Podcast Episode #94

Birth story SPiLLing THE MILK with Amy [Induction, first time mum, midwifery support]

Every few weeks we have a lovely birth story podcast on this series.  We aim to provide a diverse range of childbirth stories. Today’s birth story discusses an induction and midwifery support, and being a first time mum.

Today’s birth story podcast episode is with Amy, a first time mum with a little boy.

Amy shares her lovely birth story which includes:

– How she prepared for birth
– The resources she found useful / helpful for birth preparation
– How she navigated keeping up Karate whilst pregnant,
– Induction, midwifery support and episiotomy.

Amy finishes this birth stories podcast with some lovely final words of wisdom for pregnant and new mums embarking on this journey of motherhood.

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Birth story with Amy [Induction, first time mum, midwifery support]

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 a 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 after birth experience. And don’t forget to hit subscribe so you don’t miss any episodes.

KATH BAQUIE

Well, hello there! It is great to have you here for another episode of the FitNest Mama Podcast. Every few weeks we have a beautiful birth story podcast on the series as part of the Spilling the Milk series. And with these birth stories, we really do aim to provide a diverse range of childbirth stories. So, in the past, we’ve had everything from home birth to cesarean birth, pain relief, no pain relief, and everything in between.

Read More

Today’s birth story podcast is with the lovely Amy. Amy is a first-time mom with a little boy, William. In this episode, Amy shares her lovely birth story which includes how she prepared for birth and the resources that she found useful and helpful for birth preparation, how she navigated keeping up karate or whilst pregnant and her experience with induction and midwifery support. Amy also discusses her recovery including after an episiotomy. And she finishes this birth story podcast with some lovely final words of wisdom for pregnant and new mums embarking on this journey of motherhood. So, I trust you’re going to love this episode. So, whether or not you’re going for a walk, driving your car or kicking back and relaxing I do hope you enjoy.

First of all, though, I am super excited to invite you to join FitNest Mama. Reclaiming your pelvic floor core and strength safely is the most effective way to care for your body confidently during and after pregnancy. And all of this is available with FitNest Mama. If you have found, you’re not exercising as much as you’d like during pregnancy and after birth. Perhaps you’re busy or you’ve lost the motivation. Or you’re not sure how to best be looking after your body. Perhaps you’ve got pelvic girdle pain and abdominal muscle separation, and you’re not sure about the best exercises for you. Or you’d like to get back into running after birth and you want the best kick start-up possible. Then FitNest Mama is for you. Join us for these convenient short, easy workouts that you can do from home whilst you bubba sleeps, your toddler runs around, or at the end of a long day at work. So, head to fitnestmama.com and the link is in the show notes. Alright, let’s get into this episode.

Amy, thank you so much for joining me on the podcast today to talk about your pregnancy, to talk to you about your birth. It’s a real honour. So, thank you.

AMY

Thanks, Kath. It’s so nice to be here with you.

KATH BAQUIE

So, can you please let everyone know who you are, just a really brief version of who you are. What have you now got in terms of little William and all the rest? Little introduction?

AMY

Yeah, sure. Yeah, so I’m, my name is Amy. I’m 34 for a living in Melbourne. And recently had my little our little bub a William. He’s nearly four months old now. And he’s doing well. And yeah, my background for work is in sort of environmental sustainability space, and I’m applying that in the investment industry. Yeah, it’s a little bit about me. My husband, Dan, upstairs working from home now.

KATH BAQUIE

Oh, how good is that working from home when you’ve got a baby?

AMY

Yeah, it can be really helpful.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah, yeah. Okay, so lovely Amy here is a beautiful member inside FitNest Mama, I always see your smiling faces like when you’re pregnant. You were just always there to work out and one of the live workouts and got back into after you’ve had a baby. So, it’s really great to chat about your experience in this podcast, with this series. I do try to get a big range of birth experiences and I actually make it a bit of a when I ask members to come on. I actually don’t know about their birth story because I actually don’t want to know because I think every birth story is unique and equally important, no matter what happens. So, super exciting to chat today.

Before we dive into the birth story side of things, could you tell us a little bit, give us a bit of a background? Like did you decide in terms of becoming pregnant? Was this a big journey for you? Like, how did that process happen?

AMY

Yes, it was something that my husband and I had started talking about a few years ago, and decided that yeah, we definitely wanted to have kids, but not right away at that stage. And we went traveling, we took a year off work, actually, and went traveling in that year, just pre pandemic, and then was recommended to wait a little while before, we basically came to get sort of start trying when we got home from there. It was recommended to wait a little while because of the places we’ve been, and exposure to different mosquito borne diseases and that sort of thing to wait. So anyway, we got home. And after that, that’s six months at home started trying and I think it was a few months, and then we fell pregnant. So it wasn’t that there wasn’t too long a journey. A few months of trying and then go pregnant.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah, amazing. And did you do anything different in terms of your diet, or like how you cared for your body and in the lead up to that?

AMY

I, I found that it was a process of trying to be healthy overall, not specifically for pregnant like, it wasn’t pregnancy wasn’t a wasn’t a big change just for pregnancy, but it was something you know, including taking that year off trying it was that was about after a really busy period of study and work for both of us to really disconnect and slow down for a little bit. And part of that was reviewing our lifestyle and making sure we were we did have those, those routines and healthy eating in place. So that was part of it. Yeah.

KATH BAQUIE

Yep. And when the pandemic hit, you weren’t pregnant, then? Did that add a layer of anxiety? Or were there any, was that a bit of how was that time?

