This week's birth story is from Ana who emailed me over her story. I'm not going to lie I did well up a little with this one!
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My first birth was okay, I say okay, well it was fairly quick and no need for medical assistance. Yet it was traumatic.
My baby boy was due on the 12th Oct 2013, the date came and gone and obviously I wanted him out. Luckily he decided to come only a couple days later.
Leading up to my due date I bounced a lot on the birthing ball, walked miles, ate tones of pineapple (enough to burn my tongue), drank raspberry leaf tea, everything I could to get things going. Looking back did these things really work ?! Probably not, they made me feel like i was doing something and at that stage every little helps. I do believe the raspberry leaf tea made both of my births, the 2nd stage, much shorter, but that's just my own experience and opinion.
My 1st contraction was at 11.30pm on the 13th, it was the start of everything, and from then until 4.30am I laboured all alone in my living room on the ball, on the sofa on my 4s and getting very excited that with every contraction I was closer to meeting my little boy. After waking up the husband and ringing the Dolphin suit ( water birthing unit on our local hospital) off we went, only to be back home 1hr after because I was only 2cm. Back at home, I was disappointed, upset and just tired. I was told to try to sleep and that I wouldn't be back anytime soon. I couldn't sleep, I couldn't lay, I could barely move. At 7am I grabbed my husband by his collar shouting that I needed an epidural and I needed to go back NOW! He knew I meant business, so off we went again, this time I was seen by another midwife and she told me I was 7 cm! Yay, we were about to get the show on the road.
On the birthing pool everything felt much better, I was relaxed and managing the contractions with gas and air (amazing stuff!) Until my waters broke, baby had pooped! I completely felt apart, my water birth was over. Things got a bit crazy after that, I was lifted of the bath, because the contraction were so intense that I couldn't move. I was taken into a room across the corridor, on a bed, on a monitor, with a team of 3 midwifes and a nurse. My baby's heart beat was dropping completely with every contraction, I knew from watching way too many birthing programs that's that was bad news. So I pushed, I pushed with all I had, until my face turned purple and I screamed the place down! I was told I wasn't fully dilated but I needed him out, my body completely took over and with one push he was out. At 11.35am and he was here. He was safe! He was wrapped in a blanket and taken out of the room with dad, I was just there laying on the bed, tired, worried and petrified if my baby was okay. He was, and God was he the most beautiful thing I've ever seen. As I held his naked body agains my bare chest I remember looking at him and saying to my husband 'I know him, I've seen his little face before' and to this day I still feel like somehow I had seen him already.
Because of all my pushing I teared quite badly, so recovery was very hard, for a very very long time. We also had to stay over night because the doctors where worried that he had swallowed meconium, so that wasn't nice at all.
His birth, at the time seemed okay, I mean was quick, was smooth in comparison with others that I've heard of but it was scary. It scared me in ways I didn't realise until I felt pregnant with baby number 2.
I had a terrible fear of tearing like I did before, there was only 22 months I between them, so it was possible that it could happen again.
I spent the 1st half of my pregnancy fearing that moment, yet I wanted to enjoy it. So after having heard about hypnobirthing, i researched the web, I Stoke to mums that had tried it, I read books, got CDs and I felt that it was the right thing for us. I felt confident, empowered even, to know that I could and I was going to do it.
This time I was going to birth my baby how I wanted, how i knew my body could do it. I needed my water birth, I needed to be the first to hold my baby, I needed to get rid of the bad memory.
My baby girl was due on the 15th Aug 2015, days went by and nothing, she was too comfortable. After 7 days I agreed to a sweep, my midwife told me about induction and how NHS advises mothers to not go further than 10 days past due date. I didn't want an induction, I know I didn't, even with everyone advising me to have it, I wanted and needed this baby to come when she was ready. I agreed to see a consultant and be monitored.
At 40+10 days I saw this wonderful male consultant, he was wonderful. He was understandable, he was more than happy to let me go to 15 days over, which is exactly what I wanted. He did a stretch and sweep (cervix was backwards and only 1cm ) and we booked the induction for the 30th of Aug, when I would be over 42 weeks and even then I told him that I was still unsure, which he very kindly reminded me that it was 'my body, my baby, my decision' but it was his job to advise on what to do.
