⭐️Positive birth story from a FTM – it’s a slightly long one! ⭐️ 

It’s taken me a little while to get round to writing this, but I’d like to introduce Isla Paige McDonagh, born via emergency c-section on 27 October at 1:55pm weighing 9lb 13oz.

My due date was 24 October, and I’d had an unsuccessful sweep 2 days before. I felt disappointed that things weren’t ideal, but I focussed on positive affirmations that I would meet my baby girl soon. The day after my due date, I’d noticed some very minimal leakage and this continued on and off until the Monday. I rang the assessment unit, who advised me to come in for an assessment in case my waters had broken. Baby was monitored and it was my hind waters that had broken. Because it had been over 24 hours since they had broken without going into labour, I had to be induced due to the risk of infection to me and baby. At this point, I had a little cry to the midwife, but I remembered my breathing techniques and asked questions to make sure I understood what was going to happen. I was given a pessary at 6pm and then managed to get some sleep (after watching the induction videos from the course to keep me calm) before going onto the hormone drip just after midnight. My contractions started pretty much straight away and I managed to cope with them by breathing calmly and thinking that every contraction was one closer to meeting my daughter. As they started to get a bit stronger, I moved onto gas and air and ensured that I was sitting upright and forward. 

As my contractions began to get stronger, I got a lot of pain in my lower back which meant that I couldn’t get comfy, and my midwife thought that baby had moved back to back as she was moving down. I managed on gas and air for a few hours until I opted for an epidural (not part of my birth plan), but using my learning from the course, I made the decision for an epidural so that I would remain calm and relaxed during labour instead of tense. My husband arrived just after I’d had my epidural and I continued to dilate well (I ended up at 9cm dilated in the end) and I managed to get some sleep which was a relief! 

Every so often, baby wasn’t coping well with the contractions. I then had an allergic reaction to one of the antibiotics and when I was sleeping, Isla’s heart rate was erratic and she was getting more distressed. After discussing options with the midwives and consultant it was decided that an emergency c-section was the best way forward – this wasn’t my ideal birth plan, but I was able to remain confident that we’d meet our baby soon. The team were fantastic, explaining their roles whilst they were setting up the theatre. Unfortunately, my epidural top up didn’t work quick enough, so I ended up under general anaesthetic. My husband was able to give Isla her first feed of colostrum whilst I was in recovery, and then I was able to meet my baby girl. The midwife was able to help me with skin to skin and to start breastfeeding – something I’ll never forget how amazing it felt. We ended up having 2 nights in hospital after my c-section and so Isla and I could be treated for infection, so whilst it was slightly rubbish being away from my husband, the midwives were amazing at helping me establish breastfeeding and thank goodness for being able to FaceTime people! Whilst the birth wasn’t the one I’d hoped for, the knowledge I’d gained from the course helped me massively at each stage to know I was doing the best thing for me and baby.

For more information about The Bump to Baby Chapter’s Hypnobirthing and Antenatal Online Course. Know what you can do to stack the odds in your favour for the birth that you want. Videos, checklists, audios & a support group all created by a midwife to get you feeling excited, prepared and confident for birth.