Anne’s Birth Story

Anne’s Birth Story

In the evening of Monday 13th January, 6 days before my due date, I felt a few twinges along with mild cramps and instantly felt a mixture of excitement and nerves that this could be the start. Everyone had predicted that my baby would be early and with him measuring 2 weeks ahead I thought this must be it. Following our hypnobirthing class and everything we learnt at our weekly antenatal classes we made everything cosy with our oil diffuser, candles and playlist I had created. By 11pm I decided to go to bed and hoped that I’d be woken in the night or early morning with contractions. I woke up the next morning and all of the cramping from the night before had totally disappeared so I told my husband to go into work as normal and that I’d call him if anything happened. This continued for the following 7 days- every evening thinking it was all about to happen followed by nothing the next morning. I had started to think that it was never going to happen when our due date of 19th January came and went.

At my routine 40 week midwife appointment on Tuesday 21st January I asked for a stretch and sweep to see if this may start things off for me. I had read many horror stories about the procedure but decided to put on a brave face and give it a go! I can honestly say that I barely felt anything and it was over in less than one minute. I was very pleased to hear that I was around 1-2cm dilated already and my cervix had thinned – a relief that the week of on and off mild cramps hadn’t been pointless. My midwife warned that I may experience some bleeding and have some period pain like cramps that evening due to the procedure. She booked me in to have a repeat stretch and sweep for 4 days later as she said often the first doesn’t necessarily result in going into labour. I went home and spent the evening on the sofa in my pyjamas with cramping as she had warned me of. The following morning, on Wednesday 22nd January, I woke up at 4am with what felt like braxton hicks contractions like I had experienced each evening so far. But this was different, it was the morning and I just had a feeling inside that this was it. Maybe the stretch and sweep had worked after all and that the cramping the evening before had been the start.

I decided to take a hot shower whilst my husband slept and to take it from there. By 6am I woke my husband to let him know and told him that I didn’t think he’d be going into work. We started to time the contractions as they felt quite frequent and realised that they were around every 6 minutes and lasting around 30-60 seconds. The TENS machine I’d hired worked brilliantly to ease the contractions. After calling into the birth unit we were advised to stay home as long as possible so spent the morning bouncing on my ball, keeping mobile around the house and making sure we had everything ready to go. At 11am my waters broke which was a huge shock to me as everyone I knew had told me that theirs hadn’t gone until near the end. I cried in this moment as I think it finally sank in that this WAS it. We called the birth unit again and they told us to go in.

On our way into the hospital I felt excited and calm rather than scared and I can honestly say this was purely down to all that I had learnt through hypnobirthing. Positive mental attitude! I continued to use the TENS machine and to time contractions as we arrived and were shown into one of the lovely rooms. We were hesitant to set everything up as planned as knew we’d be moving into one of the birth pool rooms later on. For the next 6 hours I walked around the room and used the TENS for relief which really helped. I couldn’t bare to sit or lie down through contractions and remember my feet starting to ache from being stood up for 12 hours. My husband used the essential oils to give me a lovely foot massage and we set up the oil diffuser.
By 5.30pm the contractions were getting very intense and close together and this is when I started to panic and worry about how I’d cope with minimal pain relief as I had planned. The midwife examined me and I was upset that I was only 3-4cm after over 12hours.

I was moved to the poolroom and the warm water was relaxing and the gas and air gave me a new focus. The contractions were very intense and strong by this point but I remained calm and focused on my breathing. From this point onwards I was in another zone and barely talked to the midwives or my husband (which is very unlike me to be quiet!). I had no concept of time passing nor did I think about how long might be left, I just took each contraction one at a time.

