Archive for February, 2008

Feb 12 2008

Labour TENS kept ME in charge of my own pain releif

Published by under Birth stories

At one of our antenatal appointments, my husband and i were asked what pain relief we were looking into. Having had two natural births before, we wanted to do the same for this third birth. our obstetrician asked if we had heard of >Labour tens, which we hadn’t. My husband was particularly interested and grabbed a labour tens pamphlet, probably because he had had to give me an 8 hour back rub during the birth of our second child!

The labour was quite quick, only five hours, and i used the labourtens once the contractions were 3 minutes apart. being focused was very important to me, so the fact that i could stay calm and in control with the labour tens was fantastic. As soon as the contraction started, i’d press boost, as it ended i’d put it into rest mode. Having a rhythm and being in charge of my own pain relief kept me alot more relaxed than relying on other methods or even my husband! He made me cups of tea instead of trying to find ways to distract me from the pain!

Towards the very end, the midwife asked if i’d like to try any other pain relief, and we decided to try gas and air. together with the tens, we delivered a healthy baby. Right up to the point of getting to have the first fantastic post delivery shower, the tens was still being used. The fact that i wore a polo shirt and could keep it in my pocket also helped to keep things simple and easy.

Since the birth, i have been recommending the labour tens to every pregnant woman i know! Whether used on its own or together with other pain relief methods, labour tens made my birth experience calm and joyful. I was centred and focused, the biggest advantage being that all important energy wasnt being wasted, helping with the recovery period after.

I couldn’t be more happy with labour tens. My husband  was able to watch the birth and support me in a wholly different way, he too found big benefits of the labourtens. Not to mention not having hand cramps!

labour tens is worth every penny. I hope more people discover it, use it, enjoy it!

Anna Rae. Perth

No responses yet

Feb 12 2008

My choice -Vaginal Birth after Caesarean (VBAC)

Published by under Birth stories

I experienced a difficult birth with my first child. I wasn’t really prepared mentally or physically, and didn’t have much of a plan. After a long first stage, an epidural, which eased the pain but restricted me to bed, and failure to progress I needed a caesarean. When I fell pregnant a second time two years later I choose to use the same obstetrician providing he was comfortable with me perusing a VBAC. I had already begun to research and prepare for my VBAC I ramped up the preparation by attending a calmbirth course with my husband, organizing the hire of a labour TENS machine, reading lots of positive VBAC stories and books about natural ‘active’ births and writing a list of ‘birth wishes’. I prepared a bag of labour aids including heat packs, relaxation music, essential oils and sponges

Labour began at around 7am; 4 days past my due date. Looking back, I had probably been having Braxton Hicks throughout the night but had mostly slept through them. It was only when I decided to check the clock that I realized these surges were only 3 mins apart! I finished my cereal and we made some phone calls to arrange care for my toddler and inform the hospital of my progress. They told me to come in whenever I felt ready or if I wasn’t coping. I put the labour TENS on my lower back, and used a heat pack on my lower belly. It was a beautiful warm summer morning so I just walked around the house and back yard quite comfortably. As each surge came, I leant against a bench or wall, I hit the ‘boost’ button on my labour TENS and my husband held a cold flannel to my forehead and heat pack on my belly.

After about 3 hours, the surges were closer to 2 mins apart and lasting longer so we decided to make the 10min trip to the hospital. When we arrived at the hospital I was informed I’d have to be on the bed attached to the CTG monitor for at least 20min to get a good trace of the baby heart rate. I wasn’t too happy about this as I’d been coping well in upright positions but figured if it wasn’t for too long I’d be OK. I was also asked if I’d like to be internally examined at this point and was told I was 3cm dilated but my waters hadn’t broken yet. I was given the option of having them artificially ruptured but declined that since I felt there was no need to rush things only having been in labour for about 4 or so hours. About 1 hour after being strapped to the foetal monitor I was struggling to relax with the surges in this position. By this stage my husband was using the labour TENS boost button for me as I needed to solely focus within. During one surge he accidentally put it to ‘rest’ mode instead of ‘boost’ and I wasn’t too calm after that one ended, let me tell you.

The seated position on the bed wasn’t helping things and I started to get cranky and demanded to know when I could get off this monitor and the bed. The midwife patiently explained that the baby’s position and movement was making it difficult to get a good trace and admitted I’d probably need to stay on the monitor for the entire labour. At this point I just about lost it and said “well if I’m forced to labour this way, I may as well have the caesarean!” She offered me an alternative of using a wireless monitor that needed to be inserted in the babies scalp and would allow me to walk around but this would mean breaking my waters to get it in. At this point I gladly agreed – anything to get off the bed. After breaking my waters, I felt a warm gush and then a strengthening of the surges as the babies head put pressure on my cervix. Having a surge while the midwife was inserting the monitor is something I’d never want to repeat but once it was in and I was given the all clear I just about cart wheeled off the bed with glee. I was told I was about 5cm dilated when she broke my waters.

The bed was raised so I could stand and lean over it. My husband continued to boost the labour TENS and reassure me that I was doing well, and the baby was coming. After what seemed like only 3 or 4 surges in this position I started to get transition ‘shakes’ in my legs and feelings of wanting to push. At first the midwife didn’t believe me but after a quick check she said sure enough I had dilated remarkably quickly in this position with my waters broken.

I was told I’d have to get back on the bed to deliver which I wasn’t too keen about but managed to find a comfortable all fours position with my upper body resting on pillows. When the doctor arrived (not my normal Ob as it was a public holiday and a on call roster was in place) he wanted me in a side lying position which again I wasn’t too keen to move to but by this point I was feeling so positive that I could do this, I didn’t let it put me off. It only took a few surges to push the baby out and I don’t even remember at what point the head and shoulders came out, it just all seemed to happen in one surge. Before I knew it a baby was passed to my belly and my husband was telling me it was a little girl.

