Birth story - Sarah and baby Florence

After the birth of my first baby girl nearly 4 years ago, I was left with PTSD and I never thought I would be able to speak about a positive birth!

It taken me a few weeks but here is the story of how our beautiful baby girl Florence made her entrance into the world on 4 September. Be warned it a long one- grab a cuppa and a biscuit!!

At my 38 week hospital appointment I was advised that I needed to be induced early due to a suspected large baby and blood pressure issues. Very quickly I found myself being given a sweep and booked in 2 days later for induction!

This long process started on Sunday evening. After monitoring a propess was inserted and I experienced slight tightenings however it fell out- a sign of things to come!!

Sunday night passed filled with 3 hourly monitoring and not much else! Once morning came I started laps around the hospital grounds and felt my tightenings increase with some regularity, however once again the propess came out before anything could be established.

At this stage I was advised that I would now have to wait to have my waters broken, then be put on the Syntocinon drip- and this could take up to 48 hrs!!

I had a total freak out and questioned the whole process, having flash backs to my first labour. This is where the labour team came into their own. The ward Sister spoke to me and discussed ALL of my options- including going home, a C Section but most importantly how I could achieve the active birth I wanted, whilst being induced using the drip.

At 6.30 am on the Tuesday morning I was finally taken to the labour ward, given tea and toast settled in for a long day.

Just after change over of staff I met my incredible midwife Adel- who was a perfect fit in everyway! She fully understood and encouraged my birth choices and worked tirelessly to ensure that these could be met!!

My waters were broken around 10ish and at this stage I politely refused electronic monitoring. After an hour I was given the hormone drip. At the stage I was attached to a portable mobile trace to allow movement, but due to loss of contact I opted to have a clip placed on baby’s head.

The next few hours passed in a haze of relaxed chatting and singing along to my cheesy pop playlist! Quickly my tightenings established into a regular pattern but were manageable with up breathing. After a few hours I felt my tightening change to contractions- I could describe the whole sensation to the amazement of my midwife.

I continued my up breathing and chatted easily with contractions reaching 3 in 10 minutes but not lasting any longer than 45 seconds. But I knew that was all they were ever going to be.

I had totally thrown my midwife who suspected I couldn’t have been progressing as I was so calm!! I could tell she was politely preparing me ahead of my internal that I might not be very dilated. I laughed and said don’t worry I’m at least 5cm and to her amazement I was 7cm.

At this stage the intensity ramped up and I moved from walking around to a birthing chair being supported by my husband. I felt a lot of lower back pain- the baby was moving into position and I was going through transition, at which point I decided to use gas and air. ( Side note, I also turned into the funniest person in the world taking gas and air -so I thought)

This was my wobble where I looked for pain relief. As the anaesthetist set me up for remifentanil she couldn’t believe I was induced without drugs.

Looking back I clearly was transitioning, but due to a change of staff this was missed!!

After all the faff of setting up the pain relief it only worked 3 times then there were issues with the line but It had given me a small rest which was much needed!

I felt the sudden urge to pee and as I made it to the toilet I started to moo!! It took me a few seconds to realise that my body had started to push. I came back to the bed and proclaimed I needed to push. Again my midwife was slightly in disbelief as she thought I had hours to go and wasn’t booked for an internal until 10.30pm- to which I told her the baby would be here by then!! She checked and gasped, ooh I see baby’s head-it’s coming!

The next 15 minutes are best described as manic!! Very uncalm, I became a possessed mamma! Giving out orders to everyone- demanding where my husband should stand with the gas and air, asking for my music off and the lights up. I got myself up into a kneeling position at the end of the bed and instinctively followed my body knowing exactly when I needed to push and for how long. Even telling my midwife to be quite as she told me to push at the wrong time!

After 4 rounds of contractions which had 3 peaks our second baby girl was born. While she was a mighty 8lb 4oz she was far from the 9lb 7oz she was predicted to be!

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We had a glorious hour of skin to skin contact. Then unfortunately I suffered heavy blood loss due to retained membranes, usually resulting in surgery but knowing that I could, I refused and asked to have the procedure in the labour ward with only gas and air.

While this was not the journey I had hoped for, with the help of my amazing midwifes and husband I was able to have the active, informed birth that I wanted in very tricky circumstances. I feel empowered and positive. This would not have been possible without hypnobirthing!!! Thank you Siobhan- your course helped me to have the birth I wanted and overcome my previous trauma. I will forever be indebted to you x x

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