Birth story - Sian and baby Ace

As a FTM I was offered a sweep at 40 weeks and 40+4. I used my BRAIN and refused both, but accepted the midwife making a booking of an induction at 40+12. Induction was my only fear and I spent a long time reading all your positive induction stories to fully prepare myself and arranged a date weekend with hubby to have something to look forward to!

In the meantime I spent my days taking slow walks, long baths listening to relaxation scripts and re-watching the whole online course. I’d been drinking raspberry leaf tea and eating 6 dates a day since 36 weeks (because you just never know!) and booked for alternative induction methods- clary sage foot massage and acupuncture at 41+5.

I personally believe the acupuncture got things moving! I could feel baby moving downwards during the entire session and within 16 hours I’d lost my plug. Thinking we had days to go yet, hubby and I headed out for dinner just in case we didn’t make it to going out at the weekend! By the time we got home I’d had my bloody show. We settled in to watch The Apprentice and by 10pm gentle surges kicked in. They started at 30 seconds long and every 2-5 minutes, but I could easily talk and breathe through them- in fact hubby didn’t even have a clue it has started whilst I secretly timed them!

Knowing it could take hours, I headed to bed with a plan of watching all our favourite films on my ball the following day whilst things got going. Little did I know we wouldn’t get that far! Surges continued at 30 seconds to 1 minute long every 2-3 minutes. Knowing our midwives at our local freestanding birth centre ask for you to call at ‘two in ten lasting one minute’ we called at 1am just to give them a heads up. There is also only space for one mum at a time at the birth centre and I wanted to prepare myself in case we couldn’t deliver there. As I could still talk through them she said I could be days away and to stop timing them- easier said than done!!

By 4.30am I’d had a bath, bounced on my ball, cranked up the tens machine and listened to my affirmations more times than I can imagine!! We pushed through until 6am and phoned again- letting hubby do the talking this time. She agreed to come out to see me, but said it still sounded like I was hours away. On arrival she still felt the same way, and said I didn’t necessarily need an examination but I could have one if I wished. For the first of many times today I used my BRAIN and asked for one- and a good job I did- I was 7cm!!!

We quickly made our way to the birth centre a 10 minute drive away and had to wait an hour whilst the pool was filled and heated. Candles out, favourite tunes on and my positive affirmation cards to hand, I continued to breathe through the surges. Within half an hour in the pool, my waters released and we discovered baby had passed meconium and after another examination I was found to still be 7cm. I have no doubt that the transfer from home to the centre slowed my progress down, I already missed my ‘nest’. Once again we used our ‘BRAIN’ and agreed to be transferred to the local hospital around 5 miles away. As much as I’d hoped for a water birth with one of the small team of Midwives I’d had since day one, this was the most sensible option.

So off we went, blue lighted via ambulance to hospital- not because of an ‘emergency’ but as I could feel my body baring down and they wanted to make sure we made it in time!!
We certainly did have time- the journey again slowed me down even with Siobhan and Hollie De Cruz’s voices in my earphones the entire time! Luckily for me, one of the birth centre midwives, who also teaches hypnobirthing, was covering a shift at the hospital and was assigned to me!! This was the massive shift we needed and I am sure being with her is the sole reason my birth continued in a positive way.

The room was small, with just a bed and the morning sun scorching through the thin curtains- very different to what I’d hoped- but regular spritz of Liquid Yoga and my own playlist made the world of difference.
The next examination found I was not only still 7cm but baby had turned his head and my cervix was now thicker on one side- and the senior nurse promptly told me I had 2 hours to birth or I’d be straight on the syntocinon drip. With my midwives help, I got UFO (after having to be monitored on the bed on arrival) opted for gas and air and we made it our mission to avoid that. Within half an hour we’d done it- and finally reached fully dilated!

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About an hour or so of body lead pushing, gas and air and down breathing later, our big boy arrived! We did need a paediatrician on hand and was told I may not be allowed delayed cord clamping, but he certainly used his lungs on arrival and luckily was found to be absolutely fine! Leaving us to have cuddles and for us to wait until the cord stopped pulsating completely.

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BRAIN came into play again when it came to my Placenta. I’d of preferred a natural third stage but accepted the injection. What didn’t seem like long later, the senior nurse decided it wasn’t budging and informed me I’d be having a spinal and be off to theatre shortly. I remembered reading about how the body will begin to surge again when it’s ready to release and tried to stop my panic rising from the thought of ending in theatre. Shortly after I mentioned feeling nauseous and the need to push again, and with my midwives help, the Placenta came away. We’d done it!! Lucky as I’d decided to have mine encapsulated, which on day 6 I would highly recommend!

So, not the calm water birth in a darkened room at the birth centre I’d hoped for, but thanks to using up and down breathing, focusing on ‘breathing in oxytocin and out adrenaline’ and using my BRAIN it was still the most positive of births and I’d do it again in a heart beat. Siobhan, I cannot thank you enough for creating this course xxx

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