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Positive Birth Story at 38wks +3

First Time Mum, Homebirth, Forceps

Tues 22nd Dec I had some tightening feelings in my tummy, along with some constipation and backache. I didn’t really think much of it as our due date was such a way off.

Following morning woke up at 7am and discovered I had a “show”, rang the ward for advice. I assumed it was just a pre-labour thing and wouldn’t be the start of anything.

However, at 8am, some mild cramping began and then intensified throughout the day. 

Practiced my breathing techniques and kept busy, kept in touch with the ward, who suggested it might be Braxton Hicks but to keep an eye on it.

By 9pm contractions were much stronger and tried to sleep, but no luck.

We called the ward and decided with their advice, that we needed a midwife to come and check on us.

At 12.30am, the midwife arrived, examined me and we found we were already 4cm.

She found a TENS machine in the homebirth bag they had delivered, which we tried and found really helpful to take the edge off the contractions, along with the breathing techniques.

As the contractions continued to intensify, I started using the gas and air, which was a great additional help.

At this point, about 10am Christmas Eve, my waters hadn’t broken and on examination, the midwife wasn’t sure how far dilated I was. Her colleague arrived and it was decided I was 7-8cm, the cervix was thin and ready for delivery and that they could break my waters at home instead of having to admit me to hospital.

So my husband brought the plastic tarpaulin! and towels into the bedroom and my waters were broken! Contractions intensified and we breathed through them together, me holding onto my husband tightly and him counting the breaths to help me relax and concentrate. Time in the bath provided some great relief too and helped speed things up.

The issue came with the pushing stage, the feeling of those contractions were so different! After 1 hour of pushing, our boy’s head could be seen, but he couldn’t fully descend as he was at an awkward angle.

It was decided we needed to transfer into the Borders General via ambulance. I managed to remain calm, but having never been in an ambulance or hospital I felt totally out of my comfort zone. Safe to say the ambulance ride was possibly the most uncomfortable element of the whole labour experience, as I had to lie on the trolley whilst in the pushing stage and travelling on country roads at 60mph! I had to zone out completely and breathe in the gas and air until I felt high!

At the hospital, we decided with the advice of the doctor that we would opt for a forceps delivery instead of the option to wait a further 1.5 hours in case he would deliver naturally. At this point, we had not slept since Tues evening and I was ready to meet our boy as soon as possible.

The thought of theatre and a spinal block scared me, as it seemed so extreme, but I knew it was probably the best option for our boy.

In theatre, they could already see the baby’s head and in 2 pushes he was out!

I had an episiotomy and the after effects of the epidural were strange, but it was all fine and the hospital staff were incredible.

Our little boy Bramwell was born on Christmas Eve, 6.07pm, weighing 6lb 13oz. He is an absolute dream, I can’t believe this amazing creature is ours and the birth process made me feel totally in awe of my body and so proud of myself – and so in love with my husband for being my rock through it all. 

The midwives that attended us at home were fantastic and they all remarked at how calm and relaxed I was. I felt safe because I trusted the techniques I learnt and I knew my body could do it.

The best of luck with your birthing journey xx

Thanks for reading xx

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