Birth story - Olivia and baby Henry
Briefly, my first labour was overall positive but due to an epidural I didn’t get a chance to feel my body give birth and I had to be coached to push, which I really didn’t like.
For my second birth, I really wanted the chance to experience my body birth my baby and have minimum intervention if possible.
I woke up at 3.50am (coincidently the same time my labour started with my first!) on 2nd August with mild tightenings, thinking they were just Braxton Hicks I didn’t really take them seriously and tried to go back to sleep. It got to 5am and they hadn’t gone and were starting to get stronger, it sunk in that perhaps this was the real thing! I wanted my husband to get as much rest as possible, so decided not to wake him at this point.
The toddler woke up just before 6am, so I told my husband my surges had started. He had a slight panic, as we hadn’t put the car seat in! Car seat sorted and toddler being looked after by my mum, I decided to call the birth centre. They told me to take paracetamol and wait another hour but I couldn’t wait longer than 20 minutes, the surges were strong and regular, so we headed on in. I used the guided meditation on repeat to get me through the car journey. I wish there were more of the MP3s, I found Siobhan’s voice so soothing throughout my whole labour.
We arrived about 8am and I asked to be examined, so they checked my progress and I was 4cm already. Hooray!
We were placed in a lovely birthing suite with pool and I used the TENS machine (I loved this with both my births) and birthing ball initially to get me through (plus lots of jelly beans, a tip I got from the positive birth company facebook page). Then the bath was run and I sunk into the blissful warmth. Being able to move around in the water and use my up breathing really helped me get through each surge. My husband commented that he could see how my breathing really helped me manage each surge. At 1pm I was examined again and I was 9cm! So close! Note: The bath is quite dehydrating, so make sure you drink plenty of water between surges and a cool flannel on my forehead was really needed.
Back into the pool and the surges started to change, I was starting to feel my body wanting to push. I struggled to get my down breathing under control and panicked a bit. My husband reminded me to use my breathing and to go with my body. I had a particularly forceful urge to push and I watched my waters pop! I asked my husband to get the midwives in, as I knew this baby was on its way out. In the next surge I could feel baby make its way down and then I experienced the ring of fire!But this spurred me on as I knew he was on his way out. His head came out but his legs were still inside me, kicking me, ouch! I had one more push to get him completely out, the midwife untangled the cord from around his legs and he swam up to the surface.
I had immediate skin to skin and delayed cord clamping. Plus a physiological 3rd stage on dry land as per my birth plan. I did experience PPH after the birth though, which the midwives dealt with quietly and efficiently. Due to the haemorrhaging, I was stitched up soon after delivery so they could monitor the blood loss and had an injection to stop the bleeding.
At the end of her shift the midwife commented that it was one of the most beautiful water births she’d seen in a while and told the student midwife that I was a great example of a woman listening to her body. I could never have done it without Siobhan’s digital pack and am so grateful to have found it. It really was an empowering birth and I still can’t believe I did it. I have already recommended the pack to other pregnant mums.
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