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Vic’s Story

Vic’s Story

#MeetTheTeam This is Vic…. she is the newest member of TBTBC squad and has been doing lots of behind the scenes bits and bobs. Here is her story ❤️

I thought it was about time I removed my head from the sand and came to say hello!

My name is Vic and for the last 8 weeks I have had the pleasure of working with this amazing business (and Beth) behind the scenes.

And I’ll tell you why I took the job…

Late in 2019 I reluctantly took this course thinking it probably wasn’t going to be for me! I thought, F*ck it… it’s only £34, I’d actually spent more on a (totally useless) decorative teepee for my unborn baby!

As I started bingeing the videos I realised that it was not AT ALL what I was expecting.

I thought there would definitely be guided meditation, I was almost certain the woman doing the course would be smoking crack and wearing a poncho, but I couldn’t have been more wrong, I had absolutely no idea just how valuable I would find this course.

At 34 weeks my waters broke (in Homesense of all places!) but I wasn’t afraid, not even a little bit. I felt ready, excited and totally at ease with what was happening to my body.

After a little wait, I delivered at 36weeks in 1hour 11mins and it was the most incredible experience of my life. And not a tear in sight… knowledge really is power!

Now, maybe it’s coincidence, or maybe that was actually the best £34 I had ever spent?! Who knows. But what I do know is, that I was lucky enough to fall pregnant in July 2020 and my first port of call was my Bump to Baby Chapter login!

⚠️Sensitive content ⚠️

The scans I had at 10 and 12 weeks had me super pumped to embark on this “two under two” journey. We were very excited and felt overjoyed at our happy plans ahead.

However, on 30th October 2020 at a private gender screening, we were delivered the shattering news of our baby’s death.

At 16 weeks and 3 days my world stopped as I saw my lifeless baby on the screen. That’s it, we were part of that life altering 1 in 4 statistic and victims of a rare late, missed miscarriage.

I’ll cut to the chase.

After this day and many harrowing ones that followed, I decided that I wanted to make a difference. It was cathartic to go over and over this ground, it was like therapy and helping people made me so happy.

Call it fate or whatever, but Beth was looking for some help growing this amazing business and I had what she needed skill wise, it was the perfect storm.

I’ll fill you in with more about what I actually do in the next update and a bit more about my birth experiences delivering my (almost) term baby in an hour!

But for now, I just want you to know that if you’re on the fence… don’t buy that crappy teepee, take the course! It will be the best £34 you’ve ever spent. I promise 💪🏻

bit.ly/Dontbuytheteepee

Wishing you all a wonderful day ❤️
Love as always
Vic xx

Sarah’s Planned Cesarean

Sarah’s Planned Cesarean

Love reading positive birth stories? You’re in the right place! This positive birth story is with Sarah who hoped to have a waterbirth. However, her baby was breech and ECV was unsuccessful, so she opted for a planned cesarean and describes it as “the most amazing experience” .

Like many, my birth ‘plan’ was to have spontaneous labour, a water birth and to nail it using just breathing and gas/air.Mister man had different ideas though and was frank breech from 33 weeks. We researched anything that may help to turn him, and began with holistic methods – we did moxibustion most nights, along with any and all inversions! (see Spinning Babies website).

After being given our options by the hospital (C section no ECV, C section if needed after ECV, or risky vaginal birth) we used EBRAN (multiple times in every which way) to decide what was best for us.We opted to try the ECV as I was determined to try everything possible to turn baby. 

I felt quite anxious ahead of the procedure and had been using my breathing techniques and relaxation audios to prepare and calm my overactive mind. This being said, I also felt positive and totally in control in that it was our choice, and it was a choice we had both fully considered and were informed about (I’m a research nerd who reads up excessively). The staff at the hospital were amazing and once I was there, I got fully in the zone with my breathing techniques and my husband remarked how unphased I was – down mainly to the controlled breathing.I had 2 doctors try to turn baby and I’ll be frank (no pun intended ), it was the most uncomfortable and painful experience I’ve had. I opted not to try gas and air when it was offered midway, but this was an option. 

