Birth story - Hannah and baby Ivy

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I had a very ‘normal’ pregnancy and I tried to remain active throughout, prior to getting pregnant I regularly went to the gym and advice from midwives was to listen to my body. Well, on Tuesday 25th September at 3am my body was telling me the baby was getting ready to come out! Surges emerged in the early hours of the morning and they continued throughout the night and the following day. They were like clockwork, they came every ten minutes. I tried to go about my day as normal, walking the dog, bouncing on my exercise ball and even tried to watch a few films (Bridget Jones’ Baby – highly recommend it!).

At around 11pm the surges came more regularly, so I put on the tens machine and bounced on my ball again. The surges didn’t get any closer than 3 to 4 minutes apart but they became much more powerful than earlier in the day, so, at 3am my partner and I decided to get checked at the birth centre. We figured that even if we were sent home at least we would know where we stand. We were seen to straight away and the Midwife confirmed I was 3cm dilated and I could choose to stay in or go home. I decided to go home where I was most comfortable so I could try and get some rest. I got back in bed and tried to rest between surges (easier said than done).

At 6.30am I woke my partner and felt a sudden urge to be sick, I got on all fours and my waters broke. My surges felt stronger and were coming closer together than ever before so we headed back to the birth centre. With our bags backed (again) we set off and arrived at 7.30am which was handover time but the team of midwives kept us well informed and we were quickly taken to our room. The Midwife and shadowing midwife read our preferences whilst the pool was filling up, but the environment was already perfect; tea lights, music, mood lighting and aromatherapy diffuser.

Within minutes I got into the pool and immediately felt an amazing sense of relief once I was in. After doing the course I was open minded about pain relief but wanted to do all that I could with the techniques that I had learnt before accepting it. It was about 2 hours into us arriving that I accepted gas and air and I found it helped me focus on my breathing. Our Midwife stayed in the room the whole time but sat back and left my husband and my mum to support me, offering us drinks and refreshments throughout. After a couple of hours, I got out for a wee but couldn't go and this resulted in me having a wobble. My husband and midwife helped bring me back to green and refocus my breathing.

I got into a kneeling position on padded mats whilst they refilled the pool and felt the baby coming down then suddenly. I called out that the baby was coming and with the next surge, my body pushed the head and the shoulders followed seconds later, thankfully the second midwife had just walked in wearing gloves and caught the baby. As per our preferences we had delayed cord clamping and an hour’s skin to skin, there was material all around the birth centre about the ‘golden hour’ and we were left on our own to enjoy this time.

After this hour, the Placenta was expected. The midwife was very clear with us in terms of our options to have it delivered. A natural delivery was attempted but after some time had passed and the midwife asked us to make a decision on how to proceed we used our BRAIN and felt that syntocinon was needed. Unfortunately, this didn’t go to plan but the midwife was able to manually manoeuvre the placenta out which meant we were able to avoid a surgical removal. Whilst this was going on my husband got some valuable skin to skin. Shortly after the placenta arrived I was examined and told I had 2nd degree tears (but I didn't feel a thing!), I was stitched up within the MLU.

As antibodies were found in my blood at 38weeks we were asked to stay for 24hours to check whether they had transferred to the baby, luckily the birth centre had a few post-natal rooms so my husband could stay with me and Ivy overnight – spending a full 24hours in private with midwives on hand to feed us, help us and check on the baby was very reassuring and something we really enjoyed.

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