Love reading positive birth stories, you’re in the right place…. This positive birth story is with Vicki and her second baby. Vicki had a traumatic birth with her first baby and signed up to our course to support her to achieve her goal of having “a more pleasant birth”. Vicki gave birth to her son, Dexter, via a water birth and was able to “catch” him herself which she says was “was the most amazing experience“.

I started this course in the hope of a more pleasant birth; I hadn’t anticipated how much it would change things. My partner and I watched the whole course twice….I cried a lot and talked about all my worries and feelings of failure as a mum that came from my first labour. 

We have moved geographically since our daughter was born, so this really was a clean slate, but that’s not to say there haven’t been wobbles.  This time I spoke to my midwife about my worries and had some extra support. I wrote a detailed birth plan with her and made my own, abridged, birth preferences sheet to take into the hospital.

40 weeks arrived and I was feeling quite chilled about things, and then I suddenly got really uncomfortable and achy (back, hips etc) and was dealing with multiple messages each day about whether baby has arrived and so I started to get a bit irritable and feeling like I was done with pregnancy. I had a sweep at 40 weeks and another at 40+2, I was already 2-3cm dilated but my cervix was thick and there were no changes between the first and 2nd sweep (despite trying everything….expressing milk, Clary sage, raspberry leave tea, sex, curry).

I had another sweep at 40+4 about 10am and, just like the first sweep, I had discomfort for the rest of the morning which slowly improved….but then it came back on and off about 2:30pm.  I started timing these and they were every 5 minutes, but really not that painful so I assumed they would go off again, but did give the heads up to our dog and child sitters and my partner who was at work.

About 7pm I suggested my partner head home a bit early if he could as they did seem to be increasing in frequency, but still felt a bit dramatic as I could just about talk through them.  I rang the birth centre about 8pm who said to call back in an hour and see how things were. I had a couple of paracetamol to see me through.  

At 9pm they were every 3.5 minutes but manageable; given it was a second labour and our distance from hospital they said to go in for triage. When we arrived at the hospital at about 9:45 they were more intense but I could breath through them.  We talked through my options for initial monitoring and agreed to try with me standing (I was adamant I was not lying down). When they examined me at 11 I was fully effaced and 5cm dilated. The midwife said she would need to get clearance for me to remain midwife led, but the consultant was happy as, despite my miscarriages, my labour was low risk so they ran the pool and I got in about 11:30, which was amazing and helped so much.

I spent the next 3 hours quietly breathing through the contractions in the pool, in a dark room with my music on and everyone chilling out. About 1:30 I was sometimes getting the urge to push at the end of my out breaths, it felt way too soon but the midwife told me to go with it and I asked if this could be the elusive transition. 

I kept thinking I needed pain relief but thought as I was getting near pushing I was reluctant to have gas and air as I didn’t think I’d want it in pushing….and I felt a bit past paracetamol/codeine so just carried on with my breathing, focusing on my long out breaths, watching the ripples it made in the pool.

I started pushing more consistently about 2:30 and he arrived at 3:20, into the pool,and I was able to catch him myself which was the most amazing experience. He came out transverse (facing sideways), so I had a 2nd degree tear but hadn’t even noticed this and they stitched me up on the bed; once we’d all had our post birth checks we came home and introduced him to his big sister. 

I cannot thank Beth enough for this course, or to the group for their support and fabulous stories.

The words I will never forget were, part way through, the Midwife said “you are so in control of this, it’s really beautiful”.

To everyone still waiting for your bundles of joy, I hope you have a fabulous journey.

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.