By 8.30pm the midwife asked me to get out of the pool to try to go for a wee as I hadn’t for hours. I was scared to leave the comfort of the pool and gas and air but managed to get to the bathroom with the support of my husband. After 20minutes of trying the midwife advised me that I would need an in/out catheter. I got on the bed in the room and from this moment onwards I can only describe the rest of labour as a total ‘out of body experience’. I don’t know if it was my body’s way of coping with the pain or the gas and air but I remember feeling as though I was watching someone else give birth and that I’d have to do it for myself afterwards. They decided to examine me whilst I was on the bed and were surprised to find that I was fully dilated. As soon as I got back in the pool I had an urge to push and just went with what my body was telling me. The midwife went around to the other side of the pool and noticed that I had already pushed the head out in that first push! I pushed again twice more immediately after and our beautiful son Jenson was born. Within 4 minutes of getting back in the pool he had been born. 21.55pm, weighing 7lbs 3oz. It was nothing like I had imagined, I don’t remember feeling any pain or stress at all with the pushing stage of labour and it felt completely natural. My husband picked our baby up out of the water and handed him to me, it was magical. He cut the cord and then took baby for skin to skin whilst the midwife helped me out of the pool to deliver the placenta. This happened right away on the bed and again I don’t remember feeling any pain or discomfort at all. After a final examination, the midwife was shocked to find that I didn’t even have a graze! I honestly believe that it was due to using all of the techniques from hypnobirthing that I was able to deliver my baby so naturally and easily as I just went with what my body was telling me. I feel very fortunate that everything ‘went to plan’ but am confident that I would have been able to cope if the situation had changed or had been different. I look back on my birth experience as it being positive and enjoyable rather than something to be scared about or something to just have to ‘deal with’ which I never thought my I’d say. Having my husband attend the hypnobirthing and antenatal classes with me enabled us to work as a team throughout pregnancy and labour and I couldn’t have done it so easily without his a support and encouragement.

If you want to know about ways to have a great birth then…

You can get all the information from our award-winning hypnobirthing and antenatal classes but from the convenience of your own home on your own time, then you can get this with our online course.

Check out our series of YouTube videos on how to make your birth better. 

Group courses – Hypnobirthing classes in Cheltenham. We do antenatal classes too in Gloucester and Cheltenham.

What happens if I have the Coronavirus when I go into labour?

What happens if I have the Coronavirus when I go into labour?

The advice is that if you suspect that you have the Coronavirus and are pregnant, that you self isolate for 7days.

But what happens if you go into labour during this time. This information below is from The Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and was published March 13th.

What happens if I go into labour during my self-isolation period ?

💥Call your maternity unit, and inform them that you have suspected or confirmed coronavirus infection.

💥If you have mild symptoms, you will be encouraged to remain at home (self-isolating) in early labour. Staying home in early labour is something that is advised anyway.

💥When it is time to come into hospital, you will be asked to make your own way here if you can or call 111/999 if it’s required for the safety of you or your baby.

💥You will be met at the maternity unit entrance and provided with a surgical face mask, which will need to stay on until you are isolated in a suitable room

💥Coronavirus testing will be arranged.

💥Your birth partner(s) will be able to stay with you throughout, but visitors should be kept to a minimum or none at all (check with local hospital policies for this.)

Could I pass coronavirus to my baby?

👶🏼 As this is a new virus, there is limited evidence about managing women with coronavirus infection in women who have just given birth; however, there are no reports of women diagnosed with coronavirus during the third trimester of pregnancy having passed the virus to their babies while in the womb.

Will I be able to stay with my baby/give skin-to-skin if I have suspected or confirmed coronavirus?

❤️ Yes, if that is your choice. Provided your baby is well and doesn’t require care in the neonatal unit, you will be kept together after you have given birth.

❤️ There are some reports from China which suggest women with confirmed coronavirus have been advised to separate from their baby for 14 days. However, this may have potential negative effects on feeding and bonding.

❤️ A discussion about the risks and benefits should take place between you and your family and the doctors caring for your baby (neonatologists) to individualise care for your baby.

❤️ This guidance may change as knowledge evolves.

Will I be able to breastfeed my baby if I have suspected or confirmed coronavirus?

💦 Yes. At the moment there is no evidence that the virus can be carried in breastmilk, so it’s felt that the well-recognised benefits of breastfeeding outweigh any potential risks of transmission of coronavirus through breastmilk.

