My birth story
In the weeks leading up to my birth I had been feeling period like pains in the lower part of my uterus. On D day, whilst preparing lunch for my mum, I started feeling them again but slightly stronger, this was around 12 in the afternoon. We ate our lunch then went to view a house for my mum, all the while the feelings were getting slightly stronger. I hadn’t mentioned it to my mum but when we get back to my house she looked at me and said "are you OK?" I replied "I think I’m in labour" and as soon as I verbalised it it became real and my surges quickly started coming every 2-3 minutes and were 30-40 seconds long. We called the midwife as I was planning a home birth. The woman who answered the phone asked me all the usual questions and asked if I'd had any pain relief, I said "No, I'm just breathing through the contractions", she then told me "You're not in labour but I'll send a midwife anyway."! The midwife arrived shortly after and did an examination on me (including an internal examination) and said at about 3pm that I was only 2cm dilated so left and told me to call back when the feelings got more intense. I remember thinking they were already pretty intense but let her go anyway.
My partner got home at 4pm and started filling the birthing pool. In the meantime my surges were getting stronger but I kept breathing through them. At about 5pm the surges were constant and at that point my waters broke so my partner took me upstairs to the birthing pool and called the midwives to come out.
The pool water was a bit too hot so I just stood straddling the pool with one leg in and one leg out until my partner could put enough cold water to cool it to the right temperature. As soon as it was I sat down in it and immediately felt my body relax then start to push the baby out. I must admit I didn't do the down breathing as my body was doing all the work and literally pushed the baby out for me. The baby's head came out before the midwives arrived and then my body did one more surge and my baby's body came out just as the midwives came in at 5.27pm (we’d left the front door open downstairs). Amazingly the baby coming out didn't hurt at all, the surges before active labour were more ‘painful’. I could feel stretching as the head crowned but the final push to get the rest of the body out I didn’t really feel. My baby’s cord was wrapped around her neck when she came out (which is quite common) so the midwives quickly unwrapped it and put the baby on my chest for some skin on skin and to initiate breastfeeding. I can’t remember what I said but apparently I was laughing and joking with the midwives within minutes of giving birth. The placenta was delivered naturally 20 mins later.
My baby's temperature was a bit cool so we did end up having to go to hospital after the birth so they could put her under a heat lamp to warm her up but this was fine as I'd had the birth I wanted and it meant we could get all the post birth checks done while we were there.
I didn't tear at all so didn't need any stitches and I put that down to doing the perineal massage daily. Throughout the whole labour I was calm, happy and in control. I wouldn't say that it was a painless experience because it did get intense at some points but I did not have any type of pain relief at all and the sensations I had were completely bearable. My partner was also really great, he appeared to stay in control and calm, did the soft touch massage and was generally very soothing. In reality he was having a bit of a nightmare filling the pool (the taps were spurting water all over the bathroom) and he was freaking out that the midwives weren’t there and that he was going to have to deal with the birth without them, luckily for me he was a great birth partner and hid all of this away from me so I could stay calm and in the zone.
I put my amazing birth experience down to the hypnobirthing lessons and doing the relaxations and birthing affirmations (almost) daily. I would have had a completely different experience without hypnobirthing and so I’m forever grateful for the knowledge that gave us the best start to family life I could have imagined.