Claire’s Unplanned Cesarean

Claire’s Unplanned Cesarean

Love reading positive birth stories, you’re in the right place…. This positive birth story is with Claire and her first baby, a surprise baby girl. Claire’s birth was an unplanned cesarean as her baby was in an awkward position, and Claire describes how she felt “incredibly safe in the theatre. Claire still experienced delayed cord clamping, her partner cut the cord, and she got immediate skin-to-skin with her baby.

I had a very lovely low risk pregnancy with everything going very smoothly – apart from having covid at Christmas, where my symptoms were mild. That being said, I felt really well up to the very end. I’m quite tall and the bump was all baby so I never felt huge or desperate baby to come out! 

On Friday 5th I had a totally normal day thinking that baby would be late and hazarding a guess at 14th… Valentine’s Day! I ate half a pineapple for lunch and joked this ought to get things going. Sure enough, by 8.30pm contractions started and were every 3-7 minutes and pretty strong. I began using the Freya app to log them and used my breathing techniques I’d learned during this course. I headed to bed and continued to log my contractions throughout the night which remained at 3-7 minutes and lasting around 50 seconds. I got the odd minute of sleep here and there and just rested in between. 

On Saturday 6th (due date) contractions were still at the same intervals. I put on the tens machine which personally I didn’t find to be very helpful – it just added to the pain! I wanted to keep active so me and my husband, Reuben, went for a walk. I got as far as the end of the next road, had to lean against a wall during contractions and decided I wasn’t that fussed enough to see the river after all so I waddled back home! I tried to keep active but to be honest I’d already entered another world…. a blurry one where you are so focused on dealing with the pain that you loose all concept of time and place. I carried on this was and had another sleepless night without fancying any dinner…

Sunday 7th arrived and by the afternoon I was still breathing through the contractions which were still every 3-7 minutes. We asked my good friend, next door neighbour and midwife, Kat to come in and monitor whether it was time to go over the hospital. When she arrived, I got distracted and the contractions petered out. As soon as she left they ramped back up!! I carried on for another 6 hours or so and then asked her to come back in. She sat with me for a while and said we could go over whenever we wanted to. At about 10pm we decided to head over. It was snowing and very icy! I remember thinking – I don’t want to come home until I can bring a baby back!

We arrived 20 mins later and I was examined and found that I was 2cm. I remember hearing Beth’s voice saying “that’s 2 more cm than none!” So I remained positive. I was told I could stay but Reuben would have to wait in the car until I was in established labour. I decided I would probably progress better at home so back we went.

At 2am on the Monday (8th) morning after Reu had taken over logging the contractions we headed over to hospital again as they were every 2.5 minutes and even stronger. When we arrived, I was told I was 5cm! Woooo! The birthing pool was filled with water and within 20 minutes I was in! I was given paracetamol at this point. We put on our playlist of music and switched on the led tea light candles. I was handed the gas and air which I tried to use for 3 puffs then 4 of normal air to try and even it out. I remained in the pool for… wait for it…. another 15 hours!! Yep. I had a shift change of midwifes during this time. Every 3/4 hours they would get me out to pee and examine me. I progressed to 6cm then 9cm in this time then was found to still be 9cm 4 hours later. I did have the urge to push by this point. My waters still hadn’t gone so they were broken by the midwife. I came off the gas and air after about 12 hours as it was making me feel very out of it and then sick too. I threw up a bit. I couldn’t face eating anything so tried some jelly sweets to keep the energy up but promptly threw them back up!

By 6pm I had to get out the pool as they wanted to put me on the hormone drip to ramp things up even more and get rid of that final 1cm… they called the Dr in to examine me and the birthing pool was emptied of water. I felt a little disheartened as my plan of a water birth drained away down the plug hole… but tried to remain positive. By this point I was totally out of it with exhaustion and the gas and air – which after using for 12 hours was still very much in my system. 
If you imagine a clock face, my baby had been head down and her back was facing quarter to for the past month or so. Instead of going a quarter turn, she decided to go 45 minutes anti clockwise!  Even then, she still didn’t make it so her back was facing outward… And her head was presenting at a funny angle. 