💦The main risk of breastfeeding is close contact between you and your baby, as you may share infective airborne droplets, leading to infection of the baby after birth.

💦 A discussion about the risks and benefits of breastfeeding should take place between you and your family and your maternity team.
This guidance may change as knowledge evolves.

💦If you choose to breastfeed your baby, the following precautions are recommended:

  • Wash your hands before touching your baby, breast pump or bottles
  • Try and avoid coughing or sneezing on your baby while feeding at the breast;
  • Consider wearing a face mask while breastfeeding, if available
  • Follow recommendations for pump cleaning after each use
  • Consider asking someone who is well to feed expressed breast milk to your baby.

🍼 If you choose to feed your baby with formula or expressed milk, it is recommend that you follow strict adherence to sterilisation guidelines. If you are expressing breast milk in hospital, a dedicated breast pump should be used.

Coronavirus in Pregnancy

Coronavirus in Pregnancy

Coronavirus In Pregnancy

As this is a new virus there is very limited research on how the Coronavirus will effect pregnant mothers and newborns.

However, in China a piece of research was done on 9 pregnant mothers who had the Coronavirus and here is what they found…

💥 None of the 9 pregnant women developed severe pneumonia or became seriously ill.

💥 None of the babies that were tested, tested positive for the virus (the researchers tested the amniotic fluid, the blood from the cord)

💥The virus wasn’t present in breast milk.

What this research has shown us is that it appears that pregnant women are having the same reaction to Coronavirus as non-pregnant adults. It’s also suggested that currently there is no evidence to suggest that the baby, whilst inside, is at any risk of infection from the virus.

This is very reassuring for pregnant mamas! But, this is a very small amount of pregnant women to make full generalisations and generally we know that pregnant women are vunerable when it comes to catching viruses like the flu and more specifically respiratory viruses. So it’s important that if you’re pregnant you do what you can to avoid viruses and infections. These are…

⚡️Wash hands regularly and properly with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.
Why? Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that may be on your hands.

⚡️Avoid people who are sick
Be at least 1 metre from
anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
Why? When someone coughs or sneezes they spray small droplets which may contain virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person coughing has it.

⚡️Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth without washing your hands.
Why? Hands can pick up viruses from things we touch. The eyes, nose and mouth is an entry for the virus to get into your body.

It’s important that, if you suspect that you have the Coronavirus that you call 111 for further instructions.

All our antenatal classes and hypnobirthing classes are continuing as normal.

Sophie’s Birth Story

Sophie’s Birth Story

Our Journey began back in May 2018 when we became pregnant with our first baby. We started planning our birthalmost from day 1 and after lots of research, discussion and involvement from various health professionals we made an informed decision to have an elective Caesarean section. I won’t go in to the ins and outs of this decision, but it was the best decision for us, it was an informed decision, not taken lightly and one we felt happy with. We were eventually given a date, I was to be 39 weeks + 5 days pregnant on this day.

We attended pre assessment the week before where I had various checks undertaken, bloods done and further questions I had answered. I had already started having some symptoms that would indicate the baby’s arrival wasn’t too far away, but we just had to wait (and hope in my case) that Monday would arrive before labour began.

The night before our baby’s birth – by this point I was very uncomfortable, mostly spending the day lying on the sofa catching up on TV we had missed at Christmas and shuffling around when needing too. We had big plans to go out for dinner, our last as 2, but in the end we just wanted to stay home and chill out, so my husband cooked us a lovely roast dinner instead. That evening was the first in the new series of ‘Call the midwife’, we sat and watched it thinking tomorrow, that will be us holding our baby. It was like the night before Christmas that night, although it wasn’t just filled with excitement to meet our new baby, but with huge anxiety, will everything be ok? Will the baby be ok? Will I be ok? How much pain will there be? It was full of lots of uncertainties that only the actual birth would give us the answers to. We went to bed about 10pm, because we knew it was an early start, I took the prescribed ranitidine then too. After about an hour we realised neither of us could actually sleep, we talked some more and then just rested with very little sleep until 6am. 

