Birth story - Charlotte and baby girl

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I wanted to share my positive birth story with you as I found it really helped me beyond how I imagined it could during my labour. I purchased the digital pack just over halfway through my pregnancy & watched it all in the weeks leading up to the birth. 

My due date was 22/12/18, from Boxing Day I was having on and off contractions at no regular intervals & on 27/12/18 I was offered a sweep at my routine appointment & I accepted this (I was 1cm!) but on 28/12/18 overnight they started to become regular and a bit more intense, I was at home all night managing the contractions (I still chose this word over surges, it has no negative connotations for me), I was kneeling over the edge of my bed in an upright position using my up breathing techniques to get through them. By the time the morning came the contractions were closer together & more intense so we decided to head to the hospital and within that the birth centre where I planned to give birth.

On arrival at the birth centre, I was sick (lovely) and put into a room to continue with my contractions for a little while. At this stage I had an anti-sickness tablet. I was offered an internal examination which I accepted as I wished to know how we were progressing at this stage. I was 2-3cm, which was slightly deflating after being up all night with the contractions & feeling like I had run a marathon already, but I remembered I could do this & my breathing would help me through. During the examination my waters broke all over my midwife’s hand! I hoped this would ramp things up for me. I spent all day in the birth centre walking around, up and down stairs breathing through everything to try & get things moving. By late afternoon I had another examination, I was no further again... I tried not to feel disheartened & I had a discussion with my midwife about going home for a few hours to have a shower, maybe have a little food & get some rest if I could. So off we trotted home, I did just that except rest as the contractions were too intense. 

Back at the birth centre that evening I was in a different room with the pool & I had a change of midwife and the new midwife examined me again, I was 4cm... not a huge amount of progress & as my waters had gone time was now against us before I would have to be transferred to the labour ward for induction to speed the process up. 

My new midwife suggested that my body needed rest, I’d been doing this for almost 24 hours with no break, no pain relief & I was tired. I agreed, but couldn’t rest as the contractions were too painful when they came, however they had tailed off in frequency which again I managed not to worry about thanks to the hypnobirthing techniques I had learnt, I was staying calm & weighing up all my options using my BRAIN! 

I made the birth centre room as homely as possible, the lights were down & the radio was on quietly playing music... nothing in particular I just liked the background noise. 

After a chat I agreed to try pethidine so I could rest, this wasn’t part of my plan or a drug I had wanted at all, but things weren’t going exactly to plan so I had to re-evaluate how I wanted to proceed. I decided I would rather try pethidine (which basically knocked me out for some sleep) than go to the labour ward for induction & be on a drip, unable to move around & in an environment I didn’t want. I could still have the birth I wanted this way, so long as it worked on getting me that rest.

I got 2 hours sleep after the pethidine sent me off to the land of nod and when I woke up, WOW, things were moving, I just knew that rest had given me what my body needed, I had a few sips of Lucozade & water ... then it was time for the pool. Contractions were strong & frequent & it wasn’t long before I started feeling the contractions change to that ‘pushing’ feeling. I spent about 2 hours in the pool and then decided to give birth on land for the final stages, I remembered my down breathing for this stage & although I was coached when to push for some of this stage my body was really doing it all for me. 

I had no further pain relief, no gas & air just my breathing techniques to get me through and my baby girl was born at 6.23am on 30/12/18. Labour was long but the ability to use the BRAIN technique to make decisions & my breathing got me through. I learnt all of this from the digital pack & without this my birth could have been very different on the labour ward. I did tear, but only 2nd degree. 

I knew being armed with the knowledge about having the environment calm & peaceful was really helpful. 

The information on this course should be rolled out to everyone in pregnancy as part of your antenatal information! It’s invaluable!

BRAIN kept me on track for the birth I wanted !!! 

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