Love reading positive birth stories, you’re in the right place…. This positive birth story is with Jade and how she welcomed her baby, Lyla, via an unplanned cesarean section.
This birth story is the FURTHEST from what I had planned, imagined and dreamt of but I feel like it’s important for people to understand things may not always go to plan but you can still make informed decisions and have a positive experience.
Pregnancy for me was a dream! No sickness, no problems, no cravings, I continued teaching dancing right up to 38 weeks. I ate dates, raspberry leaf tea, bouncing on my ball, walks (granted not that long because of my back pain towards the end of pregnancy), dance workouts, clary sage oils/baths… you name it I tried it. Due date came and went, first sweep at 40 + 2, 1cm dilated, low anterior cervix and I felt optimistic but nothing came of it. Second sweep 41 + 2 (Tuesday) again 1-2cm stretchy cervix etc. Induction was booked for 41 + 5 (Friday) which I was happy to go along with.By Wednesday evening I started repacking my bags and added more nighties/pjs, snacks ready for induction on Friday, made my peace with the fact I would be induced and not start labour spontaneously and I was fine with that.
That same night/Thursday morning 12.40am contractions started and I honestly think just switching off and not worrying about it all actually helped me! They were very manageable with just up breathing and at around 8am the FREYA app confirmed I was in established labour but I was really keen to hold out calling the hospital so we waited until around 1.30pm and went in just to check, fully aware there was a high chance of being sent home. I got checked in the MLU/birth centre and the midwife confirmed I was 1cm and gave me a good sweep and sent on my way. I took 2 paracetamols when we got home and was able to sleep for 3 hours and boy am I glad I got those 3 hours in before what was to come!!!!
Contractions continued to get stronger and closer together. I was up and down, in and out of bed, feeling like I needed to use the toilet after every contractions, losing my mucus plug throughout the night/morning. I also used the TENS machine I hired (AMAZING! Total recommend) and left my husband to sleep. My induction was booked for 10am that morning and when my husband woke up at 6.30am I told him that we needed to go to the hospital early, worse case scenario I would just stay and get induced as planned, and best case scenario I would be in established labour… either way I’M HAVING THIS BABY. The 20 min car journey was very uncomfortable but I just sat in silence and used the TENS machine to get through it.
I was examined around 8am by a lovely midwife once I got to hospital and she confirmed I was 5cm dilated and I definitely didn’t need to attend my induction appointment YAY! Called my husband and we made our way to the birth centre. The pool was filled up, my husband was offered tea, toast and biscuits, he was loving life! (I couldn’t think of anything worse at the time)I listened to the rain pattering outside and had my playlist on our speaker. I just felt amazing! The water was incredible pain relief and I laboured there for 4 hours. I was examined again and my waters were broken, unfortunately there was meconium in the waters and I was still only 5cm dilated. I kept calm and knew that it meant moving to labour ward so I was not shocked by this (knowledge really is power). I went to the toilet before gathering all my things together and had to call my husband in as I had a faint spell, I know when I’m going to faint or throw up because my eyes go all blurry, he called the midwives and they got me in a wheel chair to took me round to labour ward (I didn’t actually faint or throw up but I think it was a mixture of coming out of the warm water and having my waters broken).
Once on labour ward, I was on CTG and the doctor said I had to go on the hormone drip because my contractions had slowed down. I wasn’t happy with this decision so spoke up and asked that this was delayed as I had just had a dizzy spell and moved from birth centre where my contractions were strong and regular, this was agreed and I was allowed to wait for an hour or so and my contractions did get back up to 3-4 in 10. However it was the doctor’s decision to put me on the drip to hopefully move things along which I agreed to in the end seeing as I had progressed since coming in at 8am. This is the point I asked for the gas and air… I loved it. After 4 attempts in each hand the cannula was in (I’m still bruised now!!) and contractions were coming thick and fast, 6-7 in 10, very powerful and only felt comfortable on the birthing ball and leaning back digging my elbows into my husbands thighs… sorry hun! I told the midwives that I couldn’t continue labouring like this! I wasn’t saying I couldn’t do it, I just couldn’t do it LIKE THIS! the hormone drip was turned down and at 4pm I was due another examination, I felt confident that there would be at least some progression but as soon as she was “all up in there”. I could just tell it was bad news. STILL 5CM, I felt so disappointed.
This was the point my husband gave me the motivation to carry on, I was determined and the midwives were also encouraging me as I could feel baby really low down and “in my bum” they said that this was a great sign and things were moving on. Those 4 hours dragged, I feel jealous of those people that say they lost track of time during labour!
After 4 hours, you guessed it, STILL 5CM so enough was enough and I needed more than just gas and air, I asked for an epidural, I needed the break and let my body do it’s thing and also have enough energy for the big push. Doctor came in to examine me and said that my cervix was not effacing and was still thick and we all agreed that c section would be the best action and in all honesty I was just so DONE, at that point it had been over 42 hours since my first contraction at home and 12 hours since coming into the hospital, I just needed it to be over.
Into theatre within the hour (I think) the staff were amazing and explained everything so well, they knew from my birth preference that I wanted my husband to announce the gender so it was announced to the whole theatre TWICE not to say anything! Spinal was done and I was able to continue using the gas and air until everything had settled down, by this point things were so intense that I was just using gas and air to breathe. I was so relieved to see my husband come in, I even attempted cracking a joke about him looking sexy in scrubs. He sat by me and faced away from the “action”. I started to shake as if I was freezing cold and my eyes were rolling back, I remember being SO tired! He asked if it was normal and if I was okay, the staff made us feel at ease that everything was fine and normal “shes probably just tired, you can sleep if you want to” but my husband was worried I’d be asleep for the birth of our baby.
When I heard our baby cry, I was wide awake within an instant! I looked at my husband and we both burst into tears. We didn’t get lion king moment or skin to skin straight away, baby was taken into the side room and my husband was invited in to see her and find out gender. He came back with her in his arms and we continued to bawl our eyes out in awe, amazement, relieve and pure love! She was perfect and such a surprise as we both thought she was a he. She was a brilliant 9lbs 5oz which also makes me think it was a blessing in disguise as it may have ended in an assisted delivery anyway.
Recovery room was tiny but the tea and toast was incredible. I was moved into postnatal ward and was supposed to get some sleep but of course like everyone does I think I just stared at her the whole night like is this real? as if you were inside me this whole time? You’re a GIRL!?Just over 24 hours later I was discharged and was able to go home to be in our little newborn bubble as a family of 3. Recovery has been great so far, very slow for the first day or so at home and then got stronger and faster day by day.
Like I said, my birth wasn’t textbook perfect but I look back with amazing memories and I got to experience every area from birth centre to theatre! My only regret is not researching and/or adding c section preferences into my birth plan. You always think “aaaah that won’t happen to me”
If I have another baby, I will be considering an elective c section!
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, and how to stay calm in all birth situations. Videos, checklists, audios & a support group all created by a midwife to get you feeling excited, prepared and confident for birth.