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Kookie’s Birth Story

Kookie’s Birth Story

⭐️ FTM Positive Birth Story with a bit of drama at the end ⭐️ 

(Sorry if it’s long) 

Monday 2nd November at 38weeks+2 after a day of giggling in front of the tele with my better half my waters broke around 10:15pm. I had the cliche pop and gush moment not long after getting into bed. 

We called triage and they advised us to come in to confirm that my waters had gone and to check me and baby. 

Even with maternity pads and towels I still managed to gush through onto the car seat on the way to hospital 😬 

Baby and I were checked over and we were all ok, so it was back home for us to hopefully get things going naturally with an induction booked for 24hours later. 

Tuesday 3rd November I was contracting all day. No back pain and just period style cramps. I downloaded the Freya app and monitored my contractions and on 2 occasions it advised I was likely in established labour but things slowed down and were a bit on and off at times, so I kept up with my breathing throughout the day and went back to hospital at 10:15pm that evening for my induction time. 

On arrival my partner was sent home and I was set up on the maternity ward. My contractions continued to be regular but manageable with the breathing techniques learnt through the course. I bought a TENS machine and popped that on whilst I got changed in my bay but I personally found it uncomfortable so I whipped it back off.

Babes and I were monitored on the EFM for half an hour or so and at 11:30pm I was examined. To my surprise I was told I was a comfortable 5cm dilated. This meant I didn’t need to be induced 🙏🏼 and I would be able to give birth in the birth centre and in the pool, which was my ‘ideal birth plan’. 

The midwife gave me a sweep and I had a large show. I was left for things to ‘ramp up’ so I just continued to breathe my way through each contraction and stayed as relaxed as I could in the strange environment I found myself in all alone (thanks Rona). I also remembered to pee a lot!!

By 2:00am my contractions were starting to feel a lot stronger and I was needing to focus on my breathing more and more, so I buzzed for the midwife. I used Beth’s 4 and 7 breathing technique with the window next to my bed (great tip)! 

Me and baby were placed back on the EFM and monitored for half an hour again. I don’t think I was able to lie down once during that time and using ‘U.F.O’ I stood up, lent over the bed, walked where I could and thrust my hips to help cope with contractions. 

I was examined again and informed I was 9cm dilated 😳  

With still no pain relief other than a couple of paracetamol I was pretty shocked. 

The midwife said she would call the birth centre and get me moved over. It was 2:45am and I immediately called my partner and told him he needed to get to hospital and fast. 

As soon as I ended the call I felt my body starting to push. I buzzed for the midwife again and I told her my body was starting to push. 

After what felt like an age, at just after 3am I was wheeled to the birth centre and into my birth room. It was already set up with dimmed lights, soft music, an aromatherapy diffuser, lights and the pool ready for me to get in. It was everything I had hoped for. I met my amazing new midwife Lauren and she instantly made me feel calm and at ease. She helped me into the pool where I maintained ‘U.F.O’ and I started going with my body and pushing with each contraction, focusing on breathing as best as I could. Lauren said she would have offered me gas and air but by that stage it could have hindered my focus so we pushed on, literally! 

I started to panic that my partner would miss baby’s birth so I called him at 3:30am and luckily he said ‘I’m in the lift’ and moments later he arrived. 

He jumped straight into action and was incredible, helping me through each push, repeating what Lauren was telling me. 

I pushed and breathed, pushed and breathed and at 4:07am, our little girl made her appearance. 

With no pain relief I felt like one strong mama 💪🏼 

What happened next is where the drama starts. As we lifted baby up my cord snapped and the pool filled with blood. Baby was in shock and unable to take a first breath so the second midwife came in but as they whisked her away I heard my little girl cry. She was brought back to me and placed in my arms. I sobbed with joy! 

Unsure why my cord had snapped I was given the injection to deliver my placenta, which I had to go to the loo to ease out. 

After some skin to skin and breastfeeding my midwife brought my placenta back into the room to explain something quite distressing. I was informed that I had an undiagnosed type 1 vasa previa and a short cord. Essentially this is when the umbilical cord fails to attach into the correct part of the placenta and instead attaches to the fetal membranes and vessels. 

The vessels are at high risk of rupturing during labour and delivery which will lead to massive fetal blood loss and can be fatal. 

