When I moved to Edinburgh from Italy, I was entering in the third trimester of my second pregnancy.  The past three months had been really tough, alone with a 3 years old boy as my husband had already moved to Scotland, managing work, international moving, anxiety, lack of energy and, above all, growing a life inside me.

 

“Well, let’s induce the labour”,

Tommaso was born the 1stDecember 2014, at 40+2 weeks. The morning before, I went to the hospital because I didn’t feel him moving so much and I just wanted to be sure everything was fine. The screening went well, Tommaso was perfectly fine but he had very low liquid and space to move. “Well, let’s induce the labour”, without giving me any other option neither explained me which could be the side effects. I trusted them, but, looking back, I shouldn’t.

 

They gave me prostaglandin, which aims to have effect after 12 hours, but eventually after just one hour, early labour was starting and, probably, it would have started in any case, even without prostraglandin. Unfortunately, since the “induction procedure” was started, I wasn’t allowed to move and I had to stay laid in bed with monitors on for almost 7 hours. Around 11p.m. the contractions were closer and more intense, I feel I was entering in the next phase but I needed to move, eat and drink (I was almost fasting from dinner the day before). Finally, they suggested a shower and a walk and…the labour started. It was quick, in less than 4 hours Tommaso was born, naturally but with a massive vaginal laceration that took 3 weeks to recover.

 

Italian maternity system

Italian health system is one of the most efficient and effective in the world, but when it comes to birth I believe there’s way too much medicalisation. Scotland was the right place in the right moment for me and I was truly motivated to get rid of all the regrets I had from my first experience and enjoy this precious moment of my life.

 

Help of my doulas

With the precious help of Esther and Jasmine, our doulas, we started working on our birth preferences: taking time to think seriously on our wishes, alternatives and expectations were given me a huge energy and desire to experience our second birth. However, what enlighten me the most was writing down how I wish a not straightforward delivery to be managed: that was the first step to accept the fact that giving birth is such an unpredictable event that our birth preferences could not be met to ensure my baby and my own safety.

 

During the night of the 14th July, one day after the expected due date, I started to feel some contractions. I passed almost all the next day resting and, as I went to bed at night, the contractions started again. This time, they were getting closer and more intense and after a couple of hours, Esther arrived. We spend the next two hours on the sofa, talking between contractions, drinking tea (decaf for me!) and eating energy bliss balls.

 

Right before leaving our place, I entered in Tommaso’s room and – strange enough – he was sat on his bed. I hugged and kissed him, knowing that nothing would have never been the same for us after his brother’s arrival.

 

Getting to the birth centre

The atmosphere at the Birth Center was calm and relaxed and the room was surprisingly big and with all the comforts. While Esther was taking care of all the papers and talking with the midwife about our birth preferences, we settle down and tried to get the oxytocin flows again.

Rose Otto and Jasmine essential oils, walks and especially cuddles with my husband made their job and, around 4 a.m. I remember clearly that things were starting to accelerate.

 

I moved to a small armchair that allowed me to relax between contractions and turn and literally hang to my husband hips during the waves, while Esther massaged my back. We kept on going in this way until it was time to enter in the pool, around 6:30a.m., I believe.

 

Amore, it’s time!

As soon as I entered and laid down surrounded by warm water, I felt all the tensions in my lower back disappear. During the waves I was floating and visualizing flowers blooming and a calm beach. Quite soon I felt the urge to push. I turned and look my husband, while he was holding my hands and saying to me “Amore, it’s time! You’ve almost done it!”. I remember I felt Filippo’s head covered by hair. The contractions kept on coming, but Filippo was caught. The midwife asked me to stand up with the very last energy that was left and helped Filippo out. That wasn’t the kind of last pushes I was dreaming, but he was suffering.

 

I laid in the water again with Filippo in my arms, bluish and not breathing properly. I was worried but the midwife, truly an angel, managed to do all the moves to help him breathing without taking him from me and showing no signs of anxiety. Finally, he gave his big scream and, with him, I breathed again.

 

We waited almost 15 minutes before clamping the cord, then with a lot of help from the midwife and Esther, I managed to exit the pool and lay down to deliver my placenta. It came naturally, but, as with my first son, I had a quite big hemorrhage and a big scratch on my vagina. I felt all my energy was leaving me while they helped me to move to a bed and started to stich me. Gas and air was fundamental to relax and let the midwife do her amazing job. Federico was holding our child and Esther was comforting me. After a while, Filippo and I were sleeping heart to heart, bonding, smelling and getting to know each other.


This is such a stunning birth story and I loved reading it – so beautifully written.  I feel really honoured to read it.

There’s loads of evidence about the use of doulas to support birth and improved outcomes – I recently heard there was 24 studies that now demonstrate the effectiveness of having constant emotional support from a non-related female.  It’s definitely worth thinking about and this is something that I discuss often in the all the bundles in the academy – how a doula can support your during birth and after (I know I’m slightly biased here!).

Thanks to Anna for sharing this story.

Much love, Tricia xxx

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