Positive Birth in Worcestershire
Here at Worcs-Antenatal, we are passionate about birth and want to spread the word about how amazing, life-changing, powerful and magical it can be!
In this section, you will find a range of positive birth stories, generously shared with you by Worcestershire women. Positive birth stories are all different - they may be births at home or hospital, be natural or be caesarean births - but they are all beautiful, and they are here to reassure, inspire and encourage you as you approach the arrival of your own baby(ies).
If you have a positive birth story that you would like to share on this page, please e-mail it to firstname.lastname@example.org Thank you!
Brandi Jones' Birth Story
Home Water Birth of Amelie Esme Jones
Amelie Esme Jones was born nearly a week early on the 4th August at 10.45am.
On Saturday (3rd August) I woke up having mild menstrual cramps which lasted all day long, they didn't keep me from my normal routine and because they were somewhat irregular and so weak, I didn't think too much about it. I hadn't had Braxton Hicks all pregnancy so I figured this must be what they are.
I went to sleep fine that night but got woken up at 330am with the cramps now quite strong/painful and when I timed them they were 5-6minutes apart. This is my first baby so I still wasn't 100% convinced that this was the real thing and didn't want to act too quickly, so I just paced around the house and didn't say anything to my husband. Even though they were stronger, I was still able to cope easily, and was talking/watching tv through contractions.
Within a few hours, the contractions were now much stronger, and down to 3 minutes apart. At this point I figured I better let my husband know, and also call the midwife. At this point I knew myself that this was the real thing, but I know that both my husband and the midwife did not. The midwife told me to see how things go and she'll give me a call to check up at the end of her shift (4pm). I knew this couldn't be right as things were already moving quickly, but again I figured maybe she was right as I know most first labours do last days, plus the ever common 'false labour' so I said okay and hung up.
At 8am I attempted to rest by laying down in bed and almost instantly, I heard a 'pop' and with it, a huge gush of water poured out all over the bed. Within a few minutes of my water breaking, the contractions started coming a minute apart and extremely strong. I turned to my husband and told him he needed to set up the pool - now.
Because things were moving so fast, and we really weren't as prepared as we probably should've been, my husband was busy running around filling the pool and getting me things while I labored on my own in the bedroom. I had assumed that I was really going to want his support, and not to leave my side, but actually I preferred being by myself and was so 'in the zone' it was hard to concentrate on anything outside of my body.
I had done a lot of preparation for the birth, knowing I wanted a home water birth without any pain medication, so I did my best to use my breathing and other mechanisms I had practiced so many times, but the pain was really challenging for me. My saving grace was knowing so much about the actual birth process, that at the point where I was telling myself I couldn't do it, I knew it was the 'transition' phase and that it was the worst part and meant she'd be here soon.
With each contraction, I changed positions from standing to squatting, to lying on my back but the only thing that eased the contraction was sitting against the bed and starting to bear down. At this point, in my head I was prepared to have this baby on my own on the bedroom floor and I really couldn't see myself making it to the pool. Because everything so far had moved so quickly, it was only at this point that my husband had a moment to call the midwife back and tell her that she really needed to come now. He explained the situation (much to her surprise), and she said she would be 30mins and started explaining to my husband what to do if she didn’t make it in time. Luckily my husband has been prepared all along for this situation, but I don’t think he ever dreamed it would actually happen.
My husband knew how much I wanted my water birth, and at this point it was filled up enough that it was ready for me to get in. It took quite a bit of convincing but he got me downstairs and into the pool. Getting into the water came as a huge relief to the pain and I instantly felt more confident. With each contraction, the urges to push became stronger, and pushing was the best form of relief I had, when I could push the pain transformed and became tolerable, so even though I thought I probably shouldn’t be, I pushed with each one.
I could feel the head descending and this motivated me even more. Luckily, as this was happening, the midwife arrived and did nothing but encourage me (knowing that I really didn’t want any interventions at all). Because of how progressed I was, I avoided all internal examinations, which I am so pleased about as I was quite uncomfortable with the idea from the beginning but couldn’t see anyway around it. I could tell the midwife was a bit taken back by how quickly I had progressed, she even had to show up in her dress and shoes as she didn’t have time to change.