The day of delivery had finally, after 9 long months arrived. 6am – it was a very cold and crisp morning, it was dark and the sky was still filled with stars, I think adrenaline kicked in with me and I wanted to join Dave in taking our 2 dogs on a short walk before they were left  with my mum for a few days. I waddled around the block and after we got home, showered and changed ready to go to the hospital. Dave was kind and sat and had breakfast downstairs while I got ready as I was nil by mouth, he loaded the car with all our bags (we did take all but the kitchen sink) and the car seat and we took a final bump photo, complete with the date. The journey to the hospital is one I’m very well used to, but this morning it felt very long, I was very anxious and I remember saying over and over again to Dave, we are going to be ok aren’t we? We have made the right decision? To which he replied ‘absolutely yes!’ We pulled up in the car park, got everything out of the car and said ‘Let’s do this, let’s go and meet our baby!’ We arrived at triage at 7.30am and were asked to take a seat and wait to be booked in. Shortly afterwards, another couple arrived and we chatted with them, they were also there for an Elective Caesarean, turns out they had experience as they had had previous caesarean births, they saw the fear on our faces and said ‘Don’t worry, you’ll be well looked after, it will all be ok.’ After a short time we were taken to another room and checked in by a kind midwife, we listened to the baby’s heart beating away and I was given a gown and Dave given (much to his delight) what can only be described as raspberry coloured scrubs. We weren’t first on the theatre list, so didn’t need to change straight away, we sat back in with the other couple also waiting, and chatted for a while.

Next the anaesthetist came to talk to us he seemed to understand how anxious I was, he explained everything thoroughly, and gave me chance to ask questions and take everything in, he had read my birth plan and said everything on there was very reasonable and he would join with the rest of the team in trying to follow it where possible. I did warn him I was tricky to cannulate too but he said not to worry, he would sort that no problem (I did warn him….). The registrar then came to speak with us and consented me for the procedure. The consent process highlights the risks involved which is quite daunting and scary but as we had looked into all of these and discussed them at length, I felt happy to proceed. We were then put into a room on our own to change and wait to be called. We brought Uno to play while we waited; we dealt the cards and then decided it wasn’t quite the same as sitting on the balcony in the Majorcan sunshine sipping on a cocktail and a beer so we packed it away again. I made sure I got a photo of Dave in his Raspberry scrubs (and forwarded it to my mum, for a laugh). A very small number offamily members knew the day our baby was arriving so reading their well wishes and messages of support that morning helped to pass the time. 

We were 2nd on the list that morning and were told it would be approximately 10.30am that we would be going to theatre to finally meet our baby. 10.30am came and went, we were still waiting, 11am – still waiting, we totally understood this, it’s something very difficult to put a time on. 11.15am – still waiting, 11.30am – I said to Dave,’ I will just nip out to the toilet’, and no surprises within a minute of walking out of the room, the theatre staff came for us. I arrived back from the toilet and the theatre staff told us to bring our bags as they were ready for us. I had the baby’s suitcase to wheel, Dave wheeled our holdall, I think everyone thought we were staying for the month the amount of stuff we had with us!!! I turned to Dave walking along the corridor in my gown and said, ‘wheeling these cases is like walking through the airport when we are going off on holiday’, he answered ‘we aren’t going on holiday though, we are going to meet our boy, it’s even more exciting!’ It was a very surreal feeling, after 9 hard months of waiting, the hours of appointments, the many scans, the worry and the excitement,  the time was finally here, this was actually happening, we were going to meet our baby boy, we were about to become a family of 3 (ok, 5 if you include our 2 dogs).

