Birth story - Anna and baby Cleo

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For context, 1st baby was typical (uninformed) first experience finishing in a forceps delivery due to meconium in the waters, a v long labour (30+ hours) and heavy epidural which meant I couldn't push effectively.

2nd baby two years later was drug free in MLU with labour in water but delivery on dry land. 8 hour labour so much shorter. I had done some light reading about hypnobirthing which helped me achieve a super positive birth which I was desperate to relive this time.

This was a v different and much more informed experience again having used the digital pack. I'd had a sweep on 14.09.18 at 40+5 and was disappointed when nothing appeared to be happening two days later, despite the fact my older children were born at 11 and 6 days past their "due" dates so I knew this was my "normal" but was getting impatient!

Saturday evening we put the boys to bed and watched a movie while I bounced on my yoga ball for what felt like the 30th night in a row. I'd had zero symptoms of labour starting at this time. We got into bed at 11.30pm when I felt a massive kick/pop that actually caused me a bit of discomfort that I hadn't felt before. From that point, surges started out of nowhere at moderate, manageable intensity but for almost a minute each and no more than a 3-4 minute gap between. I was a bit freaked out that labour appeared to have started with that frequency I thought it could be a false alarm. I think my body started to go into shock as I was a bit shaky to start with but used some of the positive affirmations to get into a strong headspace. Thankfully, we decided to ring my parents at 11.50pm when the pattern hadn't stopped. They took 30 minutes to arrive so we had a cup of tea, put the last bits in the bag and put on the TENS machine which I found really effective. It was clear by now that this was the real deal, with the frequency stabilising at 2-3 minutes between surges. I'd been worried about the 30 minute car journey to St Mary's Hospital in central London but used up breathing, TENS and reminding myself to get "back to green" between surges to remain totally calm while my Dad drove.

We arrived at the MLU just after 1am where I was immediately checked and told I was 3-4cm dilated and the baby was still quite high. I stayed in the quiet triage room with my husband breathing my way through each surge in a standing position until the delivery room was ready. By 1.30 I was starting to feel the urge to push so they hurried me into the delivery room and straight into the pool. Immediate relief!! Having started off back to back when we arrived, the baby had turned round and I breathed her out in about 5-6 controlled surges into the water at 2.02am after 2.5 hours of labour. My husband was brilliant support, respecting my preference not to be touched but breathing through each surge with me forehead to forehead over the side of the pool and using words of encouragement from the affirmations I'd written out for him.

Cleo was passed to me under water to bring up and meet face to face. We had delayed clamping, I cut the cord myself (which I hadn't even considered before!), a managed 3rd stage (which I had requested having used BRAIN to minimise risk of bleeding which is higher with a 3rd baby) and then left in peace for our first beautiful hour together. No tears, grazes or any injury, which is such a blessing having had many stitches in the past.

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This was the most positive experience I could possibly have hoped for and I put it all down to the preparation and power of the PBC and the digital pack. I will be recommending this to everyone I know! Thank you Siobhan & team for helping Cleo and I to have the best possible start

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