Birth story - Deki and baby Brieuc

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On the Wednesday afternoon I had two episodes of feeling like I was leaking a tiny bit of fluid.. I felt pretty sure that it was end-of-pregnancy bladder problems, put a pad on and didn’t think much more of it. I’d been having a fair few surges in the night for around 10 days and had been losing parts of my show for 3 or 4 days, but I still didn’t feel like the birth was imminent.

Later on I mentioned it to my partner, Pierre, who persuaded me to pop over to the hospital just to get checked out. I arrived at the hospital at around 7pm. When I eventually saw the midwife, at around 9pm, it turned out that it was my waters leaking, and though I wasn’t very dilated, I was having regular surges that were increasing in intensity. I was told that I would be given until midnight to go into proper labour – otherwise I’d have to go up to the induction ward.

This is where the digital pack really came into force. I knew that I had to stay as calm and relaxed as possible to keep things going, as if I had to be induced I would lose the option of the natural birthing room (it’s actually very rare in France to give birth without an epidural - lots of midwives have had little training in natural birthing techniques and often aren't very encouraging). I rang Pierre, who had made arrangements to drop our 2 year old off with his grandparents, said goodnight to my son, and trotted off along the deserted hospital corridors to find some stairs. I put the positive affirmations on loudspeaker on my phone, and kept doing my up breathing with each surge. I got a few strange looks!

Pierre arrived at midnight, and we went back to be examined. Surges had ramped up and I was 2cm dilated. Luckily this midwife had read through my birth plan, and understood how important it was for us to be able to use the “salle nature".

I wasn’t allowed the pool because of having lost my waters, but I was so happy to be there I didn’t mind! We met our new midwife who was also lovely! It was 2am by this time, and we spent the next hour chatting and breathing through the surges together. I felt so relaxed and excited to meet out baby! At 3am the surges intensified very suddenly. From one minute to the next I was hardly having breaks between them. My partner was rubbing my back and helping me to count through each surge. I had another examination and was told that I was 5cm. I was slightly disappointed but just tried to concentrate on each surge as it came. Half an hour later I started to wobble... I wasn’t sure that I could sustain it for much longer, and I remember shouting that I couldn’t do it any more! Magically, the very next surge, I felt my body starting to push. Everything happened very quickly after that, and within three or four surges my baby was born. I was on my knees with my head and arms on a pile of pillows, and was able to look down and see him coming out. Seeing him arrive, then being able to bring him up into my arms was the most amazing thing in the world!

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I had a bit of trouble delivering the placenta. The midwives were very anxious that it should be out within 30 minutes of delivery, and I ended up being given the syntocinon and getting my tummy pushed about a bit. But I was so happy that I hardly even noticed... and not a single tear or graze! We then had two beautiful hours of skin to skin.

Without this course I don’t think either of us would have had the confidence or knowledge to experience this birth, as there was a fair bit of resistance to my birth plan. Hypnobirthing is not really known in France, so doing a face to face course wouldn’t have been possible. Armed with all the right tools we were able to be assertive enough to make sure we had the best chance of experiencing the birth we wanted. Thankyou!

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