We were extremely lucky that this didn’t happen and that everything was ok. After doing some reading, when diagnosed with vasa previa, c-sections are usually recommended because of the high risk of birth injury to baby. 

I didn’t process the information until the next day when my next midwife, following a shift change, said how lucky we were and how it filled her dread just thinking about what could have happened! 

So it turns out our little lady is one very lucky special baby and we will treasure her endlessly! 

She is our whole world 🌍 

💜 Lily Emilia Rhodes

💜 Born 04.11.2020 at 38weeks+4 weighing a dinky 6lbs 9oz 

I am so proud of my birth story and wish to give a big thank you to The Bump to Baby Chapter for giving me the power to birth my baby with confidence and without pain relief. It was the most rewarding experience of my life and one I will never forget! 🥰

For more information about The Bump to Baby Chapter’s Hypnobirthing and Antenatal Online Course. Videos, checklists, audios & a support group all created by a midwife to get you feeling excited and confident for birth.

Matt’s Birth Story – A Dads perspective 💥

Matt’s Birth Story – A Dads perspective 💥

This story made me ball like a baby 😭 What a tribute to his wife & new baby girl. Thanks for sharing your story with us Matt 🦸🏻‍♂️🦸🏻‍♀️

A birth story……..From a first time Father 💥

After my partner had started having contractions on Friday night she gave birth to our beautiful daughter Sunday afternoon.

After her waters broke at 12:30am on Sunday morning we called up the hospital and was asked to go in to be checked. After being checked she was told that she wasn’t having full contractions yet.
So my partner came back out to the corridor, (where I have to wait) and told me that she had to either walk around for a few hours, go home or go onto the ward without me until she was 4cm dilated. She was a little worried because she felt like she was having full contractions.
We decided it was best for me to go grab a couple of hours sleep in the car on the car park while she went to the ward to be fully examined.
At this time she was told she was only 3cm dilated which after 2 days of contractions was a bit demoralising, especially after them being so painful.

After just over an hour I got the message I was waiting for. As the ward had a private room empty and hardly anyone else there, they agreed to let me in early so that I could be there with my partner.
Because of this I only missed an hour of the whole labour process at the hospital. And for that I will be eternally grateful to University Hospital Burton.
After 9 months of no dads to be at scans or midwife appointments and no antenatal classes to visit which was making me feel like I was missing out on my father to be journey. I could finally be there for my partner and my little girl when they needed me the most.

So……. Our birth plan…….
It was amazing. Candles, music, birth balls, birth pools, essential oils and minimum pain medication. Well that went out the window!

After 10 hours of my partner having really intense contractions and having to use gas and air and Pethidine injection to manage the pain we were moved to a delivery room in case she needed more pain relief.
After the Pethidine kicked in we moved to the delivery room and just like that within 30 minutes she was at 6cms and it was nearly time to rock and roll.

At this point she was offered a epidural. After going over our EBRAN and talking to the amazing midwives we decided to not have it and to go with just gas and air moving forward.
It was like that decision gave the little one a nudge and within the hour it was time to push! We were so glad that we didn’t go ahead with the epidural, as it would have taken around a hour to set up and kick in etc to only work for the very end of the labour experience.

As she started to push they realised there was something wrong. Our little one was getting distressed and not making an entrance (or an exit) when she pushed. A doctor was called and the decision was made to have an assisted birth using forceps. The little one had got the cord trapped around her neck and she needed to make her grand entrance (or exit depending on how you look at it) quickly.
I won’t go into all the details but after a few jiggles, a cut, a slight pull, 4 midwives and a doctor the head was out and it was up to my absolute trooper of a partner to finish what she started and pushed the rest of our little diamond out.
She needed a little help to get her first cry but after a minute she was laying on my partners chest looking absolutely gorgeous.

From the midwives point of view it was their time to clean up, stitch up, and give us some time to our self.
From our point of view it was time to cry, rest, and adore our new family member and feel what I can only describe as the most moving, thought provoking and absolutely breathtaking feeling that I have ever felt.

So to summarise.
Burton hospital midwifes and doctors are incredible. Not only did they look after my partner and daughter to be. They made sure that I was there, helping as much as I could and helping make important decisions when my partner needed me too.

