Grainne’s Positive Birth Story

Grainne’s Positive Birth Story

Love reading positive birth stories? You’re in the right place! This birth story is with first time mum Grainne who delivered her baby girl, Cara, at 40 weeks and 2 days following a quick delivery with no examinations.

💕Positive birth Story💕 Baby Cara born at 40+2 weighing 7lbs 13. 

⭐️ FTM – 36yrs⭐️ Water birth⭐️ Gas and air ⭐️ Quick delivery – no examinations 

I almost didn’t write my birth story but I remember how much reading them helped me, especially the positive ones so I hope some others might find my story reassuring! Relatively straightforward pregnancy bar low Papp-A for which I was taking aspirin and had extra growth scans, all of which were fine. As per the course was eating dates daily and drinking raspberry tea, which I really believe contributed to our quick delivery! Was also exercising daily, usually an hr walk, down to 30-40mins towards the last week or so, and some gentle conditioning exercises, I was keen to do as much as possible to get baby moving!

At 40+2 I did a few squats in the morning and went for a walk with my husband on his lunch. After our walk I noticed a very small leaking of fluid which I really wasn’t sure if it was waters or not around 2.30. At about 5pm I started to feel period type pains and realised things were starting! We had dinner and thinking I was in for a long night of contractions I suggested to my husband that we go for a lie down about 7pm to get some rest.

Things ramped up very quickly however and by 9pm they were lasting a minute and 2 mins apart. It was intense but I was using my breathing techniques which helped. I took some paracetamol but was sick so didn’t get any benefit from these. I phoned the hospital for advice as I thought it would be much too early to go in and didn’t want to do the car journey twice if we got sent home but they advised me to come in to be assessed and they started filling the water bath.

We got to the hospital at 9.45pm by which point my contractions were on top of each other and very intense. I still thought it was too early and I might be sent home, as a first time mum I was expecting a longer labour so I didn’t recognise this as the transition phase when I said to my husband I don’t think I can do this if it’s this intense already! I got in the pool at half ten which was lovely, at that point I asked about pain relief and was given gas and air which did help take the edge off the pain and also helped regulate my deep breathing, loved it!

I soon felt like I needed to push and I asked the midwife if I could thinking she would need to check how dilated I was (had not had a single examination since we arrived) but she said if I feel like pushing just push! I did think at some points I wasn’t going to able to get her out but only 40mins later our beautiful daughter was born at 11.57pm. It was all so calm and natural from start to finish we couldn’t have asked for a better experience. 

My husband cut the cord and we had skin to skin and our first breastfeed as we waited for the placenta, however ended up with the injection as it hadn’t come at almost 1hr, it did make me sick but not bad at all. I then went to get stitched as I had a second degree tear whilst my husband had skin to skin. I was very worried about tearing but can honestly say it’s not as painful as It sounds, had gas and air and local anaesthetic for the stitches and didn’t feel a thing!

This course definitely helped me to prepare and to stay calm and confident throughout, our midwives commented on my breathing techniques and said they really enjoyed our birth experience! Thank you Beth! Xx

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.

Katherine’s Water Birth

Katherine’s Water Birth

Love reading positive birth stories, you’re in the right place…. This positive birth story is with first time mum Katherine who delivered her little girl at 41 weeks and 2 days. Katherine had a water birth and used paracetemol, gas and air, and a tens machine for pain relief.

Potential Triggers: Fast labour and delivery and snapped umbilical cord

Although my actual labour and delivery were very speedy, like most Mums who see their due date come and go, it all felt very long awaited. My husband and I had tried all of the old wives tales we could find to encourage our little lady along sooner and I also had a sweep at 40+2. It was the hottest week of the year in June and we were getting impatient! 

At 40+4 I started to lose my plug and had my bloody show, which continued over 3 days. Then from 41 weeks, I woke up at 4:30am, three mornings in a row with period cramp type contractions. So for 6 days we were very hopeful that “today will be the day!” But frustratingly, everything was very start-stop.At 41+1, I had started to have small contractions in the morning but they soon stopped and I carried on about my day in a grump. My husband and I were desperate to enjoy ourselves, so we just went for a drive. Once I was relaxed and happy chatting away, my contractions started to return and lasted around 30 seconds and occurred every 15- 20 minutes or so.Once home again, we decided to have some tea (spaghetti bolognaise!) in case we were lucky enough that today really was the day! We wanted to carb up ready for a long night. 

