Birth story - Emma and baby Everly

Dear Everly,

I am sure we will share many stories together over the years but I want to tell you a really special one. One about the day you came into the world.

As you will learn, Mummy isn’t usually quite as chilled as Daddy when it comes to waiting for things. Although I knew your ‘due date’ was just a rough guide and that you would pick your own birthday, I found the last few weeks of you being tucked inside me a challenge. I just wanted to meet you and after a couple of weeks of ‘signs’, a declined stretch and sweep and 5 days of trying lots of ‘old wives tales’ to hurry you along , I decided it was time to try a bit harder with relaxing. I knew I needed to switch off and just trust you and my body. I decided to go to an exercise class, something we had already enjoyed together the whole time you were tucked up inside me. Afterwards I came home, relaxed in the bath and put a comedy on before bed. The release of oxytocin really was our best friend and at 1.30am I woke up feeling surprisingly rested and found the beginning of my ‘show’.

I didn’t want to get too excited although deep down I knew you were on your way. Hypnobirthing taught me so much about trusting my body and my instincts. We rested (downstairs on the sofa because I was just too excited to sleep) and by 3.30am I noticed that tightenings I had felt for weeks, were finally accompanied by a slight discomfort. At 4.30am I decided to start timing these surges. These stayed at about 5 minutes apart for several hours so we kept bouncing on the ball and thinking over my favourite positive affirmations. At 9.30am, just after the Royal Wedding coverage started, the surges were about 4 minutes apart and when I was sick at 10am I realised we probably weren’t going to be watching them take their vows. At 11am (after holding out to see the Bride’s dress) we phoned the birthing centre as the surges were 3-4 minutes apart. They said it was up to me and that we could either stay home as we were coping well or pop in for an examination. Although my preference was to be led by my body and not have what I felt were unnecessary examinations, I used my BRAIN, followed my instinct and popped into the centre. When we arrived around 11.45am the midwife examined me as I wanted to know where I stood. She said I was 6cm dilated! Her examination broke the waters and she informed me that I was then 8cm dilated. I felt so proud of us for staying at home for so long but looking back now I know that the up breathing and Daddy’s light touch massage were all we really needed to keep us focused. As I had a slight temperature I had to take paracetamol before entering the pool and it was here that things quickly progressed. The pool felt like heaven but because things were moving so quickly I felt I needed more and asked for gas and air. This wasn’t part of my preferences but I had confidence in following my instinct. It was such a good distraction but did interfere with the up breathing that had done me so well up to this point. I got this back on track by the time it got to down breathing...which was equally as fantastic as the up breathing. After the midwife read through my birth preferences, another examination was never mentioned. I trusted my body and when I started to feel it pushing down I went with it. I loved knowing the science behind everything and this inspired me just to do what my body told me. Between each surge, using the traffic light system and ensuring all of my senses were being indulged, Daddy brought me back to green. I did have a little wobble which I now realise was transition. Things moved very quickly and I truly believe that without hypnobirthing things could have been quite different.

Just like Mummy you’re super efficient and you were born within 2 hours and 27 minutes of the membranes breaking. Daddy cut your cord once you had received everything you needed and Nanna took lots of photos of you. After a little skin to skin I started to feel slightly unwell. I had a tear (not that I felt it happen at the time) and I lost more blood than anyone would have liked. I had to go to theatre to have some stitches (which ended up being done by the parent of a child I taught the last academic year). He was so understanding of the fact this ‘wasn’t part of the plan’ but I knew that deep down, despite any preferences, the plan was only ever for you to arrive safely. My experience of theatre was wonderful and I laughed and joked with the medical team throughout. They all commented on how positive I was ‘despite the situation’ but I genuinely felt so calm. Pre hypnobirthing me would have been very focused on the ‘perfect birth’ but looking at you and thinking back to the first moment we met, how could it be anything other than perfect.


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