Not long after she showed up, I had pushed a bit of Amelie’s head out and could see it which was so surreal. From seeing the head come out, my concern moved straight to tearing and the thought of the rest of the head coming out actually scared me quite a bit. As comforting as pushing was, I then became hesitant and started holding the pushes back a bit. I think this was the most focused I was throughout the whole process, and felt completely in control. I slowed my breathing down and didn’t force anything. I could feel the ‘ring of fire’ but to be honest, it was hardly even painful, in my experience, this wasn’t bad at all.
After doing so well going slow, a huge contraction hit and at this point, I just went with it and pushed until I felt her whole head pop out. I felt a huge relief knowing that the head was out and before I had time to breathe, I felt her arm shoot out as well which led straight into the rest of her slipping out. I instinctively reached down and picked her up and put her on my chest.
Because we had her at home, I was able to get out of the pool, sit on my sofa with my husband cuddling out little baby while my mom was in the kitchen making us breakfast. I was able to go into my shower and get changed and within an hour of her birth it was just our new little family being cozy in our home. It truly was the most amazing experience and I can’t say enough how much I recommend home births. My mom was against the idea in the beginning but she cried afterwards saying how wrong she was, and how she can’t see it being done any other way.
I remember being so overwhelmed with the birth that I just held her with my eyes closed and it actually took me what felt like ages before I took my first look at her.
Holding my own little baby was the most amazing feeling. She was born at 10.40am weighing 7lbs, just over 7 hours after being woken up from the first major contractions. I was lucky enough not to have a single tear (didn’t even sting with my first pee), and unless I didn’t notice, I didn’t poo either!
Because I had planned my home birth for so long, the thought of pain relief had never actually been an option for me, so I never gave it much of a thought. I think if I were to have been in hospital and the idea presented, I may have gone for it, but having said that I had gas and air at the house and never even thought to give it a try. The labour was something I knew was going to be a challenge and just had to get through in order to hold my baby.
Charlotte's Birth Story
Felix's Birth at Cheltenham Birth Centre
Felix William arrived on Saturday 27th August at 18.32, weighing 8 lb. He was 5 days early, taking us all a little by surprise, as I only finished work on Friday 26th!I woke up at 7.30 am, with a show and a gradual breaking of the waters. I had low dull abdominal pains (like a period) and used my yoga breathing to get through these. I wasn't sure how quickly the labour was going to come so spent the morning making sure my bag was ready, tidying the house and having some lunch. At 12.30 the contractions were coming every 5 minutes but I quickly had a bath before leaving for hospital at 1.30pm with my husband and my mum. When we arrived at the Birth Centre in Cheltenham at 14.15 pm, the midwife did not want to examine me until as late as possible, so the three of us spent the next 3 hours in the Athena Suite using the gym ball and bean bags with my yoga breathing, massage, essential oils and sacral press techniques. The atmosphere was very calm and I felt completely in control or at least I knew my body was! At 17.15pm the midwife thought she should check on my progress, and was completely surprised that I was already 9.5cm dilated as she could not believe how calm I had been. They quickly ran the water for the birthing pool, and after about 45 minutes of being in the water, baby Felix arrived without any pain relief and no tearing.I cannot praise the yoga classes we did highly enough - they were both relaxing and so informative and I really think they had a huge effect on creating the perfect birth I wanted. Can't wait to start baby yoga soon!
Sarah's Second Birth Story
Hospital Water Birth of George
Not long after getting up on the Friday morning I had several twinges which I thought were just Braxton Hicks. I then had an antenatal appointment at 9am and while the midwife was feeling the bump, I had another twinge - she thought it was either a Braxton Hicks or an early labour contraction….
I spent the next couple of hours out and about doing some shopping with my mum and H and the twinges persisted. They were also getting slightly stronger and more regular but I still didn’t really think it was anything serious as they were not at all painful. As they began to get more regular I used my yoga breathing (candle breath) which helped.
We got back home and I lay down to have a sleep with little H at about 12.30. However, shortly afterwards, the ‘twinges’ started to get more uncomfortable (possibly because I was lying down?) so I found it more comfortable to be up and moving around. I called my husband at work to say that I thought something might be happening and then just after 1pm I called the hospital to let them know that I thought labour might have started. They told me to call back in 1 hour. I then called F again as by that time, the contractions were definitely starting to get stronger and were coming every 10 minutes or so. F got home at about 1.30 and my parents came over to pick our toddler up at the same time.