Controlled breathing was invaluable in remaining calm (along with crushing my husband’s hand) – the consultant felt she could try for 17 minutes as I was apparently tolerating it so well !Whilst it was unsuccessful, I felt really proud of myself and happy that we’d tried that avenue.

There was part of me that (ridiculously) felt like I was ‘failing’ if I couldn’t deliver my baby naturally and it took me some time to get my head round having a C section. Through the course, I’d been visualising so many different birth scenarios and imagining all the different outcomes… when it came to it, I was gutted I may not get my spontaneous, natural labour I’d hoped for. Having said this, after the failed ECV, we finalised our birth preferences and felt entirely in control of the situation and indescribably excited!! We saw all the positives in our new plan and after being given a date for the section, we had some fun with our families with them placing wagers on what day baby would be worn.

The actual cesarean was  T H E  most amazing experience. It felt like all the Christmas Days in one!Again, I used my breathing techniques (more the night before actually) to control my nerves of the unknown, but the staff were so amazing and reassuring from start to finish, it ended up feeling like I was in surgery with a bunch of friends! Huge thanks to GRH.

Despite it being a planned C section, we still wrote some birth preferences; one of which was to drop the drapes as soon as possible. I’ll never forget the moment I saw my little boy’s bum enter the world …Swiftly followed by his beautiful head which was momentarily stuck near my ribs! This immediately explained why the ECV was unsuccessful.

He was quite sleepy initially and needed waking to feed, and along with my flat nips, he was struggling to latch effectively. Despite desperately wanting to get home, I chose to stay in hospital an extra night for more support with breastfeeding, and this was the best decision I could have made. Once home and feeling more confident, he was latching like a trooper and still so far so good. Not a sore nip in sight amazingly.

Even if your birth ‘idea’ doesn’t go quite the way you envisaged, using hypnobirthing tools and having the right positive mindset means you can still feel so empowered and in control.

Click the link 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.

Hannah’s Positive Waterbirth

Hannah’s Positive Waterbirth

This positive birth story is with Hannah’s first baby. Baby Ada arrived at 39 weeks and 2 days following a waterbirth on a Maternity Led Birth Unit.

I am so excited to be able to finally write my own birth story, I have been waiting so long and have been so curious to know how my birth would go! I joined this group when I was only 12 weeks pregnant and have loved and appreciated reading all of your stories. I genuinely believe reading them was the best thing I did to prepare for birth, it helped me understand that birth can happen in so many different ways and still have happy mummas and babies at the end of it. So I won’t apologise for how long my birth story is, because I loved reading the long ones! 

On Tuesday 16th March I was officially on my second day of maternity leave, I had chilled out after a busy last week of work and was already getting impatient to meet our little one!  I was worried it would be weeks more of waiting, but luckily it wasn’t! I had a fairly odd first sign of labour – lots of farting on Tuesday evening 😂 which was accompanied with some lower abdominal pain that I just assumed was wind related! By the time we went to bed it was getting a bit painful, but I still thought it was wind. At 11:30AM the pain was enough to wake me up/stop me sleeping and I realised it was coming in very regularly waves every 7 minutes or so. This, plus the bloody show and some diarrhoea, convinced me it was the real deal starting, but I thought it could all still take days! 

I knew I should try and rest, but couldn’t get to sleep so I gave up at 5AM and a day of waiting and trying to distract myself from contractions began! Luckily, my husband Will took the day off work so he could help me with this, and contractions aside (which stayed regular throughout) we had a great day. We stayed very busy with ‘early labour activities’ including making Mary Berry’s hot cross buns, watching the cricket, attempting an ambitious Japanese garden puzzle and two separate trips to the local park for a walk!