It was barely 6 hours since I had been breakfasting with my toddler and felt the first signs of labour. There was a bit of commotion at the other end as the doctor was worried about how short the cord was, but I was just happy she was out and I was looking into her big dark eyes. The placenta was delivered without problem and I required some stitches, which wasn’t too pleasant but at least I got to hold my little girl throughout. When all was said and done…and cleaned up we were left to feed and get to know our little girl. My husband opened the curtains to let in the warm sunlight and we were full of amazement and happiness at how alert and eagerly she fed. My husband and I joke this was a very ‘civilized’ birth. Given the choice I would definitely choose a VBAC over the repeat caesarean.

Lisa. Sydney

No responses yet

Feb 12 2008

Jessy’s surprise home delivery

Published by under Birth stories

It took just 8 minutes after my waters broke until Phoebe was born 7.28am 24 February 2007. I was standing in the driveway waiting for the car to take me to hospital and I knew we had run out of time…

I’d experienced pre-labour contractions throughout Thursday night and Friday morning, it was more annoying than painful. By late afternoon on Friday I went to the hospital but was told my cervix hadn’t even thinned and nothing was happening. The midwives gave me a sweep to speed things up and sent me home again.

An hour later the contractions became stronger and I had to stop and breathe through each contraction. Luckily I had hired a Labour TENS so I put it on and immediately felt able to cope with the pain. The contractions were now between four and eleven minutes apart. We took another trip to the Hospital but it was still too early so we decided to go home and try to get some rest. I spent the night trying to sleep between contractions just using the boost button on the TENS to get me through the pain My partner was fast asleep and I didn’t want to wake him. By 4am the pain became intense and I spent the rest of the night alternating between showering and resting with the TENS on. I remained >calm and felt in control of the pain, even managing a quick dose between contractions. By 6.50am Saturday morning I felt a funny sensation low down and just knew something was happening. I had a show. When I phoned the hospital they thought I should wait about another hour before coming into hospital. As soon as I put the phone down I had a sudden urge to push. My partner by this time was rushing round getting the bags and phoning his Dad for a lift to the hospital. Suddenly things really began to speed up and just walking the short distance to the front door I had three contractions one after the other. I don’t know how I got down the flight of stairs from our unit.

By this time the pain had gone and I felt calm. I’d done antenatal classes and just knew this was it. Supporting myself on the fence in the driveway I could feel my baby’s head crowning. My partner was on the phone to the hospital trying to explain the situation. “Whatever you do don’t push was the advice from the midwives”, but the urge was so overwhelming and I had no control over it. The baby’s head came out in a few contractions and I could feel it between my legs. As the car drew up and I climbed in the back seat we frantically tried to get my pants off. I pulled my pants down there she was –our beautiful perfect baby Phoebe. We found a beach towel in the back of the car and wrapped her up as we drove to the hospital. The ambulance crew and midwives were waiting for us at the entrance and Troy cut the cord whilst we were all still in the back of the car. Everyone was amazed at how quickly it all happened and how well I’d coped with the pain. It was the kind of birth you read about but never think it will happen to you –but I wouldn’t change a thing.

Jessy. Sydney

No responses yet

Feb 12 2008

Labour TENS helps with medically induced labour

Published by under Birth stories

I just wanted to write and tell you about my birth story and how I was able to have a natural birth, just using labour TENS (Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) despite the complications.

I was determined to have a natural delivery so when I was 9 days overdue; on the recommendation of the birth centre I tried acupuncture. About two hours after the second session the contractions became strong, so I put on my labour TENS as instructed and managed the pain all through the night. At 5am I rang the hospital as the contractions were now only 2 minutes apart –I was told to hang on if I could as I didn’t want to be sent home again. Half an hour later I rang the hospital again as I noticed some bleeding and I was told to come in via ambulance. To my surprise the ambulance officer told me to take the TENS off. “No way” I said “this is the only thing keeping my pain under control!” He didn’t know what it was so I explained that TENS gave an electrical impulse to the nerves which blocked out the pain, as it was completely natural and didn’t interfere with the birth process he agreed I should keep it on. By the time I got to hospital I was 5cm dilated, so I kept to my birth plan using lavender oil and clary sage, putting on relaxing music and walking around – I was determined not to use any pain medication. Unfortunately I wasn’t allowed in the bath because of the bleeding so I had to solely rely on Labour TENS. I concentrated on my body so I could press the boost button at the start of each contraction to get me through the pain. By 1pm I was only 7cm dilated so the obstetrician decided to rupture my membranes which helped to strengthen the contractions. I didn’t need any medication as I felt confident that Labour TENS was working well for me. Next I had to go on the oxytocin drip as I was still only 8cm and I started getting tired and could no longer keep mobile. Even though the contractions were strong I felt in control all the way – the midwives were really surprised that I was able to have a drug free birth as most women need an epidural for this procedure.

By 5.11pm Yumi was born naturally! I kept the TENS on to deliver the placenta, whilst we waited a couple of hours for the Dr to stitch me up. Labour TENS was so fantastic I am amazed that more people are not aware of it. I think all hospitals should promote Labour TENS as a safe option for a natural birth. I was impressed with the service; they showed me how to use Labour TENs and provided a telephone support service so I felt well prepared and confident that I could have the birth I wanted right from the start.

Katsue. Sydney

No responses yet