The dr examined me and I was now 10cm! The midwife was super excited and the pool began to be refilled with water. This was a pivotal moment… the dr said that she wouldn’t rule out the hormone drip in order to increase contractions and get baby into the right position. After using my EBRAN, Reuben and I decided to go ahead with the hormone drip. I was totally exhausted after contracting heavily for 4 days by this point and being in active labour for at least 17 hours. I had no energy left in the tank… and I consider myself to be a fit and well young person! I was torn as I knew the heat of the pool ramped up the contractions but I opted for the hormone drip as I assumed it would take effect within 10 minutes or so and then my baby would be in my arms! I was wrong…! 

Another midwife change (we had 4 shift changes in total!!) and my good friend and next door neighbour Kat arrived to take over. I was so out of it with exhaustion that I can’t really remember acknowledging her but I know she hugged my husband and he cried with relief of seeing a familiar face. Throughout the whole labour I remember it being really important to me that I stayed calm, quiet and polite. I remember adding on ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ to the end of my sentences and also never wanting to say ‘I can’t do this’. But to be honest, I was so tired I was just waiting for them to offer me help as I didn’t want to ask. After a few hours on the hormone drip, pushing, bouncing on the ball, being upright etc etc my contractions plateud. They were still coming but there was no power behind them. Whether that was an adverse reaction to the hormone drip or just my exhaustion I don’t know but I was being told to push but had no urge and there was no power. 

My body was shivering with adrenaline… I was boiling hot then freezing cold. My mouth was exceptionally dry from all the breathing! Reuben was brilliant throughout at giving me water, fanning me and reminding me to breath as you forgot each time as the pain is all consuming! The breathing really helped so much and when I do it next time (yes I would do it all again in a heartbeat!) – I would pass on the gas and air and just breath. I was offered morphine but I declined as I had covid at 33 weeks and was a little wary about the development of babies lungs so didn’t want anything that might make him/her drowsy. 

Another few hours of pushing with no urge passed and I was offered suction cups as baby was still not in the right position and the head was still presenting at a jaunty angle. This would need to be done in theatre as it may lead to c-section. I knew this was the right decision and so within 10 minutes I was wheeled out. The epidural was incredible and the warm tingle of relief swept over my body! After days of pain and feeling totally out of it, my body relaxed!! Within minutes my head was clear and I felt in the room again!! The dr applied the cup to babies head and I was told when to push but after two attempts she just wouldn’t budge! I heard him tell Kat it would be a c section and I wasn’t daunted at all.

I felt incredibly safe in the theatre with about 9 staff members all around me! We put our playlist of music on and the atmosphere was calm and exciting. Within about 5 minutes, the curtain was pulled down and our baby was held up! It’s a girl!! My husband informed me after Kat prompted him! It had slipped our minds – all we cared for was that it was a crying baby!! She was taken over to be cleaned up… Kat did delayed cord clamping and Reuben cut it. They put on the brightest pink hat(!) on her and placed her on my bare chest. The most magical and overwhelming feeling ever!!! I was stitched up and wheeled through to recovery where myself, baby Olive, Reuben and Kat spent about 4 hours calling family, chatting, breastfeeding, having skin to skin and eating tea and toast. Magical golden time. 

The story certainly doesn’t end there and in fact it’s what happens over the next week or so that’s just as important to the actual labour! Huge hormone rushes and sobbing with emotion. I wasn’t sad but it was just a way of processing. I felt exceptionally tired and remembered I was low on iron so began taking that again and feel heaps better. I urge others to check their levels too!

This course has helped me in a way I can’t even put into words. It’s true, you can be as prepared as you possibly can be and do absolutely everything by the book, but your baby is 50% of the story and you can’t control that. All you can do is make positive decisions when situations arise. For me, absolutely going into theatre was the right thing to do and the relief I felt was incredible and empowering. From contractions starting to delivery was 98 hours! And of that active labour was at least 20 hours. Regards the c-section, I honestly have been in more pain with a paper cut… so please don’t feel too anxious about the prospect as for me it was very positive although I know everyone is different. 