My partner Kyla (and yes I know I’m biased) is the most incredible, strong, amazing and frankly breathtaken person I have ever known and she has given me a little girl that has absolutely taken my breath away and will do for years and years to come .

To the people in this group (TBTBC Online) and the amazing Bump to Baby ladies. From a first time father. What you have shown me on your video course, Q&A’s and posts made such a difference in not just my experience but Kylas. We stayed calm, used EBRAN and adapted to our new birth plan using what you guys have shown us. So all I can say is a huge thank you. Especially from a dad who has felt left out a lot of my families journey. This group has been a breath of fresh air and I really think more FTFs need to check you guys out!

Sorry for this massive story but I wanted to let you know that even with some antenatal experience, you guys and a couple of books you helped we managed to bring the most amazing little girl into our world.

Stay strong mother’s and farther to be. You all got this!!!!

And without further a do. Please may I introduce you to Indi Aurora. Born at 13:56 at Burton University Hospital weighing 6lbs 14oz.

Thank you!

For more information about The Bump to Baby Chapter’s Hypnobirthing and Antenatal Online Course. Videos, checklists, audios & a support group all created by a midwife to get you feeling excited and confident for birth.

What is Hypnobirthing? Facts or Fantasy.

What is Hypnobirthing? Facts or Fantasy.

If you’ve landed on this page then I’m sure you’ve heard this term thrown around many times … I’m sure you have heard it talked about amongst those positive birth stories but wonder whether it is all too good to be true. A good birth is something that only happens in your imagination right? So let’s look at the facts…

Clock swaying and Derren Brown type voodoo is definitely what it’s not, even though the name suggests. Without dumbing down it’s marvellousnous…it’s just science. So let’s throw it back to secondary school biology.

Fight or flight? Neither possible for birth.

So you hear a buzz of a bee, or see a spider, or you have to do a presentation at work. All these things create a reaction in our body, our heart rate increases, palms get sweaty and we get that sticky feeling in our tummy. This is a programmed response that would have served us well in the Stone Age times. Blood shunts away from our major organs to the arms and legs, our breathing increases and heart rate increases as we prepare to fight or run from a sabre tooth tiger or woolly mammoths. It would have helped us survive tricky situations.

The same would have happened for women giving birth in the Stone Age times. Imagine they’d be in their birth cave, doing their birth thing and in walks a sabre tooth tiger. That birthing Mum would have seen that tiger, thought, “Oh crap. I’m not safe” and triggered the fight or flight response. Her heart rate would increase, her blood would shunt away from her uterus causing her contractions to slow and her labour to stop and this would give her some more time to move away from the tiger and find another safe place to have her baby. As you can see, this bodily response is a great thing, it helped her body stop labour so that she could give birth in a safe birth cave. Us women, are like lionesses when it comes to their baby’s and giving birth when feeling safe is a massive priority in our thoughts. But, the difference in this situation to that of now, is that we are not cavegirls. We do not have sabre tooth tigers coming into our environments. We do not have to deal with these kind of threats …. so why does this response still happen?

Well…

The problem that we have is our thoughts. The thoughts of bad things happening. We are basically always thinking about sabre tooth tigers coming into our birth caves- but the modern day equivalent.

We think about that episode of one born every minute when the woman was screaming in pain.

We think of the story that our Mum or Auntie told us about what giving birth was like when we were 11 years old.

We think of the story that our bestie told us, about how nothing went to plan, and she had a tear and it was all very dramatic.

And when we haven’t done birth ourself, we only have our imagination and snippets of what we have seen from the TV and heard from stories, to piece together what may happen. And often it is on the dramatic side, as one born every minute wouldn’t be on its 6th series without a bit of drama to feed our drama craving minds, and a story wouldn’t be a good story without that shock factor.

So what happens when we go into labour and we feel those contractions? Our mind says,

“Ah ha… I know what happens here, I’ve seen this lots on the TV, this is when the drama happens, there’s going to be pain.”

Then our other part of the brain says,

“Did someone say PAIN? Holy crap, let’s get out of this situation. Now!”

