A postive birth story was something I’d always wanted. My first labour and delivery was around 8 hours from start to finish. It was straight forward but painful! I did not feel in control and it felt pretty horrific.
Fast forward 19 Months and I was pregnant again. I found the fear and apprehension of birth so much worse the 2nd time. Obviously, this time I knew what I was in for, and, to be honest, it wasn’t something I was looking forward to.
Around 3 or 4 Months into my pregnancy, I started researching hypnobirthing. I had heard of it before, and I remember seeing a couple of hypnobirths on One Born Every Minute, which I’d thought were beautiful, but unrealistic.
However, the more I researched it, the more I came to realise this was really something that could help me. It wasn’t about having an amazing, pain-free, drug free birth. It was about knowing your body, taking control of your body, and basically a lot of it was common sense! I downloaded a book, the Hypnobirthing book by Katherine Graves. It was amazing! I finally wasn’t dreading my birth, I was in fact looking forward to it. I would practice my affirmations a few times a week in the bath on an evening.
So, after a pretty standard pregnancy, I reached my due date! It’s so difficult not to get fixated on that date when you’re pregnant. It’s etched into your mind, and when the day came and went, I’ll admit I had a bit of a wobble. Thank goodness my best friend is a midwife. She kept me sane, answered all my questions, and helped me focus on what was important. The thought of being induced petrified me, as my first had been on time, so i’d not even thought about induction. I was worried I’d be unable to have the calm waterbirth I was desperate for.
I was due to be induced on the 17th of March. On the 15th, I had my third stretch and sweep (!!). I came home, but didn’t have any niggles or anything. Once my other half got home from work, I made him come on a brisk walk with my eldest and I, to try to get things moving. I then spent the whole evening on my birthing ball. Still nothing. I’d given up by this point, and resigned myself to the fact I’d be getting induced in a couple of days time.
However…6:30am this next morning, and I got my first pain. To start with they were around every 5 minutes. Then they quickly changed to every 3 minutes! I called the midwife unit who advised I take some paracetamol and have a bath (Ha!). I knew things were moving fast, so just ignored their advice and got some things together. Once my mother in law had arrived to look after my eldest, we made a call to the hospital again, and let them know we were on our way.
I was still pretty calm at this stage, I was just so pleased it looked like I wasn’t going to have to be induced!
When we got to the hospital at around 8am I was hooked up to a monitor for 30 mins and then examined. I was only 3-4cm!! I was slightly gutted as I felt much further on than that. Luckily, the unit wasn’t busy and I was told I’ve be moved through to one of the delivery rooms, and that they’d already started running the pool. Thank goodness!!
Once I got to the room, things really started ramping up a gear. I remember my lovely midwife telling me at one point that I needed to get undressed or I’d be having my baby in my leggings, haha! After just about managing to get my leggings off, I got into the pool in between contractions. What a relief the warm water was! I started on the gas and air and just kept focusing on my breathing. Remembering my body was made to do this, practicing my affirmations.
I soon felt the urge to push, my midwife just told me to go with what my body was doing. I couldn’t believe it, I’d gone from 3-4cm to fully dilated in around 30 minutes!
Now, what I’ve failed to mention is that my best friend is a midwife at the hospital I was giving birth in. Thankfully, she was working, however, she was with a different lady that morning. She’d been told I was there and was desperate to come and see me, but couldn’t as her lady hadn’t delivered yet. Meanwhile, knowing this, my midwife was getting me to slow my breathing right down, and breathe through my contractions, so my friend had time to come in!
About 5 minutes before I gave birth, my friend joined us. I was so happy to see her face! After a couple of pushes, at 9:26am I managed to catch our beautiful, albeit slippy, baby as she came up out of the water. It was amazing! I couldn’t resist and quickly checked to see what gender we had. A girl! I was in shock, I just kept crying “it’s a girl! It’s a girl!”
I didn’t realise until later that my bestie had got my husbands phone and filmed her being born too, I was so thankful, and still watch the video.
Once the cord had stopped pulsing, my husband cut the cord, and I got out onto the bed to have the injection to help the placenta come away.
Unlike my first, little E latched perfectly, straight away. It was such a relief as we had so many issues when breastfeeding my first. After a lovely long feed, she fell asleep on me.
After an amazing cuddle, I managed to get a shower and then have my lunch. By 1pm, we had been discharged and were free to go home!
My 2nd birth truly was the most empowering thing I’ve ever done. That feeling, of birthing your baby into your own arms, is something I will never, ever forget. I am sure that much of the reason I had such a positive birth was down to my amazing midwives. They gave me the confidence to listen to my own body, and trust it to do everything it needed to. I can never thank them enough for helping me bring one of my most treasured possessions into this world.
Pampers are running a campaign until 31st December. They will be donating £1 to the Royal College of Midwives Trust for every Facebook/twitter post with the hashtag #thankyoumidwife.