At around 4pm we called MLBU to check we were doing the right things- at this point contractions were about 3 in 12/13 minutes and I could still speak through them (although I didn’t want too). The midwife, advised us to stay home till the famous ‘can’t talk through’ and 3 in 10 minute contractions arrived. All day I had been pretty worried about how long and drawn out the labour was going to be and how I would cope with birth if I couldn’t sleep through days of labour! Looking back I find it really hard to distinguish when the contractions ramped up/changed, but by the evening they were becoming quite hard work 😅 I had my TENS machine on (loved the boost button!) and I was really needing the breathing to help me stay calm. At some point my husband convinced me to have some plain pasta for dinner and we went for another (much slower) walk to Tesco to buy some bread as a distraction (random I know). We must have looked pretty odd as by this point, to cope with contractions, I had to literally hold onto my husband and have him help count me through my breathing. I had 4 contractions on the way to Tesco and one inside! We were laughing in between though, as it’s so odd to be coping with such a strong contraction one minute and then feeling fine and strolling along to Tesco the next! 

I told my husband to try and get some sleep and even though I couldn’t sleep, that I would try and ‘rest’ between contractions downstairs. It didn’t really work, I was so tired by this point, but would jolt awake with every contraction. So at around 00:30AM I woke him up to help me with the contractions and we decided to call the MLBU again. The problem was that although my contractions were now definitely very intense and I could not talk through them, they were still 3 in 12 not the magic 3 in 10! So the midwife, Linda, advised us to try and wait it out a bit longer at home to really get in established labour and advised me to have a shower etc. I took the TENS machine off to have a shower and I’m not sure which of these changes did it, but suddenly my contractions were coming a lot more regularly and were even more intense, to the point I really needed to be hanging on to my husband to remotely cope with them. At 1:20am we called the MLBU and said we were coming in! Not really sure how we made it to be honest, my husband managed to get me dressed and get everything loaded into the car while coaching me through every, now very regular, contraction, he was a real hero! I think I went through the transition phase while still at home, as I remember being at the top of the stairs telling him the classic ‘I can’t do this’ and thinking if I get to MLBU and I’m 1cm I need a C-section! I remember mooing a bit to cope with contractions and definitely started to feel pushing/pressure, which I didn’t tell my husband.

I am super proud of myself for coping with the 20 minute car journey to the hospital, I managed to brace myself off the seat a little to deal with the ‘pushing’ feeling and did my up breathing the whole time, even between the contractions, with my eyes firmly shut and we managed to get there.

We made it to the MLBU at 2am and were greeted by Heather a lovely student midwife. Her and Linda watched one contraction, which I was now fully not coping with and then offered me gas and air. Wow, that stuff works, the first contraction with gas and air was so manageable, the contrast to the last one without it made it seem like an absolute breeze. Linda asked me if I wanted a pool birth, which I hadn’t been sure about before, but said I wanted to try for pain relief and luckily she managed to fill it up in time! I think from the state of me, Linda said she was happy not to examine me and let me go with my body, but after spending so long convincing myself I might only be 1cm dilated, I wanted to know. I was over the moon when she told me I was 10cm!! We had somehow managed it all at home, I was so relieved and so proud of us. 
After this we got straight in the pool, luckily my new best friend ‘gas and air’ could come with me for this, and combined with the water it really was comforting for the pain and pressure/pushing. Those pushing contractions really are amazing, I can’t explain how intense the feeling and pressure is. It felt like no time at all had passed while I was in the pool, pushing on all fours, before I could feel that her head was pretty near to coming out. I had used an aniball to try and prepare for birth, so although a baby’s head is obviously very different, I could tell that something was near to coming out of my vagina and remember feeling some hair!!

This part is all a bit of blur to me, but I my husband reckons I had 3 or 4 contractions with the head crowning. With lots of encouragement from Will, Heather and Linda I managed to push her head out, then had a little 2 second panic because that bit hurt, but managed to calm down enough to push her body out before the end of the contraction (felt like she flew out compared to her head ). And then it was just amazing, all of a sudden our little baby girl who we had been waiting so long to meet, was just there in the water all pink and healthy with big dark eyes and lots of dark hair. Truly amazing. She had her cord round her neck, but Linda sorted this out in seconds and then I was just holding her and she was crying (enough for us to know she was okay, but not enough to be stressful ). I had the injection for the placenta, Will cut her cord then we were out of the pool and sat on the bed cuddling her in no time. Honestly, amazing. I think there was nearly an issue with my placenta, as it took the midwives three attempts to get it out, but they managed it and remained very calm throughout!