Cue the fight or flight response…

So your feeling more pain, because that’s what you’re telling yourself is happening. You feel more fear, because you’re mind is telling you that what is happening is exactly the drama that you expected. Then because of the fight or flight response, your labour stalls, intervention is recommended so it reinforces your initial thoughts that something is in fact going wrong. You then feel more fear, more pain, more tension and more intervention…. And the cycle continues.

So now, to answer the ‘What is Hypnobirthing?’ question.

Well, it’s actually just a different type of birth prep with the focus on having a positive birth. It’s main focus is reducing the fight or flight and increasing oxytocin. And here is how, as a midwife, I teach it over here at The Bump to Baby Chapter.

1. Change your thoughts and rewrite the way you think about birth. This isn’t done by doing anything wacky… just watching positive birth stories, birth affirmations, some relaxations and a whole lot of understanding. Lots of birth stories often come with wrong information. When in fact, the more you know, the less that is unknown. This goes for what contractions are actually like, what vaginal tears are like (not as scary as how you’ve read it on MumsNet), what cesareans are like… etc? All the things that you might be pushing far down now, are only going to come to full surface if that happens bringing fear. Knowledge is power 🙌🏼🙌🏼 Always.

2. Learn ways that will help you stop the trigger of the fight or flight. How to keep yourself calm, how to cope with contractions etc. Learn what to do when you think you might be losing it. You know when you breathe out for a long time ( for example in for 4 seconds, out for 7 seconds), you actually trigger the calming response in your body that will stop the fight or flight response. Meaning that oxytocin will increase, endorphins will increase (your body’s natural pain relief) , you feel happy with oxytocin, calm, you bond with your baby more when she’s arrived, your breastfeeding is encouraged. Learning ways that will help increase your oxytocin and reduce your fight or flight is the key to a positive birth. This section of Hypnobirthing is great for birth partners too as it gives them tips on how they can help too.

3. Extra things you need to know. This is practical things that can help your birth go smoother. Things like positions that help labour go quicker, eating and drinking because your uterus is in fact a muscle that won’t work as effectively if it’s not being watered and sugared- think lucozade, jelly babies, water etc.

I think the main thing that can be learnt from Hypnobirthing is that the more you know, the more things you can do to increase that oxytocin. Oxytocin isn’t just important to help your birth go smoothly. But it’s the hormone that will encourage bonding between you and baby, it will encourage your breast milk production, but most of all it will mean that in years to come it will be a time that you look back on with fondness, love and happiness, rather than experience tainted with fear.

So what do you think? Not as whacky as you once thought!

For everything you need to do Hypnobirthing then you can enroll in The Bump to Baby Chapter’s Antenatal and Hypnobirthing online course, for the duration of the lockdown it is only £27 to give everyone the opportunity to have a great birth. This course is led by a midwife, includes antenatal education birth prep, Hypnobirthing and access to post natal sessions later down the line for baby sleep help, colic and reflux and weaning.

PHOTO CREDITS @KALINORTON @HEADYGRIMM

Liz’s Birth Story – Unplanned Homebirth

Liz’s Birth Story – Unplanned Homebirth

Whilst I think I did a pretty awesome job of staying relatively stress free in my second pregnancy (one of the MANY lessons learnt from my first), the one thing that was bothering me was the logistics of labour with a three year old to look after. I am a firm advocate of the ‘it takes a village’ approach but we live three hours away from family, and it’s all very well considering good friends to be part of your village in daylight hours … but who really wants to be woken up at 3am because my waters have gone?!

I finished work a good 4 weeks before my due date, ever resentful that Baby Number 1 came a week early and I never got the week on a sofa with Netflix promised me by everyone who talks wistfully about maternity leave. If Baby Number 2 arrived in a similarly keen fashion, I was determined that all my nesting would be done AND a good solid five days of Netflixing would have been had.

I was 39 +1, the nesting was done, the Netflixing was being had hard, and we’d spent the day in Pittville Park with friends. It had been an active day and I felt good. The evening was uneventful, and I’d gone to bed about 10.30ish I think.

