Love reading positive birth stories? You’re in the right place! This birth story is with first time mum Amber. When Amber’s water broke it was evident that their was meconium in her waters. Initially, Amber worried about what this meant for her initial birth plan of wanting a water birth. Amber requested mobile monitoring and this was accommodated, and she was able to labour in the shower. Amber also used EBRAN to decide on the best pain relief to use during labour. Amber’s baby required some intervention towards the end of his delivery and his cord was cut quickly so he could receive some support from the birth team before being places on mum’s chest and allowing her to enjoy some infamous tea and toast.

The last few weeks of pregnancy are hard, but nothing prepares you for being overdue. The endless ‘any signs’ texts, the pineapples, bouncing, raspberry leaf tea and dates.

I’d been in early labour since 40+4 having on and off contractions but nothing seemed to progress. At 41 weeks I had my first sweep, I was feeling so optimistic, I was told I was 1cm dilated and she would book me in for another sweep at 41+2 but didn’t think I would need the appointment. I didn’t find the sweep uncomfortable, much like a smear test. The day after nothing had really changed, still having on and off contractions and I lost my plug.

Skip forward another 24 hours, I had my second sweep and my contractions were ramping up so I called the birth centre. ‘Take 2 paracetamol and sleep I was told’. I couldn’t bare the thought of resting and things slowing down again so my husband and I decided to keep moving and as active as possible.

At 8pm we went for a huge walk, came home I bounced some more and spent most of the evening lunging around our flat, finally going to bed at 11pm. Two hours later I woke up, needing to run to the bathroom. My waters had broken and I had the movie style gush, however this is where things changed, my waters were green and murky. I was devastated knowing my MLU and water birth dream was over. 

I called maternity triage who advised that I would have to birth in hospital as it sounded like baby had poo’d. This was it, I had to face my fear and set foot inside a hospital.

We arrived at the hospital at 2am, covid tests etc out the way, I was examined and was told I was 5cm and as soon as my midwife arrived I would be wheeled up to delivery suite. I asked for gas and air at this point as I was starting to feel uncomfortable. Just gone 3am we were wheeled up to delivery suite. I had discussed with my midwife how disappointed I was that I couldn’t have my water birth and that I didn’t want to be stuck on the bed due to continuous monitoring. She was amazing, understood completely how I felt and said she would be back in 10 mins. 10 mins passed and she arrived with a box on a strap. This telemetry box allowed them to monitor me all the time I was wearing it, as long as I didn’t get it wet I could labour in the shower! I spent the next 3.5 hours in the shower, moving the shower head around as I felt contractions coming and going, without the need for gas and air.

6:30 arrived and my back was so sore, I had always said I wouldn’t consider an epidural but at this point I could barely stand. I spoke to the midwife and she suggested ‘sterile water injections’. I’d never heard of them before but used EBRAN to understand the risks, complications etc. So the downside to sterile water injections is that they are just under the skin and you need 2 lots of 2 injections done one after the other and I was told it would feel like bee stings. That was no exaggeration, thank god for gas and air at this point. However as soon as they had been done the pain in my back disappeared.

At 7am there was a changeover of midwives meaning I now had one senior midwife and one student midwife. I was examined again and I was 7cm – wahooo. At 9am the consultant came round to see me and said they would examine me at 11am and she thought baby would be here by 1pm. At this point I was getting tired so laid on the bed on my side with a peanut ball. Things were really ramping up now, I was tired but the thought that my baby would be here in the next 4 hours kept me going. Just before 10am I asked to be examined as i felt the need to push. I was examined by the student midwife who was adamant I was still at 7cm, I was disheartened but also adamant that the baby was coming so asked to be examined again by the senior midwife. She confirmed I was 10cm and ready to push.

I listened intently to the midwives and pushed when they told me too and stopped when I was told too. I was absolutely petrified of tearing and needing stitches but listening to their instructions kept me focused. My husband screaming that he can see baby’s head, I birthed his head and suddenly my worst nightmare, all I heard was ‘there’s going to be a loud noise and a lot of people are going to come in’. My husband seemed to disappear to the back of the room as midwives and doctors entered. He had got stuck and needed to be pulled out. His cord was cut immediately so they could pop him on the emergency table and check him over.

The relief when I heard his cry was unlike anything I had felt before. I cried, my husband cried it was such a surreal moment.
They placed him on my chest and I instantly fell in love. 

I was extremely lucky and didn’t require any stitches or anything, I had a first degree graze. The midwives had said I followed every instruction they gave me and they believed this was the reason I got away without any tears 

After skin to skin and Arties first feed we were wheeled up to postnatal. My only gripe is that I wasn’t offered the famous post birth tea and toast

We spent our first evening together watching England in the euros before being discharged the following morning.

Baby Arthur

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