Being a midwife, and expecting my third baby...
….. I thought I had my birth in the bag. I arrogantly sailed through my pregnancy thinking, “I have done this twice before and my births were textbook and I have seen hundreds of births, I know EXACTLY what I’m doing.”
Then BAM… 6 weeks prior to my due date, my labour started. I still thought at this point I totally had this but as my contractions continued my head just started to twirl and whirl with all the possibilities that I could be facing…
Was my baby going to be ok 6 weeks premature?
Were my other children going to be ok if I need to be in special care for a long time?
Were my colleagues going to see me naked or see me poo in labour? (The major downside of giving birth in your workplace!)
My mind had gone rogue, over thinking got the better of me as my adrenaline started to peak and my body started to respond to the imaginary dangers I was creating. This bodily response is something that we have in place from the stone age times- the fight or flight system- it worked back in the day when the fears that we had were very real… like sabre tooth tigers in our birth caves…a real life threat that would make our contractions slow down and labour stall to give time for us to find a safer place to birth our baby. Nowadays, it’s just our thoughts, imaginary fears and overthinking that can make this happen, which in my third birth contributed to my long labour.
My labour wasn’t just longer, I needed more pain relief drugs and I bled more than normal. I also felt more out of control and felt like I didn’t know how to calm myself down and get into the groove of labour, something that I had not struggled with doing before. Most importantly for me though, I look back on her birth with a bit of sadness, I didn’t feel empowered or strong afterwards which isn’t exactly how I wanted to feel stepping into motherhood with my new daughter. I wanted to feel powerful, or at the very least capable, like I could face any challenge with my newborn, but I didn’t feel that way.
This is something that I have not just experienced myself, it’s something that I see time and time again from working with Mums. Panic can take over- not always quaking-in-your-boots type panic- it’s often just the what-ifs that can make the difference. It’s not just about what happens during the birth, it’s how the birth makes you feel that is so important. The birth is your transition to being a mother, arguably the most important job you’ll ever have. It’s important that you start off your motherhood game, strong.
So as a self confessed birth nerd, I set out to learn more about why my birth effected me this time around. And during a 2am feed one night, I had the idea to build this antenatal and hypnobirthing course called The Bump to Baby Chapter, with the aim to fully prep those who are going to give birth so that Mums-to-be know exactly what they can do to have a great birth and step into motherhood the right way.
After just 1 year of the course we won The Best Pregnancy Support Service in the county. Winning the award was nothing compared to the many women who told me how the course had helped them have an amazing birth, feel in control, calm and fearless. Stepping into motherhood just how they had imagined…
To conclude my own birth story....
….I practised what I preached and used my own techniques for my fourth birth. With arguably more complications this time around with a “high-risk” pregnancy, I had the most healing, empowering, insanely wonderful birth I could have ever wanted.
This has just put more fire in my belly to spread the positive birth vibes across the UK and beyond. Which is why I have priced the course at the insanely low £27 (yes, really!)