I half woke up at about half midnight feeling a little bit twingy. In that way you do when you really don’t want to wake up, I just tried to ignore it, get comfy and go back to sleep, and probably dozed like that for 40 minutes or so. Realising I wasn’t really asleep, I went for a wee in the hopes that would make me more settled. I think this woke me up properly and, sitting on the loo, I realized that I really was feeling quite uncomfortable. I was getting the bad period pain tightenings that I’d managed to forget all about from three years previous, but suddenly felt all too familiar. Balls. This was EXACTLY what I didn’t want, middle of the night labour and the worry of whether we needed to get a friend out of bed. Hopefully it would either die away a bit, or just rumble on for a good few hours uneventfully and no one would need to be called. I think this is what they call wishful thinking.

I woke my partner Alex at 1.40am ish, explaining that I thought things were happening and I’d appreciate his input. I think he could tell from my face / huffing and puffing that it was the Real Deal and we decided I’d call my friend and ask if we could drop our little boy round with her on our way to the hospital. She was fantastic, she’d been keeping her phone near her in bed in case I did call and was immediately mobilized. We know from phone records that I called her at 01.56 and we spoke for 1 minute and 37 seconds (this makes this blog sound like a true crime podcast).

Alex started getting stuff sorted; my hospital bag for the car, notes, Teddy’s things for nursery the next day, so that we could grab Teddy as the last thing and go. Everything is a little bit fuzzy here memory-wise, but I know I felt the need to be on the loo and suddenly everything was feeling very much pressurey in the old baby evacuation area. Hmm. Interesting. I was fairly sure I might be having a baby a little sooner than I’d hoped.

I called for Alex, trying really hard to use a tone of voice that was the right sort of urgent, without wanting to worry him, and also not wake a three year old. I was successful, he appeared. I wasn’t really able to do much talking, but I didn’t need to. He asked me if I needed an ambulance. I remember really wanting him to make that decision, but I nodded. I really, really hoped that was the right call. I’d be mortified if paramedics walked into my room and told me I was 3cm dilated and to pull myself together.

Alex disappeared off to make the call. He went downstairs, I think so he could concentrate on making sure he told them the right things. This is really when things started moving, and – without being too happy-clappy – where I really began to learn just how amazing bodies are. Or women’s ones at least! From this point on, my body just took over completely, it knew what it needed to do. I sort of crawled from the en-suite to the bottom of my bed (grabbed a towel, well done me), and just sat on the floor, legs akimbo, doing some super deep breathing and just letting everything do what it needed to do. I’d refreshed myself about birth at from TBTBC antenatal course and am a huge convert to hypnobirthing, so I knew that my body knew what it was doing, me getting in a flap would only get in its way so I might as well let it crack on.

I was vaguely aware of Alex coming up the stairs talking to 999 dispatch, saying something along the lines of ‘No, no I don’t think she’s giving birth yet, there’s definitely no head …’ *clocks me, clocks the action end* … ‘oh no wait, I can see the head’. Cue a high speed round of Finders Keepers (do you remember that, with Neil Buchanan?) where Alex reappears after what seemed like 10 seconds with every towel we own, a shoelace (don’t ask) and a safety pin (definitely don’t ask). I am pushing with every contraction now, and vaguely aware that it’s pretty awesome that Alex is helping me have a baby (turns out he wasn’t, 999 instructions are to keep your hand over the exit and encourage baby to stay exactly where they are).

Phone records show that at 02.19 I text Fi to tell her the front door was open (she’d text once she’d woken up properly to say she’d come and get Teddy, Godbless her, rather than us going out of our way to drop him off). The first responder paramedic arrived about 02.25 and was such a lovely energy walking into the bedroom. I couldn’t open my eyes, or really be part of what was going on, but I definitely registered him as having a brilliantly in-charge attitude. He was super chilled and all ‘Oh brilliant, we’re having a baby!’. He had the gas and air already out in one hand, and after asking me if I’d had it before, handed it over for me to suck on. I sucked once, hard, then feeling another contraction sweep through me, pushed hard and out flew Baby Number 2 at 02.30am, catching everyone slightly off guard.

Brilliant things that happened in quick succession soon after:- Alex gets to tell me that we have a squawking, pink baby boy, with ten finger and ten toes- Fi arrives, a bit worried at the sight of the response car, and does the best comedy double take ever when she walks into my room – Two more paramedics arrive in an ambulance, and everyone gets very giddy about the first Paramedic, John, delivering his first ever baby – I know everyone says it, but the minute the baby was out, I was completely back in the room and the pains of labour were immediately forgotten. I was giddy at what had just happened, and with only 15 or so minutes of pushing, I didn’t have any of the fatigue at all that you’d have with 2 hours of pushing.

