Birth story - Lisa and baby Ruairi

I’m a third time mum and have very fond memories of my first two labours. Both I’d asked for an epidural, which has worked well. However, both times I’d been very anxious prior to having pain relief - I felt I was fighting my surges and feeling fearful of labour.

At 37 weeks I decided to buy the digital pack to try to help me feel less anxiety in the run up to labour and during the latent stages. Then I could ask for an epidural comfortably as active labour started and experience the same births I had fond memories of.

I felt ‘on the cusp’ of labour for a few weeks. I’d have surges reasonably regularly for a few hours then they’d die off. During these times to calm myself I used my breathing and affirmations to try to encourage oxytocin and welcome labour.

When I was 40+3 I felt a hormonal change in the morning and knew today was the day. I was anxious immediately but focussed on my breathing. I darkened my bedroom, got my kids soft toys which smell of them, my husbands t-shirt to feel safe and tried to remain UFO listening to affirmations. After 60 minutes I decided to take a walk with husband on a glorious day along a trail by us, which was lovely. Rare time just the two of us. When we arrived home 45 minutes later I felt a rise in intensity. We got in the car for hospital whilst I visualised breathing out my anxiety and breathing in my goal of seeing our son.

When we got to the hospital my midwife complimented my breathing. We talked about what kind of birth I’d like. I explained about wanting an epidural. Upon examining me she said I was 8cm and very thin. She said there may not be time but she would prep everything ready and was careful not to examine me too much so as not to pop my waters. She called the anaesthetist.

After 10 mins I felt the need to push to pop my waters. I decided then that my baby was ready and my body was telling me what to do. I also knew this would mean no epidural as he would come soon after. A few squeezes and my waters went which were thick with meconium - my baby needed me to get him out quickly. I started using my down breathing. My body was telling me to sway and push which I did.

I can’t say I ‘breathed him out’ but I definitely threw myself into the experience, mooing (with down breathing) and swaying my son into the world.

'tired but triumphant’

'tired but triumphant’

In hindsight I see it was already most likely too late for an epidural when I arrived. But my midwife could see that the ownership was important to me and telling me it would be too late might panic me. I thanked her for this later. I think that was very considerate.

The midwives offered me lots of reassurance🤜🏽🤜🏽but no coaching, they left me to it. The only time they intervened was when they told me to pant for 30 seconds as his head emerged to prevent damage. Because of the meconium there were 6 people in the room but they were discrete and let me ‘crack on’ in my zone.

My boy is a little poorly from the meconium but I did the best thing for him by using my instincts and delivering him in a way I hadn’t planned. I know that the course helped me feel that belief and taught me to listen to my body.

Ruairi Jude, born 3/7/18, 8lb 5

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