Birth story - Becky and baby boy

Firstly, I may have a high BMI but I was lucky to have a pretty straightforward pregnancy with no other concerns. This was something I was unsure would happen as all doctors would do is warn me about the risks my extra weight held. It would have helped me to know that they are just that, risks, and a perfectly ‘normal’ pregnancy and birth is possible when you’re a bigger lady 😊

So to begin the birth part: I accepted a sweep at 40+1. I personally was pretty uncomfortable and wanted to see if it would work. I also wanted to know if the cramping and backache I’d had for several days was my cervix ripening. Knowing that my body was doing something would make any discomfort worthwhile. At my sweep we found that I was indeed ripe and she could stretch to 2cm dilated. This made me happy! She did a sweep and I went home. My husband and I may have helped the process in another way too 😉

At 11.45pm that night I woke from sleep thinking I might be a little wet. I got up to look in the toilet and as soon as I moved there was a massive gush. I thought it would be a tiny trickle but there was no hiding that gush!! I went to check they were all clear and they were. I wasn’t feeling any surges but then I gushed again. I felt the surges begin about half an hour later. They were more like cramps to start and about 10 mins apart. I put tens machine on, mainly because I heard it helps more if you put it on early rather than when needed. I kept changing position and tried to stay as active as possible. I went from then until 5am with surges getting closer together through a mix of TENs, upbreathing and baths. My surges weren’t getting regular but I could feel that they were more and more powerful and I needed my husband to help count through the up breathing. This is when I decided to call the hospital (my surges averaged 3 every 11mins or so but the times between each one varied) and they suggested I come in to be examined although they warned I may be sent back.

We got to the hospital looking forward to seeing what happened next. I was checked and I was 4cm dilated and they were shocked I was so calm I think! I used upbreathing at first in hospital but changed to gas and air as I felt I needed more. This helped and my surges got more and more powerful. The midwife was lovely and kept saying how well I was coping especially as my surges weren’t giving me much respite. She said my next examination was due at 10.45 but I might not get there as things were progressing so fast. Other midwives came in because his heart rate dropped a few times. They kept an extra eye but it was decided that it wasn’t too much of a concern as it didn’t dip much. I could feel I was starting to get to down breathing and so could the midwife from the noises I was making. More a lower noise than before than mooing, like it was coming from my gut. I was checked and I was dilated apart from one little lip. She asked if she could try tuck it away as this sometimes works. I agreed as I felt ready to push and wanted to. It didn’t work but wanted to push anyway and I was able to in the hope the lip would move. I was doing good pushing using just gas and air. I didn’t down breathe as such but trusted my body and followed my instinct as it had got me this far!

The midwives wondered why he wasn’t moving down like he should be and a consultant checked and found that his head was facing up rather than down. They turned him with the next contraction but he turned back. His heartbeat did now start to dip and the consultant was concerned. I agreed to anything that kept my baby safe to be honest as this put me at ease. If I had been concerned I would have used brain or got my husband to. They wanted me to try once more to push but then I needed to try forceps. I tried in the room but they struggled to get him on. It was decided theatre was the best option as after that c-section would be best for both of us. I could also have the extra pain relief that I now needed to manage the forceps delivery.

I was transferred to theatre. During this transfer i must admit I struggled and was probably transitioning fully at this point. I was asked to not push although they understood I now had no power over my body. This was the part where I really felt the power of the down pushing and how natural this is. The body is amazing. I had a spinal block and the relief this gave me was amazing. Although very strange to now not have control over my body. I followed instructions and managed to push my baby out using forceps to assist. Nothing was better than when my baby was brought to my chest. We had skin to skin and I breast fed in recovery with my midwives support. She was brilliant and used lots of positive affirmations throughout labour like ‘you are powerful, it will end but you are doing so well, you are so close to meeting your baby’ etc and this really helped.

He was born at 11.45am on 9/10/18. Exactly 12 hours after my waters broke. So this FTM didn’t have a very long birth compared to some.

Hypnobirthing helped me so much in understanding the whole journey and I consider my birth as positive, although it was certainly a journey! It helped to know the science and why my body was doing what it was. I was also able to gauge what my body needed to do when. I’m so proud and also big kudos to all mummies, we are all superstars!

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