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.
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.
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.
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.
My husband and I did a one day hypnobirthing course in August and I just wanted to thank Beth and TBTBC for making such a difference to our birth experience. It was more wondeeful than I could have hoped for and I am sure that all the advice, positive stories and hypnobirthing tools made it possible. I’ve written my birth story below if you wanted to share it…
My first birth was not a great experience, my son was induced after my waters broke and nothing happened for 48 hours. I ended up having an epidural and a stressful delivery which resulted in a third degree tear. Even after leaving hospital the early days with my baby were equally stressful as my milk did not come in for several days and my son was unsettled and losing weight. We were ok after a few weeks but I always wonder about the impact of stress during the birth on my son’s start in life.For this, my second baby, I was offered a planned C-section due to the risk of severe tearing a second time around. I felt confident using BRAIN and saying no to the consultant, wanting to avoid a medicalised birth and give my body a chance to do what it was built for. My due date came and went without any signs of labour and my midwife offered a stretch and sweep, which I declined at my 41 week appointment to allow a few extra days for nature to take its course. She booked me in for an induction at 41+5 days, which would mean I could still go to the birth unit rather than the hospital for the birth.
With nothing happening, I decided to go for the sweep at 41+2 days to try to move things along before the planned induction. I started to feel mild cramps the next day and after two days (the day before the planned induction), they became stronger and more regular. I relaxed at home listening to my favourite music, eating chocolate and pottering around, playing with my son, breathing through the surges, which felt like stronger period cramps. I put on my TENS machine which was a very effective distraction and made me feel in control of the surges. By late afternoon they were coming around every three minutes so I called the birth unit who advised to wait until the surges were strong enough that I couldn’t talk through them.
An hour later we made our way to the birth unit and were taken to a lovely room with a birthing pool, leather sofa, bathroom and soft lighting. I declined an immediate internal examination and said I wanted to settle in first. The lovely midwife was fully supportive and listened in to our baby on the Doppler instead, commenting on how nice and relaxed I was (and probably thinking I had a while to go…) The baby was very active and the midwife suggested we went for monitoring in the triage unit to make sure everything was ok. We agreed and I focused on my music and TENS machine to help me breathe through the surges while attached to the monitor. Thankfully everything was fine. My husband stepped in to make sure we were released to go back to the birth unit as quickly as possible as I could feel things were progressing and I wanted to get back to our comfortable space and get refocused. Not long after getting back in the birth unit room the next few surges were coming thick and fast and I asked my husband to fetch someone. He then gently massaged my shoulders and mopped my brow which helped make the strong surges more comfortable.
I could sense my body was ready to push and sure enough, when the midwife returned to examine me, my waters had broken, I was fully dilated and making primal noises through the surges! After breathing through a few more surges with gas and air to help I could feel my body start to push and the down breathing that I had been practising on the toilet for the last few months came into play! I really did feel as if I was doing a giant poo! The midwife helped me into an all fours position on the bed and after a few more surges I could feel the baby’s head emerging. The next surge, the head came out fully and then I felt the rest of the body slip out with a massive sense of relief and joy. I actually shouted “Amazing!” as it happened. The midwife said “Look down!” and there was our baby girl.
I lay back on the bed and had skin to skin and a first feed with her while my husband cut the cord, and I then delivered the placenta with a few more pushes. I needed a few stitches but minor damage compared to my first birth. The brilliant midwives then prepared a bath for me and tea and toast, and my husband and i had a wonderful peaceful few hours with our new arrival while awaiting the all clear to go home. Having arrived at the unit at 6pm, baby Daphne was born at 9.10pm, and we were back at home by 6am the next morning to introduce her to her big brother and grandma and grandad.The whole experience made me feel like a superhero, so amazed by what my body was capable of. Most importantly Daphne’s first moments were peaceful and calm, and she is a healthy and relaxed baby.
It really was as simple as breathing, relaxing and letting my body do its thing with the help and support of my husband and some brilliant midwives. And of course the knowledge, tools and positive mindset provided by TBTBC that prepared me for this magical experience Thank you TBTBC!