We placed our bags in recovery ready for when we came out of theatre and went into a room next to theatre to complete the final checks. This is where I couldn’t hold the tears back any longer, I was frightened, my uncertainties were just about to be answered and I did begin to panic. Dave sat with his arm around me while the staff completed the final checklist before theatre; he was telling me over and over again that it was allgoing to be fine, something we hoped, but couldn’t 100% know for sure. The anaesthetic team were lovely, the ODP checking me in said she, herself had had 3 c sections and all were fine. Dave held my hand as we walked into theatre, I sat on the theatre table and Dave sat on a stool away from me while the anaesthetic team placed the cannula (He’s not a fan of needles). I sat and sobbed my way through this part, my eyes so blurred I couldn’t really see what was going on. The kind anaesthetist put some local anaesthetic around the site of where the cannula was to be placed, this is where I asked if I could hold someone’s hand, the ODP said no problem and held my hand until Dave could be back with me. 3 attempts later and the cannula was finally in (I did say I was tricky to cannulate!). Dave then came and sat next to me for the spinal, one of the aspects of our baby’s delivery I was very worried about. I was in a bit of a state by this point, but I needed to continue, cold spray was sprayed onto my back to clean the area and my gosh, it was cold as I had been warned. At this point I turned to Dave and said ‘Next time, you’re having the baby!’ he answered ‘Well we won’t be having anymore then!’ I think it did make a few of the staff smile. The local anaesthetic was injected which felt, as they had said, just like a bee sting, but the stinging sensation was over in a few seconds. Then came the spinal anaesthetic, it was a strange sensation of pressure and slight tingling in my legs, but it wasn’t painful. Dave didn’t see anything, but I could see the colour drain from his face, I repetitively asked him if he was ok, he kept saying yes, but after the 3rd yes, I could see he very much wasn’t and I told the staff around us who then helped Dave to the floor and got him a drink of water. Dave hadn’t seen any needles, but he said just being in an environment he’s never been in before (awake anyway) and seeing his wife so upset and apart from being there, there was nothing he could directly do to solve my worries, he found it very hard. I was working through a tick list of things happening in my head and once the spinal was in, I did start to calm down. I remember the anaesthetist saying we are going to lift your legs onto the theatre table now, I said ‘its ok I can do that,’ before he could open his mouth, I realised I couldn’t, my legs had already gone numb enough that it wasn’t possible. I was helped to lie down. The spinal took just minutes to work and its effectiveness checked with ice. I was surprised how high the spinal came up on my body; I couldn’t feel anything until midway up my chest. The drapes were raised, catheter inserted, another worry, which they told me they were inserting, but I felt nothing, it was really nothing to worry about. Dave made a slight admission to me at this at this point, we had brought a mood light speaker in the bag which was meant to come into theatre so we could listen to our chosen song while our baby was born, but he had left it in the bag. It was ok; we could still have our song played from his phone. We chose ‘Wonderwall’ an acoustic version, by Noel Gallagher which was special to us as it was our first dance song from our wedding in 2017. I remember the surgeon saying ‘Ahh a Wonderwall baby!’  I had crocheted our boy his first hat and handed it to theatre staff to place on him when he was born, this, along with our music choice was quite a talking point and before we knew it, when I asked had the operation started, (I missed them saying they were starting)they said yes and in just a second you’ll hear a lot of suctioning as we break your waters. I had my phone ready to capture the ‘Lion king’ moment when our son was born, something we had discussed at Antenatal classes with Beth.Our music played and we were ready and waiting as the surgeons worked to get our son out. People are not wrong when they say there’s no pain, but it feels like someone doing the washing up in your tummy – so true! I asked was he nearly out, the anaesthetist said,’ I can see a nose’, he was a Sunnyside up baby (he had his back against mine). This waiting seemed like forever, it wasn’t, but by all accounts, he was somewhat tricky to deliver. Forceps were used (I didn’t even realise that was a thing in caesarean delivery) but failed, we heard the emergency bell, I surprisingly stayed fairly calm, I knew we were in the best hands and everyone would do what they needed to do to help us. Dave saw a rush of people enter theatre through a door I couldn’t see from behind the drapes. Our baby boy, Jacob Charlie was finally born at 12.24pm, we had hoped for him to be held up so we could see him and have ‘The Lion King’ moment but following a few difficulties when being born, he was taken straight to the resuscitaire, which is absolutely where we wanted him to be taken for him to get the help he needed and for the team to make sure he was ok, we started to panic at this point as he hadn’t cried, but after a bit of oxygen and a good rub, we heard a brief cry. The anaesthetist came to tell us that our son was ok and that he just needed a little bit of help initially, I asked if he could take my phone to take a photo, we were desperate to see our son, he took several photos and came back to show us. I remember saying ‘is he actually ours, he is absolutely perfect and soooooo cute!’ The answer came back ‘yes he is definitely yours!’ At this point Dave whispered to me, ‘You did it, you actually did it, he’s here, he’s perfect and I’m so proud of you!’ I had completed the journey of pregnancy and I couldn’t believe I had done it, something which I wrote on a message to Beth the next day!