So at 5pm I was happily tucking into tea and around 6pm my contractions started to come more frequently and for longer. I used my breathing and positive thoughts of “every contraction brings me closer to my baby” and I was feeling completely empowered and confident. We popped Harry Potter on the telly (although I found this too sad and we swapped to Moana!) and I kept active by walking and bouncing on a ball. My husband was incredible and stood behind me through every wave and supported me. My contractions were strongest where I would normally feel period pains and although it was intense, the breathing and counting worked wonders for me. 

As the contractions intensified and lasted for longer, my husband decided to call the hospital for advice. They were now lasting for around 50 seconds every 5 minutes or so. The midwives were very kind but said to wait a little longer until they were around 3 contractions per every 10 minutes. The contractions continued to ramp up quickly and within half an hour we were on the phone again and ready to drive to the hospital. It was finally happening!! 

At 8:30pm we were parked up and doing the dreaded waddle up to the delivery suite. I say dreaded because it feels like the longest walk of your life, but I powered through and luckily we didn’t see too many people on the way. It was such a bizarre feeling to be going through contractions but also to be so thrilled to be in hospital. My positive mental attitude of being able to see my daughter soon really made all the difference. My husband rang the bell outside the delivery suite and I remember saying how long we had waited for that moment. Once in the suite we were guided through to a little room with a bean shaped bed, a bean bag and a bathroom. It looked like a consultation room.

At 9:30pm we opted for an examination – at this point my contractions were much stronger and more frequent. We were desperately disappointed to hear that my cervix was long, thick and around 1cm dilated. We were also advised that we would be better off going home until things progressed. I felt thoroughly defeated, because even though it had taken no time at all to get to this stage, my contractions were beginning to feel very intense. The examination had also broken my waters so I knew that we were getting closer. I had a powerful instinct that I should definitely not go home and that things were moving…
Unfortunately at this point, I lost my way a little with my positive thoughts.

My contractions were coming every 1 minute and lasting for around 30 seconds – which meant it was very hard to control my breathing and regain any energy. My husband kept reminding me to count and held me through every wave and the midwife asked me if I would like any pain relief. I was given 2 Paracetamol and some Morphine. I remember thinking “am I going to be disappointed in myself for accepting Morphine instead of a more natural experience?” – but for me it was 100% the correct choice. The morphine slowed my contractions so I could have a breather. My husband and I got a short power nap in before they began to ramp up again.I remember asking if there were any risks in taking Morphine for the baby – EBRAN was thoroughly engraved on my brain! 

The midwife came back to us in an hour and gave me my next morphine dose at 11pm. She again advised us that we would be going home, this was very difficult to hear as I just knew my body was moving quicker and things were happening. There was no way I was going to budge! 

I used a heat pad and tens machine to manage the pain. I’ve no idea if the tens machine worked but the heat pad was incredible. I placed it in the area I was feeling my contractions. 

Despite the second dose of morphine my contractions began to intensify again. This time they were longer and more regular which made my breathing much easier to concentrate on and I felt more in control. I was very surprised to feel the urge to push down very early on. I knew I wasn’t dilated enough, but if I bore down during a contraction I definitely found some relief. I tried hard not to follow this urge as my logical mind told me I wasn’t ready, but then my body would convulse and do it for me. It really was 100% proof that your body knows what it’s doing, you just have to listen to it and hang on for the ride. 
My husband and I were alarmed to see I had a very heavy show from this point of labour onwards. We had drilled into ourselves that any sign of blood in pregnancy was something to be worried about. I wish I had known that this bloody show was normal, and I especially wish he had known it too as it made us both very uneasy. The midwife explained it was all normal but I felt confused that my body was bleeding and pushing early, two things I felt “weren’t normal”. 

We had only been in hospital a few hours and only 3 hours before my cervix had been 1cm… but I asked for an examination as my instincts told me things were moving quickly.I knew from how the examination felt that we had progressed – it was the most incredible music when the midwife said “I’m just going to go and run the bath – you’re at 7cm!”We were all so surprised things had moved so fast considering I was a first time Mum. We went through to the water pool room whilst she ran the bath and I began to use the gas and air. It was brilliant! It really helped me to concentrate on my breathing and gave me a new focus. The bath took 15-20 minutes to fill, which felt like a life time… but I knew instinctively we were close – she was coming!!! 
Getting into that water was one of the single most incredible sensations of my life. The relief and warmth did wonders to my body and mental state. This was it, the moment I had visualised several times a day for months! 

I was in the pool for a grand total of 15 minutes before my Evelyn arrived. 