It’s truly been the most overwhelming, rewarding and life changing experiences of my life. Anything everyone tells you it is, it’s like that and so much more! Your eyes are opened to this whole other world that you thought you understood… I feel like I see things differently now and am a lot more patient! I have so much love for this little one  💕

“When a child is born, the world is altered in an instant.A new voice is heard, a new love comes into being.Years later we all pause and say, yes, that’s when it all began on that day, in that room, when I saw that face.” Quote taken from Call The Midwife.

Here is my little baby… Olive Joyful 🕊 born 8th February at 10.43pm 8lb 3oz 40+2

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.

100% profit donation on our Power Tees

100% profit donation on our Power Tees

The story behind our 100% Charity clothing…

An evening in March last year, I posted a photo of a Mum who had just given birth and she was punching the air looking powerful. The photo was posted along with a quote off a pregnant woman called Andrea who was in my Bumps on Lockdown FB group (a group made to support women online through lockdown.)

It read…

“When this is all over (and it will be!), you will be the women who were pregnant/gave birth during a global pandemic. You’re the ones who faced the unthinkable and soldiered on because you had to. If you can go through this, you can go through anything. You’ve got this! Super Mum! ❤️ “

I posted, then sat at my table about to teach a Zoom antenatal class. 2.5hours later, I checked my social media and it had blown up. Women felt connected with the words and the photo. They wanted some reassurance, some positivity, a chunk of empowerment. It was a “HELL YEH” moment of solidarity to women, all in the same boat, across the globe 🌍. It was a magic moment.

Who would have though that a social media post would have built such a powerful community based purely upon women supporting women. It ended up reaching over 14 million people!!

But, it wasn’t all holding hands and cheering each other on. There were real worries, and real concerns over what lockdown meant for women giving birth and their partners. But, also for the months after for women who were home looking after their newborns. A time where we say ‘It takes a village’ was swapped to ‘batten down the hatches.’ Motherhood can feel isolating enough, without having to physically isolate.All of those amazing fist in the air photos mean so much to me. It’s an “I made it” photo and it’s a message that I want to shout from the rooftops 📣

BB Power Apparel was born!

The Birth Hero Tee and the Super Hero Tee are a testament to women, they are a memory of what women faced during lockdown but, going forward, a symbol of all that women are. Our tees are a reminder that you can go through anything and still punch the air after, it’s for all of those fist pumping, air punching moments that need championing.

And most importantly, all profits from the tees go to two amazing charities, Tommy’s and Birth Rights, as an appreciation for all that they do for women who birthed in the pandemic 🌍❤️

Buy one through the link below.


Available in two colours and 2 designs, see here:

Becca’s Positive Birth Story

Becca’s Positive Birth Story

Love reading positive birth stories, you’re in the right place…. This positive birth story is with Becca. Becca used EBRAN to make informed choices and have a positive experience welcoming her baby into the world.

On my due date I had a midwife appointment and a sweep, this caused some of my “show” to come away. Midwife said I was 2cm dilated and short cervix. I went home and bounced on the ball, tried to stay active as much as possible. Nothing happened that day. 

The next morning at 1am, I woke up with low back ache and strong period like pains that were coming and going every 8 minutes or so. My other half was working a night shift so I waited an hour before calling him (as I wasn’t really sure it was happening). I called the hospital and they also said it could be the start but it may also just go off. My partner arrived home about 2:45am and I was still having contractions (approx 8 mins apart or less). I bounced on the ball as much as I could all night. Contractions were constant at every 8 mins or less all throughout the next day. I put on my tens machine at about 5am and this was a life saver! The contractions felt pretty strong from the start (ones where I couldn’t talk through them and had to breathe through each one).