About 10 minutes after Jacob was born the midwife in theatreasked Dave if he would like to come and trim Jacobs cord, something which was written in our birth plan and despite having a caesarean delivery it was something we wanted if possible, Dave went over to meet our beautiful boy for the first time and was overwhelmed by love towards him, he did let out a few tears at this point. He trimmed the cord and stroked Jacobs head. The team said Dave could sit back down next to me and they would bring Jacob over for his first cuddle. 

During this time I remember the doctors saying that I required a hormone injection in my leg to help reduce the bleeding and they would set up and infusion too, I didn’t feel the injection but I was warned that it may make me feel sick, which it did a little, but that was soon counteracted with anti-sickness medication. As I was being stitched up, the midwife brought our beautiful son over for me to meet for the first time, he was swaddled in lots of blankets and he had his little hat on I had made. I felt instant love towards him. I was going to have skin to skin at this point, which the staff were happy to facilitate in theatre, but with all the drapes and gown, I didn’t feel it would have been easy to do and I was happy to let Dave have the first cuddle, after all, I had carried Jacob for 9 months. We sat for about 20 minutes just looking at Jacob, we touched his tiny hands, and stroked his little face, and he opened his eyes when he heard us talking to him, our son was finally here and we couldn’t believe it. The theatre staff were more than happy to catch our first moments on camera as a family of 3 and once I was transferred back to the hospital bed, this was when I was comfortably able to have skin to skin with our boy, we were wheeled to recovery at this point, absolutely beamingfrom ear to ear, ready to start our journey as parents and a family of 3. 

Some people have said to me, how can you have a birth plan for an elective caesarean? Well, the elective caesarean was a plan A for me and our baby and of course you can have a birth plan, we sat down with our very kind midwife at 33 weeks and wrote it.  We said we wanted music played using our mood light speaker, we wanted delayed cord clamping if possible, we wanted skin to skin contact as soon as was feasible, to have a spinal anaesthetic, to have my husband with me at all times if possible, and for Dave to trim the cord. We also planned for Plan B, C and D if I did go into labour. I wanted my wishes to be known, in case I was unable to voice these myself and this planning helped with my anxiety. 

Most people are anxious about having a baby, my anxiety wasmore than this, I had tokophobia, but with the right help andsupport we were able to make an informed decision which we felt was best for us, and our dream of having a family was able to come true. Never be afraid to ask for help if you need it. Caesarean birth is birth and can be just as beautiful as any other birth. I have been asked if I feel robbed of the experience of labour, my answer, absolutely not! This all happened just over a year ago now, the recovery wasn’t a piece of cake initially, but we thankfully have a very supportive network that helped us in those first few weeks when I couldn’t drive or lift anything more than Jacob. We both have had, since day one, an amazing bond with our very happy, content and active now 1 year old and we love being his Mummy and Daddy, it’s been the best year of our lives so far. Would I do it again? Maybe one day, if that’s where our journey is meant to take us.

If, like Sophie, you want t know all about cesarean births, how best to recover and have a toolkit of techniques to help you in all birth scenarios then…

You can join our Hypnobirthing classes in Cheltenham. We do antenatal classes too in Gloucester and Cheltenham.

If you want all the information from our award-winning hypnobirthing and antenatal classes but from the convenience of your own home on your own time, then you can get this with our online course.

