I would like you all to meet my little Oliver, who arrived 6 days late, today at 11.41am! He is 8lbs 6oz and 53cm long!

I definitely did not have the labour I thought I would- quite the opposite in fact, but I wanted to share the positives I am taking from it, thanks to Beth and all the team at TBTBC ❤️

Contractions started on Thursday morning at 5.30am, every 8 minutes or so. This was after my failed sweep on Tuesday, followed by a bloody show on Wednesday. I telephoned the birth centre where I was planning on giving birth, and was advised I was likely in very early labour, and to see how things went. The contractions waxed and waned all day. I used an app to time them, and they always ended up finishing without progressing, despite bouncing on my ball and going for a power walk.

Fast forward to 7pm that evening. The contractions started up again, and started feeling a little more intense. My partner and I joked about what would come of it, convinced they would stop. 8pm rolled around, and as I relaxed on the sofa, I felt a pop and a gush of warm water. Suddenly reality hit that our baby was finally on his way! We telephoned the birth centre and were told to make our way in.
Feeling quietly confident, I was gutted to learn I was only 1cm dilated. Loaded with dyhydrocoedine, I was sent home and told to relax in the bath. I stayed in the bath for around 3 hours. I used my breathing techniques from the course, and snoozed inbetween contractions. Then something changed. Baby seemed to do a big movement, and the pain shifted to my back. I was suddenly in agony and could hardly catch my breath. In the end, my partner telephoned the birth centre again to tell them I wasn’t coping and needed to come back. The car journey back to the hospital was awful.

When I was examined, the midwife was delighted to tell me I was now 4cm dilated and now in active labour but baby’s heartbeat was too fast. I was sent down to triage to be monitored without my partner, and the anxiety started to kick in. Re-examined, I was told I was actually 2cm dilated, baby was now back to back and that’s why the pain was so intense. Panicking, everything I learned on the course (or so I thought) went out of the window. I finished off 2 cylinders of gas and air with little relief, crying out for my partner and someone to help me. But somewhere in the back of my mind, I knew there were still choices to be made, and despite birth preferences, the plan had always been to do what I needed. I plucked up the courage to ask for an epidural, despite it meaning I would have to birth on the delivery suite.
Once the epidural had been administered, I completely relaxed. I was able to nap, take sips of water, laugh and joke with my partner and actually get excited about labour.

Our little boy’s heart rate continued to fluctuate, and it seemed to be every time I had a contraction. I had only progressed 1cm in 5 hours post epidural, and was warned that baby’s heart rate may be a cause for concern and a section may be needed. I used the tools from the course to stay calm. I told myself ‘if that’s what my baby needs, that’s what needs to happen’. I was given the hormone drip to see if things could be sped up, bypassing the need for a section. A clip was placed on baby’s head to improved the monitoring.
Baby’s heart rate continued to misbehave, and I was determined as long as he was safe, it didn’t matter how he arrived. All of a sudden, I got a sharp pain in my right side and back. This coincided with a big drop in baby’s heartbeat, que doctors flooding the room, preparing to whisk us off to theatre. Because I was having pains, and fearing my epidural had started to fail, I was reexamined by my midwife. As she exclaimed ‘his head is nearly out, he’s on his way!’ I burst into tears. I was psyched up for a section, when there was no need.

I started pushing at 11:28, and at 11:41, our Oliver made his entrance into the World. I had to have stitches for a 2nd degree tear, and I have a graze- but apart from that I’m feeling on top of the world. My epidural wore off about an hour later, and I was soon in the bath, eating toast and drinking tea.

So as well as sharing my news with you all, I just wanted to share my story. Despite the scary moments, the pain, and the change of plans… I was able to stay focussed, accept the change of plans and also ask sensible questions using EBRAN. And that’s thanks to Beth, this wonderful group and the amazing work done by this team.
Thank you everyone, and Good Luck with your journeys ❤️

If you want to know about ways to keep calm during your birth, ways that you can stack the odds in your favour to have a great birth and techniques that you can start practising now in your pregnancy to prep for birth, then you can get all the information from the convenience of your own home on your own time, by accessing our online course.

An online course put together by UK midwife, Beth offering both hypnobirthing and antenatal education, which has helped women across the globe feel confident and calm during their birth.