AMY

Yeah, it was a really strange time, I think. My own reflection, the pandemic, you know, way, mate, like did prepare me for that newborn phase where you’re walking around the lab. And that sort of thing. Like this is very familiar. I didn’t worry about it, the pandemic too much. But it’s certainly affected every appointment with the hospital and how I felt about going into the hospital. All of those sorts of things, my husband, Dan, not being able to come along to ultrasounds, those early ultrasounds, that was that was hard.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah. Okay. So, during the pregnancy, how was the pregnancy? Did you hit any big road bumps along the way? Yeah. How did you find the actual pregnancy side of things?

AMY

So, to start with pregnancy was really good. For most of the pregnancy, actually, overall, I think I was pretty fortunate. So, I went into it feeling well, and that more or less continued, I was able to stay active, walking and doing karate, which was one of my activities that I that I’ve done for a long time, regularly, and bike riding and that sort of thing. So that was great. In the first trimester, I did have, I don’t think I really necessarily call it morning sickness. I didn’t have vomiting. It was more just like a nausea and light-headedness if I didn’t have food nearby, like immediately. So, lots of snacks and, and that sort of thing. But as long as I had those snacks, and yeah, I was, I was pretty good.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah, right. That’s great. And I remember now that you mentioned karate, I remember because you were already a member of FitNest Mama. And I remember you asking at what point should you stop karate. How long did you end up doing karate for out of interest?

AMY

Well, I actually kept up that practice, in some form up until about 30 weeks. Yeah, and that was that was partly with the pandemic. Partly that was over zoom anyway, so we didn’t have to worry about contact, or you know, accidentally tripping or falling really with that partner work. But so, I kept it up and what one of the things I really actually enjoyed about FitNest Mama and one of the reasons I joined to start to do those pregnancy workouts and things in the first place was to learn how to keep that movement, like in the pregnancy appropriate way. So that’s the FitNest Mama class is really showing me okay, I can keep doing my like, particularly around warm ups, there’s push ups, sit ups and all those things. I had to learn how to do them safely. And so that actually helped me to continue with the karate. Basically, I just turned it into a slowed down version closer to the time. Think about it like that. Yeah, it was it just kept me well through I think that actually was something that kept me well throughout the pandemic. Just keeping that practice up.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah. And I, it’s all coming back like I do remember, we did talk through modifications, and that’s so good. You were able to translate what you did in the FitNest Mama classes to karate. That’s so good to hear.

Okay, so at what stage? Did you start to think about birth? And at what stage? Like, I’d love to know how you prepared for the birth? upcoming birth? Did you do any courses? Yeah, that sort of thing.

AMY

Yeah. So, after that, 12 weeks, I started to look really start to look for information. I don’t know why I felt like I needed to wait that time, I think I was worried about getting too invested in the whole process at that early stage. And I just wanted to make sure I had that 12 to 13 week scan. And I don’t, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend that that was just how I felt at the time. So yeah, around that, I think 13-week mark, I started to look for information. And, and then it was really, I think that first appointment, oh, I had the GP chats with my GP and things, and she recommended some materials. And then I think it was that first conversation with the midwife at the hospital at around 16 weeks that really then me off into, I really need to get organized. And, and, and learn about this. And I use I did everything from early antenatal birth online course. So, you can just go at your own pace, and followed sudden to follow for yourself and few midwives and birth educators on Instagram, which actually was fantastic way to keep across and get little updates. And then I’ll go into a bit more that I ended up choosing a private Midwife model of care, which then just that I just found that so fantastic. And they could really guide me in the right direction.

KATH BAQUIE

Okay, so for those listening, that might not understand that in great detail. Could you explain that a little bit more? What did it involve?

AMY

Yeah. So, I realized that was part of that, learning about birth and everything that I was got really interested in this concept of continuity of care, having the same midwife or whatever support, sort of to choose to go with to go with me in that process. It’s that I suppose that started when I found out that through the hospital program, their contract they had, they have their own continuity of care program, and some hospitals do but they’re very hard to get into where you get allocated one midwife, and they stick with us the whole time. And so, in that early conversation, the midwife told me that that was full and recommended looking into a few other options. So that really started that journey for me to explore well. Explore that whole world of basically just having the same care provider throughout and, and through that I learned how absolutely amazing midwives I had no idea. I just think they are like the most amazing, like underrated profession out there. Yeah.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah. Great. So, did you end up having the same midwife coming to the birth with you that have been treated?

AMY

Yeah, yeah. Yeah.

KATH BAQUIE

Amazing!

AMY

And I knew sometimes it doesn’t, but through the clinic, you meet a few midwives, and you haven’t used sort of backup plan and a few others, so I knew whoever it was on the day, I would feel comfortable. Yeah, it was. I did have my midwife there. And that, that was, that was amazing.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah, brilliant. I want to ask more about their role in a little bit, but I can do it. Yeah. So, you’ve been doing all these sounds like you did the hospital training you did your work on with the social media side of things. Inside FitNest Mama, we’ve got a preparing for birth module. Was there anything I missed out that you did?

AMY

Well, yeah. With the midwife clinic, they ran a full day antenatal class, and they also ran a newborn care class, which just ran for a few hours. And they also did a breastfeeding workshop. So those three things that was they were the main things I did. And there were two, there were two books that I that I ended up reading and really, I suppose taking a lot away from I read I read quite a lot that these two particularly one was bursting with bursts of confidence. They read a Dempsey and the other one was the skills by to do sound. Yeah, so yeah. And really getting into those skills.