I wasn’t even aware of pushing down or breathing as I’d been doing it for a while, I just went with my body. I could feel my baby descending and I had the smallest thought of “how am I going to do this?!”. But then I reached down to feel the top of her head and thought instead “here she comes!”The midwife said “one more push and we should have a baby!” – I remember smiling and thought “I am going to give this everything”…Upon my next contraction I gave a huge push and at 1:17am, her head was born, followed by her body. The feeling of relief and happiness was immense as my baby was caught and brought up to my chest. I looked down at my beautiful baby and couldn’t believe she was here. 

The next 15 seconds or so were a little scary, her umbilical cord was around half the length it should have been and therefore snapped as she reached my chest. My heart sank as I felt as though I had done this to her – the midwife called the resuscitation team and suddenly the room was full of people but I could only see her. The midwife was rubbing her back and I tried to do the same before she was taken by a midwife. My husband and I were just waiting to hear our baby cry…We heard one small cry and then a bigger one! And breathe. 

They clamped her tiny cord and held onto her whilst I got out of the pool. I was laid down on a bean bag and finally my baby was placed into my arms. Not exactly my vision for the moments after birth, but I really didn’t care. They reassured me that she was fine and my husband and I just cried with happiness and kissed each other and her. Pure feelings of joy, relief, adrenaline and contentment. There’s nothing like it in the world. 

I had an injection in my thigh to birth my placenta as they needed to check it over as soon as possible. I was aware that it could make me feel sick but honestly I didn’t even feel the needle, let alone any side effects. I was too busy taking in my baby – her hair, her enormous feet, her little furrowed brow – nothing could have interrupted that moment. 

I had to receive stitches for a 2nd degree tear, probably due to her speedy arrival and they suspected she may have come through like superman with one arm up! My husband had skin to skin contact and I just gazed at the two of them together as I received my care. I was so worried about stitches but I was on such a high that I barely noticed them and I was able to use gas and air for any twinges. Afterwards she was placed on my chest again and finally we were able to have our family time and feed her in peace. 

We remained in hospital for 24 hours due to her cord snapping at birth, but thankfully everything was perfect and so was she. The after care team were incredible and we were able to learn so much about caring for her and feeding. We were desperate to be in our own home but in hindsight, the opportunity to take full advantage of professional advice for 24 hours was such a blessing. 

Although I feel my birth story is incredibly positive and empowering, it certainly took me the best part of a week to come to this realisation. Everything happened very quickly and in the early days after birth, I struggled to remember the wonderful little moments that had occurred and found myself dwelling on the short moments that I had felt overwhelmed in.I was confused about my urge to push so early on and my heavy bleed and felt as though I had done something wrong. I thought that maybe it was because I had pushed down that I had bled and therefore caused a more difficult experience for my husband and I than was necessary… All hormone and sleep deprived driven I’m sure but still difficult to deal with. I also felt guilt that my husband had had to cope with such a difficult experience and see me bleed and struggle. 

After speaking with my midwife about the experience I feel so much better. I really recommend having a debrief after birth as it was so valuable to me. I was told that my urges were normal and my body was doing everything it should. My heavy show was a result of my quick cervical dilation and this just ruptured a few capillaries in the process.It was very reasurring to hear that I appeared to have stayed in control and coped well with my breathing, when on the inside I wasn’t sure this was the case. Turns out I just needed to hear what a good job I had done from my husband and the midwife to make me feel much better. 

And as for the guilt regarding my husband’s experience, after a few days I told myself that yes it was my body that had birthed our baby – but it was OUR labour. It was OUR experience and we were both just present for it and unable to change it. He had as much control over the situation as I did and we got through it together. It was our experience and there should be no blame to be felt.I’m saying this because I believe it must be quite normal to take some processing time after going through birth. Many people asked me what had happened and wanted details. It really helped to simply tell them I was still processing the event and I would tell them all about it when I was ready. 

12 days on and I’m writing my story with my baby in my arms and I genuinely feel like a superwoman. The official timings of my labour were: 1st stage 36 minutes,  2nd stage 6 minutes, 3rd stage 10 minutes. Total duration of birth: 53 minutes! 
It wasn’t everything I had imagined it would be and it wasn’t even the scenarios I had imagined that would go wrong – but my body delivered our wonderful baby into the world and I used all the tools I could to allow it to. I feel exceptionally proud of myself and my husband and I will carry that feeling always. 

Best of luck to all of you waiting for your birthing stories to begin. My best advice would be to trust your instincts, be aware that every birth is different and focus on the tiny person that you’re doing it all for. Oh – and eat as many carbs as you can manage! Good luck!

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.

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!!