Birth story - Hannah and baby Lois

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On the evening of Thursday 14th June, I started having some gentle and irregular surges. I was 41 + 5 and booked for an induction discussion on Sunday morning, so was relieved that things had started naturally. The following morning, Andy called work to let them know he wouldn’t be in and we started setting the scene for our home birth with our liquid yoga room spray, our positive affirmations MP3, our ‘birthing playlist’, candles, yummy snacks and lots of warm baths.

By late Friday evening, the surges had become regular (3 – 4 mins apart) but were still very manageable. We called triage to ask advice as I was concerned that I wasn’t feeling as much movement from baby – she advised us to come in and get everything checked. The hospital is a 15 minute drive from home so we headed in and to be monitored for an hour – baby was doing fine although she was ‘back to back’ but I was quite dehydrated and the midwife said she thought I was still in early labour and could still be a long while yet! With this news we declined an examination as I didn’t want the disappointment of being told I was not ‘progressing’ and we headed home again!

As soon as we got home I drank lots of water and Andy made me a big bowl of porridge for some slow release energy. We were both getting really tired by now and decided to try and get some sleep. It wasn’t long after getting into bed that I suddenly jumped out with the strongest surges yet - in my back! They were now 5 minutes apart (going backwards I thought!)

Soon after this I had my ‘show’ and started shaking uncontrollably!!! Feeling tired and now confused and a little frightened by the sudden intensity (If this was early labour what would established labour be like?) I had a major wobble and decided to go back to the hospital (we didn’t want to call again and be told to wait till the surges got closer together or to call a midwife out to us for nothing - which seems really silly but thinking about it later, this could have been ‘transition’?!)

So we headed back to the hospital, via the fuel station (!) using up breathing and Andy rubbing my back through the surges (still 5 mins apart). The triage midwife looked surprised to see us again unannounced. She examined me and suddenly looked really surprised… “You’re fully dilated!!! I can’t believe you’ve been standing here chatting!!!” Andy and I both looked at each other – we were completely shocked! All of a sudden there was no time for our lovely home birth – we were quickly shown into a delivery room and Andy set up all our hypnobirthing tools from the hospital bag – battery tealights, our playlist, ‘liquid yoga’ room spray and the bag of jelly babies!

Our midwife Beverley, read through our birth preferences and helped me ‘down breathe’ through the surges, but after an hour she suggested I might have to try some coached pushing to help baby down and out. At 7:30 the midwives shifts changed and I was really sad for Beverley to leave us but our new midwife Alison and her student midwife, Lois were just as wonderful. Andy did a wonderful job of supporting me – emotionally and physically – helping me into lots of different positions to help baby down and holding me and stroking my back through the surges. After another hour of pushing, using my BRAIN, I agreed to an episiotomy as baby was starting to show some signs of distress and I was becoming exhausted! Then one more surge and our baby girl was born!

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We had skin to skin straight after the birth and she latched onto the breast within minutes of being born! There were tears of joy all round as we welcomed and cuddled her! Andy cut the cord after delayed clamping. She weighed 7lbs (a healthy weight despite being nearly 2 weeks ‘overdue’!) We named our baby girl, Lois, after the lovely student midwife who delivered her!

Lois’s birth didn’t follow our ‘plan’, but it was definitely a positive experience. My partner Andy, the breathing techniques and the lovely midwives at Frimley Park Hospital were what kept me feeling calm and positive!

Thank you Siobhan Miller and The Positive Birth Company!

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