Birth story – Madeleine and baby Skylar — The Positive Birth Company

I found out I was pregnant on 30th January 2020 after missing the first day of my period. I had been saying for a few years that 2020 would be the year I wanted to have a baby. I have always tracked my periods and ovulation using the Flo app so I knew straightaway I was late. Even though my gut knew, I still cant explain that jaw dropping moment of realising that I was actually having a baby and the pregnancy test was positive.

I started getting a little baby bump early on but I was lucky not to have any morning sickness. My main symptom was fatigue, I hadn’t felt anything like it. I remember literally wanting to close my eyes close at my desk at work and having to jolt myself awake!

At 7 weeks, I woke up bleeding when I went to the toilet. My husband was working abroad and I was scared. I took myself to my GP alone, who told me that the hospital wouldn’t be able to give me an early scan for a few days and that there was nothing that could be done if I was loosing the baby. I knew this was a moment to go private, I couldn’t go the whole weekend not knowing if I was loosing my baby or not. My dad drove me to a private clinic, I was so nervous. The emotions I felt on that day, telling me how much I wanted my baby. Thank god! My little jelly bean was still in there!! Heart beat going strong! I had no idea that women could still get a period in the early months of pregnancy, apparently it is residue blood from the uterus lining still shedding!?

March 2020:

I was with my brother visiting my mum and grandparents when the first lockdown was announced. We didn’t really realise how serious it was going to turn out and still thought of it as a novelty. I remember before Mothers day, my brother & I were in John Lewis where they were selling 50% off all Easter chocolate (little did we know that this was due to all retail about to close). When Boris announced all the shops were closing, I was immediately gutted I didn’t stock up on half price chocolate and jigsaws from Hobby Craft. It’s funny looking back at that time when we thought it would only last 3 weeks. I didn’t feel scared of Coronavirus at the time and how it would effect my pregnancy, I think I just assumed it would all be over in a few months.

26th March 2020:

I had my 12 week scan. I was nervous going on my own. I remember walking into the hospital and wanting to ask the other mothers sat in the waiting room how they were, wondering how far gone they were, but we all sat there with our masks on not speaking to each other. It was daunting to see all the staff in their PPE but I feel lucky I didn’t have anything to compare it to in a way. When I finally saw my jelly bean on the screen, I was surprised by the overwhelming emotion I felt seeing her come to life. She looked like an actual baby and not just a jelly bean!! I wish I had Daniel there to experience that moment with me but I was also so grateful for us all to be safe in the pandemic.

By 20 weeks I had experienced lockdown life for a couple of months, turning 29, working from home full time, walking around the same park every day and getting into a new life routine. I went to my scan alone again but I asked the nurse if she could write the gender down on a small piece of paper so Daniel & I could find out together. We got home and sat on the sofa. I let Daniel open the piece of paper first, he kept a poker face when reading it and then showed me. I couldn’t believe it was a girl!!! We held a zoom call with our family where we burst a balloon filled with pink confetti for them all to see.

9 months came around pretty quickly and it was so strange that hardly anyone had seen me pregnant. I had prepared myself for labor by doing a hypnobirthing zoom course and reading The Positive Birth Company book– I highly recommend this! Hypnobirthing really helped me to understand my body, birth and it kept me relaxed. I meditated every night before going to bed. Physically, as well as our daily lockdown walks, I did a Postpartum & Pregnancy TV YouTube workout everyday. I would love to thank Jessica Pumple for her YouTube videos during lockdown, the yoga really helped relax me. I actually wear this is what gave me an ache free pregnancy.

I was lucky enough to get a small baby shower in my garden that my friends helped to throw, after a year of hardly seeing anyone it was the little things I really learned to appreciate and I was so happy to have some sort of a normal pregnancy celebration like other mums to be! Upon reflection, I was really lucky to get to this point smooth sailing, I was feeling confident with my body and understood the job it was doing. Although the August heatwave was a challenge, I spent most of the time in my underwear in front of a fan or sat in a hot tub filled with cold water!

2nd October 2020 – my due date!

As the day came, although I know you are not supposed to get fixed on this date, I still became filled with anxiety after being so calm for so long! I was so scared my calm water hypnobirthing birth wasn’t going to happen and that I would have to be induced. I had only read horror stories of induction and this started to fill my head with fear as well as the scary thought of being alone in hospital. After 2 failed sweeps at home and coming into my 42nd week, it was time to be induced!

On 14th October 2020 I went into hospital for the first stage of induction. The pessary didn’t work so on the 15th October they tried the gel. This really got my contractions going! Baby was moving very slowly, so after going into hospital on Wednesday, I wasn’t moved to a birthing suite until the Friday afternoon (make sure you have downloaded on your iPad!). Prior to that I was alone on the induction ward, the other women weren’t in labor and there was no pain relief available on this ward. So I had to get through 24 hours of contractions alone and without pain relief. I kept my head focused by listening to my meditations, I tried to watch shows on my iPad and bounced on my birthing ball.

The most amazing midwife looked after me on the Thursday night when my contractions had really started to come every 3 minutes, in the pitch black (not to wake the others) she helped me put on my tens machine and kept monitoring me and reassuring me. By Friday afternoon, when my husband joined me, I was exhausted. I gave into all the drugs by this point as I was so tired and that’s ok. My body needed rest & the epidural gave me that!! It gave me a deep sleep before the big push.

When I reflect on being overdue 2 weeks, I wish I had embraced those final days just me & Daniel more, enjoying the walks just the two of us and told people to respect my privacy until baby was born. Instead I let anxiety get the better of me when it really didn’t need to. What I was most scared of was in my head, the care I received was amazing & my body still did naturally what it needed to do at its own pace.

17th October 2020 at 09:30 (42 weeks, 1 day) Skylar Joy entered the world! The joy and rush of emotions that moment brings is indescribable, I couldn’t believe she was finally here!! I genuinely was starting to think I was having a phantom pregnancy!

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