Me and my husband left, with plenty of nasty cramps, got monitored and were able to go home. By then the pain had stopped.
My induction was Sunday, I had only 2 days to make a very important decision so I decided to stop worrying, which I did so badly. I worried about making the right decision, I worried about leaving my toddler, I worried about going through the same experience again. So I stopped, I decided to enjoy my huge belly. I had relaxing showers,baths, I listened to her heartbeat, I felt all her movements and reminded myself that in a few days no mater what would happen she was no longer just mine. I loved that last day. Yes only one day because from the appointment on thrusday, I started labour on Friday !
Friday morning we went for a walk to our local supermarket, had lunch and walked back. My husband was on a course for a few hours so I decided to put my feet up and my toddler felt a sleep. And the contractions started, so I started my ball, I carried on with the raspberry tea like I had been drinking like mad for weeks. I was ready and I was so happy, I was in natural labour, early labour, but my body and my baby were working together to get things going, which meant, no induction !!!!
Some how, by some miracle, my little boy slept almost 4 hrs nap, it's like he knew I needed the peace to labour. While I laboured, nice and stead, calmly, I cleaned, I cooked and when my husband made it home we had our tea, and then things got a bit more intense.
With hypnobirthing you learn to take your mind somewhere peaceful, to deal with the surges and how to help your body to progress without fear. So that's what I did, I had a warm bath, put some soothing music on, and with every surge I felt and saw her little body move downward. Once the pressure was starting to get stronger I got out of the bath, around 8.30pm, which by then my wonderful sister in law was around to spend the night with my little boy. I was breathing through every surge, relaxing, allowing my whole body to just relax and labour.
We arrived at the hospital at 21.30 was a very busy night but we git our water suit, the exactly same one I had for my little boy. I like to think that it was meant to be. I wasn't seen until almost 10.30pm to be told I was barely 2cm. I crumbled ! I cried and I felt 'here we go again', but my absolutely amazing midwife told me that due to my history of fast labours, she was letting me stay but with the condition to walk around the hospital to get my dilation going. Well I made it to the toilet in the room, and my body refused to move. My contractions were overlapping, no break no time to move. Once I managed to get of the toilet, I was still in control of the surged, but apparently mooing like a cow (haha). My midwife walked back in the room and asked me if I felt that needed to push, I did, a lot. So before I started to push,like I had done last time, she asked me to lay in the bin bag on the floor and get checked again. I went from 2cm to 8cm in 30min. And just as soon as she finished the examination, at 11.35pm my water flooded the floor, her uniform and everything around her (oops!)
As soon as I managed to get up, about 10 min after because just like on my last birth my contraction were much more intense and non stop, I finally was inside this lovely peaceful birthing pool. It felt amazing, I felt I was back to the relaxing place I had been throughout the whole labour. My contractions were non stop, yet as painful as they were I could completely embrace the surges and picture my baby making her way further down, ready to meet me.
That's exactly what happened, after a strong surge I told me husband that something was happening, like a stretching burning feeling. Next thing I know, at 11.55pm my little girls head was out. No pushing, nothing, she made her way out just like that on her own. The midwife asked my husband to press the buzzer for another midwife to assist, quite funny moment really, because my husband had no idea what buzzer it was! As the midwife join us, I pushed her shoulders with the next surge and I scooped her up.
I remember holding her little floppy body, bringing up to my chest and tipping the head back in pure happiness and relief.
I had my little baby girl (9lbs 6oz without a single tear!!!) in my arms, I kissed ever inch of her head, inhaled her sweet smell.
We stayed for the night, in very cozy room, like a room at home, no hospital machines around. Just us 3 soaking up all this love.
My amazing (yes amazing is the world I use when anyone asks me how her labour was), my amazing experience wouldn't have been possible without many weeks of preparation, all the relaxation technical, my husband support and my wonderful midwife.
Her birth was the best experience of my life! From that moment I was completely healed from the previous experience.