make sure it’s done. Well. I remember saying to him. Yes, I agree. Because I listened to the kick pregnancy podcast and I listened to the postpartum hemorrhage episode. And I want you to stitch it up right.

I know. It’s important to do a good job so you do whatever you need to do. I mean, it’s like oh, okay, that’s nice, too. Alright, I listen to this podcast once. So then everyone kind of left the room. So I said, okay, the bleeding slow, you’re actually you’re okay, there’s a delay with the theatre, there’s someone using it. So we’ll take you through that later. And at some point, one of the midwives must have thought, maybe she doesn’t need to go to theatre. Maybe they could stitch that in the room. And so all of a sudden, there was a different obstetrician that came in and assessed me. And she said, Look, if you’re comfortable, you know, you’ve not had epidural, we’ve not had other pain relief. And if you’re comfortable to try, we could do this stitch up just with the gas, if you’re open to it, just here. And I’m really grateful for that. Because I was able to stay in the room, say, with my husband with the baby, we were breastfeeding at the time. So they were putting her on me and changing boobs and doing all that. So I feel really grateful that we were able to do that in the room. So they ended up doing that. And then it wasn’t until maybe 12 hours later, I did end up getting a blood transfusion. Because I was lightheaded, they tried to get me up for a shower, and I was blacking out from just standing. So I was quite low. Lying in bed. I was okay, I needed a bit of help. But all in all, it was good.

I feel really grateful to have had the, the that I had and to have been in the place, you know, being in hospital where I could get that support straightaway.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah, brilliant. And with the recovery of that second degree tear, how did you find that was in the following days and weeks?

BRIANNE

It wasn’t the best stuff. I actually ended up going back to hospital on day five, I thought I had an infection, I thought, you know, just the bleeding is getting worse, the pain is increasing. If I did go into hospital on day five, and I didn’t have an infection, and in fact, it was, it was actually really good to go in because I it was the first time I had had a good appointment with an obstetrician just to talk about my tearing. And I know, when you’re in hospital, I was in hospital for 48 hours. You know, there’s so much going on with establishing breastfeeding, I was having lactation appointments for that, with the whole discharge process, you know, you know, worried about the baby and doing all their checks. I just think maybe someone did talk to me about what I needed to do for my scar. But it was too much information at once and it didn’t, you know, really stick with me. So I was actually really great to go back on day five and actually just talk to someone for an hour about my scar and what I needed to do. So no, I didn’t have an infection. They said it was very likely. And I agree that I’ve had just started moving too much. And I think that’s probably common, you go home and a couple of days back. And after a little bit, I really wanted to help my husband more around the house, you know, just seeing them run off their feet, trying to do everything. So I was just moving too much. And so the things that I did, then, to help with my recovery made such a big difference. So I started doing the salt bath every day. Got some compression shorts. Actually, the thing that I think made a huge difference was that this obstetrician told me to do was to sit on my staff. So you know, when I was sitting on the couch, those early days, I would always sit like on my left butts or my right. But I would sit back a bit just try to avoid the scar because it was painful. And she said actually, if you compress it and you’re sitting on it, that will help it. And yes, when you first sit down on the scar, it hurts for like 10 seconds, but then it kind of numb. And it’s actually not that painful to sit on it. So I started doing that and those few things made a huge difference. And the recovery went a lot better from now on once.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah, brilliant, your wound area was hurting, and then it started to feel better. So those first six weeks, how did they then transpire with your recovery?

BRIANNE

Pretty well, I think I probably didn’t do as much as I could have in the first six weeks. And I did a lot of breaths. And the only thing I did really was some stretching, especially like that breastfeeding style pain and very small walks, we would do very small walks. I probably didn’t do any pelvic floor work. I don’t know in that first six weeks. I do remember not being able to lift really much at all. But I just took it very easy for those first six weeks.

KATH BAQUIE

And that’s perfect, Brianne. Rest is best those first six weeks.

BRIANNE

Yeah. And to be honest, the focus was a lot on breastfeeding. And the feeding journey in those first six weeks was probably took up much more of my attention than anything else. We had some struggles early on with breastfeeding and nothing out of the ordinary I think. But just getting those things in hand as quickly as we call it, and everything got easier.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah. Great. And you joined FitNest Mama, about a month ago now?

BRIANNE

Yes, I think I was, well, maybe I was at four months postpartum or three to four months. Yeah.

KATH BAQUIE

And why did you join FitNest Mama?