By 2ish the contractions were getting more intense and more regular and we left for Cheltenham at about 2.15. By the time we arrived at the hospital, they were pretty intense and coming every 4 minutes. I started using the TENS machine just before we left for hospital and this helped ease the contractions a lot.
When we arrived at hospital, we actually ended up waiting for the delivery suite for about 45 minutes – partly because they were having a busy day that day but also because I had requested the birthing pool room and it was being cleaned! The contractions were getting really quite intense by now and the situation was actually quite surreal as there were several other people in the waiting room with us!
At about 3.45 we went through to the birthing pool room and settled in there. The midwife monitored the baby’s heart beat a couple of times with a normal sonic aid. She then offered me aroma therapy oils – either Frankincense or another oil which I can’t remember the name of but which had calming and soothing properties. I chose this oil and the midwife put it onto a small taper, which she attached to my top. At first the oil was quite overpowering, probably because my sense of smell was heightened, but it soon became very pleasant and I am sure that it helped soothe the pain.
The midwife then asked us if I wanted to try the pool but warned us that I would need to be at least 4cm dilated before getting in and that, although she was happy to examine me, she wanted to make sure that if I was not dilated far enough, I would not be too disappointed about having to wait a bit longer. I decided to go ahead with the examination, luckily, as the midwife was very surprised to find that she could not feel one side of my cervix and that the other side was also quite hard to find! It turned out that I was already 7 or 8cm dilated which was brilliant news as it was about 4pm by then so all of a sudden it looked like things were really happening!
The pool took about 15 minutes to fill up and meanwhile, my contractions were very strong and close together (1 to 2 minutes I think). I was still using only the TENS machine and aroma therapy oils and was finding that the best position for the contractions was to lean against F and holding his hands while I focused on breathing and also counting the breaths I had taken! At the peak of the contractions, I was taking about 20 breaths during each contraction!
When the pool was ready, we took off the TENS machine and while I was getting into the pool, another contraction started so I needed to really focus because I didn’t have the help of the TENS! Again the yoga breathing really helped here.
As soon as I got into the water, I felt an immediate sense of relief and found it extremely relaxing and soothing. I found that being on all fours in the water was best as it meant that the whole of the area where I was feeling the pain was submerged.
I had several more contractions like this and then suddenly the urge to push started, accompanied by a slight feeling of nausea. Our midwife was brilliant as when I told her I wanted to push, she told me that was fine and that I should listen to my body and do what I felt I needed to. I remained on all fours for a few more contractions and felt the baby descending. Then the midwife asked me to sit up instead as it was easier for all of us.
After a few more pushes, I felt the head about to crown and then go back. This happened a couple of times and I remember being very aware of not pushing too hard so that I didn’t tear too badly! With another couple of pushes, George’s head appeared and then his body and he seemed to just float out into the water! So, at 4.59pm, George Alexander arrived, weighing 3.37kg (7lb7)!
His cord was around his neck but was soon untangled and I held him seconds after he floated out, which was amazing! He let out a little cry to tell us he had arrived and for a few minutes I just sat in the water holding our new little addition to the family!
F then cut the cord and took George as I had to get out of the pool for the third stage. I had opted for the injection to speed this stage up and this time the contractions seemed stronger than with our first baby. The placenta was delivered quite quickly and our midwife asked if we would like to look at it, so we had a little biology lesson which was fascinating! She showed us each part of the two sacks, the placenta and cord and it was amazing to see where George had been growing for the last 9 months!
I tore very slightly so had a few stitches but much less than last time. I have heard that a water birth helps to soften the perineum and reduce tearing so maybe this is true! I also had very little bruising this time so have luckily been able to ‘recover’ pretty fast in that area this time round!
Again, the whole experience was amazing and with about 3 ¾ hours of proper labour. I am very lucky that it all happened so quickly. I am also very pleased that I managed to have such a natural birth and that I managed with minimal pain relief too. In the end, everything happened so fast that I didn’t use the gas and air and only used the TENS for the first part with the aroma therapy oil, yoga breathing and then the water. I had mentally prepared myself for a much longer labour so was trying to save the extra pain relief for later on when I might need it more…!