During this time Linda said she thought there might be a clitoral tear and would get a doctor to come and look at it. Pre-birth I had been absolutely petrified of tearing, hence the aniball, but honestly I could not feel any pain from this tear, however painful the name sounds! Linda said she thought it had happened because Ada had her hand up by her head when she came out. I was pretty scared to have it repaired, I had to go to a different room and sit in one of those glamorous stirrup chairs, but Will and Ada were allowed to come with me and with gas and air and local anaesthetic injections, I honestly couldn’t feel a thing. Apparently, I only had 3 stitches in total. They have really been fine, I don’t like the idea of them, but I really can’t feel them and they don’t cause any pain when I go to the loo, so I feel pretty lucky really. I also had no perineal tears, not sure if this was luck or aniball or a bit of both.

We were hoping to be able to go home a few hours later, but as the midwives had seen only one successful breastfeeding session, they advised I should go to the postnatal ward for the day to get some sleep and more feeding help. This would mean that Will had to go home and leave me and Ada for a few hours because COVID rules meant partners were only allowed during visiting hours. To be honest I lost the plot at this and was hysterically crying, I was so emotional, overwhelmed and tired and I couldn’t believe that after going through something as intense as birth and needing Will’s help and support so much, that he was going to have to leave us. So I have big respect to you ladies who had to spend longer in hospital in a pandemic, can’t be easy! I didn’t manage to sleep on the ward as I arrived at around 10AM and it was pretty loud, but there were some lovely midwives who did help me with feeding and we were finally discharged at 7pm. As much as I didn’t want to go to the ward and was annoyed it added another 9 hours of no sleep to my lack of sleep in labour, we are now a week in and breastfeeding is going really well (Ada had only lost 40g from her birth when she was weighed at Day 5), so it was probably worth it!

We have been having the best time since we brought Ada home, can’t believe how much we love her already, we are both spending a lot of time just staring at her. It really is amazing what your body can do, I can’t get over that I pushed a small human out of me and then could go for a walk the next day. Amazing. I’m not sure what I thought labour would be like compared to what it was, it really is an intense thing, although maybe mine could have been a little less dramatic if I had got to the MLBU a bit earlier. It’s funny how the things I was worried about in labour really weren’t issues at all, I can’t express how little I cared (at the time and now) about things like the tear and pooing in the pool that I worried about pre-labour. It’s all just so worth it. I’m super proud of myself for surviving till 10cm at home and then for pushing a baby out. I will never forget how brilliant Linda and Heather were and all the other midwives who helped with feeding etc. And I’m so grateful and proud of my husband for being the best birth partner imaginable, he keeps telling me he didn’t do much, but I know I could not have given birth without him!

Want to feel confident, calm and prepared for all types of births? Check out The Bump to Baby Chapter’s Hypnobirthing and Antenatal Online Course. Created by midwife Beth, covering how to stack the odds in your favour to get the birth that you want, and also how to feel calm and prepared for every birth journey! Videos, checklists, audios & a support group mto get you feeling excited, prepared and confident for birth. Knowledge is Power!!

What are the pros and cons of an epidural?

What are the pros and cons of an epidural?

Epidural anaesthesia is a local anaesthetic that’s injected between two vertebra in your back. It usually removes all pain and most feeling from the waist down.

The epidural anaesthetic numbs the nerves that carry the pain impulses from the birth canal to the brain. It shouldn’t make you sick or drowsy.


• For most women (around 90%), an epidural gives complete pain relief. For the other 10%, women may still feel patches on one side from their contractions. And out of these 10%, a further 10% of women will have their epidural resited for it to work effectively.


