Birth story - Shannon and baby Conlaoch

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I can’t believe it has taken me so long to write this- nearly 4 months down the line but I owe to you all to share because it was reading others positive stories that gave me the confidence in myself to go through pregnancy my way and to have the most beautiful and empowering birth regardless of obstacles.

I came across the digital pack at roughly 25 weeks and my partner and I went through the videos together practising the breathing techniques every evening.

After the 40 week mark I was offered both sweeps and induction on various occasions which I politely declined as I trusted that my baby would come when my baby was ready.

Friday the 9th November (41 +6) I started loosing my plug and having mild pains in my back. I was so excited knowing things were going to kick off soon but I thought it could be another few days yet. That evening, my cramps stopped and I had a great nights sleep- looking back now that was my body preparing me for labour and allowing me a good rest before the big day. Saturday morning (42 weeks) I woke up at 7am knowing straight away that I was having surges- these were all in my lower back. My partner set up the ambiance in the house and put the positive affirmations soundtrack on as I got myself in the zone and ready for my journey.

Throughout the morning we watched friends which was a favourite of mine and cuddles up on the sofa to get the oxytocin flowing. Up breathing kept me feeling relaxed and calm and my partner made sure I was well fed and hydrated in preparation for what was to come. By 11am surges had become more consistent and strong and I was having to focus a lot more on breathing through them. My partner was keeping an eye on my surges and timing them for me- I would give him a little signal when one started and then again when they finished. We held off calling the midwives as I had wanted to be left undisturbed as long as possible. We continued the morning and early afternoon chilling out together with me bouncing on my ball and breathing through surges. We had tried to watch the notebook at around 1pm but I was finding it harder now to do much other than focus on breathing through surges and I could no longer hold a conversation with my partner. At 3pm my partner and I thought it was time to call the midwives just to let them know that things had kicked off as my surges now were every 4/5 mins apart and lasting between 40-60 seconds. I was managing well with my breathing and tens machine.

By the time the midwife arrived I was fully in the zone, bouncing on my ball, eyes closed with my partner counting me through each surge. The midwife observed me from a distance and was not intrusive at all, she made me feel relaxed and I welcomed her presence! She did not ask to do a VE as I had put in my birth preferences. Every time she checked our baby’s heartbeat it made me feel so calm and reassured.

At around 7:30pm my waters broke and there was old meconium in them. Although the midwife assured me this was nothing to worry about and our baby was totally fine, she recommended that we transferred in to hospital just incase. However, she made it clear that it was totally our choice and left us alone to make our decision. Babies heartbeat was fine and I was fine too, however my partner and I decided that a transfer would be best. I knew I did not want an ambulance transfer as I associated them with emergencies and didn’t want to feel stressed so we agreed for the midwife to take us in her car.

The car journey was testing- I was in the back seat on all fours with my headphones in and my positive affirmations on, mooing out the window as we made our way to hospital. My partner was in the front with the midwife and they were so reassuring and telling me how well I was doing the whole way there. I remember thinking that we were stopping at every red light on the way there and it felt like the longest journey of my life. I recall the midwife saying to my partner that with the change in my breathing and the mooing sounds I was making she knew I had reached the second stage of labour and I could feel the change in what my body was doing.

We arrived to the hospital at around 8:30pm and we were brought straight to the birthing pool. When we got into the room I went straight down to the floor on all fours and followed the movements of my hips whilst waiting on the pool to fill. My body had taken over. I got into the pool and the relief of the water was incredible. My partner put on our birthing soundtrack- I was safe again and able to relax follow my body’s lead. I allowed myself to change to the down breathing then as I had felt that in the car journey and whilst waiting on the pool filling my body just couldn’t quite let go. It was like instinctively my body knew it wasn’t safe just yet to birth our baby.

With every surge I was down breathing and the midwife was reassuring me and telling me to listen to my body. My partner held on to my hand and praised and encouraged me throughout. I was UFO in the water and I know this helped with my quick down stage. Our beautiful baby boy was born at 9:50pm, Just over one hour after arriving to hospital!

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That moment, when our baby was born I cannot express in words. The overwhelming love I felt when I lifted our baby up and out of the water and we became a family was hands down the most amazing experience of my life. 💙 I have never been more proud of myself for what I had just done, I couldn’t believe I did it- no pain relief and just my breathing!

My partner got to discover the sex of our baby and we had skin to skin, our golden hour as planned and delayed cord clamping.

My placenta came out when I got up to get out of the birthing pool after one push and I didn’t have any tears.

All 8lbs 7oz of our boy was perfect and his birth could not have went better regardless of the transfer. I cannot emphasise enough how thankful I am for the positive birth company and for all the ladies who’s positive stories made me trust my instincts as a mother and woman! My partner was my rock throughout and the digital pack equipped him and I both with the tools and knowledge of how to keep me calm and safe throughout! He really was the keeper of my cave and I couldn’t have done it without him!

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My birthing experience was so empowering and I am forever grateful to Siobhan.

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