Naomi, Transfer To Hospital Abruption

It was on the 28th. I was in my prenatal yoga class feeling squeezes across my tummy. They were not painful, just noticeable.

The huz and I had been using the Pink Kit and thought I might be experiencing pre labour based on what we had learned. When I got home huz; Duann and I timed them and they were at regular intervals. I phoned our midwife Lisa Barrett and let her know. She suggested we hang on and call her if things change.

Now I will tell you about Lisa. We had explored all options for the birth of our first baby and to cut a long (and perhaps another) story short we chose to birth at home. Not because we wanted to be at home per se’ but because we could see that we would receive far superior care with an independent midwife. I had considered an unassisted birth but this scared the Jesus out of Duann and it turned out we made the best decision. The first time Duann met Lisa he loved her, which made things straightforward for me. Lisa is an extremely knowledgeable midwife who trained in Wales the old school way. (Get in there and bloody roll your sleeves up!). She has 20 years of experience, mainly in homebirths and has run the gamut so to speak. She was very relaxed and laughed at our jokes even though some of them were lame.

We went on with this pre labour for two more days, watching funny videos, cleaning the house and on the last night, going out to dinner and sharing a bottle of red. I must admit I was beginning to lose heart. Lisa had suggested we both answer the requisite ‘booty call’ to bring it on and we were happy to oblige. It was in the middle of booty duty that things changed. We had already set up the pool so we hung out watching late night telly, looking at the visualiser on Duann’s mac, listening to Jefferson Aeroplane and goofing off. We finally called Lisa back (again) and started filling up the pool. When she arrived, things were still mellow. The contractions weren’t terribly full on so she suggested a walk. We walked for a long, long time around the neighbourhood in the middle of the night stopping for a contraction here and there and generally enjoying the experience. The timeframe after that is a bit hazy for me.


We came back and Lisa had been asleep on our couch holding a hot water bottle. It was all on an even keel so Lisa suggested I get into the pool. Duann and I felt relaxed so we were open to whatever may come. I jumped in and it just felt wrong so I got out and Duann and I went for another walk. After the walk, I got in the pool again and it was very different.

Duann hung out around the edge and I coasted in between contractions, which were now building up. Sometime after this Duann asked how I felt and my response was “I feel empowered”

This part dragged out a bit I suppose.
My waters broke,
I lost my mucous plug,
my ass was “babooning”,
things were getting close I knew.

Duann kept mopping my brow, tying my hair up and I held his hands tight with each contraction. Lisa asked me if I felt like pushing. “No” I said feeling a tad concerned…what the hell is that supposed to feel like? . Now I really felt like the pain was intense. My noises had changed. How much bloody longer was this baby going to bloody take?

She discovered that I was not fully dilated, was a way off in fact, which puzzled all of us and told me it could take another couple of hours. My old man is a chiropractor; he came and adjusted me in an attempt to get the party happening. There was some discussion about going into the hospital for an epidural as the pain was quite extreme. I really did not want that (obviously as the whole aim was a natural birth) and Lisa and Duann encouraged me to stay at home. Duann looked at me and said “Baby, you can do it, lets go for gold” or something like that. Lisa was in accord, they both filled me with good stuff, and I kept going.


The pain was much stronger now. I felt overwhelmed. My noises were shrieks and screams. I am woman hear me roar had a new meaning for me at that moment. I am out of control…. I thought How did this happen? The pain was like a steamroller flattening me. I became frightened of it. How am I living through this? I thought. Duann held my attention each time and said “BREATHE…with me, like this” he grounded me and turned into the superhero you sometimes need your man to be.

I don’t know how long this went on for. I was on planet pain control.

Then some blood came spurting out. Not sure how much but enough for Lisa to be concerned. “Where can you feel the pain?” she asked. “Up here!” I pointed to my diaphragm or around there. “Okay Naomi, Id like to take you to the hospital to be monitored. You are having an abruption.”