• An anaesthetist is the only person who can give an epidural, so it won’t be available at home or on a midwifery led unit. It’s only available on a consultant led unit.

• While you sit up in a curled position (think banana back or like an angry cat!), an anaesthetist will clean your back with antiseptic (this spray is COLD 🥶 !). The anaesthetist will then use a small needle to numb the area where the epidural will be inserted, with some local anaesthetic.

The anaesthetist will then site the epidural by putting a needle in your back, and the passing a small tube through the needle. The small tube will then stay in your back and the needle comes out. The small tube is then taped securely to your back.

The epidural drugs are then carried down this tube to the space in your back. This provides most women with total comfort.

A couple of things to note…

  • You may feel mild discomfort, pressure or tingling when the epidural needle is positioned.
  • Let your anaesthetist know if you’re having a contraction, and they’ll pause for it to finish.
  • It can take about 15-20 minutes to put in. Sometimes, it can take longer if the anaesthetist has trouble finding the correct space in your back. The angry cat position really helps speed up the process!
  • It can take a further 15-20 minutes for the drugs to start making a difference.
  • It’s advisable for baby’s heart rate to be continuously monitored for at least 30 minutes after. This means having a belt around your abdomen and possibly a clip attached to the baby’s head. This is because having an epidural can make your blood pressure drop.
  • You’ll be advised to have a cannula put in prior to your epidural for the same reason.

BENEFITS

  • It is the only drug for pain relief in labour that is an anaesthetic, which means that in 90% of epidurals, total relief from contractionsis achieved.
  • It doesn’t effect how you feel compared to the other drugs. You are fully “with it” with an epidural. Other pain relief can make you feel woozy 🥴

Side effects of epidurals in labour

  • You may find it difficult to empty your bladder with an epidural on board. If so, a small tube called a catheter may be put into your bladder to help you. This would be an “In/Out” catheter so won’t need to stay in.
  • Drop in blood pressure, this can make you feel nauseous.
  • Itchy skin
  • An epidural may make your legs feel heavy, depending on how strong the block is. This can mean that movement is limited. I would encourage you to use a peanut ball to help keep your pelvis open.


▪️ Epidurals can prolong labour, for an average of 2 hours.

▪️ If you can no longer feel your contractions, the midwife will tell you when to push.

There is an increased chance of having an instrumental birth with an epidural. Because of a contribution of the above 3 bullet points (lack of movement, prolonged pushing, unable to feel contractions)

TOP TIPS

When you have an epidural, your midwife will advise you to wait for 2 hours from the time you are fully dilated. This is to allow baby’s head to come down through the pelvis just from your contractions and not pushing. So that when you start pushing, your pushing baby from a lower point in your pelvis. This is done to reduces the higher chance of an instrumental delivery that having an epidural brings.
I’d also really recommend a peanut ball to help open your pelvis in labour. You can also still change positions regularly with an epidural even if you can’t walk or stand on your legs. Think, lying on your side, sitting right up, or leaning over the back of the bed. This will help baby’s travels through your pelvis.

RISKS

1 in 100 women have a dural tap headache post natally from an epidural. It can be extremely painful, but it can be treated.

1 in 10,000 women can have nerve damage from an epidural.

All pain relief options are covered in The Birth Chapter online course. Covering all antenatal education birth topics & Hypnobirthing with midwife Beth, to help you prepare for a positive birth in all birth situations.

Belle’s Positive Homebirth Story

Belle’s Positive Homebirth Story

During my first labour, I was a rabbit in the head lights. It left me feeling I couldn’t do it again. However, after friends had positive experiences with Beth’s course, I felt I could if I used hypnobirthing.
It was great to have the videos to watch over many evenings with my husband and to be able to talk them through. I knew a home birth (given pandemic and my first experience) made me feel best and I felt prepared to push for this if needed, as I was consultant led until the end.