The yoga breathing definitely helped to keep me calm and focused and I also think that the fact that I had been walking around all morning, and then remained upright and moving in hospital for almost all of the labour, helped to speed things up.
Ria and Paul's Birth Story
Hospital Birth of Phelan
Wow, what an experience- the most amazing experience EVER!!
I woke to mild labour pains Monday morning at 10 mins apart which I timed from 4am till 7am then they just stopped. This carried on and off very irregularly and annoyingly until Wednesday when they started getting a little more consistent, I also thought my waters were leaking and had been loosing my mucus plug over the last few days. I went to my midwife appt at 12.30 and had 2 contractions whilst I was there, including one very painful one which i had to breathe through- though I still wasn't sure if it was early labour or just braxton hicks.
Midwife said I should call my husband back from work and to call triage when they were 5 mins apart. At home things progressed quite quickly, contractions started becoming more regular in both timing and strength, i put my tens machine on low and suddenly by about 6.00-6.30 contractions had jumped to being 3-4mins apart and much stronger, by which point I started worrying we needed to get to hospital!
By the the time we got to hospital it was about 7pm and as there were no beds in delivery I had to labour awhile in the waiting area of triage, labour pains were still manageable at this point and my tens machine was great- I did my rocking on the window ledge and breathing through the straw.
Eventually we were shown to a great room in delivery with a lovely birthing pool, unfortunately just as we were about to get settled in the midwife looked at the pad I was wearing and informed me that yes my waters had been leaking, but that there was meconium in it so a water birth was out for us as baby had to be monitored.
We were moved to a smaller room with no pool and I was strapped up with a monitor which annoyingly restricted my movements but I climbed onto the bed and knelt up over the back and got on with it as best I could... Dr came and broke my waters at around 9pm and at 5cm i was now in active labour. At this point I had a massive wobble as the drs put a clip on baby's head to monitor him to enable me to move around more, however my precious tens machine (which I really recommend by the way) was interfering with the monitor and I was told to take it off- I nearly hit someone! Then someone else came in to fit a Canular to give me my antibiotics for my group b strep and was telling me this is first 4hr dose, we'll give you another 2 hr dose after that- i just kept thinking oh my god they think I have 6 more hours of this I can't do it that long! Paul my husband was amazing at this point- quick as a flash he told me to stop stressing, relax and remember my breathing. The lights were turned off, midwives (who up to this point were making a racket) were shuffled out and playlist of chilled out music was switched on. He passed me my gas and air and reminded me of what we learnt in yoga and nct- to be as calm as possible and focus on breathing. The effect was almost instant and I got in the zone from then on- eyes closed still knelt up over the bed rocking my hips (apparently some of the midwives didn't even know what I looked like until after the birth as I never opened my eyes or turned around the rest of delivery!) my breathing became my best friend and after a while suddenly I hit transition which I recognised immediately from nct in the change in the feel my contractions, I told the midwife I wanted to push but she didn't think I was ready and then checked me and was shocked to find I was!
This stage was hard as although i had to push as hard as i could, i also then had to hold back and do it slowly so i wouldnt tear and I nearly lost it again saying I couldn't do it but Paul reassured me and soon I was shouting out my affirmation from yoga and the head finally appeared followed by a final huge push and out came baby Phelan at 12.10am the relief was instant and when he was passed to me it was the most amazing feeling of my entire life.
So my advice to you for a good birth experience; focus on breathing, get the environment as chilled out as possible and above all relax which is blooming hard to do in labour but it helps no end.
Becki's Birth Story
Hospital Birth of Isla Grace
Last Friday I had been at my sister's wedding in Coventry and stayed the night in the hotel. I didn't get much sleep as was feeling a bit crappy, but nothing major! At 6am, I asked my husband if we could go home as just wanted to be in Worcester. Think maybe I knew something was happening!