I had a bath at about midday which relaxed me slightly but I just couldn’t get comfortable sitting down. At about 4pm I felt a little trickle and thought it was my waters. By 6pm I was losing the will a bit, exhausted from no sleep and the constant contractions, they were now about 4 mins apart. I had a little cry (exhaustion I expect) and called the Labour ward. They recommended I take a paracetamol and get in the bath again as they did not want to examine due to risk of infection and my contractions were about 3 mibs apart. They wanted them to be 2 mins apart. By this point I did not want to take my clothes off (or the tens machine) and get in the bath again. Then tens machine was giving me a welcome relief from contractions and I felt a bit like it was one of those massage chairs each time I pressed boost. I waited another hour and then called the labour ward again, I felt as though I needed help with the pain. They agreed to examine me. I was relieved.

We arrived at the hospital at approx 8:30pm and I was examined with a speculum to be told that my external cervix was dilated but my internal cervix was closed completely. I was shocked. What had my body been doing for 20 odd hours! The midwife assured me my “body was getting ready”. I still couldn’t talk through contractions so concentrated on breathing and the tens machine. The midwife gave me oramorph to help and I was monitored for half hour. The oramorph didn’t touch the sides, the contractions were still the same level of intensity. I was then offered diamorphine but would’ve had to be admitted and on the ward without my partner. I used EBRAN and crazily decided to go back home to try and sleep but with the knowledge that I could call the ward at any time to go back for diamorphine. 

We arrived back home approx midnight and got into bed. Both my partner and I were dosing off between contractions so not really managing to time them. Approx 1am I woke to a pop and gush of water. Then the contractions seemed to speed up. By 2am my partner was calling the Labour ward back to say I wanted to come back for diamorphine but also that I felt like I needed to push. By the time I had got to the bottom of our stairs, I wasn’t getting a break between contractions. The feeling of having to push was definitely there but I also thought I’d get to the hospital and they’d say my cervix was still closed. 
I sat in the back of the car clenching every muscle I had with each contraction as I really felt the urge to push.

When we got to the hospital I was still having no breaks between contractions and the midwife was considering giving me an injection to slow them down. I was given gas and air and this calmed me down and I started to get a break between the contractions again. By this time I’d left the tens machine on boost (forgotten about it). I was examined to be told that I was 9cm! Woohoo! We were shocked. Within the hour I was moved to a labour room and pushing. The gas and air was taken away for this part and I was coached through by a student midwife on when and how to push, she was amazing! She told me to try and get 3 pushes in with each contraction, so I was trying to get 5 in as I was desperate to meet our baby!  Within about 45 mins, Noah Thomas Parsons was born at 5:30am on 12.3.21, weighing 8lb 3oz. 

We didn’t have time for my labour playlist or any sweets I’d packed in the end but the isotonic drinks were a life saver with the gas and air. For anyone worrying about the pushing – I much preferred this part to the contractions and you just know you are so close to meeting your baby! 

That feeling of skin to skin straight after was just the best! Something I wish I could re-live already! 
I needed one internal stitch after and was supported with how to breastfeed then the midwives left us to it for 3 to 4 hours. We were both in shock but on cloud 9. The midwives we had were so lovely and absolutely amazing! I was then transferred to maternity ward and my partner had to go home (he went to sleep straight away in his clothes). I couldn’t sleep for the whole day (one thing I would definitely do if i did it again) and was then discharged at 5:30pm the same day. 

For two days after I think I was still in shock that we even had a baby and I’d managed to get it out but it’s safe to say I would do it all again in a heartbeat!

So grateful for the advice from Beth on the course! Being knowledgeable about my body and what it was doing, really helped me through the labour experience! 

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.

Hannah’s Positive Waterbirth

Hannah’s Positive Waterbirth

This positive birth story is with Hannah’s first baby. Baby Ada arrived at 39 weeks and 2 days following a waterbirth on a Maternity Led Birth Unit.

I am so excited to be able to finally write my own birth story, I have been waiting so long and have been so curious to know how my birth would go! I joined this group when I was only 12 weeks pregnant and have loved and appreciated reading all of your stories. I genuinely believe reading them was the best thing I did to prepare for birth, it helped me understand that birth can happen in so many different ways and still have happy mummas and babies at the end of it. So I won’t apologise for how long my birth story is, because I loved reading the long ones! 

