Thank you to Maria for kindly sharing her real, very positive birth. A natural hypnobirth. This is her first baby. I have not changed a word.
‘My Birth Story
I had a VERY positive birth. I actually enjoyed it, it was a challenge that I feel that I rose to and conquered. Having had a horrendous pregnancy with severe morning sickness all the way through the birth was the easy bit. I would liken it to running a marathon – you put your body through hell but you want to do it again for the medal (baby) at the end.
At 5.30am 22nd August I was woken up by a feeling that something was leaking. I had heard that people’s waters trickle and I thought this was happening. I went to check it out and found out it was a bloody show. I knew that this was an early sign of labour but I also knew that labour could last days. Therefore I went back to bed and waved my husband off to work in Cornwall.
As I was lying in bed I got a really uncomfortable crampy feeling just like a period pain. I decided to get up and go swimming to relax. I knew something was wrong when I got into the water and I didn’t feel the weightless relief that the water had previously offered. I called Labourline, the midwife reassured me that it all sounded like early signs of labour and to try and carry on as normal as it could last for days.
I felt like curling up and going to sleep so that is what I tried to do. However, I could not get comfortable and could not sleep. I had a dull achey crampy feeling. It was constant and not coming in waves that I expected from contractions. I got up at one point and felt a wave of pain – it was like the cramp intensified ALOT I had to hold on to the door frame. I lay back down.
At about lunch time I got up again and the wave of pain came over me again. Again I thought something was wrong as the pain only intensified when I stood up. I called Labourline again and when the midwife asked me if I could feel the baby I told her that I wasn’t sure as the discomfort was masking it and my stomach felt hard. She then told me to hang up and call 999 for an ambulance. I’ll be honest I freaked out and got upset at this. However the 999 call handler made me laugh by telling me how to deliver my baby by myself – I knew that the baby wasn’t coming that quickly.
Thankfully the ambulance arrived very quickly and by then all my pain and discomfort had completely gone. I then felt awful for wasting the paramedics time but they were wonderfully reassuring and told me that they had to take me to hospital for a check up to be sure that the baby was OK even though by then I could feel him.
When I got onto the ambulance the intense wave of pain came over me again. This time I was sitting down and it lasted only a few seconds. But it happened again and again. Now that they were coming in waves I knew that they were contractions. I took control and started my wave breathing, the breathing helped to relieve the pain. BUT they were already 3 minutes apart. My birth plan was to wait until they were only 4 minutes apart to leave with my husband for the hospital so I called him and told him to start the 3.5 hour journey back to Bournemouth.
At the hospital I was assessed straight away. I was 4 cm dilated and ready to be admitted. I was given a room in the antenatal clinic to wait in until my contractions were stronger and closer together and left alone with my Mum. I felt no pain as long as I concentrated on breathing.
3.5 hours later my husband came charging down the corridor like a scene from only fools and horses. There were tears of relief that he hadn’t missed it. Just then my waters broke. Our son had waited for his Daddy to be there. That’s when two midwives rushed in with a canister of gas and air – that first breath is a weird feeling but you soon get the hang of it.
It wasn’t long before I was wheeled down to the birthing suite at the Harbour. I remember thinking that the room was lovely with a pile of pillows on the bed. I immediately stripped off and plopped myself on the bed. I don’t know whether I was just high on the gas and air but it felt like no time at all before my body just started pushing. I didn’t have to do anything- IT knew what to do. Again I really wouldn’t call it painful. It feels like you are being stretched but honestly it is the exact same feeling as having a really big poo ( just bigger than you have ever had before!).
I tried the birthing pool but I didn’t like it. The birthing stool and sling was best for me.
Baby was being stubborn – he was facing the wrong way and refusing to turn. My midwife was brilliant – she knew I wanted as little intervention as possible so she just sat and watched and checked baby at intervals to make sure he was OK. After 2 hours of pushing my heart rate had shot up (due to my heart condition), I felt fine to continue but the midwife could no longer hear my baby’s heart over mine so I had to be transferred to the central delivery suite so that we could both wear a monitor.
I was so adamant that I did not want to have an assisted delivery and became very concerned that being transferred would result in a forceps delivery. So although I had put in maximum effort up until now I dug deep and I pushed with all my might. 10 minutes later my son’s head was delivered.
The relief was sensational but the feeling of the head hanging between your legs is weird. It also feels like the next contraction takes forever to arrive. But at 00.46 on 23rd August our son Ted was born safely into this world. He had a very twisted head due to the turn he had to make and the force I applied to get him out but he was perfect. He was passed between my legs and straight to me with his cord still attached.
I don’t remember much about the placenta being delivered but the midwife was telling me what was happening. I didn’t feel much and I think it took less than 10 minutes. Ted just lay on my chest skin-to-skin. Holding him against me was such a wonderful feeling. He was given a little woolly hat to keep his head warm.
Ted has a significant tongue-tie so he had help to latch on for that very first time. But when he did he sucked and stayed on for ages (well over an hour), the midwives left the room and checked in every now and then until he had finished.
I was given tea and toast which really did taste amazing. Then it dawned on me that I was naked and covered in blood and gunk and suddenly became desperate for a shower and my pyjamas that I had planned to wear during labour.
I would say the worst bit was having stitches the injection stings and then you feel pushing and pulling. I had a second degree tear but the doctor had to be called to make sure that it was a 3rd degree. I wasn’t prepared for what was going to happen during that assessment. I really did need the gas and air at that stage.
At my booking in appointment at 8 weeks pregnant I was told that my pregnancy would be high risk due to a minor heart condition and possible collagen disorder. With that I spent the next 7 months reading books, reading blogs and pinning stuff on Pinterest to make sure I had the most positive birth I possibly could. For me knowledge is control and I wanted to know everything. It wasn’t until I did Emily’s talking babies class that I felt I knew exactly what to expect. I would also recommend hypnobirthing as the breathing techniques helped relieve pain amongst other things.’
Talking Babies Takes a closer look:
What a strong woman Maria is! she has written such a positive birth for everyone to read. There is one part that I would like to explain further:
‘I would say the worst bit was having stitches the injection stings and then you feel pushing and pulling. I had a second degree tear but the doctor had to be called to make sure that it was a 3rd degree. I wasn’t prepared for what was going to happen during that assessment. I really did need the gas and air at that stage.’
Sadly Maria didn’t feel very prepared for this part. Let me help you!
Following the birth of your baby and placenta it is very important for your Midwife to have a look to see if you need stitches. This can be uncomfortable because it is now a very tender area. Gas and air (Entonox) is commonly offered locally to ease the initial discomfort. Maria also had another method of help here being her hypnobirthing techniques.
If a tear is identified it is important for Midwives and Doctors to take a thorough look and identify how deep it is. I can sense that you are now crossing your legs! Not everyone tears but if you do most tears Midwives can suture back together with ease others doctors need to suture in a theatre setting. The stinging injection that Maria describes was the local anaesthetic being administered, this initially stings but, after a few minutes the area becomes numb to pain. You will remain aware that something is happening down below but, without pain. Following the procedure you will be offered pain relief for when the anaesthetic wares off.
You may also like to read