Abi & Oscar's positive water birth story

A beautiful, truly positive birth story from my longest standing Muma's. Abi attended Pregnancy Yoga from 14 weeks till birth and did a Hypnobirthing course with me during their third trimester. I am so incredibly grateful that Abi has allowed me to share her story with you all.

On the morning of 12th September, at around 9 o’clock in the morning, I started noticing mild, intermittent period-like cramps. I was 37weeks +6 days pregnant, and was staying in a hotel with my husband to celebrate having started my maternity leave that weekend! The cramps slowly became stronger throughout the course of the morning when I decided to call DAU for advice about what they were (still hadn’t really considered I could be in labour!). The midwife said it was likely that I was in labour and told me to track my contractions. The contractions were getting stronger and were around 4-5 minutes apart. I had a shower, taking breaks to stretch and breathe through the more painful contractions, and we packed our bags and left for the hospital once the contractions were consistently 4 minutes apart. Once we arrived at the hospital we waited in triage for an examination, by which point I was 4cm dilated. The balloon breathing really helped me through this initial stage and I also took the midwives up on their offer of some paracetamol. We were then transferred to a delivery room and we asked that the midwife started filling the water birth pool. I’m so glad we had prepared a birth plan document. I felt that there was very little we had to discuss with the midwife in terms of our preferences as she’d clearly taken the time to read through it carefully along with my notes. I spent a bit of time on the yoga ball but got straight in the water as soon as it was ready! I felt my labour progressed pretty quickly and before I knew it, my contractions were super strong and regular and my body was pushing all on its own. The contractions got to a point where I felt I couldn’t cope with them any longer, but I knew that this probably meant baby was very close. The midwife and my husband were encouraging me to use gas & air but I found it so hard to concentrate on using this properly whilst having contractions. I found it lovely being in the pool as I was able to naturally find what position felt the most comfortable (a squatting position) and I’m sure the warm water helped with pain relief, too. Baby Oscar was born at 9:29 that evening. I had a first degree tear but didn’t need any stitches as it healed itself and in terms of pain relief only needed some paracetamol at the start and some gas & air. I delivered my placenta naturally shortly after birth, before spending lots of time skin-to-skin with Oscar. I feel truly lucky to have had such a positive birth experience. I felt like I understood what was happening to my body throughout the process and this really helped me to remain calm and in control, and avoid reaching for more heavy-duty pain relief, which was something I had hoped to achieve. I was also amazed at how much I did on my own - very little midwife intervention was needed until the very end. It really did feel like such a natural and wonderful experience and we are now the proud parents to a gorgeous, healthy baby boy.

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