On Tuesday 16th March I was officially on my second day of maternity leave, I had chilled out after a busy last week of work and was already getting impatient to meet our little one!  I was worried it would be weeks more of waiting, but luckily it wasn’t! I had a fairly odd first sign of labour – lots of farting on Tuesday evening 😂 which was accompanied with some lower abdominal pain that I just assumed was wind related! By the time we went to bed it was getting a bit painful, but I still thought it was wind. At 11:30AM the pain was enough to wake me up/stop me sleeping and I realised it was coming in very regularly waves every 7 minutes or so. This, plus the bloody show and some diarrhoea, convinced me it was the real deal starting, but I thought it could all still take days! 

I knew I should try and rest, but couldn’t get to sleep so I gave up at 5AM and a day of waiting and trying to distract myself from contractions began! Luckily, my husband Will took the day off work so he could help me with this, and contractions aside (which stayed regular throughout) we had a great day. We stayed very busy with ‘early labour activities’ including making Mary Berry’s hot cross buns, watching the cricket, attempting an ambitious Japanese garden puzzle and two separate trips to the local park for a walk!

At around 4pm we called MLBU to check we were doing the right things- at this point contractions were about 3 in 12/13 minutes and I could still speak through them (although I didn’t want too). The midwife, advised us to stay home till the famous ‘can’t talk through’ and 3 in 10 minute contractions arrived. All day I had been pretty worried about how long and drawn out the labour was going to be and how I would cope with birth if I couldn’t sleep through days of labour! Looking back I find it really hard to distinguish when the contractions ramped up/changed, but by the evening they were becoming quite hard work 😅 I had my TENS machine on (loved the boost button!) and I was really needing the breathing to help me stay calm. At some point my husband convinced me to have some plain pasta for dinner and we went for another (much slower) walk to Tesco to buy some bread as a distraction (random I know). We must have looked pretty odd as by this point, to cope with contractions, I had to literally hold onto my husband and have him help count me through my breathing. I had 4 contractions on the way to Tesco and one inside! We were laughing in between though, as it’s so odd to be coping with such a strong contraction one minute and then feeling fine and strolling along to Tesco the next! 

I told my husband to try and get some sleep and even though I couldn’t sleep, that I would try and ‘rest’ between contractions downstairs. It didn’t really work, I was so tired by this point, but would jolt awake with every contraction. So at around 00:30AM I woke him up to help me with the contractions and we decided to call the MLBU again. The problem was that although my contractions were now definitely very intense and I could not talk through them, they were still 3 in 12 not the magic 3 in 10! So the midwife, Linda, advised us to try and wait it out a bit longer at home to really get in established labour and advised me to have a shower etc. I took the TENS machine off to have a shower and I’m not sure which of these changes did it, but suddenly my contractions were coming a lot more regularly and were even more intense, to the point I really needed to be hanging on to my husband to remotely cope with them. At 1:20am we called the MLBU and said we were coming in! Not really sure how we made it to be honest, my husband managed to get me dressed and get everything loaded into the car while coaching me through every, now very regular, contraction, he was a real hero! I think I went through the transition phase while still at home, as I remember being at the top of the stairs telling him the classic ‘I can’t do this’ and thinking if I get to MLBU and I’m 1cm I need a C-section! I remember mooing a bit to cope with contractions and definitely started to feel pushing/pressure, which I didn’t tell my husband.

I am super proud of myself for coping with the 20 minute car journey to the hospital, I managed to brace myself off the seat a little to deal with the ‘pushing’ feeling and did my up breathing the whole time, even between the contractions, with my eyes firmly shut and we managed to get there.