I started having contractions on the way home and these continued until 10am (I wasn't 100% sure they were contractions though). At 10am I had a small bleed and phoned triage. They told me to pop in but said I'd probably be sent home. Whilst waiting in triage, I bled quite heavily and when they examined me I was 7cm! I was taken to the delivery suite and offered gas and air but I felt ok for another hour or so. The contractions got worse over the next couple of hours and the midwife said I'd have the baby by 3pm... I still hadn't really believed I was in proper labour! I began pushing (for about an hour but only seemed like minutes.....maybe the gas and air!?) and baby Isla Grace Churchill was born at 15.04 on 28th December (10 days early). It was so surreal! We were convinced we were having a boy so when we saw we had a little princess it was a shock but a lovely surprise! Throughout the labour and birth I felt so in control the whole time and knew that I could cope!
Unfortunately I then had to have a spinal block as my tears were quite bad and I needed to go into theatre (the doctor had to do them as oppose to the midwife). I was gutted as had only had gas and air to deliver the baby and was then being told I had to have something I very much didn't want! However, the spinal block was AMAZING and I couldn't feel a thing! The theatre staff were fantastic and although it took about 90 mins, felt like 10 as everyone was chatting to me and asking what music I'd like on etc! I also had to have a catheter put in which I was fine about as had spent the last 9 months on the toilet and was looking forward to a break!
Victoria's Birth Story
Home Water VBAC Birth of Thomas
A bit of scene setting: This is my third birth but because first was emergency c-section and I hoped for a homebirth this time, I've had to jump through plenty of hoops. Even though my second was a successful VBAC in water, the usual fear mongering about scar rupture and risks of being at home have been discussed repeatedly with a succession of midwives, supervisors of midwives and consultants. Eventually, I was given the all-clear for the gentle birth I wanted.....but then, baby chose to stay put.
Now by our dates, I finally went into labour 6 days past my 'due date' (sad to say but on baby #3, we can pinpoint the date of conception quite precisely.....!). Unfortunately my scan dates put me due a week earlier, so by their dates I was 13 days over. The horrors! Homebirth! VBAC! Waterbirth! Post dates! Big babies! Shoulder dystocia! Cue further visits from midwives, supervisors, phonecalls with consultants (as I refused to go in to the hospital to 'discuss' my situation). I was told in no uncertain terms that I was already 'against advice' for a homebirth and now that I was heading over 42 weeks my placenta would inevitably keel over a minute past midnight (or perhaps turn into a pumpkin!) and (I quote) "there's only one outcome from that - a dead baby". Thank goodness, the Homebirth website (homebirth.org.uk) has loads of brilliant advice and stories of women going overdue and being fine. I had also read an interesting paper that challenges the 'myth' of placenta decline from the VBAC support group on Facebook. Three cheers for the internet!! I made it clear I wanted to give it a few more days to let nature take its course before I would consider a further conversation. This was morning of Good Friday.
Nature, thankfully, began to take its course on Friday night, around midnight. What a relief! I'd been having on and off pains for weeks but nothing had really got going. In hindsight I think there had been some adjustments and positioning going on inside as baby got ready for the big day. But this was unmistakable - quite strong surges about 7 minutes apart right from the off. I tried to sleep through them for a while to get some energy but they were too strong so at 1am I woke C to let him know we needed to start getting ready. I put the TENS machine on - I haven't used one before but it came with the pool hire so I gave it a go. It was annoying between contractions but helpful during, so I left it on.
The pool was already filled and ready, I got the rest of the room ready - oils in the diffuser, music on and candles lit whilst C made a strong coffee for himself and a large flask of strawberry smoothie for me. With each surge I rotated my hips, either leaning on the windowsill or sitting on the ball.
Another hour and I was 4-5 minutes apart and starting to find things difficult. C wanted to ring the midwives but I was holding outas long as possible as I wasn't very keen on them coming after all the terse conversations about my birth plans! In the end we called them about 2.30am as I was preparing to get into the pool. We had some timing fun and games - my surges were 3 minutes apart and very strong so we had this small window in which to get the TENS off and get me into the pool. We just about managed it and the relief was incredible. The pool felt blissful and immediately I felt much more in control and able to manage the sensations. I was able to hang over one side and stretch my legs out almost completely straight behind me. With each wave of pressure I just concentrated on relaxed hands, relaxed jaw, aspirated out breath.
Midwife #1 arrived about 3am - there was quite a lot of bustle as she took my blood pressure, my temperature, my pulse etc. All this fussing had caused my contractions to slow down to 5-6 minutes apart - I needed to get back out of my head and the room and into my body and the birth. She went off to make a phonecall.