KATH BAQUIE

Amazing. So, Amy, you sound really well versed here, like you’ve done a lot of research. You’ve investigated a lot. For someone listening who’s thinking, Oh, my gosh, I haven’t done a 10th of what you’ve done. I just love to know, are you, are you happy that you? In terms of now that you’ve gone through birth? How did you find having all that birth preparation in hindsight?

AMY

For me, personally, really good. Yeah, I found it really useful. Actually, the other thing that I found really useful to put some of that theoretical knowledge into context was listening to birth story podcast. Yeah, that that really helped me to understand the way verse can go and a lot of different aspects. So just adding that in there. Yeah, yeah, I think for me just being curious was, like, I know everyone’s different. And not everyone’s going to want that much information. If you get to a point where I felt like okay, yeah, I’ve this is all repeating I definitely I’ve done enough. But yeah, I guess just for myself, I did find it really useful.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah, that’s great to hear. And I think what you said is exactly right, everyone is different. And some people just love to dive, you know, sink their teeth into everything, and then others want to back off a little bit. But yeah, I think it’s great to investigate. Even if you’re not keen on learning much. I think it’s still good to investigate your options. And you know, in terms of what can you learn about, even if you don’t want to learn about, so. Because you don’t know what you don’t know, do you? So.

AMY

That’s right.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah. So good point there. Thank you, Amy. Okay, so you’ve done all these hours and hours of preparation? Which isn’t, I think you’re probably, not everyone is like you, I think, would you agree with the women that you’ve talked to?

AMY

Yeah, yeah, definitely. Absolutely. I noticed some expecting mums. Just they just love to talk about it, and all the latest things, and then others just, you know, they just would prefer not to go, you know, it’s more private. And just, I’ll do my thing. And for me, I think so having that. Once I found that Midwest that I reached that sort of support team that I felt really comfortable with that did take that took away a lot of that, I suppose anxiety of feeling I needed to know everything. It was actually just the kind of fun, enjoyable process after that. Because I knew that really, they would, they would tell me, they would help me with whatever I needed from them.

KATH BAQUIE

Okay. So, you were always planning a vaginal birth right from the get go?

AMY

Yeah, I was. Yeah, that was something that did evolve. Like, if I take myself back to myself, my early 20s, I didn’t really think I just remember thinking like, why wouldn’t you just get that baby out as quickly and as easily and as pain free as you can? I just remember. And then throughout that process, I guess, as I was pregnant, actually pregnant, and then learning at that, about birth and the whole process, I definitely moved much more to work towards hoping for a vaginal birth for myself. And, and I was really keen to experience that as sort of, I suppose natural as possible birth if that was possible for me. Yeah.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah. Okay. Okay. So, I would love to hear when you were approaching the last few weeks. Did you? Could you feel like Did anything change? Like, start to talk us through? Yeah, those last few weeks and days?

AMY

Yeah, so there was actually a big change. In terms of the direction of my pregnancy and birth preparation that happened around 36 weeks, I had a midwife appointment. And then the midwife picked up that the growth was wasn’t tracking as, as it was, previously, it was looking a bit smaller. So, they sent me in for another scan. And I’ve had a scan not long earlier, to check if my placenta had moved out of the way. And that was all fine. And so just a few weeks later, they said, I’ll send you for another scan. And then they noticed there was some growth restriction, particularly around Williams stomach. That wasn’t tracking the way the rest of his body was, which they were saying to suggest the placenta was really working overtime. Yeah, so that. So, so that was a was a big, I suppose a big adjustment for me, because everything had been going so smoothly. Until then, everything was looking so healthy and low risk. And we’d been talking about maybe doing home birth and those sorts of options as well.

KATH BAQUIE

Okay, so what happened from there?

AMY

Yeah. So, from there, then things actually moved quite quickly. I had, there was around 36 weeks this scan, and then I went into see the doctor at the hospital. But the midwife said basically prepare that we might need to have an induction and bring William at the bottom at the time, we didn’t know his name, bring him out early to just to make sure that he stays healthy and that we don’t see more decline in the placenta. So then I was I think I had just started parental leave at this point. And I was looking forward to going a little bit longer. But yeah, we went and went into the hospital at about sort of 36 and a half weeks, I think and the doctor I remember that I remember really clearly the doctor saying so how do you feel about having your baby in the next couple of days? I just I just remember saying it’s a lot to process. So that really was a lot to process at that time.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah. Wow. So did you end up having William in the next couple of days?

AMY

Yeah, we talked through it, the CTG scan and monitoring his heart rate was showing that he was still really healthy. And so, I was asking a lot of questions about what’s the longest week and weight and that sort of thing? And how do we have a bit of wiggle room, because they were sort of pushing for that on the 37 weekdays, they were said that I can take some take a few days, and they were quite keen to try to bring it up by 38 weeks. So yeah, when we had that first conversation, I just felt like I needed a couple of days, my body didn’t, to me, I didn’t feel like my body was ready. I just wasn’t ready emotionally to have that. Induction. So went away, talked to Dan about it spent some time processing. And that’s another word. I think everyone’s different. But for me, I really like at least just be able to sleep on something. And just helps me to process so I found to get more comfortable. We picked a day, like in a few days, somewhere in between that right on 37 weeks and right on 38 weeks. So yeah, we ended up going in for the induction.

KATH BAQUIE

Okay, so you’ve been doing so much. Homework, I guess in terms of birth. How did that thought that you’re having an induction? Did that throw you off at all?