We made it to the MLBU at 2am and were greeted by Heather a lovely student midwife. Her and Linda watched one contraction, which I was now fully not coping with and then offered me gas and air. Wow, that stuff works, the first contraction with gas and air was so manageable, the contrast to the last one without it made it seem like an absolute breeze. Linda asked me if I wanted a pool birth, which I hadn’t been sure about before, but said I wanted to try for pain relief and luckily she managed to fill it up in time! I think from the state of me, Linda said she was happy not to examine me and let me go with my body, but after spending so long convincing myself I might only be 1cm dilated, I wanted to know. I was over the moon when she told me I was 10cm!! We had somehow managed it all at home, I was so relieved and so proud of us. 
After this we got straight in the pool, luckily my new best friend ‘gas and air’ could come with me for this, and combined with the water it really was comforting for the pain and pressure/pushing. Those pushing contractions really are amazing, I can’t explain how intense the feeling and pressure is. It felt like no time at all had passed while I was in the pool, pushing on all fours, before I could feel that her head was pretty near to coming out. I had used an aniball to try and prepare for birth, so although a baby’s head is obviously very different, I could tell that something was near to coming out of my vagina and remember feeling some hair!!

This part is all a bit of blur to me, but I my husband reckons I had 3 or 4 contractions with the head crowning. With lots of encouragement from Will, Heather and Linda I managed to push her head out, then had a little 2 second panic because that bit hurt, but managed to calm down enough to push her body out before the end of the contraction (felt like she flew out compared to her head ). And then it was just amazing, all of a sudden our little baby girl who we had been waiting so long to meet, was just there in the water all pink and healthy with big dark eyes and lots of dark hair. Truly amazing. She had her cord round her neck, but Linda sorted this out in seconds and then I was just holding her and she was crying (enough for us to know she was okay, but not enough to be stressful ). I had the injection for the placenta, Will cut her cord then we were out of the pool and sat on the bed cuddling her in no time. Honestly, amazing. I think there was nearly an issue with my placenta, as it took the midwives three attempts to get it out, but they managed it and remained very calm throughout!

During this time Linda said she thought there might be a clitoral tear and would get a doctor to come and look at it. Pre-birth I had been absolutely petrified of tearing, hence the aniball, but honestly I could not feel any pain from this tear, however painful the name sounds! Linda said she thought it had happened because Ada had her hand up by her head when she came out. I was pretty scared to have it repaired, I had to go to a different room and sit in one of those glamorous stirrup chairs, but Will and Ada were allowed to come with me and with gas and air and local anaesthetic injections, I honestly couldn’t feel a thing. Apparently, I only had 3 stitches in total. They have really been fine, I don’t like the idea of them, but I really can’t feel them and they don’t cause any pain when I go to the loo, so I feel pretty lucky really. I also had no perineal tears, not sure if this was luck or aniball or a bit of both.

We were hoping to be able to go home a few hours later, but as the midwives had seen only one successful breastfeeding session, they advised I should go to the postnatal ward for the day to get some sleep and more feeding help. This would mean that Will had to go home and leave me and Ada for a few hours because COVID rules meant partners were only allowed during visiting hours. To be honest I lost the plot at this and was hysterically crying, I was so emotional, overwhelmed and tired and I couldn’t believe that after going through something as intense as birth and needing Will’s help and support so much, that he was going to have to leave us. So I have big respect to you ladies who had to spend longer in hospital in a pandemic, can’t be easy! I didn’t manage to sleep on the ward as I arrived at around 10AM and it was pretty loud, but there were some lovely midwives who did help me with feeding and we were finally discharged at 7pm. As much as I didn’t want to go to the ward and was annoyed it added another 9 hours of no sleep to my lack of sleep in labour, we are now a week in and breastfeeding is going really well (Ada had only lost 40g from her birth when she was weighed at Day 5), so it was probably worth it!

We have been having the best time since we brought Ada home, can’t believe how much we love her already, we are both spending a lot of time just staring at her. It really is amazing what your body can do, I can’t get over that I pushed a small human out of me and then could go for a walk the next day. Amazing. I’m not sure what I thought labour would be like compared to what it was, it really is an intense thing, although maybe mine could have been a little less dramatic if I had got to the MLBU a bit earlier. It’s funny how the things I was worried about in labour really weren’t issues at all, I can’t express how little I cared (at the time and now) about things like the tear and pooing in the pool that I worried about pre-labour. It’s all just so worth it. I’m super proud of myself for surviving till 10cm at home and then for pushing a baby out. I will never forget how brilliant Linda and Heather were and all the other midwives who helped with feeding etc. And I’m so grateful and proud of my husband for being the best birth partner imaginable, he keeps telling me he didn’t do much, but I know I could not have given birth without him!