Check out our series of YouTube videos on how to make your birth better. 

Lorna’s Birth Story

Lorna’s Birth Story

If anyone could read minds then mine would have been clogged with all sorts of negative thoughts about labor and what could potentially happen (of course always thinking the worse, I’m my own worst nightmare) My mind was so clouded with “what if’s” I knew it wouldn’t be long until I work myself up that much that I would start to panic about giving birth and the stress this could put on me and our baby.
Having all the social media channels, I came across this group “The Bump To Baby Chapter” I thought I’d read a couple of posts and do a bit of research myself before I sent that first message asking for support and what I could do to prevent all my stresses and anxieties during labor, and what types of deliveries would work best for me being so anxious.

Before I go on, I was determined to have a C-Section because in my head, this was all smelling of roses and would be over quickly, no pain, no fears!! We all know that’s not the case but as my mind was filled with that dreaded anxiety, it was leading me down the wrong path!!

Moving on.. TBTBC offered me the chance to do their online course which contains all sorts of advice and support about labor and how to control your mind and body during labor, what happens and so on. I watched the first video and I was HOOKED, I must have watched 10 videos that morning and started to make metal notes about all the things I can take from these videos and use during my labor. I finally started to feel somewhat more positive about labor and I would walk around the house saying “I can do this” rather than “I’ve changed my mind, I don’t want to give birth”

Don’t get me wrong, I did have my moments where I had a right toddler tantrum about labor and everything that could possibly go wrong but instead of fearing it and keeping all my thoughts to myself, I started to talk about it, like ALL THE TIME to my partner “she’s in there now and she’s got to come out one way or another” “I want every pain relief going, I don’t want to feel a thing” I soon realised that, I wasn’t scared of the actual labor, I was scared of the pain and possibly tearing and then having to be stitched.. but then I was quite happy to have an epidural to numb me from the waist down.. crazy right!?

On the morning of Friday 24th (around 10am) I lost my plug, now, I’ve never seen “the plug” before and I can honestly say I must have sat there staring at this for almost 5 minutes thinking what it could be before I shouted my parter saying “baby is coming” of course, he ran to the bathroom probably expecting water all over the floor and be their panting like shown in the movies…. not at all.. his response was “ok, what do you mean” “I’ve lost my plug, I think! I’ll have to google it and look at images” it was definitely my plug!!

At that moment we looked at each other in complete shock (like I haven’t just been pregnant for 9 months and about to have a baby, but more like what on earth do we do now) My mind froze and so we wait until my waters break!?.. hours later still no water and no contractions.. I had no choice but to carry on with my day. My partner stayed at home because I knew I was going to be in labor within a few hours..how wrong was I?? Friday passed like it was a normal day, I was frustrated because I thought, as soon as your plug starts coming away, your waters would follow, then the contractions and I’d have our baby in my arms come tea time.

Saturday 25th at 4am I started to get these pains, I can only describe as really heavy period cramps that kinda make you take a deep breath for a minute.. to my surprise I didn’t panic I just went to the toilet and got back into bed still half asleep.. I then had another and then another. I left my partner asleep and casually started to record what time these pains were happening, how long for and how far apart. (I can’t believe how casual I was about this, I would just fall asleep in between each one like nothing was happening) after a good couple of hours, I started to realise that these “pains” were actually contractions and coming every 15-20 minutes lasting a minute and I should wake my partner.

We both sat there in bed recording and making note for a little longer before we called the labor ward to inform them of my progress. Each time I had a contraction they were getting stronger so to me, I was ready to go into hospital and getting somewhat excited. We called the labor ward, they asked me about my contractions and what I’ve done for pain relief.. amongst all the excitement, i hadn’t taken any painkillers. The ward said “keep recording, try and stay at home for as long as possible as it’s better for you and baby.. we want to hear that those contractions are every 3-4 minutes and lasting anything from 1-1.30 minutes” My reply to my partner was “I’m not having our baby in the car that’s ridiculous”!!