Midwife #2 arrived about 20 minutes later. From there, thing just pootled along. I could feel baby getting nearer so I asked them to get the gas and air ready. This really helped me manage the next stage. I took whopping great in breaths and then made the out breath last as long as possible. It all felt sort of dreamy - although in between surges I know I felt quite chatty. C came and sat at eye level right in front of me. I got all tearful remembering the birth of my second child Jack and I think I started wittering about how he was the love of my life. I found myself telling C that baby was on the way soon and I could feel it and it was all fine. I could feel myself smiling as the waves got stronger. At one point midwife #1 said "She's smiling the whole time! Whats she got to smile about?!" (She meant this nicely by the way) Like a true hippy I said "whats not to smile about - I'm going to meet my baby soon!"
I was getting really knackered by this stage so in between contractions C was giving me big sips of strawberry smoothie which was brilliant for an energy burst each time. I just looked into his eyes and kept working at relaxed hands, relaxed jaw, aspirated out breath. The urge to push was getting really strong but I was determined not to tear after a difficult recovery with Jack. I focused on the hypnobirthing technique of birth breathing - breathing the baby down rather than pushing. It was so tempting to just push and push as I was so tired, but I remembered reading that it can actually be slower to push as you can't help but clench as well, which is counter productive. So I breathed and I breathed and I rotated my hips which felt great and I floated and stretched out in between.
Midwife #1 started hearing the change in my breathing and was asking "Are you getting the urge to push Victoria" - I kept ignoring her. All I was thinking was 'stop asking me questions! I'm trying to concentrate on what I'm doing!'. When I next got a break I actually turned to her and explained that I was using birth breathing because I didn't want to tear and that's why I was working hard not to push. Thankfully from then, everyone sat rather quietly as I got on with the hardest bit! A little longer and I knew baby was just about here. I reached down and could feel the head with the water's still intact. I wasn't so keen on this as the sensation of the bulging waters felt like the last thing I needed on top of a baby's head to get out! I wanted to make more room so I got into a crouch position and thought 'bugger it I've had enough of this' and gave a big push. Out popped the head. I could hear the midwives murmuring about how big it was and how well I'd done. I was a little nervous after all the speeches I'd been given about shoulder dystocia and I know I have big babies. I also really wanted it over now as I was exhausted and a little worried about the shoulders. I flipped over onto my back and Midwife #1 said "can you feel him wriggling Victoria? - he's resting and getting into a good position - you're doing so well". After our initial somewhat misaligned view on how birthing works I was so grateful for these words of reassurance! I put my leg up in the air to make as much space as possible and gave one final shove. Pop went my waters and out popped Thomas Sean - it was 5.30am.
I brought him up to the surface and onto my chest. Everyone looked a little shocked about how large he looked and the midwives were both hugely complimentary about how we'd done - Midwife #1 was telling me this was the best birth she'd attended in all her 18 years as a midwife and she wished it had been videod as all women should see how it can be done. I felt so proud and happy (if knackered). I stayed in the water with Thomas snuffling at my breast and waiting for the placenta to come, whilst C got everyone hot drinks and brought up my home made flapjacks (we were all starving by this point!). The placenta came about half an hour later. It was huge and in perfect condition. Not a pumpkin in sight. The midwifes then took Thomas and weighed, dried and dressed him. This was the point at which I felt quite sick. He weight in at 4.888 kg - 10lb12 oz. I think I went a bit faint. Can that be right? It had all felt quite sore and I'd figured I had probably torn as I'd sort of eventually given up and done pushing. Now, as I heard the weight, I knew I must have torn. Ah well, I thought. At least I gave it my best shot and still had my wonderful waterbirth at home. They helped get me out of the pool and over to the bed where Midwife #1 examined me. "I thought so" she said. "Intact" Midwife #2 came over to double check and confirmed - a couple of really tiny grazes but otherwise, all intact.
So there it is. Women can birth big babies without tearing! Tell everyone you know!
The midwives did a lovely job of settling me and Thomas in bed and cleaning everything up in the room. C was all buzzing from the event and the coffee so he drained, washed and put away the birth pool. By the time I surfaced, it was like nothing of note had taken place, barring the vague smell of clary sage and this new bundle in my arms. His brother Jack emerged at about 7.30am and joined us in bed.
