Vicki’s Positive Water Birth

Vicki’s Positive Water Birth

Love reading positive birth stories, you’re in the right place…. This positive birth story is with Vicki and her second baby. Vicki had a traumatic birth with her first baby and signed up to our course to support her to achieve her goal of having “a more pleasant birth”. Vicki gave birth to her son, Dexter, via a water birth and was able to “catch” him herself which she says was “was the most amazing experience“.

I started this course in the hope of a more pleasant birth; I hadn’t anticipated how much it would change things. My partner and I watched the whole course twice….I cried a lot and talked about all my worries and feelings of failure as a mum that came from my first labour. 

We have moved geographically since our daughter was born, so this really was a clean slate, but that’s not to say there haven’t been wobbles.  This time I spoke to my midwife about my worries and had some extra support. I wrote a detailed birth plan with her and made my own, abridged, birth preferences sheet to take into the hospital.

40 weeks arrived and I was feeling quite chilled about things, and then I suddenly got really uncomfortable and achy (back, hips etc) and was dealing with multiple messages each day about whether baby has arrived and so I started to get a bit irritable and feeling like I was done with pregnancy. I had a sweep at 40 weeks and another at 40+2, I was already 2-3cm dilated but my cervix was thick and there were no changes between the first and 2nd sweep (despite trying everything….expressing milk, Clary sage, raspberry leave tea, sex, curry).

I had another sweep at 40+4 about 10am and, just like the first sweep, I had discomfort for the rest of the morning which slowly improved….but then it came back on and off about 2:30pm.  I started timing these and they were every 5 minutes, but really not that painful so I assumed they would go off again, but did give the heads up to our dog and child sitters and my partner who was at work.

About 7pm I suggested my partner head home a bit early if he could as they did seem to be increasing in frequency, but still felt a bit dramatic as I could just about talk through them.  I rang the birth centre about 8pm who said to call back in an hour and see how things were. I had a couple of paracetamol to see me through.  

At 9pm they were every 3.5 minutes but manageable; given it was a second labour and our distance from hospital they said to go in for triage. When we arrived at the hospital at about 9:45 they were more intense but I could breath through them.  We talked through my options for initial monitoring and agreed to try with me standing (I was adamant I was not lying down). When they examined me at 11 I was fully effaced and 5cm dilated. The midwife said she would need to get clearance for me to remain midwife led, but the consultant was happy as, despite my miscarriages, my labour was low risk so they ran the pool and I got in about 11:30, which was amazing and helped so much.

I spent the next 3 hours quietly breathing through the contractions in the pool, in a dark room with my music on and everyone chilling out. About 1:30 I was sometimes getting the urge to push at the end of my out breaths, it felt way too soon but the midwife told me to go with it and I asked if this could be the elusive transition. 

I kept thinking I needed pain relief but thought as I was getting near pushing I was reluctant to have gas and air as I didn’t think I’d want it in pushing….and I felt a bit past paracetamol/codeine so just carried on with my breathing, focusing on my long out breaths, watching the ripples it made in the pool.

I started pushing more consistently about 2:30 and he arrived at 3:20, into the pool,and I was able to catch him myself which was the most amazing experience. He came out transverse (facing sideways), so I had a 2nd degree tear but hadn’t even noticed this and they stitched me up on the bed; once we’d all had our post birth checks we came home and introduced him to his big sister. 

I cannot thank Beth enough for this course, or to the group for their support and fabulous stories.

The words I will never forget were, part way through, the Midwife said “you are so in control of this, it’s really beautiful”.

To everyone still waiting for your bundles of joy, I hope you have a fabulous journey.

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.

Fran’s Positive Birth

Fran’s Positive Birth

Love reading positive birth stories? You’re in the right place! This positive birth story is with Fran and her second baby. Fran had a challenging first birth and suffered with PTSD. Her second birth was a very positive water birth which left her feeling “whole”.