AMY

It did. It Did. Like how many inductions was one thing, and then the induction at 37 Weeks was another you know, I think it was maybe 41 weeks, I might have felt more like sure that he that I that everything was ready to go in a way. Yeah. But it did throw me for sure. Once I had processed it, I was prepared. Because as you know, you do have to be prepared for anything. And I knew that intellectually. But I just needed that time to adjust. So, once I adjusted, I’d actually read a quote that morning. That was what was something like, change isn’t hard, but it’s resistance to change that’s difficult. And that was that morning that was going to the hospital. And so that was very, very timely. I felt like that was right in the case to to move with it. So yeah, once I adjusted I was I was okay. Yeah.

KATH BAQUIE

Okay. So, you’re able to wash your hair and get ready.

AMY

Exactly.

KATH BAQUIE

Go to the hospital orderly.

AMY

Yeah.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah. What happened when you got into hospital?

AMY

Yeah. So, we booked in for the two part process and I hadn’t learned much about induction was sort of literal, I’ve come to it, we’ll come to it. And being a first-time mum started with that cervical ripening process. So went in, I think was around booked in for about four o’clock that afternoon and met my midwife there. And that was really good. And I guess it’s worth mentioning in those few days in between, I actually did feel like my body, I felt a change in my body like that. It was starting to get ready for birth. And when I had that appointment at four o’clock, on the on the Thursday afternoon, the midwife actually said, oh, yeah, you’re about one centimetre dilated. So, my body had was starting to get ready. And so had they had the balloon, sort of insert the balloon type thing. And then I stayed the night in hospital and got started with the induction the next night. And I’m happy to talk a bit more about that. Because that was a big sort of, I suppose a learning experience for me. I didn’t know what to expect. And that was probably one of the most uncomfortable parts for me in the whole pregnancy path.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah, absolutely would love to hear sort of step by step I guess that whole process view with the induction and birth. So, were there any changes overnight that you noticed?

AMY

Yeah, there was actually so had the balloon inserted that all went fine checked with checked into the maternity ward and my husband Dan was able to stay for dinner. And he had to go home around 8:30 I think in the visiting hours. And so, we were all, you know, smuggled in for our final dinner before bub arrived. And I started to get really strong what I thought was cramping because I’d heard a lot about having these cramps and I knew it was a bit uncomfortable. And you can take painkiller and that sort of thing. But they were really trying to eat we ended up ordering a pizza. Delivered to the hospital. And I was trying to eat this pizza and then during the cramps I actually had to completely stop conversation and I remember Dan looking at me like, you know, why aren’t you answering my questions? And that was happening and then I started vomiting. I had a big Chuck threw up all my lunch and dinner and then kept trying to eat and then had another big vomit and so I was really quite worried at that stage I think. It was this and feeling like if this is just crabs, like how am I going to deal with contractions I remember how thing that thought. So that was quite horrible to start with. And then the midwives that were popping it like the midwives on board were popping in and checking in and things. Then I called my midwife I’ve been seeing throughout, around I think, I think maybe 8:30 to 9 o’clock, and said, look, I am not I’m not coping, she had told me that if it’s really bad if they can come in and like take a little bit of air out of the bloom, I’m not coping. I don’t know what’s going on. And she just, you know, was really calm and said, Let’s just take a breath all time. You’re these cramp contractions sort of cramp. thing sounds like you’re having contractions. And so, she starts timing it. And then after, however long, maybe five or 10 minutes to 10 minutes, she said, Yeah, it sounds like you’re in early labour. So that actually shifted me into early labour. And she said, I’ll just put in your meditation tracks, she knew I’d been listening to some birth affirmation type things. And once I Yeah, so once I knew that they were contractions. That just totally changed my mindset, and what they had patients.

KATH BAQUIE

It was interesting.

AMY

Yeah.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah. So, when you knew what was happening to you, you felt more empowered or ending control. Whereas when you thought it was a weird sensation, or you know, this pain that you didn’t know where it was coming from? Yeah, that was a worrying for initially, yeah.

AMY

Yeah. Exactly.

KATH BAQUIE

Okay. And was your midwife? Was this all via phone at this stage?

AMY

At this stage, yeah. So, she’d sort of tapped us in and then gone home overnight. And so that was via phone and, and we were on the phone for maybe 10 or 15 minutes. And then I basically followed that advice, put in the meditation and started working, breathing through the contractions. Because up until then, I felt like, I felt silly, like trying to apply the birth techniques to cramping. I’ve thought about it, but I was like, that vocalization and that sort of thing. I thought people be able to hear me and I’m just in here, like with cramps, and I’m doing this. Like, I remember even thinking through that. So, I just forgot about all of that. And started moving and breathing and listening to the affirmations. And yeah, that that was really changed. I felt a lot better after that.

KATH BAQUIE

Amazing. And what was your favourite affirmation? Can you remember it?

AMY

Yeah, well, throughout the night, the thing I felt most found most useful was every contraction I would do, I would say, I think was three things. Softening, opening, and baby down. Were the three things that just those just that it was almost like visualization as well, rather than necessarily affirmation, but those just those that remembering that it’s doing something, I suppose positive towards helping William be born. Yeah.

KATH BAQUIE

And was this these affirmations that you set in your mind? Or did you actually say them out loud?

AMY

I think I was probably saying it softly. And in my end, just into in my mind is well, then that so I would say that to like, just to help work through the contraction but the whole but I was also listening to like a one hour the affirmation track and, and it would just have all those, all those little plastic things like you know, each contractions bringing your baby closer and those sorts of things. And I just found it really calming.

KATH BAQUIE

Amazing.

AMY

I listened to it all night.