On the Friday, I woke up to my ‘show’. I didn’t want to get too excited so baked, rested, went for a walk to keep baby in a good position. By tea time, we knew it was game on as the ‘show’ kept coming and pains grew, so we set up front room with the pool, lavender in diffuser, lay my birth plan out (a printable from Beth), stuck up my encouraging photos and mantras (Beth’s ‘you can do anything for 60secs’ was very useful). The contractions were every 10-12 minutes so we went to bed to try to rest in between. Through each one, I used the 4/7 breathing method and kept my hands open as Beth taught. I kept viewing the contraction pains as positive as they were getting me closer to meeting my daughter. My husband and I discussed what would happen if the night took a turn and I had to go to hospital, focusing on ‘control what you can and let go of what you can’t’ that we learnt on the course. As the pain increased, I took some paracetamol and moved to using my Tens machine which I found helped hugely. It also seemed to quicken the contractions (or coincided with this) so they became every 2-3 minutes, meaning at 1:30am we rang the hospital. By this point, contractions were best coped with stood up. I started on my isotonic drink as I didn’t feel like eating my energy snacks.

The first midwife arrived at 3am. Because I seemed so calm during contractions, she said she expected to send the second one home for a while. However, when she checked me at 3:30am, I was 7cm with waters ready to break, which she admitted she wasn’t expecting and I felt proud of how I was doing, following Beth’s tips. My husband got to filling the pool (with saucepans and a bucket after the hose wouldn’t connect, but I didn’t panic and kept with the breathing and swaying to my playlist). I asked when I’d be checked again, but the midwife said they’d go by how I progressed so I realised this would be about listening to and trusting my body – which is what I wanted. I started on the gas and air one of the midwives brought from the hospital, and using that with the Tens – and dancing of all things – really helped when waiting for my waters to break. I used my husband as a leaning post during a contraction, which helped a lot too. Beth’s story about wanting photos has resonated with me, so I asked my husband and the midwives to do the same for me.

My contractions built, and with one I felt the pressure grow and release as my waters burst. I knew my baby was almost here then so got into the pool, leaning over the side of it on my knees to stay UFO – trying to breathe and bear down as I felt her coming. I definitely got the sting and ring of fire, but kept using the gas and air and breathing, with my husband supporting me, because I didn’t want to push her head out until my body told me to. Her heart rate dropped so they said I needed to get her out on the next contraction, which I did by listening to my body and bearing down, pushing with all my might.

Faith came out in one go at 5:11am, weighing 6lb11oz. I enjoyed holding her in the water, loving talking to her, but then felt my placenta pushing so got out of the pool as I needed the placenta birthed ‘on land’ as I wanted it encapsulated. My husband treasured his skin-to-skin time whilst I was doing that. 

Afterwards, a midwife checked to see if I needed stitches but no tears at all! I felt pleased about the use of the water, listening to my body and the perineum massage I’d been doing in the weeks leading up to the birth. I’d had an episiotomy with my first, and felt that was because I was labouring on my back, not knowing any different. As one of the midwives went to leave, she called me a warrior and that will stay with me forever, knowing I proved to myself that I could have a positive birth!

I just want to say though, to any expectant parents, that I pushed myself too hard during the next few days, and ended up with fatigue due to a pre-existing medical condition and in hospital for tests. Be kind to yourself. I should’ve taken more of the advice on Beth’s notes there about recovery time! The body has just got through a marathon! 

Nevertheless, my husband said that this course helped him so much after the pandemic cut him off from appointments and being able to ask his own questions. This course enabled me to have the positive birth I wanted and to feel empowered to make decisions and use my voice. I’m forever grateful!

Want to feel confident, calm and prepared for all types of births? Check out The Bump to Baby Chapter’s Hypnobirthing and Antenatal Online Course. Created by midwife Beth, covering how to stack the odds in your favour to get the birth that you want, and also how to feel calm and prepared for every birth journey! Videos, checklists, audios & a support group mto get you feeling excited, prepared and confident for birth. Knowledge is Power!!