We have a daughter already, Grace. Her consultant led birth was really difficult for me due to a combination of intense and quick progression (about 4hours from 4cm – 10cm), a lack of knowledge and preparation on my part and some disrespectful care from senior staff. Unfortunately, it ended with a significant bleed from an episiotomy, PTSD and months and months of chasing answers but getting nowhere.

That experience left a mark, and I thought I had worked through those feelings when we started trying for our second; only to find myself most definitely not ‘over it’ once we had a positive test – and by that point, there was no turning back.
Appointments with my lovely midwife at the GP were absolutely fine. However, appointments at the hospital, particularly as I often attended alone, would send me into huge heaving panic attacks, uncontrollable tears – I’d be sick, I’d have migraines, blurry vision and huge peaks in blood pressure. I struggled to see how I’d have a positive, chilled out birth at this hospital if I couldn’t even get through a scan?  

I ordered a book from Milli Hill which was eye opening and informative. I then went on to purchase this course just to cement what I’d learned and to cover certain topics in more depth. Much to my surprise, I recognised Beth when I started watching her videos- she was the midwife looking after us with my first (to clarify – her care was amazing, we were let down by others) and I reached out to her. She was gracious enough to talk me through the birth and give me the debrief I’ve never had – this chat combined with my new knowledge and a visit to MLU for a tour, gave me the mindset shift I’d needed all this time. I was ready. 

Fast forward a couple weeks to 40 + 6 and I knew instantly that morning when I woke up that it would be the day. Contractions started about 9.30am and were immediately 3-5min apart. I showered, packed up my daughter’s things for a sleepover at the grandparents’ and got on the ball. By 1:30pm I was in the hospital at 5/6cm.

Contractions were thick and fast so I just kept breathing into a lavender eye pillow as I had all morning at home (4&7 worked so well!) and swaying – at no point did I get on a bed and I’m so happy about this! Having the course knowledge was instrumental in me feeling like I could lean into labour and not run from it. I recognised what my body was doing which helped to eliminate fear.

It became very clear that baby was going to be speedy like her sister, we only just made it into the pool (at one point I was seriously concerned that I still had my shoes on but could feel the need to push 😳😂). I didn’t have gas and air as I found it distracting so was just guided by my husband and midwife. The pool was amazing for me, mainly because no one could touch me! I panicked at the ‘ring of fire’ as the familiar pain just sent me back to being in stirrups and feeling helpless, I even started to rise out the water. Amina, my midwife, spotted this straight away and told me exactly what I needed to hear: “Fran, you are safe. You are in control. You are safe. I want you to reach down and feel your baby, you will catch her because you are in control and this is your birth. You are safe.” She went to great lengths to protect this birth and to ensure it remained positive and on MLU. I learned more about her efforts afterwards and will always be so grateful to her for this. 

And a few pushes later (some of which I swear I didn’t even do) and she was in my arms. I was in total shock and just kept saying “she’s real, she’s real.” We delivered the placenta with the injection on land (a pre-agreed precaution given past bleed and already EBRAN’ed) and it was in tact, as was I – with just a small 1st degree graze. 200ml blood loss compared to previous almost 2l, and on my feet straight away – the experiences were like night and day. 

I was soon greeted with toast and a lavender milk bath (I’ve had three million lavender baths since, I’m never going back to bubbles 😂). My midwife chatted with me after and debriefed both births together, with comparisons and clarifications, which she did subtly and sensitively. We went home late that night, after a number of blissful hours on our own soaking it all in. Driving home was like that delicious feeling of going on holiday and leaving for the airport in the dark, knowing you need more sleep but you don’t care because you’re just running on excitement. 

I felt so numb after my first pregnancy and birth, I never knew it could be like this and I’m still pinching myself. I’m so grateful for this course, to Beth personally and a collection of wonderful, empowering superwomen (my community midwife, my consultant, Amina and the staff on MLU). 

Collectively, they have all played a part in healing a part of me that I thought would always remain broken. Now, when I look at my daughters and think about their births, I feel at peace – I feel whole.

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.

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!!

