Birth Story - Michelle and baby Elena


On the night of Sunday 6th May, I went to bed with a heavy feeling in my pelvis, possibly from having had a long walk that day and spending more time on my birthing ball. I was a few days past my due date so was keen to get things moving on their own accord. I had a slight feeling that tonight might be the night. Sure enough at 2am I felt strong tightenings under my bump and had to employ a bit of breathing. I laid in bed for about an hour and when I went to the toilet I had the show. I woke my husband and we packed up our last minute hospital items. I had a shower by candlelight while he prepared the front room with soft lights, my hypnobirthing tracks, room spray and we put my TENS machine on. I rested on the sofa and ate some toast/had drinks until things progressed. I had a bit of a wobble when laid down and was tensing up a bit before I was fully in the zone and regulated my up breathing.

My husband was timing the surges and said they were 2-3 minutes apart and we should ring the hospital but I held off a little longer until I felt like I needed to go in which was around 8am. In the meantime my parents had come to collect our 3 year old and take him off to their house once he woke up. I had a quick chance to tell him the baby was coming and said bye before he went, which was nice.

We got to the hospital around 8.30am and I was examined (at my consent) and I was so pleased that I was 6cm already! I did request that they examined me while I was stood up but they said they couldn’t! Anyway, we then moved to our room on the Midwife Led Birth Unit and got settled like we were at home and I relaxed and got back in the zone. The surges were intensifying but I had my breathing well under control. As they got stronger I started moaning a bit and felt like I needed to move positions. At first I was stood up holding onto the head of the bed, then I was on a birthing stool leant over a ball, then I went back to standing and as things ramped up again I got on all fours on the bed and at this point I started using the gas and air as I could tell things were getting close. I didn’t experience the foetal ejection reflex but I definitely felt a change in my body and then had longer pauses between surges in the second stage which helped me re-focus ready to breath baby down and out (with a few moans and grunts!). At one point I went to see if baby’s head was there but it wasn’t. But then I really did feel her head coming up and down again and eventually out which was a very powerful sensation! Her body quickly followed and she was passed to me but her cord was quite short so I needed a little help in getting turned around and sat back down. I can just remember the shock of “I’ve done it!” and I kept saying “Oh! Oh! Oh!” and “Oh My God!”, it was truly amazing and happened exactly how I’d imagined it, which is what I was focusing on in the final stages.

We waited until her cord had completely stopped pulsing and my husband cut it. I also had a physiological third stage which I was really pleased about. It didn’t take long at all for the placenta to come away. I did have a second degree tear, but as Siobhan says in the videos I didn’t feel it at all and I was a bit on cloud nine (and the lovely happy gas!) when I was stitched up with my gorgeous baby in my arms. Our midwife was absolutely amazing and had thoroughly read my birth preferences and followed them to a T. I hardly knew she was in the room and once I had birthed she said, “Michelle, that was amazing” – such a buzz! We were then left alone to have our skin to skin bonding time, I had a bath and after collecting our little boy to come to the hospital and meet his baby sister, we went home that evening. This birth was unassisted and took 10 hours from start to finish, compared to my first birth which was 24 hours with more drugs and a forceps delivery.

Thank you so much Siobhan, Lizzie and everyone in this community. You have been a huge inspiration to which I owe my positive birth story. Sorry for the long message but I really loved reading everyone else’s birth stories in the last few days before I went into labour, so hope it keeps the positivity and love flowing!

Baby Elena Katherine Lavender, 07.05.18, 12.05pm, 7lbs 12.5oz


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