Birth story - Thea and baby boy

A little bit of background.

I was very anxious about the birth during my pregnancy as my first experience with my son was not how I wanted, on the labour ward. The hypnobirthing course helped me realise what went ‘wrong’ - feeling out of control and not listened to, that my wishes weren’t respected and things said by an unempathetic midwife that made me feel I had made a fuss. I believe things would have been different had I known about hypnobirthing the first time around and if I had known what my body was doing and how to ask the right questions and stick up for myself.

Fast forward almost 3 years... My first was born at 41.1 so I was fully expecting another couple of weeks wait but I was feeling ready. At 38 weeks 6 days I had a normal day feeling tired after having had a cold for a few days and not sleeping well. At 6.45pm I breastfed my toddler and felt a ‘pop’ and when I went to the loo noticed a trickle of my waters and told my boyfriend this could be it but since I wasn’t feeling anything he should probably still go to his work meeting... but he decided to stay home (I’m glad he did!). We put our son to bed together and I had a lovely cuddle with him as he went to sleep and felt a couple of very mild surges. When I came downstairs I had a wobble of anxiety over what could go wrong and having to go to the labour ward again but we lit candles and went over the course notes together as I bounced on my ball. I was feeling period pain type sensations and mild surges quite far apart. I had made some affirmation bunting with friends and wondered around the house reading them which made me feel really positive again.

Around 7:45 I took some paracetamol and Tom decided to blow up the birth pool. I went upstairs to lie down and listen to some relaxations. I felt really restless and the surges were getting stronger although far apart so I got up and sat on the side of the bed rocking back and forth. I started thinking of all the women who had birthed before me throughout history supporting me and found this so reassuring. I closed my eyes and listened to relaxations and got into the zone 🙂 I imagined a golden thread, hot air balloons or blowing out dandelion seeds alongside the up breathing. The surges were about every 10 mins ish but were quite strong. I felt so happy and relaxed at this point.

About 8:30 I decided to get in the bath and regretted it as I felt very uncomfortable and my high faded. Tom was popping back and forth from doing the pool and I told him I was struggling as it was so early on and I was so uncomfortable already. He decided to call his mum to come and pick up our son even though I felt it would be some time yet.

After they left at 9pm the surges seemed to suddenly get intense. I had no problem breathing through them and felt a lot better getting out of the bath but mentally I was feeling a bit anxious again and unsure what to do with myself. Tom was still going up and down the stairs doing the pool and I was feeling a lot of pressure low down. During my first labour I wanted to move constantly but I couldn’t seem to get comfortable at all. I needed a wee so went to sit on the loo and then felt like I couldn’t move as I was a lot more comfortable there.

This must have been around 9:30. Tom felt it was a good time to call the midwives, although I was saying it was too early as the surges weren’t 3 in 10 (even though I think they probably were!) but soon enough I found it hard to string words together and forgot about timing surges completely. Somewhere around this time my body just started pushing. Again I felt anxiety that when the midwives arrived they would want me to move from the loo and stop pushing and I wouldn’t be able to, and I was worried about them wanting to examine me (something I felt stalled my first labour). I remember telling Tom I was having trouble staying on green and he repeated some affirmations to me. I found ‘trust your body’ and ‘I welcome these sensations’ some of the best ones and tried to repeat them to myself between surges/pushes. I was increasingly in the zone and with each surge my body was pushing which felt incredible, this uncontrollable urge I hadn’t experienced the first time around. Although I was thinking of the down breathing what I needed to do was roar like a tiger as it felt really good!

40 minutes after Tom called, a midwife arrived and asked me to lean back slightly so she could have a feel and she said she could feel baby. Cue lights on and slightly panicked call to the other midwife just outside the door (apparently she hadn’t been told that I was pushing already), she also made some comments about being in such a cramped space but I had my eyes shut and concentrated on breathing and feeling calm. The midwife listened into baby and said the heartbeat was dipping slightly but again I just shut my eyes and said to myself that everything was fine and concentrated on breathing. I was worried I wouldn’t be able to move but I took Tom and the midwife’s hand and stood up and knelt on a cushion next to the bath. As I stood up I could feel baby between my legs. In a couple of surges (and loud roars from me) he was born at 10:26, 10 minutes after the midwife arrived and probably within 2 hours of active labour. The midwife was surprised as she saw his ear first rather than his face - he was in such a hurry he came out slightly sideways. The 2nd midwife arrived 10 minutes later. I had the injection for the placenta (due to a low platelet count) and cut the cord after it had stopped pulsing while my partner took a breath in the bedroom. I was very shakey but it felt amazing to be holding my baby! I only had a couple of grazes and one minor tear that didn’t need stitching. I had a quick shower then got into my own bed and had tea and twiglets while I cuddled my baby and he had a feed. That was one of the best bits!

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I couldn’t have felt happier even though I didn’t set foot in the pool... I spent the whole night awake grinning looking at my baby and thinking of how it all went. The only thing I wish I could change is my spikes of anxiety about the unknown, but every time I thought to trust my body and get out of my head, to let go and welcome the surges this helped massively, I really think that was the key. Thank you so much to the positive birth company for empowering me to mentally prepare for and have the birth I wanted. I’m a thorough hypnobirthing convert and have been telling everyone about it 😊

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