First pregnancy at exactly 39 weeks I started getting period type cramps which continued to progress throughout the day. Once the pains were coming to the point I couldn't speak, I started to use the TENS machine I had hired from our local Southern Wheatbelt Primary Health Service Physio Department (which is free and I think that's amazing!).
My partner and I decided it was time to make the drive to Narrogin where we went to my mum and dads once contractions were regularly 5 minutes apart and I wasn't coping. Originally the plan was to go straight to the hospital as the pain was escalating and I was getting panicky- but luckily my mum an experienced and wonderful midwife and was one of my support people. She was a calming influence and with continued use of the TENS machine (I used for 9 hours straight), heat packs, constant movement, breathing and support we continued the whole night until 7.30am where surges were coming more frequent and we went to the hospital.
My midwife on for the morning was Kerryn- and I feel so blessed that she was the one to be on. Checks showed about 6cm dilation at this point and we decided it was time to try the large amazing bathtub in the labour ward at Narrogin Hospital. The bath was what worked for me- the warm water took the edge off the pain making it bearable enough to breathe or pant through the pain and listen to the support of my birth team. I stayed in the bath through transition all the way up to fully dilated.
At this point especially through transition- when I would panic or lose focus, my team kept me focused, motivated and advocated for me. I couldn't be happier and feel so blessed and lucky with the fact that Kerryn was my midwife because she's trained to be able to do a water birth which she offered and I gladly agreed- I can't imagine having to get out of that tub at that point- it was the only thing I felt that allowed me to cope without any pain relief and to remain in the mental zone. Having the waterbirth- being able to be the one to roll over and scoop my baby up out of the water and bring her up for her first breath of air earthside brings tears to my eyes every time I think of it.
Kerryn was supportive of my wishes for delayed cord clamping, and after then getting out of the bath to move to the bed for the third stage of delivery where Kerryn explained the difference between Active and Physiological management so I could make a fully informed decision on which I wanted (I did Active management).
I got to experience the phenomenon of my baby doing the breast crawl for the first feed and was guided and supported by my midwife team which now included Ruth coming on for the afternoon shift.
I was fully supported by the team to have skin to skin time in the golden hour to do the first feed and bond and worship my new baby, and they held off the weight and less-required observations of bub (who was doing well) until after this point, and monitored baby skilfully around me during this time.
I believe the Obstetrician who attended to perform a perineal repair (as I had 2nd-degree tear from labour) was skilful and supportive and gave good instruction and information. The whole hospital experience afterwards (we stayed overnight) was amazing. Ruth on the afternoon shift, Kerryn back on overnight and Ros the next morning gave support and advice when needed so I felt so confident and sure in what I was doing as a new mum, but also gave us time and space to bond as a family. I loved that my partner gets to board the night for free, the hospital gave great meals and everything from the kind support staff was great.
In my opinion, the new MGP layout of the Narrogin Midwifery Service is absolutely the best as well- to have one midwife follow you through from the first trimester allows you to get to know them, build rapport and honestly the convenience of the home visits and having a contact person is perfect. My midwife for this was Kim- and she was great. Having this contact antenatally in the comfort of your own home just means you can absorb all the information and knowledge the midwives have to give. Postnatally being able to go home and have the midwives come to you is the best. Especially in that first week being able to be in the comfort of your own home, rather than in hospital but still be able to have that point of contact, have the midwives do all the normal checks from here is appreciated.
I couldn't be happier with the birthing experience I had at Narrogin Health Service. I couldn't recommend them enough.
Another point to remark on is that the antenatal classes offered by WACHS is Hypnobirthing Australia- delivered by videoconferencing Zoom. Originally I went into these classes with the mindset of "oh gosh Hypnobirthing how hippy"- especially as I'm a very practical and evidence-based type of person, however by the end of the 4 classes I walked away with some great skills, knowledge and resources (WACHS pay for the Hypnobirthing resources which include soundtracks for guided pregnancy and birthing meditation, affirmations etc).
In the end having the soundtracks playing to soothe me in the background during the delivery process, along with some aromatherapy, allowed me to truly relax and let the experience take over me. I also had my mum who has taken courses in acupressure and reflexology in pregnancy to help. I tuned in with my body and let the instincts take over. And honestly, I believe this is what allowed me to birth with no pain relief.
I feel so grateful that my first experience bringing a life into this world was this.
"Birthing experience at Narrogin Regional Hospital"
About: Bunbury Hospital / Maternity Bunbury Hospital Maternity Bunbury 6230 Narrogin Health Service / Obstetric Services Narrogin Health Service Obstetric Services Narrogin 6312 Southern Wheatbelt Primary Health Service Southern Wheatbelt Primary Health Service Narrogin 6312 Wheatbelt Midwifery Group Practice Wheatbelt Midwifery Group Practice Northam 6401
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