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!!

Naomi’s positive induction

Naomi’s positive induction

Love reading positive birth stories? You’re in the right place! This positive birth story is from Naomi. Naomi planned a homebirth, but upon hitting 42 weeks gestation she accepted a balloon induction on the labour ward.

First pregnancy and birth were uncomplicated (although 11 years ago!), so decided to register for homebirth as safe option and alleviating concerns regarding Covid and distance from hospital with potentially quick labour. 

From 39+5 I had 4 sweeps which took me to 41+4 and no sign of baby. Cervix was softening but posterior. Midwives suggested opting for monitoring and staying on track for home birth past 42 week point, which sounded great. Went for fluid scan and CTG at 42 weeks, all well, requested internal, and nothing had changed from previous sweep, midwife performed another. Were given a monologue by consultant regarding risks past 42 weeks, I felt unheard and stereotyped as a homebirth hippy. Used EBRAN to decline induction and headed home feeling deflated.

We re-watched the induction portion of the course that night, and spoke to community midwife next day to discuss all options. Really did not want hormonal induction, but used EBRAN to request balloon induction the next day instead. 
Went in for 1pm, and following obs, CTG etc balloon was inserted at 4pm. Contractions started approx 1/2 hour after, and we headed off to walk the hospital. Kept moving, did a crossword whilst bouncing etc. By 10pm contractions were 45 secs long, coming every 3 and a half mins, breathing was fine to get me through. Midwife suggested my husband go home and we both get some rest. I got into bed about 11pm, and woke again at 1145 to a feeling of knicker elastic going inside me, then had a little gush of waters. 

Balloon was removed and things got very intense very quickly. By the time my husband got back at 1245 I had taken paracetamol and dihydrocodeine, which had done nothing, was on all fours on the bed, and really struggling, all the pain was in my back, and I was shaking like a leaf. Contractions were a minute long and every 2 minutes, Midwife finally came to examine me and we were at 5cm – there was then some debate as labour ward was really busy, but thankfully they found a room and whizzed me along on the bed as I couldn’t get myself off and into a chair.

In labour ward everything became a bit blurry. I got gas and air at long last and just kept concentrating on that whilst hanging over the head of the bed. We were on CTG due to being so overdue, and baby was displaying signs of mild distress with some contractions, and then the midwife requested attaching the clip instead as she was losing contact with baby. Being on my back was agony, and after the clip was attached I rolled on to my left and a peanut was found and popped in between my legs which was a good rest for my knees. An hour or so later I was back up on my knees and I was asking for more drugs, but midwife advised I would have a baby before I would be able to have and feel the effects!

Pushing seemed to last forever, I abandoned the gas and just went for it. Midwife coached me through delivering the head, and I remember thinking it seemed more effort than the last time. Finally baby was delivered, just 5 hours after my waters went, at 4.44am, passed up to me between my legs and the relief was immense. It turns out baby had turned back to back at some point (having been ideally positioned for months!), which is why my pain was all in my back, but my midwife did an amazing job of shielding me from that, and coaching me though getting him out. We got straight on to skin to skin, cord clamping was delayed, then my husband cut the cord. I had the injection to deliver placenta, then there was some concern over bloodloss, so I was hooked up to a drip. I had a small 2nd degree tear which was stitched in the room, and then we were left in peace with our tea and toast, and beautiful boy. Luckily my iron levels were insanely high when I went in, so with the bloodloss it came down to normal levels and we were able to go home the same day after spending the afternoon on the post natal ward. 

Our birth was nothing like I had hoped for, no lovely sploshing in a birth pool in front of our Woodburner, but we were in the right place in the end. This course was so valuable in empowering us make the right decisions for us during pregnancy, and also preparing my husband and giving him the tools to cope with, and support me, through labour, so I am so glad we did it, and I am recommending it to all my pregnant friends. Many thanks Beth Kitt!

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.

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.