KATH BAQUIE

Okay, yeah, and what’s that called? Where did you get that from?

AMY

Well, I know that there’s lots of different sources. I actually found this one on a meditation app was that I was using called Insight Timer. And I have all sorts of different teachers or on there, and this one, I forget exactly what it was called. I think she was had a nice South African accent and it went for about an hour.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah, amazing. Okay, so overnight, did you get much sleep?

AMY

I got a little bit I was moving between being on my feet sort of just moving I sort of doing that figure eight type movement rule. I found really relaxing when I was having these contractions so on my feet, but then I did also try to lie down and rest, which was definitely the recommendation try to get some sleep. I don’t it’s always drifting in and out of sort of restfulness and, and I felt I still needed to sort of move through the contractions while I was lying down. But I must have been drifting in and out of sleep. And at some point, late like early morning, I did fall asleep because I woke up at, I think about 6:30 and I actually worked out from a good sleep so I have no idea how much sleep I had, but I did get some sleep.

KATH BAQUIE

Amazing. So, at what stage did the next the next stage of induction occur?

AMY

So, I was booked in to start the induction at 7am. Yeah, I just woke up naturally had a quick shower and popped over to the birth suite, which was just nearby. And by the stage of the contractions had stopped, and the midwife had said, it’s good going to go in two directions, you’ll either go into active labour, or you’ll it’ll fizzle out. And so I was, I was feeling good that morning, I wasn’t having any contractions, so popped across to birth suite. And then the midwife broke my waters, just as part of the process that gave the bub a little bit of a shock. Apparently, she felt him, like, move down, but like they can sort of move but suddenly and, and so we waited a little while just to help him settle down and make sure he was not in stress when we started the induction.

KATH BAQUIE

And how did it feel to you when they broke the waters?

AMY

Felt like a little bit uncomfortable doing it? And then, I think it was like a straight like a bit of a release. I suppose. It wasn’t too bad, though. Yeah. I don’t really know how to explain it to be honest. Yeah. Well, that’s good to know. Yeah. It wasn’t anything too stressful or anything.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah. Good to know. Okay, so when did your husband come in?

AMY

Yeah. So, he arrived, I think about 7:30.

KATH BAQUIE

Waters broken. Husband arrived.

AMY

Yeah, yeah. And we were chilling, we had decided to wait until 9am. To do to start with the induction drip. So, we were relaxing. He came and helped we, he brought in a few things to help set up the birth room to make it a like a bit of a nice bit more familiar environment. Sort of doing a cover that thing we dragged over the couch and hung up some fairy lights and that sort of thing.

KATH BAQUIE

That’s nice.

AMY

Yeah. What else did we do? He bought in a bunch of snacks for me. I didn’t feel hungry at that time. And he kept sort of saying, Are you hungry? Would you like some breakfast? And I’d say no. And then he just gets something out for himself. And then I don’t know if that happens with you and your partner but often when I see him eating something, then I’ll want it. So, I didn’t feel like eating much. But I think I had like up and go pepper roll or something like that. Little something to eat. Yeah. And then. And then I just kept lying down. I think for most of the time until we got started at nine o’clock.

KATH BAQUIE

Oh, so, it’s been a big night for you.

AMY

Hmm.

KATH BAQUIE

At what stage, I know I’m jumping ahead., but at what stage did the baby arrive?

AMY

So, he arrived at two o’clock in the afternoon? It was not too long.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah. Okay. So, between nine and two. Let’s go for it, Amy.

AMY

All right. Okay, yeah. So, so the induction, you know, the Kinect got that all that hooked up with the drip. And it wasn’t too long before I started to feel some like small contractions. So, I think about 9:30, or about half an hour afterwards, and then around 10 or so. The timeframes, I only know some of the timeframes from looking back on it. And afterwards, had no concept of time on the day. So yeah, around 10, I started to have those contractions and it felt very much like the contractions I was having overnight. And I felt like actually, those overnight contractions really helped me to be in a good headspace and prepared because I knew what to expect for these contractions. And they started out very similar. And so, I could, I didn’t put the birth affirmation tracks back in. So, I had this, my husband and the midwives around. I was happy just to be there with them. But I basically did the same thing I’ve been doing online for the first. I don’t know, maybe Allah just breathing and like making a bit of noise and moving, moving my hips, that sort of thing. Yes, I think that took us through till about 10. And then the midwife suggested if I’d like to try a different position that she could probably see something was changing in the intensity or not really sure. And we went to the bathroom and actually tried just sitting suggested sitting on the on the toilet facing the opposite way to what you would normally sit on the toilet. Just sort of leaning forward and did that for a little while and went into the shower, which was very, which was nice. Having that shower on my back. I should say like those early those first couple of hours. I didn’t feel like I needed a lot of support. Really, I felt like okay, just working through what I had practiced. And then as things moved on, over time, the contractions started to become more intense. And I was really just grateful to have Dan there and the midwives. We tried to take the TENS machine, childhood couldn’t be quite good. But for my types of contractions I was having I was, it wasn’t really very strong in the back. I didn’t, which I’ve heard TENS machines can be quite good for. So, I tried the TENS. But I turned it off a little while I didn’t, it wasn’t that useful for me. I found it more distracting. So, we tried a few different things like that, and was around I think around 1230, things started to get more intense. I found out I found it afterwards, actually. So, I must have just had my eyes closed a lot, because Dan told me afterwards that he actually left for lunch came back. And I didn’t even know. I didn’t realize. Yeah.

KATH BAQUIE

That’s funny.

