Birth story - Hannah and baby Rosie

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I wanted to give something back to help other mum’s out there who experienced a waiting game like me, where little missy didn’t want to come out, meaning my original birth preference of a water birth in a midwife led unit did not happen, yet I still truly believe I had a positive birth experience which I am proud of.

I never got hung up on EDD’s, but as I grew closer to 42 weeks, and friends and family were constantly asking “has she arrived yet” as well as midwives talking about induction, I found the lead up to 42 weeks quite stressful, which in hindsight probably increased my adrenaline, resulting in hindering labour starting spontaneously despite my husband and I trying everything to get labour to start! Next time I will not be sharing my due date with anyone for this reason!

I was offered 3 stretch and sweeps from 40+6 weeks which didn’t do anything as my cervix was really far back, and babies head was really low, hindering my cervix to come forward. Midwife offered me a induction at 40+12, but I declined as I wanted to allow myself a further 24 hours to spontaneously bring on labour.

Using our brain, we decided to accept induction at 40+13, in the form of a pessary at 4pm because if things progressed there was still a chance of water birth/midwife led unit, but I was aware that as soon as I got over the 42 week mark, a MLU/water birth would not be available as that is Worcestershire royal hospitals policy. By this time, I accepted that this may well be the case and had to stay open minded, as I knew my baby would come when my baby was ready and that she had planned my birth story and not me!! As it was my first baby I also didn’t feel comfortable going way over 42weeks due to my own anxieties about the placenta reducing its functioning which would have increased my adrenaline and not supported the role of increasing my oxytocin levels.

I had to stay in overnight with the pessary, which again I wasn’t happy about, but I knew from other mums that this was the hospitals policy and just had to accept it, but made the most of trying to create a calm and nurturing environment, and being UFO, so that my body worked with the pessary in order to progress labour.

Come the next day, (when I was 42 weeks) at about 10.30am, contractions began, every 5-6 minutes lasting a minute. I remained calm and UFO for most of the day, walking around the hospital grounds and local woods. I knew something was happening as my mucus plug was going over the course of the day. I got to 1cm dilated when the pessary came out at 4pm, which meant I didn’t need a further one. Contractions continued to ramp up in frequency and intensity and I got to 2cm by 7.30pm, and 5cm by midnight, which we were both delighted about! The MLU wouldn’t accept me as I was now on 42+1 (albeit only by 15 mins) and because my labour was induced by a pessary. They also said I needed continuous monitoring now that I was 42+1 (but I refused to do this lying on my back and remained UFO at all times)

I was transferred to delivery suite where I continued to dilate quickly. I believe things moved forward quickly for me, as I remained UFO, my husband was giving me massages, putting a hot water bottle on my back (baby was back to back at this point) I was listening to affirmations and relaxation music, had a lovely room spray, a dimmed light environment, I focused on my upbreathing and ensured I was eating and drinking. I made it 9cm within the next couple of hours, where she broke my waters and quickly got to 10cm just after 3am and as a result I began getting the urge to push. I got to this stage on just gas and air.

I struggled to transition my breathing from up breathing to down breathing whilst using gas and air so I didn’t use gas and air going forward. I asked for drugs in the heat of the moment and was offered pethidine but after using my brain and knowing I was in the pushing phase and that my baby was nearly here I declined as it would have crossed the placenta. I found the pushing stage the most challenging, due to the pressure coming down, but staying UFO, having my husband and midwife guide me through the pushing, along with the hot water bottle on my back and cold flannels on my face we got through each contraction which was bringing us closer to our daughter. I even remember my midwife feeding me energy tablets and my husband feeding me Jaffa cakes! I will never look at them the same again!

After just over an hour of pushing, Rosie Elizabeth made her entrance into the world at 4.47am on the 19th sept weighing 8lb 8oz!!! It was the most overwhelming experience having her be placed on my chest. We had delayed cord clamping for over 5 mins, my husband checked the cord was white when he cut the cord.

I did have second degree tears and the midwife said there was more then average bleeding, so I accepted the injection for the placenta and to be honest I was so exhausted that I couldn’t face pushing the placenta out.

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This course really did empower my husband and I throughout the whole labour and I think we would have panicked without it so thank you. 💖

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