Birth story – Hayley and baby R — The Positive Birth Company

40 weeks +1 day

5.30am – I woke up with mild surges, they were different to the Braxton Hicks surges I’d been having throughout the previous week at night, that’s when I knew these were definitely the real thing. But as they were mild, and I felt I’d slipped through a few already, I thought I had a while to go yet.

5:49am – I started timing the surges using Freya app as they felt fairly regular. They were coming every 2.5 mins approx. I thought I was timing them wrong as they were still mild and more than manageable with my breathing. I felt the urge to empty my bowels 5-10 minutes into timing. I went to the loo, brushed my teeth and popped my phone and headphones on charge “just incase”. By the time I had sorted myself out, I thought I would try to get a little more rest before my son woke up, but I couldn’t get comfortable lying down, the surges also slowed when I did this. So I leant over the bed on all fours (we have a floor bed) to get comfortable with each surge. They started to feel ever so slightly stronger, but still very very manageable I used long inhales and exhales, up breathing didn’t feel quite right.

6:20am – My 3yo then woke up so I had a big cuddle with him (to get that oxytocin flowing) and explained his brother was likely to arrive within the next day or so. I got quite emotional as I knew this was the last time it would be me and my little boy. Mum guilt already!! My surges were lasting about a minute by this point. I was still convinced I would be laboring for a long time, or at least mentally preparing myself for it as it was very manageable.

6:30am – I decided to wake my partner up (who was already awake as he had heard me up and about) and told him I think we’re having a baby in the next 48 hours. My partner got up and jumped straight in the shower and I started to get my son ready for the day ahead. Freya then told me I was in established labor! I couldn’t actually believe it and was still convinced it would be hours until my baby was here.

7:10am – We all went downstairs for breakfast to fuel up. I popped some toast on for my son as my partner got the birth pool out of the bag and the pump ready to put up. Well, all the standing and keeping UFO that morning must have helped! I now struggled to butter the toast and really had to concentrate with each surge. I was holding onto the counter breathing deeply. I tried up breathing, but again, long inhale/exhales felt right so I went with that. I checked how often they were coming on Freya and they were still very regular. I asked my partner to call the hospital to let the midwives know to come (I was told to call as early as possible as some have to come from a while away and and my first birth was 5 hours). The hospital said to let them know when I couldn’t cope and they would send a midwife. Less than 10 minutes later the surges were really intense and had ramped up so I asked my partner to call them back and send the midwives! I could see the panic in his eyes as I was really struggling to breathe through the surges effectively. And no pool had even been pumped yet as my partner was still trying to get everything out of the bags and get birth plans out etc.

7:40am – The hospital wanted to speak to me on the phone to hear how far along I was and whether they would send a midwife.

7:49am – Whilst on the phone I had 2 long surges I couldn’t talk through and then… “POP”, a gush came through my legs all over the kitchen floor! It was very dramatic and shocked the crap out of me. My last birth I was in the bath at a Midwife Led Unit, and was not hypnobirthing ready, so I didn’t really get the whole feeling when my waters went or know what was happening to me. My body felt strangely relieved now my waters had gone. The hospital heard what had happened whilst I was on the phone so they finally said they would call the Midwives. My partner was instructed to call 999 should I have the urge to push between now and the midwives arriving. The surges seemed to tail off and I felt like I had little breather as there was more time between the surges – which was great!

8am – My partner went to blow up the pool and I went to feed my hungry toddler then the real surges started! I went into deep breathing mode and recited a few affirmations to myself to get me through each one as they came on so strongly and were intense! I could feel a change in my whole body as I was starting to bear down. I firmly told my partner to stop what he was doing as we weren’t going to have time for our water birth. I asked him to help me upstairs as I felt like I needed to go for a poo again.

8:10am – I managed to go to the loo and as I got off I instinctively got on all fours in the bathroom as the surges came on stronger and my body took over. I started to do the infamous birthing moo! I knew this was it! My partner was keeping our son occupied in the bedroom next door and I shouted at him to get me some towels as the baby was coming! My last birth I labored on my back and was coached to push so all these sensations felt very new to me but I felt in control which was insanely different from my first birth! I could feel my body doing it’s job and recited my affirmations to myself whilst shouting and asking my son if he was ok as my partner was getting the towels. I was acutely aware of my noises and how my son might be scared (we’d prepped him plenty over the 9 months but it’s still a lot for a child to hear!) I laid a towel down and told my partner to call the hospital and see how far the midwives were. He did and they were 30 mins away. I wasn’t sure if they would make it and didn’t feel confident enough to birth the baby myself so we decided to call 999 as per Labor and delivery instructions.

Whilst on the phone, the 999 call center kept telling my partner to get me on my back. Every time they asked I firmly declined, by the third/fourth time they asked me to get on my back I didn’t so politely shouted down the phone saying I was NOT getting on my back. I knew if I did, I wouldn’t get back up and I wanted to continue on all fours. Within 5 minutes, 3 Paramedics arrived. 10 more minutes and the midwives arrived. With everyone squeezed onto the landing, my toddler safely with his dad, my body and baby decided it was time and I was safe.

The midwives spoke between them about my purple line which was only a couple of inches. Knowing I wasn’t fully dilated yet felt a bit of a blow. I asked how quick it could rise and the midwife said some people it’s quick some people it takes an hour or so, but said she didn’t think I was far off. This encourage me to keep going. I listened to my body and tried not to bear down too hard for fear of my first birth happening again. (With my first baby’s heart rate dropped and it became quite medical from there.)

The midwife checked baby’s heartbeat and she said he was a very happy boy. The next surge a Midwife asked if I wanted gas and air. I accepted to help me concentrate on my breathing. The next surge I utilised the gas and air but it made me super super dizzy. I remember saying to the midwife I think I’m going to pass out. My eyes were closed the whole time to block out the audience and the midwife kindly guided me into long deep breaths to help stop the dizziness as I lost control and started to panic a little.

8:45am – The next surge I was offered gas and air but declined and asked for the midwives hand. Still on all fours, with my eyes closed squeezed into my bathroom. My body was really bearing down and I could feel the pressure over my hips where his head was coming. A midwife said she could see the head. I put my hand down but couldn’t really feel a head, it still felt all closed but stretched like a head was behind my bits and bobs. I panicked and asked if they were sure I was fully dilated. They told me I was and to breathe baby out. As I went with the next surge and really utilised my down breathing, my baby’s head was out! The next surge his beautiful warm body plopped out and the midwife helped pass him through my legs. He let out a beautiful scream and I reclined in relief!

I asked for delayed cord clamping (as no one had time to read my birth plan!). My partner came in and cut the cord after. Once this was done I was inspected for tears. No tears just a labia graze. I was so shocked as I was sure I would have a small tear due to him shooting out. They told me it was all down to the breathing (down breathing!). My prep, breathing and practicing for the last couple of months had paid off!

I went into my bedroom and introduced my son to his new baby brother. The paramedics took some observations on me and left. Shortly after the next midwife left. And within a couple of hours the final midwife left.

It was totally surreal and completely opposite to my first. I felt more in control and knew what my body was doing, and why, all thanks to hypnobirthing. Highly recommend it!

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