Birth story - Emma and baby Darcey

I’m a second time Mum and whilst my first birth (MLU) was fine and totally special for giving me my beautiful daughter I knew it could have been a better experience and I was determined to give everything to this birth.
I’m a very matter of fact person and admittedly on first impressions had (ashamedly) written hypnobirthing off as ‘a bit new age / hippy’ for me. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

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Siobhan is intelligent, passionate and engaging, using evidence-based facts and statistics to support the theories. It’s relatable, enlightening and importantly makes total sense. This is key.
I started the pack around 30 weeks and by 32 weeks I was determined to go ahead with a home birth using the information Siobhan provides and talking to my amazing midwife team (Epsom and St Helier).

Having subsequent appointments with the fantastic home birth team was brilliant - so personable and they were all totally onboard with my hypno-birthing preferences, even using ‘surges’ terminology without being asked! I knew it was right for me and found that many women I spoke to were really supportive and had wished they’d considered the same had more information been available.

I hired a birthing pool, had little by the way of a ‘plan’ aside from delayed clamping and physiological third stage. The way I see it, the more you plan the more opportunity for something to seemingly ‘go wrong’. Nothing goes wrong - it just follows the path it was always destined to take. Plus, take the pressure off yourselves! You’re amazing and whatever happens you’re still a total legend!!

I repeatedly watched the videos in the pack I related to the most, regularly sprayed my Liquid Yoga during ‘down time’, read stories and listened regularly to the affirmations. The more you put in, the more you get out! I would go for walks in the sunshine listening to them and found that when I played the affirmations (on repeat!) during my labour, it took me to a really happy, peaceful place in my mind.

My labour started last Saturday morning and I thought this was it. But my little girl had other ideas! Surges came and went throughout the weekend but I remained calm - my baby will come when my baby is ready after all! I walked lots, spent lots of time with my little family to boost oxytocin and carried on as normal!

Come Sunday evening I went to bed at 7pm with my daughter as I was feeling a bit nauseous. By 9pm I knew my surges were kicking in again. This is it! I was really calm and felt totally in control. I took myself downstairs around 11.30pm and rocked on all fours with my birth ball in the front room listening to the affirmations, with my candles lit and room spray going! It was really calm and I focused on my up breathing.

By 12pm my surges were 7mins apart and as I knew my midwife was coming from a little further away I called her and she said she’d come straight away.

By 1am she was with us and by this point my surges were less than 4 mins apart. She was my guardian angel! Calm, rubbing my back but totally un-imposing. Letting me do it my way. No inspections, no questions, no rush!

My partner was already filling up the pool and by about 2.30am we decided to move into it. The feeling of the water was heavenly. As my surges intensified, I continued with my up-breathing and focused on the affirmations. The room was so calm.

I did have a wobble at transition, asking for gas and air at this point but my midwife calmed me down, told me to listen to my body and relax. It’s all I needed to get back into my positive headspace. I didn’t ask for it again - she knew I didn’t need it and it was just ‘the wobble’! I’m so pleased.
With my previous birth I don’t recall feeling anything. This time I felt everything. I felt the shift to the need to push and as soon as I said that, my midwife told me to continue doing what I was doing with lots of positive reinforcement. My partner kept telling me how amazing I was (‍♀️) and the second midwife arrived shortly afterwards.

Through the pushing stage, I let my body do the work. I lost my rhythm a bit with my down breathing but did what came naturally to me. Not sure what I’d call it!But it worked. Don’t worry about doing everything perfectly, your body will tell you what you need to do / make you the most comfortable.
I could feel every part of my daughter coming down and kept saying, ‘the baby’s coming, the baby’s coming’. I really didn’t feel like I was ‘pushing’ very much at all. I was concentrating on my breathing and holding tightly onto my partner’s arm (I may have bitten down on him a few times, but hey what’s a little bite between friends?!)

As soon as I felt her head, I knew it was a final surge before she’d be here. And at 4.22am she was born at 8lbs 10oz, I reached down and lifted her straight onto my chest. It was so magical, it brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it. She arrived into this world naturally and calmly, no inspections, no intervention, nothing. Her heart beat throughout told us she was calm as a little bean!

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Importantly, midwives at a home birth don’t rush anything. We had beautiful time in the pool before I was checked over (no stitches!) and the wonderful midwives helped me into the shower whilst my partner enjoyed some skin on skin. It was like having two Mums there who were so kind and gentle I could’ve cried. My shower was amazing and after which I settled on the sofa with my gorgeous new baby girl, a hot drink and some amazing tasting toast! The midwives tidied everything up and the most amazing things of all - my daughter slept through the whole thing! She awoke at 7am, by which point everybody had left, the pool was down and normal service resumed. She simply came into her new beautiful baby sister. It was unbelievably special - I feel so truly lucky.

The midwives were so complimentary - even saying to me what a privilege it was to be there and how amazing it was. I can’t agree more but they were so intrinsic to making that happen for me. They were amazing!

Sorry I know this is a long one but I just feel so passionate about how amazing my birth was I want everybody to have the same experience! You can make this happen with the right preparation and headspace. I never believed it would be possible but 6 days on and we’re still in our amazing, happy, blissful new family little bubble and I couldn’t thank the Positive Birth Company any more!

Whatever your birth story, all Mums are totally amazing and I am so in awe of us all!

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