By this time it was 7am and I already felt like I had done a days work and ready for bed again!.. we made the call to my mum to make her way to ours (who lives in Tewksbury).. 12pm still no sign of baby! 2pm.. yup still no sign however, my contractions were fluctuating from 7-10 minutes and 3-6 minutes.. we called the ward to update them and again they said they needed the contractions to be regular at 3-4 or for as long as I can last at home. By this time I was trying absolutely anything and everything to help me along, I took a bath, I used my ball, I used my partner for support and positions.. we all even played cards to try and focus on something else rather then the contractions. I was determined to do this as calmly and for as long as possible.

Saturday passed without any sign of baby and waters. Contractions were a steady 7-10 minutes apart but it was me this time who decided to stay at home.. I don’t know what came over me, I just didn’t want to go in to hospital yet! It was like I knew that it still wasn’t time. We got into bed and saw the night through.

Sunday 26th 7am, I was woken up by these almighty pains, I did the same thing, recorded the contractions and waited 2 hours for them to be consistent. 10am we called the ward and said “we’re coming in” I couldn’t continue at home anymore as I was in too much pain to do it alone. When we arrived at the hospital my midwife checked how far along I was… 2cm!!! In nearly cried, I hadn’t just done nearly 30 hours of contracting to be told I’m only 2cm!!! I was utterly knackered and didn’t know what to say.

We stayed at the hospital, waiting and using the bed, the bath and the aromatherapy oils (these are great by the way, so relaxing and comforting) I also ate whatever I wanted for more energy. 6pm Sunday evening, there was still no sign of my waters or baby making an appearance any time soon.. I was checked again and FINALLY I was 4cm.. this may not seem like much of a progress but when you get told you can now have alternative pain relief, like gas an air, you most definitely see it as progress!!!

A couple of hours later, I really started to struggle and I started to feel a panic attack brew.. I tried to hold it for as long as possible before I asked for an epidural. The midwife did another check and told me that our baby was back to back and this is why my labor is very drawn out. I still asked for the epidural as I knew I wouldn’t be able to continue without one, even knowing the risks the epidural can bring I still wanted one. I was determined to keep my panic attacks at bay and continue doing what I was doing.

By the time I had the epidural it was 8pm and I was so, incredibly thankful for being able to have one. I was proud for going this long and being so calm, I thought I’d be a nervous reck having panic attacks and crying, I really did surprise myself and having this feeling really encouraged me through-out the rest of my labor. As soon as I had the epidural I was able to get a couple hours sleep and we even got a couple of episodes of friends in (the epidural is THAT good)

Around 3am Monday 27th, our midwife confirmed I was now 10cm and in the next hour I’m able to start pushing, the relief on all of our faces was one to capture.
When the pushing started at around 4am, we soon realised that there was a minor complication (this was not down to the epidural by the way) our daughter was still back to back but becoming a little distressed, I had been pushing for almost 2 hours with very little progress. The midwife had a chat with a consultant and despite his best efforts to turn her and encourage a normal labor, we made the decision to have a ventouse delivery, this is what was advised and so we went along with it. I was cut to help with the delivery and after hours of pushing our beautiful baby girl Amelia Rose was born at 06:43am weighing a healthy 7lb 3oz. I was given the injection to delivery my placenta as I was so tired they advised this would be far easier, I was stitched and through everything I still hadn’t shown signs of panic attacks like I thought I would do.

I couldn’t thank the midwifes and consultants enough, I even think I said at one point “I’m sorry if I was loud”. I would most definitely have another child despite the length of the labor and the troubles with Hyperemesis during my pregnancy! It just goes to show how much being pregnant and going through labor changes a women and it’s true, your mummy instincts really do kick in at the right time.

If you want to know about ways to have a great birth then…

You can join our Hypnobirthing classes in Cheltenham. We do antenatal classes too in Gloucester and Cheltenham.

If you want all the information from our award-winning hypnobirthing and antenatal classes but from the convenience of your own home on your own time, then you can get this with our online course.

Check out our series of YouTube videos on how to make your birth better.