Birth story - Catrin and baby Ella

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On Thursday 11th I had a lazy day at home and picked my son up from nursery. I’d been having Braxton Hicks every evening for the past week so when I felt some discomfort cooking dinner, I thought nothing of it. At around 8pm I sat on my birthing ball and started to think about how far apart the tightenings were. By 9pm I realised they were coming every 20minutes so I went for a bath to relax. I couldn’t get comfortable lying flat so leaned over the side, using up breathing to get through the slight discomfort when there was a pop! I called down to my husband and told him I thought my waters had broken. Surges were now every 15 minutes apart but we decided to ring both sets of parents as they were coming to look after our son and drive us to the hospital.

I felt there was no real hurry but by the time my mum arrived an hour later, it was clear that things were happening fast. Surges were now every 5 minutes lasting 1.5 minutes. We started to pack the car and unfortunately had to wake our son and take him with us to the hospital.

The journey was 30 minutes and I found it very difficult to sit on the chair. I could feel the pressure building and knew I would need to push soon. I kept my eyes closed the whole journey and just focused on my up breathing.

On arriving, we were shown to an assessment room where I had 3 surges back to back lasting 2 minutes each. My midwife just observed and quickly realised I needed my own room, quickly! No assessment was needed - I had definitely transitioned and was ready to push. The idea of a water birth was far from my mind at this point, something I had really wanted after birthing my son in the pool 4 years ago. I was happy to let my midwife guide me and asked her to help me focus on gently birthing my baby to avoid tearing as I had with my son.

My midwife was the perfect mix of supportive but firm with me and guided me to gently birth the head, breathing slowly the whole time. I used gas and air at this point to keep focused and was able to hold her head whilst her body was slowly born. The difference from my first birth was massive - Ella made no noise and as I pulled her up to my chest, she just calmly snuggled in.

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Within an hour, she had breastfed for 20 minutes and cuddled with myself and my husband. She has remained calm and placid ever since and I’m sure this is down to her calm delivery.

The breathing and positive affirmations I learnt on the digital course had a huge influence on my birth. I’ve used the up breathing often in the last 2 weeks during stitching, coping with engorgement and also the after pains I’ve felt this time round.

Thank you so much Siobhan Miller! It’s such a joy to be able to be so positive when asked how her birth went - I’ll be recommending the digital pack to all! I loved reading the positive birth stories before going to sleep every night and I hope mine can add to this.

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