Birth story - Eleanor and baby Penelope

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On the 24th of July, around 2pm, my partner and I settled together in bed to watch a film after 4 days avoiding one another due to him having tonsillitis. As he was no longer contagious we had a good cuddle and a kiss, which must have got some serious oxytocin flowing!

By 4:30pm, I had what I thought were poorly tummy cramps but couldn’t pass anything so began timing them out of curiosity. They were already 2-4 mins apart lasting from 20-50 seconds; we waited 45 mins before calling the MLU. They advised me to take a bath to try get them more regular, however after only 30 mins in the bath, the intensity was too much for me to take so I took to bouncing on my birth ball with my TENS machine and using my up breathing. The contractions kept a similar pattern still but ramped up in intensity and by 7pm I told Josh we had to go to the MLU even though they would have preferred better timed contractions. I used up breathing and hypnobirthing tracks to remain calm whilst we travelled up there.

Once there I was examined at 3cm at 7:30pm and had a bloody show. Following our midwives advice, we removed my TENS machine and I had an aromatherapy massage with josh saying some positive affirmations for me whilst we breathed through every contraction. At this point I was reminded that we were still in the early stages and the removal of my TENS machine would make it more beneficial later on. I was then given two codeine tablets. However by 9pm, I told the midwife the contractions were too intense and if they were correct in telling me I could have many more hours ahead of me then I need a C Section asap as I couldn’t cope. We were still waiting on my blood test to confirm a high iron count before being allowed in a birth pool suite at this point but after some discussion between midwives, we moved into our suite room and were then told my iron was 110, perfect!

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The pool was quickly ran, with hypnobirthing music in the background and battery powered tea lights lit our room. I had no time for room sprays, reading our birth preferences or even changing into my bikini and by 9:15 I was in the pool. The following contractions caused my waters to immediately break and I felt the urge to push. I did panic as I was only 3cm an hour or so prior to this but my midwife told me to calmly follow my body’s instructions. I struggled focusing on the down breathing but followed the midwives instructions carefully and by 10:35pm, Penelope Lavender was born. Her daddy scooped her up out the water for our first cuddle together and cut her cord. She weighed 8lbs 3oz and I was informed I had only grazed during labour whilst they did my placenta delivery.

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All three of us then spent many blissful hours having cuddles and feeds and remained in our birth suite until 3pm the next day. The midwives kept talking about how perfect, calm and “textbook” our birth was, especially as a young FTM and josh and I felt so proud to bring Penelope into the world so positively.

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Even though we expected to have more time to prepare/ramp up for the birth, the hypnobirthing digital pack taught us enough to have an incredibly calm delivery in the few hours we were at the MLU. We are eternally grateful x

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