Birth story - Becky and baby Jessica Ivy

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I'd been having mild surges on and off in the week or so running up to the birth with them getting more regular on the Wednesday morning. I went for a walk with my husband and little boy but the surges tailed off completely. Around 11pm they started again but they were mild and I went to bed as normal. At 1am the surges were every 10 minutes or so and I got up and spent time on my birth ball and listening to my birth playlist. By 3am I decided to have a bubble bath with my music and some candles and by 4am they were every 5 mins and getting stronger so I decided to wake my husband and he went to collect my mother in law so we had someone on hand to look after our 4 year old if we needed to go to hospital.

My surges became more sporadic as the morning went on but by 3pm I felt it was time to call triage and go in to be checked as I'd had a bit of fresh blood in my show. Unfortunately triage was really busy and having surges in the busy waiting room wasn't the most relaxing environment! By 1930 the observations had been done and the surges were still only every 5 mins and I was expecting to be sent home. However the midwife examined me and said I wouldn't be going anywhere as I was 4cm dilated and I would be going round to delivery!

From this point my surges ramped up quickly in frequency and intensity so my hubby went to collect the rest of our bags, put on our music and made sure I had some snacks and water. Once I'd been monitored I kept on my feet and I found holding onto my husband's shoulders and swaying was the best way to count through my up breathing.

At 2030 our lovely midwife Esther from the delivery suite came to collect us and said that a pool was just becoming available once it had been cleaned. I had really wanted a water birth but as there are only 3 at the hospital I hadn't wanted to set my heart on it so I was very excited that I was going to be able to use the pool. She had clearly taken in all our birth preferences as she immediately dimmed the lights and said she would just monitor every 15 mins whilst we were in a holding room. At 2100 we moved into the pool room and hubby set up the tea lights, music and room spray and I got changed. At 2130 I was finding the intensity of the surges becoming difficult to only breathe through and I asked for some gas and air. I found I needed it for the build up and peak of the surge and continued with the up breathing whilst using it.

At 2145 the pool was ready and the comfort of the water was amazing. At 2235 my waters broke and shortly after I felt my body needing to push. I had a wobble here during transition as I didn't know how dilated I was and thought it must be too early (!). Esther said to go with my body and I tried to keep to the down breathing. After 7 minutes of the second stage Jessica Ivy was born at 2252 and I had a physiological third stage 10 minutes after.

She weighed 8lb 9oz but I only had a minor graze with no stitches. After a quick cuddle in the pool she had skin to skin with my hubby whilst I was checked out and then we had 2.5 hours of skin to skin in the suite with her having her full checks around an hour and a half after birth and a long breastfeed.

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Our midwife was amazing and kept interventions to a minimum. My husband was a huge support counting me through the breathing (which I know he was a bit self conscious about at first in front of the midwives).

I had the birth I had visualised and I owe Siobhan a huge thank you! I came across Siobhan's You Tube videos around the beginning of my third trimester and they really struck a chord (especially the ‘can I do a poo like this?’!). I was really pleased to find out about the online course and started watching it around 34/35 weeks.

The positive affirmations MP3 really helped in the last few days of pregnancy when I was so uncomfortable and feeling like she would never arrive.

Knowing more about the science of birth and practising the breathing techniques and getting our environment right made a huge difference. The course was the best money I have spent in a long time and I will be recommending it to any pregnant friends!

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