Love reading positive birth stories, you’re in the right place…. This positive birth story is with Becca and baby Jacob. Becca had an induction, epidural, and a forceps delivery with an episiotomy. Becca says it wasn’t the birth she would have planned, but it was “100% positive”.

I had a very uncomplicated pregnancy with baby measuring above 90th centile consistently, didn’t need any extra scans.  I had a failed sweep at 40+2 weeks as my cervix was too high, this was repeated a week later and midwife managed to do it. It wasn’t particularly painful, just a bit uncomfortable. Unfortunately it didn’t really do anything, I was therefore booked for induction at 40+ 12. 

So went in on Monday to be induced, I had the balloon catheter inserted to try and to kick start labour and/or to get my cervix to 2cm so my waters could be broken. I was 1cm dilated when they examined me and also had another sweep. Thankfully we got to go home and came back the next afternoon after 24 hours. I had a few mild pains but nothing major. I was on put on the CTG monitor for ages before they examined me as Jacob was moving around so much they couldn’t get a baseline heart rate, finally they examined me and I was 2cm, they said they could break my waters. Interestingly I had started with contractions once they hooked me up to the CTG, coming every 10 mins but only mild. Unfortunately they didn’t have enough midwives available to break my waters as they would need someone to be with me 1:1 once they were broken. So I was moved to post natal ward and due to Covid rules, my husband had to go home.

Contractions were increasing in frequency, some were 2-3 mins and I thought I was in active labour but looking back this was just mild labour!! This was a tough night as I was on my own and the ward was quite busy. I used the breathing techniques and listened to my playlist. I put my TENS machine on at about 4am and this really helped with the pain. I didn’t sleep all night because of the pain, they had told me I was priority to go back to birthing centre but unfortunately still no midwives available and understandably actively labouring ladies took priority.

They moved me back Weds morning at 7am which meant my husband was allowed back. I just cried in the room though before he came because I just felt so tired and we still didn’t know when a midwife would be spare. Eventually a midwife was available at 1.30pm and she broke my waters, I was already at 4cm which was reassuring, my contractions had lessened a bit but only for a short period so I think I got 20 mins sleep that morning! Thankfully there wasn’t any meconium when my waters were broken otherwise I would have had the oxytocin drip started straight away, my contractions increased in frequency and severity, I started the gas and air….. amazing stuff!

I had discussed my worries about being too physically exhausted as labour progressed due to being sleep deprived and said I would be open to epidural later even though this was not in my birth preferences. The contractions became really strong and the midwives thought I was doing well and things were progressing. They said I had 4hrs to get to 7cm otherwise would need to start oxytocin drip. At one point a consultant came round and said I could still go into the pool as I was low risk if I wanted too but would be in another room. By this point I was “comfy” and really didn’t want to be moved, I was also happy with baby being monitored. 

The day shift midwife left and she was confident that baby would be born that night, she even wrote his wrist band out with that date. I had another lovely midwife and student midwife take over my care. It was time for the repeat examination and dishearteningly I was at 6cm so they needed to start the drip. At this point I said I would have epidural as I was just so tired, it had been 36 hours since I had slept and just couldn’t see how I would have the energy to push the baby out. I hardly felt the epidural be done! It was the dream! Honestly, don’t be worried about having one. It wasn’t too long after hormonal drip started that Jacobs heart rate dropped to 80 but picked up fairly quickly.

They then noticed is baseline rate was increasing and showed reduced variability. Lots of people suddenly appeared. The doctor was amazing and explained everything really well. She said if things continued we were heading for emergency caesarean so I was consented for this, cannula inserted, catheter put in and bloods taken. Then his heart rate seemed to sort itself out!! So back to original plan of pushing him out once dilated. She examined me and I was 7cm so they were just going to observe closely but if rate changed again I would be down to theatre.

Anyway, it happened again! By this point everyone was saying he was going to be a boy because of the trouble he was causing! The doctor ended up examining me again and in quite a short space of time  I got to 10cm. This meant that they could attempt an instrumental delivery however if this didn’t work I would need an emergency caesarean. 

All the staff were amazing, they kept my husband informed with what was happening and looking back at no point did I feel scared or worried. Thankfully I managed to push him out with forceps and episiotomy! It was odd pushing when I couldn’t feel anything, I just had to push like I was doing a massive poo : ) He was born at 1.13am so about 12 hours after my waters were broken. It was the most amazing moment when they placed him on my chest and found out that he was a boy, I just cried my eyes out. I then asked for them to give him to my husband for skin to skin time. 

Placenta wouldn’t then come out so the doctor had to manually remove it and had about 900mls blood loss. Jacob was reviewed by the paediatric team and he was healthy, no concerns with his cord gases. My husband even got to cut the cord and I had skin to skin time when we were in recovery. We had a couple of hours together in recovery and then my husband had to go home, he unfortunately couldn’t come back till visiting time which was 3pm. It was a hard morning, suddenly trying to feed a baby on very little sleep after going through labour. My blood count was checked and was quite low, thankfully not low enough to need a blood transfusion but they gave me an iron infusion.  

The first night with baby was hard, he was feeding constantly and just wouldn’t sleep! The midwives took him for 4 hours in the end as I was just beside myself with exhaustion. 

So that’s my story  – not at all how I expected it to go but I would 100% say it was a positive experience. Beth’s course prepared us well for all eventualities, particularly when things started to not go to plan. He is one week old today and we are settling into life with a newborn.

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.