Birth Story Series: Amy Marshall

Amy from @amysbalancedbliss on Instagram has shared the beautiful birth story of her daughter Madison

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by Amy
March 10, 2021

I wanted to scream but I had to get on with it and I knew I could not continue without more pain relief as I was exhausted.

On the 16th of September I had my second stretch and sweep with my midwife. My cervix was already 2cm dilated, shortened to 1cm and thin and stretchy – a favourable cervix for labour. I’d had a ‘bloody show’ and had been losing my mucus plug all week and was hopeful that this sweep would successfully bring on my labour…it did!

I went to bed around 11pm that night and woke at 1am on the17th of September with light contractions. I went to the bathroom and had more show. I felt so excited, but I tried to stay calm and go back to bed knowing that adrenaline from excitement would hinder my progress.

At around 2am my contractions had been 5 – 8mins apart and had increased in strength, I called my mum who was a 5 hour drive away to get her on her way and as Ryan stirred with my deep breathing I whispered to him “we’re going to have a baby today”…I convinced him to go back to sleep and I continued on with my deep breathing exercises paired with my Freya app (guided meditation/hypnobirthing). My contractions were too strong to sleep so I just tried to rest.

Mum arrived around 7am and by then my contractions had spaced to 8 – 10mins so we decided to walk the dogs for 30 -40mins to try and get my contractions more regular. Unfortunately, it did not do the trick, I had irregular contractions between 4 – 15mins apart all day. I wore a TENS machine all day which I swear is what got me through, I highly recommend using one of these!

At around 3pm I had had enough of timing contractions so decided to try and sleep. I managed to fall asleep for about 10mins and was woken by another increased strength in contractions which were now 2 – 3 mins apart. Finally, I was in established labour!! I had a shower which felt so amazing and was such great pain relief while mum and Ryan packed the last of the bags and loaded the car. We called the midwife and agreed to meet her at the hospital at 4pm.

Between car contractions, hospital hallway contractions and elevator contractions I was finally checked into the delivery suite and given a VE. I was 5cm dilated. It had been a long day, but I was still feeling positive and much more calm being admitted to delivery. We shut the curtains, dimmed the lights and put on some nice chill music and I hopped on the ball and continued to labour.

About an hour after being there I felt like I needed something to take the edge off the peak of the contractions so started using gas and air – it was amazing. In between contractions we had normal conversations, the room just went silent during them to let me focus.

At 7.15pm my midwife checked me again to see where we were at, I was 9cm dilated and thinned. OMG the feeling of WOW, im going to meet my baby so soon. Nothing can compare. The bath was run, I was ready to get in to birth our baby in the water…and then my waters broke, and they were green. The baby had passed meconium inside me, this threw a spanner in the works. A water birth was now out of the question, I had to be attached to a CTG monitor to make sure baby was not distressed.

I was a bit gutted to have the bath taken away and as I heard the water wash down the drain I cried a little bit. But her being safe was much more important so I got on my hands and knees on the bed and continued to labour. Not too long later my body felt like it needed to push, my contractions were beyond intense, and I agreed to one more examination before I begun to push. This VE sucked. My cervix had thickened again and I was now only 5cm dilated. I had lost all progress since arrive to the hospital. I wanted to scream but I had to get on with it and I knew I could not continue without more pain relief as I was exhausted.

I asked for an epidural and waited for what felt like a lifetime while the anaesthetist was called in from home. Staying still while the epi was sited was one of the hardest parts of the day. My contractions were so strong and by this point I was a bit beside myself.

Once the epidural kicked in the pain relief was amazing, I now felt nothing. My midwife started syntocinon to strengthen my contractions and try to regain some progress. Unfortunately, the epidural dropped my blood pressure – really low. I was sitting at around 75/30 and tachycardic with a heart rate of 130bpm. Baby began to feel the effects and was having decelerations to half her average heartbeat for around 5mins a time…this was scary! It happened a few times, I cant be sure how many.

I started to mentally prepare myself for the possibility of a caesarean and was 100% ok with this, I just wanted my baby safely in my arms. My midwife decided to check me one more time as baby had another large deceleration and then make the call on a c-section.

After an hour or so of a fair amount of stress in the room we were delighted to hear I was fully dilated, thinned again and baby’s head was at station 2+ (google it) I was ready to push! I pushed for 51 minutes. I pushed so hard I was practically passing out between contractions, I just had to get my baby out. I had coached pushing and I loved it, it was like having a team of cheerleaders cheering me on with every push. I had an episiotomy and baby was delivered. She let out the most beautiful scream, I was so overwhelmed with love and relief.

We had skin to skin for an hour, delayed cord clamping (Ryan cut the cord) and she latched beautifully first go and had her first feed while my midwife stitched me. While the midwife checked baby and gave her a Vitamin K shot my mum showered me. I wanted to go straight home but was admitted to postnatal ward around 2.30am to ensure Madison had no signs of respiratory distress from the meconium in my waters.

She was perfectly healthy; I passed a good amount of urine after my catheter was removed and we were discharged around 9.30am.



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