Charlotte’s Positive Birth Story: 3rd Baby

Charlotte’s Positive Birth Story: 3rd Baby

Love reading positive birth stories, you’re in the right place…. This positive birth story is with Charlotte’s 3rd baby. Following a previous traumatic birth, Charlotte was determined to make her third and final birth a positive one.

3rd baby. 41+1 weeks. Born on the 26th Jan weighing 9lb 9oz! 

Just a little bit of background. I was definitely a person who had all of the negative connotations about birth firmly in my mind, especially after giving birth to my first child, which I deemed as traumatic at the time and would even go as for to say I may have had some elements of PTSD afterwards. When I came to have my second, I buried my head in the sand throughout the entire pregnancy and what was a completely normal delivery still felt like such a negative experience because I was terrified and felt out of control. Safe to say, once I found out I was expecting my third I was determined to not do the same and started hypnobirthing really early on.  

Birth story:

I awoke 8 days overdue at 6am to my waters slowly trickling and around an hour afterwards started to get my first contractions which were fairly mild to begin with. At around 07.30-8am, they had picked up in strength a bit but were still all over the place in terms of regularity. They began to get stronger but were still irregular and I love how chilled and excited I was throughout this whole stage, rather than anxious and frightened. I rested on my bed through the contractions, used my breathing techniques and was laughing and joking with my husband.

At around 10.30 they had stepped up in intensity and I said to my husband it may be worth ringing my mum to collect the children within the next hour, however at 11am I knew things were beginning to ramp up and asked him to call my mum to come now. The contractions were now strong enough that I couldn’t talk through them and had to really concentrate on my breathing so we also called the stand alone birth centre I was booked at to tell them we would be on our way soon. We arrived at the birth centre at 12.15pm and the midwife was ready to greet us and was already filling up the pool. Again, although I was really having to work hard at this point to breath through each contraction which were now coming thick and fast, I still felt calm, safe and most importantly in control. I consented to a vaginal examination and I was 7cm, yay! I asked for gas and air whilst the pool filled up and this helped to regulate my breathing as things were becoming very intense quite quickly. I then got into the pool, although the warm water was soothing, I must admit I did struggle to find a comfortable position. I hadn’t been in the pool long when I felt my body take over and I was bearing down.

The midwife was so supportive and just told me to go with what my body was telling me to do. The midwife continued to check baby’s heart rate every 15 minutes and she asked me to get out of the pool as she couldn’t pick him up. As I stood up I felt his head, the cord was around his neck but the midwife swiftly removed it and I was able to push his body out still stood in the pool. I was then able to sit back down and the midwife put him back into the water for me to pick him up. This part was magical. He was born at 13.50pm, just an hour and a half after arriving at the birth centre. I had opted to allow the placenta to come on it’s own but after half an hour of it still not making an appearance I asked for the injection as I just wanted to deliver it and get comfy on the bed for skin to skin.

I had a small 1st degree tear which didn’t require any stitches- bonus! I still can’t quite believe I got my water birth away from the hospital and can now talk and feel so positively about birth. This course helped immensely and the advice to watch and read as many positive birth stories as possible totally invaluable. This is definitely going to be my last baby and I’m glad my birthing and pregnancy journey ended the way it.

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.

Emily’s Birth Story- Previous Traumatic Birth

Emily’s Birth Story- Previous Traumatic Birth

I just wanted to send you an email to thank you for completely changing my perspective on labour and birth, and for not only helping me have a positive experience with my second son but for helping to heal some of the trauma experienced with my first. 

Last week I had an amazing birth experience. A sentence I never thought it would ever be possible for me to say. After my first sons birth which involved a drip induction to speed up my labour and ended in an episiotomy and forceps delivery in theatre I struggled mentally with ptsd. However with my second son I was determined to have a better experience, I stumbled across your course on Instagram and as a massive sceptic I thought what a load of rubbish but as my due date grew nearer so my anxiety grew and my ptsd returned with a vengeance and so I thought what have I got to loose.