AMY

midwife told him. You better go now or you’re not going to get a chance. So yeah, yeah. So that brings us I think up until that transition.

KATH BAQUIE

Just before you get to transition, you’re really a new zone, weren’t you?

AMY

Yeah, I was. Yeah. Yeah. I was quite through the contractions. I was really just closing my eyes. Breathing. And yeah, I did feel really, really in the zone.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah. You like that really helped you?

AMY

Yeah, it did. I think, yeah, having a knowing of having a few skills, I think up my sleeve. And then and then just not worrying about on the day. Like I didn’t really think through it too much. I just found that that. Trying to let all that go and just follow what my body was wanting to do. The best thing. Yeah.

KATH BAQUIE

You were really staying in the moment.

AMY

Yeah, yeah.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah. Okay, so transition hits.

AMY

Yeah. I was in the bathroom. At some point we accidentally flooded as well, because I was really enjoying the shower, which I felt about using the hospital towels. But anyway, that’s an aside. So yeah, transition here, I really felt something change in the level of sort of support and wanting to have the midwife nearby. I remember, I think my midwife, the main midwife had gone to lunch. And I had, and she told me that another midwife was just sort of just outside that she was nearby. And I remember this really distinctly where I was having contractions. And I was really enjoying Dan, I suppose, like, helping to talk through it with me almost like coaching through the contractions. And I was really just focusing on that. And I was worried that if he stopped talking, then I would get overwhelmed. And so that’s how I was feeling. And I remember there was no midwife, there almost and I just felt like, there needed to be someone who knew what was happening nearby. And because it was very, it was almost overwhelmingly I was, I still felt in control, or in that sense, but I remember saying, Go get the midwife. But don’t leave me. Don’t leave me. Come back. And I just remember thinking oh, poor Dan, that was in and out of the bathroom.

KATH BAQUIE

Before we go into that, I’d love to just pick apart what you just said. You said, Dan was really coaching you.

AMY

Yeah.

KATH BAQUIE

And what was he saying? Like, what was some of the things he was doing to help? Or saying?

AMY

Yes. Things like, keep breathing. You’re doing great. Sort of the thing? Yeah. I think that I think he was saying that the baby’s moving down. Yeah, really just keep going. Yeah, that was partly what he was saying. And partly just having him there in a supportive, saying anything vaguely supportive was enough to get just to get through that through the contraction.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah. Great. Good to know. Okay, so he rushes off to get the midwife.

AMY

Yeah. So, she just came back in for a bit of reinforcement. And actually, yeah, at that point, she suggested, I said, you know, it’s really intense. I was able to talk, these moments where I was talking in between contractions, it was very much up to a minute off and a minute on that sort of that sort of thing. And I was telling her like, yeah, how it was really, really intense. Need her there. And she said, I’ll just see if you can feel that baby’s head, like yourself. And so, I did that. And I was like, oh, yeah, I can feel I can feel I can feel that sort of edge of the cervix pushing down. And that made me realize, yeah, we’re getting close. And I was having contractions. And I remember when, if Dan was talking or the midwife and they go quiet, I’d sort of say more or something like that. I really just needed that. Or felt like I needed that support, and things moved pretty quickly from there. I started to feel that urge to push. And the midwife sort of guided me to try sort of pushing on all force. And we’re still in the bathroom for most of the most of this labour within the birth suite. So hopped down in the shower, and so had the shower on me as well and started to push. And I felt like I could still breathe through it. And I had that something that I sort of, I suppose learned a bit about, not necessarily pushing right down, and just waiting, letting your body do it.

So yeah, so I started pushing, my sense of awareness shifted a lot at that point. It went from being very sort of internal and in his own in a very, like inward sense to being much more alert when I started pushing. I have no idea if that’s a common experience or not. But I was becoming very alert. And almost like in a more of a sports mood. Like I remember going, sort of thing I really like not getting hyped up when I was pushing like.

KATH BAQUIE

My gosh. Your hormones were doing exactly what was supposed to the adrenaline was kicking in.

AMY

That’s yes, exactly. That must be what was happening. The adrenaline. So, I was really like, high energy for the pushing and, and alert to start with. And so yeah, we push for a while. And yeah, yep.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah, with the with the push, was there anything the midwife said or any particular? Like, how did you push? Can you just describe how you pushed?

AMY

Yeah, actually it changed, it changed quite dramatically, because so at the start, we that was actually just trying to relax and breathe through it and not try to force it. So that was at the start. And then they had with the induction, they had recommended continuous heart rate monitoring for William, I suppose you’re taking a step back, it’s probably worth mentioning if it’s of interest, there was that a couple of options. So, there was one option where you can have the monitoring just around the stomach, but it can sort of move and sometimes have to move you back to the bed or like stop you from being too mobile apparently, sometimes. Or the other option is to put the scalp monitoring on. So, they actually insert the sort of heart rate monitor up and connected to William’s head. So, I choose that option. Because it helps, they it was they said it helped me to be a bit more mobile. So anyway, so I had that going on. And they know, we noticed that William’s heart rate was not picking back up between contractions. And that meant that we that I needed to push more urgently I suppose to get him out. And rather than just breathe through. So, to start with, I was really just trying to breathe through it not over, overexerting myself. And then once they said, okay, actually, we need to get this baby out. I changed. And what I had learnt was visualizing a, like a coffee plunger movement. And I didn’t I didn’t switch into that straightaway. It took me I think a couple of contractions with pushing to remember Oh, the coffee plunger. Yeah. And it wasn’t what I think what I was being taught through was really just, you know, push as hard as you can and that sort of thing. And that was helpful. I felt like I had a real my own cheering squad there. And they’re tricking me laughs at this point. And then and I think the doctor was sort of hovering around.

