Birth story - Jo and baby boy

After having two lovely straightforward births with my first two sons, I had to have additional appointments this time around purely based on the fact my last baby was over 10lbs.

Having never questioned my body's ability to give birth before, I found myself being told of possible complications and had suggestions of early induction or C-section. Starting to get anxious, I found the digital pack really useful for reminding me of all the reasons my body was capable of having this baby in the same way as the last two, to use my B.R.A.I.N when considering risks and to trust my instincts.

I was hoping to give birth at the local birth centre which has a lovely reputation (Meadow Birth in Worcester) and got the sign off to do so despite baby being predicted to be over 90th centile. However as I went “post dates” this was no longer the case.

I started having regular surges in the early hours on the Friday at 41+6, and due to the distance to hospital (35mins ish) and that my previous births were quite quick we made our way in.

I was examined and only 2cm dilated so advised to either go home or go for a wander and come back in 4 hours. We decided to walk around the hospital which actually gave us some rare time alone together. By the time we went back to triage all contractions stopped! I was very disheartened after being awake all night but understood that it wasn't time, so I went home and rested.

Next day at 42 weeks I was advised to go in for monitoring, and saw a lovely midwife who listened and was sympathetic to my worries, answered our questions and gave me a sweep. Although we really didn't want to be induced, we felt the night of contractions indicated my body was at least starting to make moves in the general right direction and asked about the process. She said based on my cervix at that point I would probably not even need a pessary, they'd be able to break my waters to get things moving. We decided to book in to do that the next day if nothing else had happened.

I had period type pains through the night but got some sleep and woke about 7am with more significant surges starting. My husband knew it was time to leave about 8am when I didn't manage my French toast! This time the surges felt more like they were doing something than they had on the Friday. Arriving at triage, my surges weren't quite at the intervals to suggest going to labour ward yet. The really lovely midwife said there were two ladies ahead of me in the queue to have waters broken, so why not go for a walk around the woodland centre across the road as if they went naturally I'd “jump the queue”. So off we went, did a loop of the woodland walk in the drizzle with surges coming every couple of minutes but managing to keep walking with the TENS on.

We were just about to head to the cafe for a drink when my waters went! Of course I was wearing grey leggings but I was very pleased this had happened on its own.

So back to triage, and on examination I was 3 cm. Just as she suggested we would be going into the ward to wait for things to progress, some more of my waters came out and she spotted there was meconium which meant I went straight to labour ward.

A doctor suggested I had continuous monitoring however the midwife who had taken me to the room had already told him I wanted to be mobile and so he didn't push this on me.

By this point, being in the delivery room and safe with the lights down and my labour playlist on, my body clearly relaxed and my surges started coming more often with greater intensity. My husband held me through each one and fed me in between! I found the up breathing gave me something solid to concentrate on with each surge and made me keep breathing where otherwise I may have held my breath.

My midwife popped for her lunch and asked if I would like another midwife to come in but at that point we said we were fine.

After a little while I asked for some gas and air which made me a little light headed so I climbed up on the bed and leaned over the top end.

I felt myself doubt my ability then, but told myself this was probably transition.

Suddenly I felt pressure so we called in a midwife who sent someone to go look for our midwife! My husband talked in my ear telling me I was amazing and his hero and for me it was the perfect affirmations from someone I love.

I consciously tried to let my body work as it needed to without the active pushing I remembered from my previous births, however the midwife was concerned that my big baby was taking a bit too much time and might have his shoulders stuck so called in help. I turned over and lots of people rushed in. However, with one big push he arrived so by the time the room was full they had nothing much to do. He had his cord round his neck so was whisked away briefly (so no delayed cord clamping) but was back within 30secs on my chest.

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My not so little man was 11lb 13oz and I had no need for any stitches which I'm still amazed about. This reminds me of the affirmation “my baby is the perfect size for my body”.

I had a preventative double mastectomy several years ago so my husband gave our boy his first feed of donor breast milk which was so special.

We were then able to go home the same day (albeit just before midnight) so was the first labour that I was able to get into my own bed after which was lovely.

It was a very positive birth experience which was helped enormously by our confidence to ask questions and make our own decisions using what we had learned in the digital pack.

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