Gayle and Luis,Mum and dad to baby Daphne, born 27th October 2019
I had my first baby 10 years ago and the whole experience was so traumatising that I vowed that if I ever had another baby, I was going to be one of those ‘too-posh-to-push’ mums and have baby extracted via the sunroof.
I met my now husband, James, in 2009. We got married in May 2015 and I was pregnant by August. We were absolutely over the moon. This time, I decided that I was going to completely embrace being pregnant; I was going to look after myself, carry on working out and contrary to the first sentence of this post, I was going to plan to give birth naturally BUT I was going to do something about the fear I still held onto and decided to enroll hubby and me onto a hypnobirthing course.
The hypnobirthing course was fab and made it real for James too. I was totally keen for all of the breathing techniques and the course was worth it just for those. It was also worth it because hypnobirthing empowered us to ask the right questions with the medical staff looking after us. For example, during my first labour, I would have asked them why they needed to intervene and speed up my contractions when I had been getting on just fine? As a result of the course, I also decided on a homebirth… yes, away from all the medical intervention, surgeons and drugs! We moved to Cheltenham from Berkshire when I was 8 months pregnant and I immediately noticed how amazing the midwifery care was here compared to where I had moved from. My desire to have a homebirth and use hypnobirthing terminology, like saying “surge” instead of “contraction,” was fully supported. I felt excited about the impending arrival of our second baby girl! A complete turn around from the fear of birth that I had at the beginning.
We got the spare bedroom ready for the birth and 3 days after my due date, I started feeling tightening in tummy. I went to sleep that night and woke up to the same tightening. I had breakfast and decided to take a warm bubble bath. Whilst in the bath, the tightening felt stronger and I felt I had to breathe through it. I called Cheltenham birthing centre and had to stop talking when another ‘surge’ came – the lovely midwife said, “If you couldn’t talk just then, you’re in labour my love.” I put on the music that I’d listened to during my hypnobirthing relaxation sessions and sat on a swiss ball, gently bouncing. The first midwife arrived at about 10am and asked me if I wanted her to check how things were progressing. I said yes and found out that I was already 6 to 7cm dilated. The surges started to come in stronger and I used my breathing techniques to breathe through them. I wouldn’t say they were pain free, far from it, but the breathing really did help. I buried my head in hubby’s neck which I found really comforting and hubby didn’t speak… also comforting. 😉 Two more midwives arrived and they were all fantastic – kind, patient, friendly, chatty – everything I could have wished for. I got to 10cm dilated with no pain relief but it was becoming unbearable so I asked for the gas and air. My water’s still hadn’t broken and I didn’t really feel the need to push but they told me to start pushing. I felt exhausted and just wanted to sleep. I felt like I had nothing left in me. I then heard the midwives saying that they were calling for an ambulance as the baby’s heart rate wasn’t recovering quickly enough between surges. I remember lying there thinking, “Wait a minute. If an ambulance comes, I’m going to have to get downstairs (there’s no way I could have walked), get into the ambulance, travel to Gloucester hospital – all the while with no pain relief – and our baby was going to be pulled out with forceps or worse, I was going to end up having a C-section.” Within seconds of hearing this, I put my chin to my chest, closed my eyes, breathed down and gave it everything I had. Before I knew it, I heard the midwives saying, “Cancel the ambulance, the baby’s coming!” And come she did at 1.19pm – my waters broke as she arrived! Gosh the relief was dizzying and I was ecstatic that baby girl and I had made it. We left the umbilical cord pulsing for nearly 30 minutes before James cut it and I delivered the placenta naturally too. The midwives stayed for nearly 2 hours after the birth and left me, James, baby Jasmine and the room I’d given birth in, all clean, fresh and ready to start our new adventure together. We relocated to our bedroom and ordered Chinese takeaway at 6pm. Hands down the most delicious meal I’ve ever eaten!
If you’re low risk, I can’t recommend a homebirth enough. Not having to worry about when you can or can’t go into a hospital was brilliant and I genuinely felt excited about being at home, amongst our home comforts. When friends come to stay, I love saying, “I gave birth to Jasmine in the room you’re staying in.” ☺
If you want to know about other ways to have a great birth then…