Birth story - Abigail and baby Charlie

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With my first son I was aware of hypnobirthing but didn’t practice any relaxation techniques. When I found out I was expecting again I was determined to fully embrace hypnobirthing and The Positive Birth Company Digital Pack became available at the perfect time! Initially I went through the videos and notes on my own and quickly realised that my husband needed to watch them too. I knew he would feel more confident and empowered to support me with the tools the pack provides. 

At 38+1 weeks I started with loose bowel movements. I knew this could be a sign of things starting but could also be entirely unrelated! Nonetheless I found that I spent 2 days cleaning the house and making sure I’d bought all the last minute things I needed. James also decided to make sure everything was tied up at work, just in case! 

On the evening of Sunday 26th August (I was 38+4) we had some friends over for dinner. They left at 9.30pm and James sat down to finish a few last minute work things while I went to bed. I woke up at 11.30pm to use the toilet and noticed a pale pink liquid. My waters didn’t break until much later on in my previous labour so I wasn’t sure what I was looking for. I gave James a heads up, put a pad on and lay down for half an hour cuddling our 2 year old who’d joined me in bed. At midnight I checked and was pretty sure my waters were leaking. I called the MLU at our hospital who said they wanted me to go in to be checked out. I then called my parents who came to look after our little boy and by 2am we were in the hospital.

I’d noticed a few mild surges at this point and was hopeful labour would progress naturally. The midwife we saw tested the fluid and confirmed my waters were leaking. She decided that an internal examination was unnecessary at this point and booked me in for an induction at 10pm on the 27th if nothing had happened. By this point, the surges had increased in frequency and intensity (approx 1 in 10 minutes and I’d started to use up breathing). I mentioned this to the midwife and warned her that although I wanted to go home to allow things to progress (we only live 10 minutes away from the hospital), things moved quickly in my previous labour and that when I arrived last time no one believed how far along I was because I was so calm & quiet. She nodded and smiled and said that I was still talking through the surges so they can’t have been that bad! 

When we got home at 3am , I asked my parents to take our 2 year old back to their house - I had an inkling we’d be back at the hospital pretty soon. James went to bed to get some sleep but I was too uncomfortable to lie down so bounced on my ball whilst watching old episodes of Life in Pieces, timing my surges and using the up breathing! By 4.10am, the surges were every 3-4 minutes and I realised I needed James with me. I woke him and called the MLU who suggested I come back in. I used the up breathing to get me through all the surges as we travelled back. James’ driving became a little questionable after I announced that I could feel the baby’s head coming down! He parked in the 30 min car park and we headed quickly to the ward.

Having handed me over to the midwife James went to move the car & get the bags - I wasn’t 100% sure he’d make it back in time! I continued to use the up breathing as the midwife got the pool ready. I accepted an examination at this point and was so glad to learn I was 6cm. James came flying through the door and got to work sorting out my playlist and giving the midwife my birth preferences. She was brilliant and joined in with lowering the lighting and showing me my positive affirmation cards. 

As soon as the pool was ready I got in and began to use the gas & air. I positioned myself on all fours leaning on the side of the pool facing James. The midwife stayed quiet and monitored the heartbeat without any fuss. James was amazing - coaching me and encouraging me between each contraction, stroking my arm and making sure I stayed hydrated. It really wasn’t long before I heard myself mooing and I started to say I couldn’t do it anymore. Each time James would make me look him in the eye and encourage me which honestly made the world of difference to how I felt. I began to use the down breathing as I felt the baby’s head moving down and then back up with each contraction. I’m not sure the midwife realised how far along I was until I said that his head was coming out. She darted around the room gathering everything she needed and just in time as after only 20 minutes of down breathing Charlie was born at 6.17am. We got to have delayed cord clamping and immediate skin to skin. We surprised all our family who woke up to the news of his early and speedy arrival! 

I am so grateful for the digital pack as it enabled me to feel informed, empowered and calm as I gave birth to another beautiful son. Thank you to Siobhan and everyone who works so hard to make this resource available. I keep describing my experience as a dream birth because I honestly couldn’t have hoped for it to go any better and I really enjoyed the process of giving birth! I’ve recommended the digital pack to all my pregnant friends and will continue to do so! Thankyou!

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