Love reading positive birth stories, you’re in the right place…. This positive birth story is with Hannah and her 7lb7oz baby boy.The Bump to Baby Chapter course completely re-wrote Hannah’s views on birth. Fairly early into pregnancy Hannah and her husband decided to plan for a home birth and her little boy arrived at home in a pool 11 days past his due date.
None of the virtual NCT timings worked for us so I had been looking into on-demand video content without much success. One day a sponsored add popped up on Facebook for The Bump to Baby Chapter. Hypnobirthing and home births were two things I’d never considered. Truth be told; I thought they were just for hippies. How wrong was I!
So I set about watching through the videos. Honestly even having now watched them all I don’t really feel it’s so much about hypnosis as it is about being educated. I realised I knew practically nothing about labour and what is actually happening in our bodies and why it’s nothing to fear.
And so the u-turn began…. I had spent the first trimester of my pregnancy probably about 80-20 in favour of a C-section, and considering the alternative as a vaginal birth with ‘all the drugs going’. Once I’d started the course I quickly realised I could do this, it wasn’t something to fear and not only did I want a vaginal birth, I wanted as little drugs as possible to avoid a cascade of interventions.
The biggest learning for me was about the need to be relaxed, and what happens in your body when you’re not relaxed. Beth spoke a lot about this and why things often slow down when you go into hospital, so to stay at home as long as possible. The realisation…. if I should stay home as long as possible why not just stay at home full stop. I mentioned it to my husband and he was on board immediately! Up until then we’d been stressing about where we would have the baby. With no option to look at any hospitals due to Covid and only one local NHS hospital, which didn’t appeal to us we’d been trying to look into London options and also private hospitals. Everything was becoming a logistical nightmare… even considering staying in a hotel or renting an Air BnB in London so we could be near to a chosen hospital.
Throughout my latter pregnancy I had been convinced I would be early. Confirmed in my head by everyone telling me my bump was low (blah blah blah). I had been having Braxton Hicks on and off from week 35/36, but wasn’t finishing work until i was 38 week so was determined to hold on. As soon as I stopped working, everything went quiet.
I started getting lots of tightenings again as I approached my due date, but nothing that lead to anything. I stayed active, Pilates every week, and long dog walks everyday. Often on the dog walk I would get tightenings that would stop me walking and I would need to breathe through them. Due date came and went, and I had two sweeps. The first gave me lots of contractions and I started to think it could be it. It wasn’t!
Saturday 24th (10 days overdue) I lost my plug. I was excited that labour could be approaching but we continued with our plans as normal. We decided to blow up the birth pool before we went to bed that evening ‘just in case’.
Sunday 25th: I woke up about 2am having contractions. Didn’t think too much of it as I’d had them so often but was really hoping this was it. I stayed in bed resting as they gradually built in intensity. I was practicing my breathing and staying calm.
I decided to start timing my contractions on the Freya app about 5.30 just to gage what to tell my doula. To my surprise it immediately told me I was in established labour, so I suggested she come over.
I suggested the doula call the hospital “to give them a heads up things might be happening” about 8.30am. In my head I still couldn’t believe I was in labour as I had wanted this to happen so much. I was scared I’d jinx it and everything would stop!
The midwife insisted on speaking to me and asking me a million questions that didn’t seem relevant or that they would be able to see on my records. I remember barking at her “I know what you’re doing… you’re testing me!!”.
The midwife then called back at 9am wanting to speak to me again. I’m assuming she didn’t think I sounded ‘in labour enough’ the first time round! This time my mooing/groaning was pretty continuous even between contractions and I think she realised things are happening.
I went through the ‘transition phase’ some time between 9-9.30. In my head I remembered Beth talk about the transition phase but I felt I had such a long time to go that this couldn’t possibly be it. I said I wanted gas and air and to get in the pool. In the contractions that followed my body start to involuntary push a bit.
I got in the pool at 9.30 then the midwife arrived. I got out to let her do a VE because I wanted to see how far along I was so I could have some gas and air. She then told us we’d have to wait for the second midwife before I could have any because she didn’t have a mouth piece! The second midwife arrived at 10.30am with the gas and air, but by then it was too late really. I couldn’t concentrate on holding the mouth piece especially with the noises I was making! Weirdly though between these last contractions, I actually remember thinking to myself “this is fine”!
Our beautiful baby boy was born at 10.40am. Much to my husband’s surprise as the midwife had incorrectly (and unhelpfully) announced I was about half way through just less than an hour prior. No coached pushing, just allowing my body to do the natural thing. I caught him myself and lifted him straight to my chest.
My final thoughts…. Women are f#####g awesome. Our bodies are incredible and will know exactly what to do and when. Your baby will come when it’s ready.
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.