And yeah, once I remembered that, that coffee plunger sort of pushing that I had read about and, and sort of thought about a bit that actually really helped. So, we moved from this point, we move from the shower to the bed. So that was there. I think it was partly in case the doctor needed to be more involved to the instruments or anything. So, I moved to the bed and kept pushing. And the doctor was around, and it was so sore. I think it was a bit starting to get a bit like I was just very much in the zone. But afterwards, I remember talking to Dan like it that he was starting to get a bit worried and wondering what how things might progress. So, I kept pushing the doctor was around and observing me and said and yeah, I’ve heard him say out loud. Okay, she’s pushing. Well, I’ll just, I’ll just stuck into that other room. I’ll watch. I’ll watch on the screen and just leave you for a bit. So he did that, which I thought was which was really nice. He didn’t try to jump straight in and say we’ve got to get this baby out. So gave me a little bit longer, I think five minutes and just actually he did say in the middle as we’re saying to breathe in between contractions and try to keep that oxygen going through, you know, to try to help to the extent that that helps get the oxygen to the B=bub so I was doing that. I’m doing my best pushing, not having too much. Like just pushing, pushing my heart out really. The whole cheer squad and then they said, Okay, we need to get this baby out. We’re going to do an episiotomy. And at that point, I was like, okay, yeah, let’s do it. Like, that’s going to help. I do remember the doctor trying his best to sort of get my informed consent and explaining about all the numbers, the heart rate. And I just was looking all that out as I did not want to hear numbers or anything like that. I just wanted to stay in the zone. So, I said, yes. Do it, do what you need to do. And with that little cut, the next question Williams had was probably I might just get picked up.

All right, well, I’ll see how long we’ve got with really even now like, so. Yeah, long story short.

KATH BAQUIE

So you had your episiotomy.

AMY

Yes. And so next, so next push his head came out. And that, for me, that was the most amazing moment, probably in the whole thing, just feeling his head. At this point, I was feeling like that quite euphoric feeling. And his head came out and neck and then the next push, he, you know, he came out, and then was able to catch him, which was really nice. I had the cord wrapped around his neck just loosely. And so then hands him to the midwife, and they untangled that and pass them to me.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah. Amazing. So how are you feeling at this point?

AMY

I was actually feeling great. At this point. Yeah, I felt really good. And we had a really nice skin to skin for a couple of hours. I was excited. I was excited to see if he would do the breast crawl. Because I’ve learned about this first call that babies do that they have this that they can find the nipple themselves. And so, we’re sort of trying that. And he was, he was pretty sleepy and tired. And little he was he was to 2.5-3 kilos at birth. He was little. And it was good to get him out. But yeah, so that that time I was feeling amazing. And just enjoying that early time. Doing some skin to skin and cuddle and then and then do the stitches there. Yeah, they did the stitches there. Yeah. So, he was so he was born, I was sitting up on the bed, like, propped up, I was ended up being on the bed, you know, on my back, but propped up, which is when you were learning about active birth, you know, I sort of had hoped not to be in that position. But I also had, I guess, learnt that sometimes that is it’s an okay position, especially when you need to be in go mode. So, yeah, yeah.

KATH BAQUIE

Did you end up having forceps as well or just episiotomy?

AMY

No. Just episiotomy.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah. And how long were you pushing for in total? Do you know roughly?

AMY

Yeah, it was about 40 minutes in total. Okay. Yeah.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah. Okay, so you found that you had a little boy, did you know you’re having a boy?

AMY

Yes. I did know. Yeah.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah. Amazing. So, I would love to know, in terms of, that was, thank you so much for sharing your birth story like that. It’s always, my ovaries always start to hurt a little bit when I speak to someone. I would love to know now about your recovery. So, in terms of how has your recovery been? Have there been any surprises? Anything you weren’t expecting as well?

AMY

Hmm. Yeah, good question. To start with, I felt really good. I like my body. I was walking around the ward and people were commenting. You know, you’ve just had you really, you know, just given birth, that sort of thing. I was conscious to not overdo it, you know, to really rest for those first six weeks, which I did. What was surprising. I think in the first six weeks, nothing was felt too out of place, or surprising. I didn’t know about. So sorry. Well, one thing that was surprising was, at one point, I think I just got up from bed and just like a whole lot of liquid just poured out of me. And I didn’t know what it was at the time. But then I had I learned about that sometimes you can just not get your cues from your bladder. So, I assume it was just my bladder giving way that I didn’t, but I don’t really know what that was. That was a surprise. That was I think within the first couple of days after giving there.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah, okay. And no issues with urinary retention?

AMY

No, no issues aren’t to that. Yeah. Yeah. So, I think I was actually surprised how good I felt to start with and then but now like where I am now at William’s for months. I think part of me is also surprised how long it does take to sort of recover and get back. How slowly it’s recommended to get back into things. Yeah. So, and I’m trying to take it slow, but I can I can feel that my body needs that as well.

KATH BAQUIE

Well, it’s just about to ask that. Whether or not you feel you need that that length of time.

AMY

Yeah, I do. I do now, I am starting to feel like I can do more and need to start getting back into my routine, but that I’ve lost a little bit after having this rest period. But yeah.

KATH BAQUIE

How did you find breastfeeding? And just all the mums’ stuff, all the baby? Everything else apart from your recovery?

