Birth story - Alexandra and baby Jago
I found the digital pack after following several different instagram accounts and am so pleased I did! It suited us better than doing a course as we have a toddler at home and both work full-time. I watched all the videos over about a month and either saved some to watch or re-watched the ones which were important/relevant with my husband. I didn’t realise there was anything wrong with my first birth experience but with improved knowledge from this course, I knew there were many things I could improve on for my second birth experience, significantly UFO and breathing techniques.
We loved the midwife led unit when we viewed it at 38 weeks so as I got more and more over due I began to worry that I would have to go to the hospital instead. I refused all offers of sweeps as had spontaneous labour with my first so trusted my body to know what to do when it was ready. Finally, had my show on Saturday morning and more came out over the weekend. I had a few tightenings which I felt at the bottom of my bump during Saturday and Sunday but assumed it was pressure on my bladder which I had been experiencing in the later weeks of pregnancy. On Sunday evening, my husband and I went to bed as normal but I couldn’t sleep. At about 11.30pm, I realised that the tightenings were now actual surges and were fairly regular. I woke my husband up to get him to put my TENs machine on for me and we decided to ring my father (who was coming to look after our 3 year old and was about 3-4 hours away). After a VERY long labour with my first, I knew to rest as much as possible, so we went back to bed. We dozed a bit, chatted, kissed and generally got quite excited! I timed my surges and they were approx. 4 minutes apart and lasting 45 seconds all night. My father arrived at about 4am and went to sleep on the sofa. I had some breakfast and then went back to bed. My husband got a few hours sleep while I was able to manage the surges with my breathing and TENs machine. At 6am, our son woke up. He was excited to see granddad and between surges I was able to enjoy some time with him. My husband phoned work to tell them he would be starting his paternity leave and quickly popped in to work to drop off some work. I rang the midwife, had a quick tidy of the house, dressed, and finished packing my bags. On his return, we set off for the MLU. The 20 minute drive was not particularly comfortable and I knew we had made the right decision to go to the unit then. On arrival, we were shown to the best room with a birthing pool, we were very happy! My husband was brilliant, dimming the lights and drawing the curtains, unpacking my stuff etc. At this stage I could only concentrate on breathing through the surges and really couldn’t have cared less if there was music on or not to be honest! The midwife was brilliant at reading my birthing preferences and was happy that I was breathing through the surges. My husband was excellent at counting for my breathing and keeping me calm. I was examined and was 6cm. I got in the pool, which was lovely but I didn’t feel particularly comfortable and knew that I wouldn’t stay in for long. Suddenly I felt my body change and begin to push – my noises confirmed it in my mind. I was surprised that I could have gone from 6cm to fully dilated quite so quickly! The midwives kept their distance and just did half hourly checks of baby’s heart rate and my pulse. A while later I got out the pool and was surprised to feel my membranes bulging between my legs! I tried a couple of different positions and was most comfortable on my knees on the bed leant over the top of the bed. I could feel each stage I learned from the videos, from the head moving down and then bouncing back up, the ring of fire, the head being birthed, turning and then baby Jago arriving at 11.15am on Monday morning. My waters broke with his head arriving! There was never any mention that he was measuring big during my pregnancy so I was pretty shocked by the size of him (my first was 7lbs 8oz)!
He was passed up to my chest straightaway for skin-to-skin. We had delayed cord clamping for 40 mins! My placenta had not delivered after 45 minutes and I was finding it quite uncomfortable so asked for the injection and then it came pretty quickly with a little bit of help. Like my baby, the placenta was huge. I had 3 small stitches. We were then left alone for several hours to enjoy this special family bonding time. Jago breastfed brilliantly and we enjoyed lots of skin to skin time. After a bath, we moved to the ward, where we were the only ones there! I requested to stay overnight (on my birth preferences) to ensure feeding was going well, to allow me time to rest away from an inquisitive toddler and also in case I needed the Anti D injection so I didn’t have to return the next day. My husband went home late afternoon and brought our son in to meet his brother during evening visiting hours. I was able to have a quiet night in the MLU to recover, knowing my husband was home with our toddler.
Thinking back now, I actually probably used up breathing the whole time with some kind of mash up of up and down breathing (with ‘mooing’ and several expletives) towards the end! I was offered gas and air but didn’t want it as tried one breath during my first labour and it made me feel sick and didn’t want that to happen again. So apart from a couple of paracetamol during the night, I am proud to say I birthed a 10lbs 9oz baby purely using the knowledge and breathing techniques I learnt from this course. Thank you!
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