I remember a time when I had asked Lisa during one of her visits if I should make up a caesar birth plan. “Naomi, the only way you are having a caesar is if the baby’s life is on danger or yours, then you won’t be worried about which essential oils are in the burner “. That settled that. I knew if she said we had to go it was time to go. She called the hospital and prepped them. I had asked for an ambulance (instead of either Duann or Lisa driving there…no way keep the team close) so she organised that too. I hadn’t even made it out of the water when the ambos were there.

The ride seemed to take forever and felt like we were going over cattle crossings. When we got there, they did all the physical admin stuff (drip, bloods etc.) and some daft person with a rubber glove examined me. “Naomi”, she said, “At 11am you were 8 cm and now you are 9. We don’t think that is much progression for 4 hours”. You know…..the script. Progression my ass I thought, what about this abruption business? She was talking about a caesar and inside I rather gave up. They were milling about, all these strangers in the room for what seemed forever. Then the consultant Ob came in and said the safest way to go is au’ naturale’. Amazingly, he then crept round the corner to wait followed by everyone else who had been in the room. I didn’t know it at the time but we were extremely lucky to have this Ob on the day.

So, it was on! It was we, the original wonder team and a very inexperienced midwife left. Lisa told her we were having a lotus birth and this had freaked her out so she hung around very much in the background. I heard Lisa say, ”We need a beanbag, some pillows, blankets…”
“But they are in the birthing suite” the girl said
“Well go and get them!”

Duann was holding me up. I wanted to stand. He also stood between the monitor and I because our baby’s heart rate dropped into the mega danger zone several hair-raising times.

I went to the area Lisa had organised and squatted on my knees. After several trying pushes. (I still couldn’t feel that sensation) the kid slid out, all with huz at the helm and Lisa keeping up the rear (private joke). I was shocked to see this new warm mucousy little guy and stared for a few seconds at him. “Theres your baby!” Lisa said; “Pick it up!”

The hospital midwife had never seen a natural third stage so Lisa told her to watch what she did and handled that brilliantly as well while Duann and I basked in the freaky shock of the whole situation and just how strange a new critter can be. This was amazing because you see; in South Australia, private midwives have no jurisdiction in hospitals. We birthed with our Lisa, our way in a hospital labour ward!

Mum and dad bless’ em, had been waiting outside and came in now to see the newbie-a boy, Atticus, and mum popped the placenta in her handbag to put in my freezer. I was in shock.


To be honest it has taken me some time to release the tension of the event. There were times when I really thought to myself I am in so much pain I wonder why I am not dead. (Which I have since discovered is the predominant symptom of a uterine abruption.)

Although the process was not warm and fuzzy, we somehow all contacted the strengths within us. My husband and my midwife backed me up and we all stuck to our guns. Now I know I’ve got the chops and so have my team. My marriage is stronger and my sense of who I am is altered. This prompted me to live my life differently and I can definitely say I am more fulfilled as a person.

6 responses to “Naomi, Transfer To Hospital Abruption”

  1. Anonymous

    I genuinely loved your story; wanted to say thanks for including it; some other stories on here had lots of positive feedback – I had 3 homebirths; my third was a difficult 2 hour labour and the midwife arrived after the birth was over, so I understood some of your feelings here. Just want to say I admire your strength and courage!
    Thankyou for sharing this story!

  2. Naomi

    Thank you!

  3. Anonymous

    Wow! What a beautiful story! I am crying as I write this! Thankyou so much for sharing it! Ingrid

  4. Kathryn

    Thank you for sharing your story Naomi. It’s great to hear a positive outcome from a hospital transfer.

  5. Anonymous

    Fantastic, such a wonderful stroy, glad things worked out well xxxx

  6. The Plewrights

    Your story is a pefect testament to one-on-one midwifery care and also the fact that a transfer does not always = a cs!

    WOW! really great of you to share your 'different' birth story.

    Sarah :)