Birth story - Emily and baby Maisie

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It’s been a whole month since the birth of our daughter Maisie and I’ve finally got round to writing it down to share on here to hopefully reassure new mummies that first time labours CAN be positive!

At 37 weeks I began to do lots of things to raise oxytocin and I suppose I did do a few of the ‘old wives tales’ as well to see if we could avoid the need for induction. Long walks, time with friends and family, watching films, raspberry leaf tea, pineapple, sitting on birth ball every night etc etc... I had also done a pregnancy yoga course so LOTS of UFO positioning to keep baby in a good position. All of this, along with staying as chilled as possible is what, I feel, led to the positive birth experience we had.

39+2 I lost my plug/had a show and I had mild pains from then until my waters broke. 39+ 5 and we went for a walk- deciding not to take the dog as she had already had one and it’s slightly more relaxing sometimes without her () About 5 mins in and I felt a pop, like someone had clicked their fingers inside of me. I said to my husband that I thought my waters had broken, and after some investigation (in the middle of the countryside) we thought they had so we walked back to the car. On the way home it was very definite that they had gone as ALOT of fluid came out, soaking the car seat!

After calling the low risk birth centre at our hospital, I had a shower and expected a long wait. The hospital even booked me in for induction 24 hours later in case things didn’t progress. Well that wasn’t needed as by about 8pm, (waters went at 7), after a shower, my surges were intensifying. I put the tens machine on and sat on my ball, I had essential oils on an old head scarf which I used on my in breath each time whilst I was using my up breathing. This really helped me focus. My husband had organised for the dog to go to his parents and the car was packed and ready. I was timing surges on an app on my phone to begin with which helped us decide when to go into hospital- they reached 3 to 5 minutes apart very quickly (by around 8.30) so I called the unit to tell them I was coming in. They told me that ‘it’s difficult to tell with first time mums as you don’t sound like you’re in labour and you wouldn’t be using and app!’ And advised me to stay at home for a bit longer. Well they were obviously just surprised I was so calm. This must have annoyed me enough to stop surges for about 10 mins but they came back thick and fast!

My husband called again (the lady telling him that I would know when my body was ready!!!) and we started the 20- 30 min journey to the birth centre (attached to hospital) I played the positive affirmations in the car on the way in and continued with the up breathing but by now I could feel my body bearing down and an intense pressure in my bum- baby was definitely on her way! We had to leave the car at the front of the centre as by the time we got there I felt as if she was going to be born imminently.

There were no rooms left with a pool at the low risk centre but luckily the labour ward had one free so they wheeled me there (in just my pants and a top as instinct had made my take my trousers off by now!) ... by the time the midwife examined me I was fully dilated. I wanted to be examined on all fours but she said I had to lay on my back which was probably the most uncomfortable part up until now. We couldn’t have dimmed the lighting as we were in the labour ward and didn’t even have time to put music on but my husband was a calming presence and supported my breathing as things got more intense.

By now I had taken the TENS off as it had started to irritate me but I think it had helped up until then. The pool was run, I got in and then things got very intense. I don’t think I really consciously used down breathing but it kind of felt like that anyway- my body was just doing it for me! I was making some animalistic noises according to my husband and after 40 mins in the pool, Maisie was born!

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She didn’t breathe straight away so we didn’t get delayed cord clamping as they were going to take her to resus, but as soon as it was cut, she breathed and let out a cry, I held her to my chest for a few minutes before getting out of pool. As I got out of the pool to deliver placenta (I didn’t realise I could have stayed in there so not sure why I got out!) my husband got some nice skin to skin contact.

I had a physiological 3rd stage which just felt like another mild contraction and that’s the end of our birth story! So, pretty much to plan but shows that you can still have a calm and incredibly positive experience even if you have to make a few adjustments along the way!

Thanks so much Siobhan Miller- I have recommended this course to everyone and feel that it informed me enough to keep calm and manage my birth experience in the way I did.

Will re- visit next time! (Not just yet though😬)

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