BRIANNE

So my experience, I guess was, I went and saw a physio at six weeks postpartum, supposed to do before getting back into exercise. And they had done an assessment of me just external, though, and said, Oh, yes, they seem quite strong, like he would probably get back into what you want to do. So I did, you know, and I jumped back into things that I was doing before. And I started feeling some symptoms then of pelvic floor weakness, I hadn’t had any symptoms up until six weekspostpartum. So I started to get some neuron leaking, I started to get heaviness, feeling, and I got this like bubbles sensation, like an attract kind of feeling just like a weakness, I think. And I hadn’t had any of that. So those first six weeks, and it was just after I had started doing some exercise, I thought, this isn’t right, you know, and didn’t want to make it worse, that’s for sure. So I went and saw a different physio that did a full internal examination. And that was the best thing I could have done, just given a much more accurate idea of where my body was really at. But I think one of the challenges I had postpartum is not pushing myself too hard. I wanted to, you wanted to get back to what you’re doing. So it’s really hard to hold back because you might feel physically on the outside able to do something. But that doesn’t mean you’re ready internally to do that thing. And so I guess I found that this moment, because I’ve been looking for a platform that I could follow the videos, and it wouldn’t, I wouldn’t be tempted to work harder than I should be. And the way that your program actually provides those different modifications based on how far postnatal you are. And then I think most critically, how does that exercise feel for you, if you’re not able to talk through it, or you can’t breathe through this or you’re holding your breath to pull back. And I think the other videos that I had been doing up to that point, weren’t providing those cues that I needed to really assess during exercise if I was pushing myself too hard. So I feel really grateful to have found your community because it’s been amazing.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah, brilliant. Thanks for that. And I think you’re right. And this is very much generalizing. But as new mums, there’s mums that are super ego like yourself, we just need to pull back a little bit to help the body’s recovery and help parts of their body catch up, I guess, work on the weakest link. And then there’s another group of women who we need to help bolster up and motivate and boost up. So there’s a two sorts one, one group we’re pulling back, another group we’re giving a bit of a booster to so.

BRIANNE

I looked at other programs and trialed different things and I didn’t find that tailored to for those women that need pulling back. I always felt like if I followed along, I could push too hard. And I did. And so I was having kind of like ups and downs with my pelvic floor, because I would rest and get better. And then I would do something too hard. And I would come back to bed. And it’s been a lot more consistent now that I’ve wrapped it in a little.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah, brilliant. And so proud of you like you’ve, you’ve had your baby you’ve identified you’ve got these challenges. You’ve been so proactive in seeking help you sought. You know, you went to one assessment, and then you thought no, something’s still not right. So you went and tried something else. And then you found this program like you’ve just been so roactive every step of the way. So amazing. Well done.

BRIANNE

Oh we’re very lucky to have easy access to all these things at our fingertips really very fortunate.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah, absolutely. That’s the beauty of the modern day of internet and online programs. Thank you so much for sharing. Such a beautiful story. I just felt like I went on the whole journey with you.

BRIANNE

I’m hope I hope that some little aspects of helpful for someone listening.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah. And to finish off with, do you have any final advice for pregnant mums listening today or even new mums?

BRIANNE

I would say it’s important to prepare for your labour. But it’s equally important to prepare both for breastfeeding but also for newborn life. So my husband and I did a course online about understanding newborn cues and sleep and eating and I just feel like that changed our whole experience of the first three months and it actually meant we could enjoy it and not stress about what we were experiencing. So if you can find something but you can learn a little bit about newborn behaviour. And it might just make you a little more relaxed in those first three months.

KATH BAQUIE

Oh, I love that tip. That’s brilliant. And again, we are so lucky with the internet that you can access it from home. And I totally agree. I think childbirth preparation is important newborn preparation, the breastfeeding side of things and then also learning how to care for your body and the exercise side of things. So those four things for every single pregnant woman, brilliant and you’ve ticked them all off. So thank you for joining me today Brianne, and thank you for sharing your incredible journey and story.

BRIANNE

Thank you.

KATH BAQUIE

And before I sign off, remember my team and I will be putting together the show notes for this episode with all the links including how to access Brianne’s Etsy store at www.fitnestmama.com/podcast. And don’t forget, if you are pregnant, come and join our Free Pregnancy Workshop at www.fitnestmama.com/free. Have a fabulous day everyone and I look forward to you joining me next week for another episode of the FitNest Mama Podcast.

Thanks for listening to the FitNest Mama Podcast brought to you by the FitNest Mama Freebies found at www.fitnestmama.com/free. So please take a few seconds to leave a review, subscribe, so you don’t miss an episode. And be sure to take a screenshot of this podcast, upload it to your social media and tag me, @fitnestmama, so I can give you a shout out too. Until next time! Remember, an active pregnancy, confident childbirth, and strong postnatal recovery is something that you deserve. Remember, our disclaimer, materials, and contents in this podcast are intended as general information only and shouldn’t substitute any medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. I’ll see you soon!

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