We were incredibly lucky that the baby was totally healthy, and the placenta delivered easily soon after, I completely appreciate that an unplanned homebirth might sound scary or be a bit more complicated. But to be sat in bed with our new baby boy, being made tea and toast by Fi, 2 hours after I’d first woken up with some early aches, was an absolute dream. We are incredibly lucky that we have that story.

And Teddy? Slept through the whole thing. Slept through my moaning and groaning on the bedroom floor. Slept through three paramedics writing notes outside his bedroom door. Win.

Fi went home after an hour or so. What a champ. The hospital couldn’t free up a midwife to come out to us, so the paramedics drove me and the baby in to be checked. Alex stayed home to get Teddy up, took him to nursery (telling him I was at work), then came to pick me and the baby up from hospital. We’d spent a few hours in the delivery suite in Gloucester being incredibly well looked after and eating more tea and toast. Baby was a bit cold, because our bedroom window had been open while Alex looked for the first responder and because of the ambulance ride, but other than that everything was perfect. We were home by lunch, to have a few hours to ourselves before Teddy came home to be greeted by his new baby brother.

Great things… friends who get out of bed at 2am, make you tea and toast for a couple of hours, then go home to their own 2 children and a full day of work

Great things… paramedics, 999, midwives and the NHS

Great things… Rug Doctors for putting bedroom floors back together.

If you want to know about ways to keep calm during your birth, ways that you can stack the odds in your favour to have a great birth and techniques that you can start practising now in your pregnancy to prep for birth, then you can get all the information from the convenience of your own home on your own time, by accessing our online course.

An online course put together by UK midwife, Beth offering both hypnobirthing and antenatal education, which has helped women across the globe feel confident and calm during their birth.

Jessica’s Birth Story

Jessica’s Birth Story

 

After a positive first birth with my daughter in America (my husband Mark and I relocated to California for a couple of years, where our daughter was born – yay dual citizenship), I was keen that my second birth would be another one to look back on with fond memories. I decided to sign up for antenatal classes with TBTBC, despite having “done it before”, for a couple of reasons: I wanted to find out more about labour and birth on the NHS after a pretty medicalised experience in the US; I wanted to give hypnobirthing a go, and I *really* wanted to make friends with people who’d have babies at the same time as me, as I know the 4am WhatsApp chat is invaluable, particularly during the early weeks.

 

 

 

Our antenatal classes with Beth were excellent, even my skeptical husband who wasn’t convinced we needed to do them second time around was won over… perhaps by the beer and donuts at Baker and Graze! Although I think some of the other people in our class thought I was slightly unhinged as I would tear up at any mention of the moment where you first hold your baby – pregnancy hormones are real!

 

 

 

A combination of feeling more confident in my own decisions second time around (seriously, look into the statistics on the safety and positives of a home-birth, you may be surprised!) and the great support and advice from Beth led us to decide that we would plan for a home-birth, with a hospital bag packed just in case.

 

 

 

My first labour was very quick (under an hour and a half from start to finish), so another one of the reasons I wanted to plan for a home birth was that I couldn’t face the idea of giving birth in the car on the way to hospital. I also knew the importance of a comfortable birthing environment to help labour progress and after doing *a lot* of research I decided that the safest place to give birth, for me and our baby, was at home.

 

 

 

My due date came and went, but thanks to the positive mindset gained from TBTBC hypnobirthing class I was feeling relaxed and knew my baby would come when he or she was ready. I was also much more relaxed about the thought of labour occurring at any time as the birthing pool was all set up and Mark had a list of things to do when I went into labour… and the snack cupboard was fully stocked for the midwives!

 

 

 

The morning I went into labour I felt different to how I had been feeling for the rest of the third trimester and I was convinced that it was the day we’d finally meet our baby. I was so convinced that I phoned my in-laws and arranged for our daughter to go to them for the weekend, just in case something happened. Thankfully my mum was also staying with us so it was reassuring to know if I did go into labour that our daughter would be well looked after and I could concentrate on birth without the added distraction of a toddler. Having had such a quick labour the first time, on the advice of my midwife I called the maternity unit at the first sign of contractions – in my case it was like very mild period pains – and Mark started filling the birthing pool.

