When I shared with you my anxiety over giving birth so many of you commented and DM’d me with your own positive birth story and I can’t tell you how much they all helped me 🥰
So here’s mine…
How my positive birth story began
My surges started at around 10am on Friday morning. They were very mild though so I was still cracking on with my day with Ashley and wandering around Hobbycraft before I realised I should probably get home 😂
They gradually started to ramp up throughout the day and get more intense and closer together. In our hypnobirthing sessions we talked about watching something funny or light-hearted during the early stages so I started off watching Tangled with Ashley on the sofa and giving her lots of cuddles. Once her Grandad had come to get her I bounced away on my birthing ball whilst binging on RuPaul’s Drag Race 😂 (hypnobirthing does teach you to watch something light hearted or funny after all!).
I was tracking my surges using the Freya app (thank you so much to everyone that recommended this app!) and when they were stronger I paused the TV and followed the breathing instructions on the app. This breathing combined with the TENS machine and a few yoga moves from Charyn at Mamababybliss Wycombe made them totally manageable at home.
Time for Hospital
By 5pm my surges were lasting just over a minute long and about 3 minutes apart so I felt it was the right time to head into hospital (and the Freya app also told me to go). We live a 30 minute cross country (bumpy!) drive from the hospital so in the car and the surges were very intense by this point. So I put my headphones in for the drive and focussed on the relaxation tracks on the Freya app as well as the breathing. This really helped me stay calm and in control.
Plan A for my birth plan was a water birth in the labour ward – reason for labour ward was because I had a large haemorrhage with Ashley so my consultant wanted me to have an infusion by IV following the birth to help prevent this happening again. I also wanted no vaginal examinations which was a personal choice as I felt this was a contributing factor in my surges slowing down last time and resulted in me being sent home. The team at Stoke Mandeville were fine with all of this and took me straight through to a delivery room when we arrived.
We told the midwife that we’d been practicing hypnobirthing and she was very respectful of this. After an initial chat she was happy leaving me to it with some gas and air whilst she sat back and observed me, had a read through my notes and filled the birth pool (which FYI takes FOREVER!!). I still had my TENS machine on which I was gradually cranking up the intensity on and we were listening to the Freya app via our speakers.
When I got to hospital I still hadn’t had a show and my waters were still intact which I think made them think I wasn’t as far along as I was. At about 7.50pm my waters broke whilst I was bouncing on the ball and I instantly felt like I was about to 💩 myself so legged it to the toilet! I realised the feeling was actually the baby making it’s way out so started begging to get in the pool. Unfortunately when they checked baby’s heart rate it had dropped significantly so they weren’t happy for me to get in the pool (plus it was too hot).
After some cross words (sorry midwife Tracy!) I accepted the pool wasn’t going to happen so got up on the bed and after a very intense 10-15 mins baby Theo was born. Hypnobirthing teaches you to breathe the baby out rather than pushing during this stage so I was trying my best to focus on breathing and not pushing. Whilst this stage was intense I was grateful for the speed as my labour with Ashley took forever!
My placenta was delivered shortly after but I was on such a high by that point after finding out Theo was a boy and holding him in my arms that it felt so minor.
I was overall such a positive birth experience and I’m very grateful!
After the Birth
I came away from it with a second degree tear which actually I couldn’t feel. The worst part of this was having the local anaesthetic put in to stitch it up, but after that it was fine. I also had piles (haemorrhoids) which I was expecting as I’d started to get a few late in my pregnancy and also got them after Ashley was born. Why does no one tell you about piles before you have a baby?? I didn’t even know what they were first time round! Being prepared this time has made them so much easier to deal with. I already had anusol cream to put on them, witch hazel foam and padsicles in the freezer at home which all work wonders!
My recovery has been a million times easier this time. By day 2 I was already able to sit down without too much pain, on day 3 we went out for brunch and managed a short walk in the park and day 4 I was walking around without much discomfort and the swelling from my stitches and piles had gone down loads.
Every birth is so different and you just never know how yours is going to go. But if you’re reading this after having a traumatic previous birth then please take some reassurance that your next one will most likely be completely different! I hope this positive birth story helps.
If you would like to try hypnobirthing I’ve been given a discount code to share which will get you 15% off the full course with The Serene Mummy – BUCKSMUMMY15.