When I found out I was pregnant for the second time around I instantly thought about birth, and how I could avoid the same kind of birth experience (I won’t delve into it but it was traumatic and as a result I suffered postnatal depression) *only positive vibes from here on*

Throughout my pregnancy I think I read, watched and listen to any positive birth story I could get my hands on, I lived and breathed positive! Can’t believe its my turn! At 34 weeks pregnant I decided I wanted a home birth. I listened to birth affirmations every night and practiced up breathing.

So fast forward due date well and truly come and gone 40+12 (5 sweeps later) I’d declined induction until 40+14.Hospital bag all re packed the evening before full with snacks and all the tools I needed for labour set to go. Sitting on the sofa excited to get the ball rolling the next morning I felt like we were going on holiday! Suddenly had 2 intense tightenings (which I had most evenings, especially after sweeps) walked out the kitchen, my Knickers suddenly felt wet I thought it was alot of show.. Nope, my waters had broken! 20:30 (5/8/20) Yay. Excitedly shouted to my husband, I noticed it was thin meconium stained but not to worry. After tidying myself up, I called the home birth team and they sent me a Midwife to check in.

Midwife arrived roughly 22:00 checks all good, I had a few tightenings but irregular nothing to shout about. 23:30 tightenings started to get a little closer but I decided best to go to bed and try to rest because like most evenings it’ll probably fizzle out. I dozed between surges, laying on my left or right with a pillow between my knees, listening to birth affirmations with earphones and concentrating on up breathing. I went to the toilet alot to wee, and change my pads, but by 5am I thought things were getting intense and closer together, that we’d need to arrange childcare for our 3yr old daughter, I popped my TENS machine on. I called my mother and said we would be calling for a midwife soon and could she collect our daughter for 7am (whilst on the phone had an intense surge, threw my phone and got very tearful) . 6am I called for the midwife, 6:10 my husband rings my mother to come now (he could see things hotting up) 6:20 midwife arrives, surges are so close together I don’t have time to switch off the Boost mode on the TENS! I couldn’t lay down long enough for the midwife to listen to baby’s heartbeat she had to do it standing up, she said “I don’t see the need to examine you really if your not in labour I’ll eat my hat” I said “but I think I need the gas and air” she said “of course I’ll just go and get it from my car” out she pops to get the gas and air! Throughout most of this my comfort was standing, and leaning on my mantle peice, I couldn’t move! So I finally have the gas and air, then I can feel the pressure! I shout to my husband, “take off my shorts!” (at some point my mother arrives, wakes up and takes my daughter – later to be told that was 6:45)The next surge seems like a blur, but I remember mooing and involuntary pushing. The next surge was the same and then I actually felt her head nudge forward then retreat as I relaxed at the end of the surge. The next surge, in a controlled breath I slowly edged her head out (I hadn’t practiced this but all I could envisage was a balloon expanding and that’s exactly how it felt pressure building until her head was born) swiftly followed by her body at 06:50 am, I couldn’t quite believe it!

Baby was a bit shocked at her sudden entrance into the world but soon came around, next thing I’m sat on my sofa having skin to skin breastfeeding, I opted for the injection for the third stage, placenta was delivered pretty soon after that, I had a small second degree tear which was sutured whilst baby had skin to skin with dad. Everything was all cleared up and midwives had gone by 9:30am there we were all in our own home, eating toast in awe of what just happened! It was magic!

Hollie May Chandler 6/08/20 weight 8lb

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.