Home births are amazing!
The aftermath?: There hasn't been one. C collected our eldest Mollie from her friends house at about 10am and she also joined the snuggling. Thomas and I both spent the day sleeping, feeding, recovering. After a recovery from my C-Section that took months, from my 2nd degree tears with Jack which took weeks it has been incredible to get up on Sunday and feel, well, completely normal. A bit tired. Very hungry. But in all other respects, just fine.
I know it can't and wont be like this for everyone. And its so important and valuable that we have the care and backup that the
hospital system can provide. But i've written this up, at length, as I think its so important that women know there is another way. If we trust our bodies, our babies and our instincts, we can do amazing things. I know that I couldn't have birthed this baby without tearing anywhere except in my own home, on my terms and under my own control. I'm almost tempted to have another one now..... (Just don't tell my husband!)
Siani's Birth Story
Hospital Water Birth of Rosa Valentina
According to my scan I was due on the 23rd Aug and since about the 20th I'd been having lots of braxton hicks and mood swings so thought something might be imminent..I'd also been having regular acupuncture, taking raspberry leaf capsules and doing my ball exercises as well as birth hypnotherapy.
I think I was in a slow labour for a few days before the real thing as I'd been getting loads of braxton hicks especially when active! So on Monday 26th I woke up at 4am with a strong contraction, nothing else until 7am when they started coming much more strongly and uncontrollably every 10 mins. After an hour I was pretty sure it was the real thing, but waited another hour until calling the hospital as I didn't want to be told it wasn't real! They said to keep mobile and go in when contractions got to 3 every 10 mins. By 11'o'clock they were more like 1.5-2 mins apart and getting progressively stronger! In the meantime I'd been bouncing on my ball and wearing my TENS machine as well as doing some crochet! They told me to come up to the hospital.
By the time I got into triage at midday, I could hardly walk as contractions were every minute or so and really strong. After a while the midwife managed to examine me between contractions and said I was already 5cms dilated! I was like 'is that all?!' thinking 'argh that's only halfway' and she was like '5cm is great!' After that I got on the gas and air which made a HUGE difference. They sorted me out a room pronto, and started filling the portable birthing pool for me in Room 8 - our lucky number! The midwifery assistant took us down but I was contracting so close together and strongly that I ended up on the floor and had to be popped in a chair and pushed! We got in and the pool was still being filled, so I sat in a chair for a few minutes, contracting very strongly and intensely. Thank god for the pool because as soon as I got in, it felt wonderful and the pressure was relieved. I knelt leaning on the side for a while, with contractions getting stronger, I seemed to go into some weird zone as I focused in on myself and didn't even open my eyes!
All of a sudden along with a contraction came the overwhelming urge to push, I had no control over things at all and at this point was alone as J had gone out for a fag then Mum had gone to find him and the midwife to find her! When she came back the midwife was wonderful and let me do my own thing, only advising a little when I needed to slow down pushing a bit. She asked me if I wanted to deliver and lift her up myself so I said yes, and within a very short space of time and not many pushes, out she popped! The midwife guided her between my legs and I lifted her up and sat back for a cuddle. She snuggled in and only grizzled a little, we gave her a rub to warm up then I held her against me in the pool until she started to get a little chilly so we got out. The midwife asked about the placenta etc, as things had gone so smoothly we just let it happen naturally and delivered fine. Then she was weighed as I wanted to feed and she was only 6.5 pounds so they monitored blood sugar for 12 hours but all was fine she's just little! She went straight on the nipple very happily and loves it! My milk had already come in and we got on fine and she fed for hours. So after delivery we got to stay in the delivery room for 5 hours as the pool pump broke and it had to be cleared with buckets! We were allowed to stay for ages before being wheeled to postnatal where we settled down and I stayed awake most of the night feeding and watching her. They let us go 24 hours after delivery as I'd had no tears or anything and we were both healthy and happy.
So, very much counting my blessings and happy, after an 8 hour labour and 20 mins pushing, only gas and air, water birth etc - it's like all my delivery wishes came true! And especially with the feeding etc! I really think all the preparation helped, after doing the yoga/acupuncture/hypnotherapy etc my mind and body were in the best possible frame of mind for the whole thing. I'd do it again tomorrow :)