Updated: Oct 10, 2022
As someone who has always been a bit of a closet birth nerd and who needs to know everything, about anything that's happening, naturally when I became pregnant I explored this fairly new phenomonon known as Hypnobirthing. I followed The Positive Birth Company on Instagram and took advantage of their first birthday offer - the full online course for £12. I remember watching the introduction video whilst out walking our dog, Tillie one afternoon and my mind was blown. It made so much sense to me. I completed the course within days, rewatched it with my Husband who was mind-blown at just how logical it all was and then I ordered loads of books, such as Your Baby, Your Birth by Hollie De Cruz, Ina May Gaskins Guide to Childbirth, Hypnobirthing by Marie Mongan and Grantly Dick Reads Childbirth Without Fear. I also enjoyed weekly Pregnancy Yoga sessions which really helped me listen to my body, learn how to relax and practice breathing techniques.
My pregnancy was plain sailing up until around 34 weeks when I was flagged for a growth scan due to a drop in bump measurement. The scan plotted baby under 10th centile which meant I was advised to come up for another in two weeks as they wanted to keep a closer eye on everything. We carried on attending scans until 39+1 when growth appeared to drop again and my fluid levels were showing as a bit low. I was also being quite closely monitored for my blood pressure as that was getting higher with each appointment I attended. With these 3 things the consultant suggested "baby is better out than in" at this stage and recommended induction. I was aware that inductions could be quite a lengthy, painful process and my risk of intervention would increase but also as a first time Mum, being told that my baby was small and that my placenta might not be working we made an informed decision to book an induction but not for a few more days. The consultant was very fair, he did say that if we chose to walk out of that room he wouldn't be worried about us, and that he knew he would't be able to book an induction until the weekend anyway (this was a Wednesday) so I felt confident that between now and then I'd give it my best shot of letting baby come naturally. I spoke to a Midwife and requested a VE and sweep if my cervix was looking favourable. I was around 2cm dilated, my cervix was soft and started to move forward so I gave the Midwife the go ahead to perform a stretch and sweep. An induction was booked for the Sunday (39+5) and as I left I told the Consultant I'd try my very best to ensure I didn't need his booking!
Two days later I was back at antenatal clinic for a doppler scan and possible CTG to just check baby was doing ok. As I sat and waited for my scan I was chatting to a lovely lady who was telling me all about her postive induction story from her previous pregnancy. It was just 6 hours, totally hands off, still able to use the birth pool etc. Suddenly I felt so much more positive about my looming induction. The scan was fine, they said there was no need for a CTG afterwards but I did miss my Midwife appointent that morning so asked the Midwives to just do a quick antenatal check whilst I was there. As usual my blood pressure was a bit high and unusually babies heartrate was a little bit low so we rested up for 20 minutes. During that time I started to feel some kind of period pain type sensations, I probably felt 2 whilst lying there so they can't have been anymore than 10 minutes apart. When the Midwife came back to finish her checks I mentioned the period pains to her and she said, so sincerely " period pains are great lovely, but don't get too excited, it could be a while yet" as I stood up to leave I felt a pop in my pants. I went to the loo to investigate. My mucus plug had come away and pretty sure my waters had gone too, this was 2pm. The sensations were probably coming a minute faster each time and getting stronger and stronger. I phoned my husband to let him know what was happening, drove the half an hour home by which point I was probably contracting every 4/5 minutes. This continued for an hour or so during which time my Mum and my neice popped round, my neice was around 18 months and really in to marching so had me marching up and down the garden path for a good half an hour - a birth worker in the making! The surges were a little uncomfortable at this point but as long as I took myself away and concentrated on my relaxation breathing they were manageable. Once my Mum and my neice left my Husband suggested we take the dog out for a walk to keep me nice and active - I crossed the road and at the same time as I got a much stronger contraction and ot started raining, that drizzly, horrible wet stuff. It wasn't doing anything for my oxytocin so I came home and paced the house for a little bit - leaning on what ever I could, shaking