 

 

 

Our midwife arrived shortly afterwards and after taking some details, sat quietly and unobtrusively making notes while I laboured on the birthing ball. I was glad that I called them early because although my contractions weren’t regular, they were definitely getting stronger and I felt that it wouldn’t be too long before things really got going.

 

 

 

Having not had any pain relief for the birth of my daughter (they don’t use gas and air in America for birth – but strangely you can use it at the dentist – and I didn’t even have time to consider an epidural due to my quick labour), I wanted to use more natural methods including a birth pool to manage the contractions. However, I was advised not to get in the pool by the midwife as I had some bleeding and although all the other monitoring was normal, she wanted to keep an eye on any more blood loss which would be harder to do in the pool with the water. This was a good opportunity to use my “BRAIN” as we’d been taught during antenatal classes. I decided that although I wasn’t worried about the bleeding being a sign of anything wrong, I was managing the pain of contractions well enough without the pool and I was keen to keep the midwife happy and avoid her recommending we go into hospital for monitoring so we agreed with her recommendation and the pool remained unused. Using all the hypnobirthing techniques we’d learnt with Beth, I managed the pain by using breathing techniques, movement, sniffing essential oils and listening to affirmations (just reading this makes it sound so hippyish, but it really can work!). The pain was intense but manageable and at no point did I feel that I couldn’t do it – it helped that I had done it once before. Having said that, I read the notes my midwife made during labour and she used the word uncomfortable to describe how I was feeling… it was definitely more than that!

 

 

 

After about 45 minutes I really felt things change and knew it was time to push. The midwife stayed back and let me do my own thing and go where I wanted which I hugely appreciated – she also put in a call to her colleague to hurry up as home births are usually attended by two midwives! The only time I was really aware of the midwife was during the examinations and I was happy labouring by myself. At birthing class we talked about labouring women being in one of two categories: those who like company and those who would rather be alone – I’m definitely the later! I decided that I didn’t want to know how dilated I was in case it wasn’t much and I would have found it demotivating, the only time we found out was when I felt ready to push and the midwife checked that I was at 10cm.

 

 

 

After the sensation of contractions, feeling my body push was really satisfying. In our birth plan I’d written that I didn’t want coached pushing and I was happy to let my body do what it needed to naturally. I also had a lovely few minutes (or at least that’s what it felt like to me – my husband said it was more like 20 seconds!) break in between my contractions at this stage just before delivering the head where I could catch my breath and get really excited that in just a couple of pushes we would meet our baby and finally found out if our daughter would have a little brother or a little sister.

 

 

 

An hour after feeling the first “proper” contraction, our beautiful baby boy Arthur was born. The moment the midwife caught him and passed him up to me was just as amazing as I’d remembered from the first time. I needed a couple of stitches, which were genuinely more painful than labour and birth, but being able to have them done on the comfort of my own sofa with our baby having skin to skin with his dad more than made up for it! The endorphins kicked in and I felt like a superhero for days.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A couple of hours after they had arrived and with all our observations done, the midwives left and Mark and I had brownies and a glass of champagne to celebrate – definitely a perk of giving birth at home!

 

 

 

For any one considering a home birth, I would highly recommend it – I think it was the single most important decision I made for a positive birth and labour. Having a homebirth is relatively unusual, so expect some raised eyebrows if you mention it to anyone. This is where being armed with facts really helps, not only for your own decision making but also to quickly shut down any unwelcome “helpful comments” you may receive. I feel very lucky to have had such a brilliant experience and now two beautiful children.

 

 

 

Having said that, wherever you give birth it is possible to have an equally brilliant experience. It is such an important thing to be able to feel like you’ve made informed decisions and the best choices along the way for you and your baby – doing an antenatal classes like TBTBC really helps with that and will hopefully allow you to look back on your birth positively.

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you want to know about ways to keep calm during your birth, ways that you can stack the odds in your favour to have a great birth and techniques that you can start practising now in your pregnancy to prep for birth, then you can get all the information from the convenience of your own home on your own time, by accessing our online course.

