Birth story - Adam, Emma and baby Morgan

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Our Positive Birth Story - from a birthing partner/keeper of the cave’s perspective...

I’ll start by being very honest. When my wife,Emma Giblin, told me about Hypnobirthing I was VERY sceptical. But I wanted to support her, and so we watched the videos and did the guided meditations. The more I learnt the more it made sense, and I was quite quickly converted! Reading stories on this group really helped us both in the lead up to the big day.

Our first baby was due on the 19th July but at 39+6, Emma woke up with a start at 4am as her waters had broken. We were both excited, but understandably a little nervous too. We did a quick check in with the Birthing Centre at our hospital and then came home to wait.

As time passed Emma began to get some light surges. As each one built she used some upbreathing to help make them more comfortable. She ate little but often and rested when her body told her to rest. I remained calm for her, used her positive affirmations and we also tried some of the light massage techniques but Emma decided she didn’t want to be touched!

We also used a TENS machine to help with each surge, which gave Emma control over her pain relief from an early stage.

When the time came for us to go into hospital at about 8pm we were teamed up with a brilliant midwife called Kate, who was also a hypnobirthing teacher! This really helped as I knew Emma would be taken care of and could work with Kate to ensure our experience was a good one. She was a really calming influence on us, which was just as well as we didn’t even have time to do an examination before Emma felt the urge to push! We had wanted to use the birthing pool but our plans were clearly about to change, the first of a few times this happened... Note to birthing partners: be prepared for all your birthing preferences to change. Be adaptable, and work with the medical staff - they are wonderful.

As Emma’s discomfort increased, we requested to use gas and air, but Emma only used this a few times as she felt drowsy from it. We continued to use her breathing techniques and the TENS. I was amazed at how well she was able to manage, it was hard to watch her at times but I remained by her side and on her side (one of our favourite phrases!) throughout, letting her know she was doing a fantastic job.

As her labour slowed and Emma became tired, we needed to change position (onto her back, again a change to our birth preferences!) but Kate and her colleague Esther were so encouraging for Emma and gave her great advice - for example when she was pushing and making noise, Kate suggested trying to push that noise down through her body instead of out through her mouth. I appreciated this kind of support for us.

After some time it was clear that as our baby was coming down the birth canal, it had turned it’s head sideways and this was causing us some problems. The midwives and I discussed additional help they could give us (I knew I was responsible for keeping Emma safe and calm, so made sure I asked about treatments so we could consent to them rather than them being done to Emma). We worked as a team - though much of my role was dedicated to holding the cup and straw for Emma to help her drink her lucozade, ensuring her flannel was nice and cool and telling her about the amazing progress she was making. Little updates like when I saw the babies hair and could tell her the colour really helped motivate her. Also a good phrase we developed for whenever Emma said she felt she couldn’t do it: “you are doing it, and brilliantly”.

After about 2.5hrs, we had one final push and at 11.45pm Emma gave birth to our gorgeous son, 15 minutes before his “due date”. I was privileged to watch him enter the world, and was overwhelmed by how incredible the female body is. I gave her a kiss and thanked her for bringing Morgan into our lives. I’m not ashamed to admit that I cried, a lot. The midwives also made sure I got to tell Emma the sex of our baby (twice, she didn’t quite hear me the first time!), something we’d discussed with them before.

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Emma had Morgan placed straight onto her chest and they had an hour of skin to skin which was really important for us. As she was now very tired we agreed to the injection to help her deliver the placenta. After that I was given an hour of skin to skin too as Emma needed some stitches. This was an hour of such mixed emotions for me - pure joy at holding my boy, a bit of nervousness about becoming a father, pride in Emma for her amazing labour, and at the same time some concern for Emma given what she’d just been through. But ultimately the love I felt for Morgan overrode everything.

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We are so pleased that we took the course, that we had this community for support and that we were able to have such a positive birth experience. Now we start our journey in parenthood... the adventure continues!

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