At 42 weeks and after weeks of mild contractions and “maybe this is it moments” I agreed with my midwife to go into hospital to be induced, she said I was already 3cm and so hopefully all would be needed would be for them to break my waters. I went into hospital, had my waters broken and was then told I had 4 hours for labour to start so I spent the whole time on my feet or on my ball listening to my relaxation audio and focusing on staying upright and forward, contractions were mild and were not consistent so after 4 hours I was advised to move to delivery to be started on the drip. At this point I started to panic, my partner was not allowed in yet due to covid restrictions and I could feel myself already envisioning a repeat of my first birth. Once on delivery I had a little cry and a strong word with myself that I needed to focus now more than ever so back on went my relaxation audio and despite being told to lay still on the bed for 30mins monitoring I refused and told them I was remaining upright, so the midwives got a different monitor to allow me to do this.

To my absolute delight my contractions soon started to ramp up and I asked to be examined before the drip was started, I was 5cm! And so I continued without the drip and at this point my partner was allowed to join me. I changed position whenever I felt I needed to, I continued to drink plenty and my partner counted out my breathing techniques for me. During contractions I focused on relaxing and allowed my body to take over and just 2hours and 40mins later my son was born in the birthing pool, a birth which only a few hours previous had seemed like an impossible dream slowly getting fainter and fainter.

I had an amazing and empowering birth experience this time around and most of it is thanks to taking the plunge and doing your course, I kept the words from your videos in my mind at all times and every time I felt myself start to panic I refocused on relaxing my body and thoughts of having cuddles with my little boy. So thank you so much for making it possible for me to not only find birth less traumatic but to actually enjoy it and have nothing but amazing memories from that day.

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.

Katrina’s Birth Story- Cesarean during the Coronavirus

Katrina’s Birth Story- Cesarean during the Coronavirus

I had my daughter Eliza Ivy on 9th April 2020 – I elected for a caesarean following my previous induction and emergency caesarean under general anaesthetic with my now 26 month old daughter CiCi.

Throughout my pregnancy I thought I would have a VBAC – I wanted to experience going into labour the natural way and to feel my waters break and so on… Given the current COVID-19 pandemic, I started to feel panicked and decided that an elective caesarean would be the right choice for me. My husband also needed to look after our 2 year old so it became a reality that I would need to undergo the surgery alone. I was terrified and couldn’t sleep the night before. When I thought about it practically, I calmed down but it was the thought of not having my husband to hold my hand that made me quite emotional.

When the morning arrived, everything was calm – virtually tranquil. The ward, despite not being empty felt quiet and the staff at East Surrey Hospital were kind and reassuring. I was determined to breastfeed this time round after struggling and ultimately giving up the first time. So in I went with my colostrum syringes ready to store in the fridge. When it was my turn to have my baby, despite everything being explained to me, I will never forget the range of overwhelming emotions I felt in such a short space of time. Fear, relief, discomfort, ease, panic, calm, worry, joy, adrenaline, elation…

Ahead of time, the midwife in the surgery team offered to play my choice of music and to take any photos/videos I would like. In the end, my anaesthetist FaceTimed my husband so he could see my daughter being carried over the drapes – this was a new experience for us both as we had not seen our first daughter so soon after the birth. My midwife helped me downstairs to meet my husband and daughter – she took her time and didn’t rush us. This really made our reunion post birth so special.

I had skin to skin with my daughter and she fed from me straight away – our breastfeeding journey has been strong for nearly two weeks and I feel so lucky to be able to manage this time. I think that the pandemic has given me the blessing of time so that I am not rushing feeds or worrying about getting too much done at home. I’ve been able to recover at a steady pace and after he initial two days, it’s got easier each day. It’s not easy with a two year old, especially when she wanted to be carried and I can’t because of my wound but we’ve been making a conscious effort to make sure CiCi has lots of special time as well as fresh air and park visits so she doesn’t feel left out.

After my first birth which was challenging, painful and frightening, I felt so much more calm and in control this time round. I wanted to share my story with other mums to be who might be feeling quite anxious and unsure about their births. It might not be exactly what you imagine but the NHS staff are with you every step of the way 🤍

Thank you to Katrina for sharing her positivity with her birth story during this pandemic. For more birth stories click here.