AMY

Yeah. So, Breastfeeding has been really good. Definitely I found doing that workshop before birth was really helpful. There was a video that they that I watched; it’s actually I think it’s available. It’s by the World Health Measures, World Health Organization, or as one that’s been watched millions of times about latching. I found that really helpful because it shows what’s a good latch, which was baby after baby after baby, just latching basically. So, I kept I watched that again several times. And that really helps. Feeding went well. A part that I missed was William actually ended up needing to stay in the nursery, the special care nursery for five days after he was born, because he ended up sometime in the birth process or afterwards getting a chest infection. Okay, so that so I was there in that first five days establishing breastfeeding and things. We were in the hospital still. And he had to basically just feed through a tube for the first few days, he was on oxygen and all that sort of thing for the first couple of days. And I was under strict orders to start expressing every three hours, which I did. And my supply was good. I do the pre-natal hand expressing as well. Anti-natal expressing, I was able to get a bit out that a bit of classroom supply. Um, yeah, so actually was fortunate I didn’t have any pain with breastfeeding. And William was a determined little feeder to I think he was playing catch up since he had that growth restriction and in the womb. So, he was doing his best too. Breastfeeding was good. My midwife was also a lactation consultant. So, I did have that support as well.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah, amazing. Yeah. You’ve done such a good job in terms of creating that support network around you. Super impressed.

AMY

Thanks. Yeah, that support network made such a difference. Yeah, just to how I felt that sense of wellbeing throughout pregnancy in the first six weeks, I think.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah, brilliant. So, two coming towards the end. Like, I’d love to know two things. What are your goals now? And coming from a physio perspective, what physically what are your goals? And I’d also love to know any final words of wisdom for pregnant women that are listening or new mums as well. So, let’s first of all do the physical side of things. Do you want to get back to kickboxing or karate?

AMY

Yes, I really do. Yeah, I’m looking forward to getting back to that. And I’ve been seeing my local pelvic floor physio. And so, my goals there are really to make sure my pelvic floor is in good shape. I was doing those pelvic floor exercises for pregnant before birth as well during pregnancy through your program. So, I’m working on my pelvic floor. And my goals there, get back to karate, and also get back to mountain bike riding.

KATH BAQUIE

Great.

AMY

Yeah. And so that’s going well, I suppose. And just building back a routine. I don’t I’ve lost that routine of doing a lot of work walking, but now four months down the track, I can feel my body quite stiff and a bit niggly and yeah.

KATH BAQUIE

And so you joined up FitNest Mama, how many months pregnant were you? Do you remember?

AMY

I think I was about 20 weeks.

KATH BAQUIE

Okay. And how do you feel, so you’ve been part of FitNest Mama during pregnancy throughout birth, and now four months into postpartum? How do you feel it’s helped you the most?

AMY

Yeah, to start with. It was scrape keeping active through pregnancy. So knowing like attending this classes, I think I was doing two to three a week right up until when I went away for Christmas when I was about 30 to 34 for two weeks or something. And then so that was probably the most helpful learning about pelvic floor exercises. Postnatally I’ve gone I’m back, I found it harder to get back into the live classes don’t navigate. But I found it still helpful. I still checked the some really great resources, like videos around just postnatal care in those first six weeks. So I looked at all of those. And that was really helpful.

KATH BAQUIE

Brilliant. We can we’ll see you in some live classes. Yeah, no doubt. There’s also the on-demand classes, which I know like, it’s, it’s a real challenge, right? Once you’ve got a bub, it’s one of the hardest things is for mums, because suddenly, you’re no longer at the top of the to do list, you’ve got a baby, you got to work around sleep, and feeds and life and all the cleaning and the washing and everything that comes with all the appointments. So, he’s very easy to draw up a little bit to the bottom and to do lists. But that’s why I kept saying, you know, even just five minutes, I’ll do 10 minutes of an online workout, because that can just make like you’re saying you’re feeling stiff, just find something that’s easy for you. It doesn’t matter what it is, yeah, something it’s easy, and something you can keep chipping away at, because I totally, you’re not alone. There everyone is finds that that much harder.

AMY

Yeah. And I should say, for the live classes that I have made it to, it’s so good. And the good thing about a live class is sometimes with a new bub, it just forces you to get into action a little bit and like try something different with settling him or getting in a position that you can attend the class. And I nearly always learned something new about him as well. Like how I can settle him more keep him entertained. So, I think trying to get to a live classes.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah. Oh, that’s so lovely. And so, if you’re not sure, if you’re listening, if you’re interested, we have a combination of live classes and the on demand. So, you can either join live classes, which are two to three times a week, or you can just check in on to the member hub, and do the on demand at any stage that works for you. So, Amy, final words of wisdom for anyone listening today who’s pregnant? Who’s had a new baby? What would they be? Words of wisdom?

AMY

So well, I don’t know if it’s words of wisdom, exactly. But from my own experience, be curious, I suppose and that means something different for everyone. But just being curious, that will help to find whatever it is that you that you need to find for you. So yeah, be curious. Be kind to yourself, is yes, so important. And to the extent that you can set up those support systems, particularly, I think throughout pregnancy with particularly those first six weeks postpartum.

KATH BAQUIE

Brilliant. Be curious, be kind and set up the support networks. That’s amazing. So, thank you so much, Amy, once again. It’s an absolute honour to be able to talk to women about their birth story, and I’m really thankful for you sharing your experiences with us today.

AMY

Thanks, Kath. It was really nice to chat with you.

KATH BAQUIE

And we will catch you soon.

And then before I sign off, remember my team and I will be putting together the show notes for this episode with all the links at fitnestmama.com/podcast. 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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