An online course put together by UK midwife, Beth offering both hypnobirthing and antenatal education, which has helped women across the globe feel confident and calm during their birth.

 

Emma’s Birth Story

Emma’s Birth Story

My waters broke at 3.50am and we went to triage at 5.45am after my parents arrived to look after my 4 year old son. Mild contractions started while we were there. We went home with rough plans for either an induction or caesarean the following morning if things didn’t progress due to waters having broken and associated risk of infection. As a VBAC mum I wanted to keep my options open. 

Once home I used my Hypnobirthing techniques to help bring the contractions on fully. Things that really helped:

– watching my favourite film eating doughnuts and chocolate

– having a bath with dimmed lights listening to Hypnobirthing script

– using TENs machine once out the bath listening to my favourite songs

– using the contraction timer from Freya 

By 12pm I was finding the contractions intense and they were 3 in 10 minutes. As a VBAC mum I wanted to go to hospital so they could monitor me more closely.  

In the car my contractions ramped up and I started to panic when we hit traffic so I used my breathing techniques and put the radio on (kisstory!) to keep myself in the zone

I contracted four times from the car to triage and just blocked out all the things around me. I never imagined I could stay focussed in the middle of GRH car park! We randomly bumped into my community midwife on the way in which was great to see a familiar face! 

When I got to triage they hooked me to a monitor but didn’t offer any pain relief or gas and air so I kept with my TENS machine and breathing. 

At this point things went a bit off plan, the monitor showed baby’s heart rate was dipping when I was contracting so I was admitted to the labour ward to be examined. I was allowed to use the jasmine room which is a special room with mood lighting and birthing pool a bit like the rooms in the birthing unit. 

I was 3cm dilated but cervix was stretchy. I went on the gas and air and wireless monitoring whilst my husband set up the room with aromatherapy, photos and tea lights. The contractions were coming very close together and were very intense. The midwife and doctor were concerned about baby’s heart rate and the doctor examined me to find I was now 6cms dilated just an hour after the last examination. Labour was progressing quickly but baby’s heart rate was really worrying me and I found I couldn’t focus on my breathing as well. Then baby turned back to back and I had the overwhelming urge to push but knew I couldn’t. This is when this labour started to feel like my first labour. My first baby ended up being born by emergency c section and had a short spell in special care with no skin to skin for over 24 hours and my ultimate outcome I wanted this time was to avoid this baby being separated from me. 

At this point my baby’s heart rate was recovering well from the contractions so I knew she was ok. My instinct was to ask for a c section. The dr explained there was no medical reason for this but they wanted to take a blood sample from baby to see how she was coping. They explained the results would take an hour. I agreed to the test but shortly afterwards decided an hour is a long time if baby is in distress so I finalised my decision to have a c section. Instead of feeling a failure as I’d expected if my VBAC failed I actually felt really empowered and that I was following my instincts for the best outcome for my baby. 

Preparations were made and my midwife, Beth, was fantastic at keeping me calm and had obviously read my birth plan as she informed the theatre staff what we wanted. My playlist was put on and I heard all the staff singing along to sex on fire and mr brightside! They were all so happy and relaxed. Everyone introduced themselves and said encouraging things to me. My tealights were put out and after the spinal was put in and I was lying down the anaesthetist asked me and my husband about our son and a recent holiday. I kept watching the tealights, thought back to the holiday and my breathing and trembling (from the adrenaline) calmed down. Not long after that my beautiful daughter was born. She had delayed cord clamping, was weighed in front of me and had skin to skin for an hour while they completed the operation. 

Olivia had no health problems and she stayed with me in recovery (and every minute since 😂)

The doctor visited me in recovery and explained the blood test for Olivia had showed she was in distress so they would have recommended a c section had I waited for the results. There was also something about my placenta which was unknown during pregnancy which could have resulted in a serious bleed and risks for me and Olivia as labour progressed. He was pleased I’d followed my instincts and it was absolutely the right birth for me and Olivia. 

Without Hypnobirthing classes I wouldn’t have had the confidence or knowledge to decide on a c section and the techniques/toolkit helped in so many ways on the day I can’t recommend it highly enough! 

 

If, like Emma, you want 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.