my booty and balloon and bubble breathing through contractions until it got to the point where I couldn't walk or talk through the, I wasn't getting much of a break between them either. My husband was still out walking the dog at this point (I told him to be quick, he'd probably only been gone 15 mins!) so I phoned labour ward to let them know. The lovely Midwife must have only heard the part where I told her I started feeling sensations 2.5 hours earlier and told me to go and take some paracetamol and have a bath as I "might still be there this time tomorow" being the trusting people pleaser I am, I went and did as I was told. Ten minutes later my Husband was home to find me on all fours moo'ing in the bath, I updated him with what the Midwife said. He left me for ten minutes but could tell I was progressing quicker than we expected so phoned labour ward himself, told them I was moo'ing and needing a poo so they said to "bring her in and we'll take a look"after spending about 20 minutes telling to "get out of the bath, get some clothes on and get in the car" whilst thrusting a banana and cereal bar at me, we were finally on our way in to the hospital at 5.30pm - navigating Friday afternoon rush hour traffic - I knew baby was on their way, the contractions had definitely changed, I could feel my body and baby bearing down and there wasn't much I was able to do about it, except stay calm - the only relief was that the contractions were at this point fewer and further between and I actually quite enjoyed the feeling of the powerful downward surges, they really felt like they meant business!! I phoned the labour ward again on our way in to ensure they reserved me the pool room!!
We arrived at the hospital just before 6pm but it took about 5 minutes for them to answer the door and let us in, as I waddled down the corridor I told the Midwife baby is coming and she replied "lets just have a look first, you're a bit too calm for that" so my Husband dropped me and my bag off in the Triage room and nipped off to go and finish parking the car. I hopped up on the bed and the Midwife exclaimed "ah, you're right, baby is coming and I think Dad might miss it!" I panted through my next set of contractions to try and stop baby arriving before my Husband made it back so he didn't miss it! He walked back in the room very casually to see a head between my legs which he said looked like a sponge, and with my next contraction I birthed my little super baby who came out with their fist under their chin, just as they were on their scan that morning! Just 14 minutes after arriving at the hospital and probably less than 4 minutes after my Husband entered the room! He later admitted he believed the midwife and thought I was being a drama queen and had plenty of time so re-parked the car to ensure it was straight and took his time getting a parking ticket!!
Baby was received straight on to my chest, and had their first wee all over me! They were small, but pink and healthy. After our delayed cord clamping the cord was clamped and cut by Daddy. We didn't know the gender and due to it being such a whirlwind delivery we didn't even think about checking! The Midwife said about 5 minutes later "oh you probably wan't to find out who this little one is" and held them up to us - and despite us being convinced almost the entire pregnancy that it was boy we were delighted to see some little girly bits!! We had a totally unrushed period of skin to skin, with baby suckling at the breast whilst waiting for a physiological third stage, my placenta was a little stubborn but came with a bit of encouragement within the hour. We didn't feel rushed at all but I did have a little tear from babies superhero arrival so we were moved in to a different room for suturing - I gave birth in the Triage room but they kindly moved me to the birth pool room that I had ensured I'd reserved on our way in - the irony!
We were moved to post-natal ward a few hours later where we rented one of their private rooms so that Matt could stay with us. Baby had spent a lot of time at the breast but hadn't latched and so we were waiting for some feeding support - due to baby being so small (5lb 14oz) and arriving so quickly they said she was probably quite mucousy and it might take a little while for her to feel hungry so I kept expressing some colostrum for her to keep her energy levels up. It actually took about 30 hours before she finally latched, which was during the middle of the night and thanks to some wonderful perseverance from a hands-off angel student midwife and we didn't make it home till day 3. We were then back in to NICU on day 4 for jaundice checks and a tongue tie consultation but able to come home again with a snipped tongue tie but no further treatment for jaundice other than regular feeding and some sunbathing through the window at home!