Birth story - Rebecca and baby Jessie

I discovered the Digital Pack when I was around 18 weeks pregnant and I quickly watched all the videos and started listening to the positive affirmations daily. I felt so so excited to give birth!

Unfortunately I received so many negative comments like ‘oh you must be scared..,’ but I shot them down by saying how positive and excited I was!

I was under consultant-led care due to me having Multiple Sclerosis but as I had felt amazing throughout pregnancy I begged and pleaded with the doctor to sign me off to midwife-led care as we had a brand new birth centre open in July fitted with calming mood lighting and a pool in each room. This fitted perfectly with the calm water birth that I was planning and thankfully the doctor agreed that I could use that instead of labour ward (although it was attached to the hospital should any transfer be needed).

My due date of 19th September approached and I was doing everything I could to start things off in a calm positive way. My daily routine was prenatal yoga, perineal massage, bouncing on my birth ball, listening to positive affirmations.

(My ‘due date’ came and went and I had to message my friends and family to say I was putting my phone away and would be in touch when baby arrived as it was driving me mad that people just kept on asking. I told them and myself that my baby will come when my baby is ready.)

I was sent for a growth scan on the Thursday at 40+1 where I was offered a stretch and sweep which I used my BRAIN for and accepted as baby’s growth seemed to have slowed a little. Doctor wasn’t concerned enough to want to induce yet but I saw no harm in a sweep. However I was a little disheartened to find my cervix was too far back to do the sweep effectively.

I went for another sweep on the Tuesday at 40+6 which the midwife was able to do this time.

Well, it seemed to have worked as that night my surges started around 10.30pm, coming throughout the night every 15mins. By Wednesday morning I was disheartened to find they were getting further apart again, but my husband stayed off work and we had a lovely day walking through the park, cooking yummy food and watching comedy tv.

Again, around 10.30pm the surges started becoming regular again, and throughout the night they got to around 7 minutes apart but were lasting 3minutes at a time! That was a lot of up breathing!! They didn’t die off this time but remained around 5-7 minutes apart throughout the Thursday.

Around 11am we called the birth centre to let them know what was going on but the midwife said to get in touch again when surges were 3 in 10 minutes.

I had a long bath which helped to relax me, but by 5pm the surges were incredibly intense with them lasting for so long and I started being sick. I felt that I needed to go into the birth centre (although we were still not at the 3 in 10 minutes) so we called them and went down to be assessed.

Well it turns out I was 4cm dilated! So they were happy for me to stay and the midwife filled the pool for me. The lights were a beautiful calming violet colour and we played my selected music.

I chose to have gas and air which didn’t help deal with ‘pain’ but it did help me focus my up breathing so I found it really useful to deal with each surge.

At 8pm there was a shift change and a wonderful midwife came on who stayed with me through everything. She said she thought I was ‘one to watch’ as I was so quiet... I might just surprise her with a baby’s head before she expected it... (And I did!)

The up breathing was fantastic at getting me to the pushing stage where I suddenly heard myself making unexpected noises - I knew this was down breathing! I had been worried that I wasn’t able to do down breathing when I practiced but it came naturally when it counted!

I started to breathe my baby down... I could feel her head coming down and then bob back up. Everything I was feeling I knew was bringing me so close to meeting my baby. I felt so excited and empowered to get the baby out!

At one stage the midwife suggested I gently feel between my legs and sure enough I could feel something very soft... the membranes! My waters had never broken and here my baby was coming out with the membranes still in tact!

I kept breathing my baby down and eventually felt the head come out. I put down the gas and air and with the next surge out my baby came! I delivered her myself in the pool and brought her up to my chest. It was the most amazing and magical feeling in the world. (I’m getting emotional writing about it!) I couldn’t believe that my baby was finally here and how perfect she was. She was really chilled out and still is a very calm baby! I put this down to the wonderful calm birth.

My husband had been the most amazing support throughout the entire labour and he looked on with wonder as this tiny perfect person joined us in the world! We fell immediately in love.

I got out of the pool to deliver the placenta. I’d opted for a physiological third stage, but after 40 minutes of no sign of the placenta coming I used my BRAIN and asked for the injection. I had wonderful skin to skin during this time. I breast-fed for the first time and had fully delayed cord clamping and then my husband cut the cord.

Our baby girl was 7lbs exactly, and born at 22.26 - exactly 48 hours since my first surges, but just 5.5hrs since arriving at the birth centre.

Unfortunately the placenta wasn’t playing ball and after half an hour since the injection the midwives started talking about transferring me to the hospital and going to theatre for the removal. I questioned how long we could wait and they allowed a little longer to see if it would come away.
We used our BRAIN to have a good conversation with the midwives about this and they were great and supported us amazingly.

In the end I did have to go to theatre for a manual removal, ending up with a spinal anaesthetic (which I’d been scared about as I’d had a traumatic lumbar puncture in the past so didn’t want any needles going near my spine again!) but it all went well and I remembered to keep using the up breathing to get me though. My midwife stayed with me throughout the procedure as my husband wasn’t allowed in and he stayed with our baby girl.

Our baby Jessie is now 11 days old and all I can say is that I had the most beautiful water birth. I honestly loved it and feel so warm and fuzzy thinking about it! Giving birth was definitely a positive highlight in my life.

I was disappointed at first that I ended up in theatre after the birth had gone so well, but actually I feel that it was the best decision as they found the placenta was totally anaemic and not looking great, it would not have come away without help so it was definitely the best decision. I’m glad I was able to question it all by using my BRAIN though.

And thank you a million times to Siobhan for the affordable digital pack which got me through to have an amazing labour. Even the midwife said she was emotional as it was so beautiful that I just breathed my baby out!

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