Amy shares her positive home birth story. What I love about this story is how she describes the different stages of her labour and how she and Ben used all of the course learnings. Amy and Ben did a Group Zoom Course with me during the pandemic.
At 3.15am on the Sunday morning I felt like I was constipated with lots of pressure bearing down. After being on and off to the toilet for an hour and a half I realised that, actually, I wasn’t constipated I was in actual fact in the early stages of meeting my baby! I think it took so long for me to realise because I was still 5 days from my due date and was fully expecting to go over!
At 6am I started to feel very mild period type pains and by 6.30 am I’d had my show. I went downstairs to tell my husband (who’d got up around 4.30 because of my constant up and down to the toilet!) I started with ‘it is probably still going to be ages…. but….’ my stepsons were also upstairs and by the time they came down around 7.30 am, my early surges were around 15 minutes apart. They were easy to breathe through, just uncomfortable and they weren’t distracting me from what I was doing, however trying not to let on to my stepsons was tricky! My husband took them to their mum’s, and it gave us time to focus on what was happening, begin timing and to try to work out how to use the TENs machine that my friend had leant me. Unfortunately, at this point we realised that the pads that it came with weren’t sticky, so off to our local shopping park we went! When we were there, we picked up some sushi to eat at home, as you do.
By now my surges were slightly stronger, but still sporadic between 10 and 20 minutes apart. My mum and dad came to see us, so that my mum would stop panicking, and my surges slowed to every 40 minutes but were more intense. The TENs machine was working a treat, as well as starting to use breathing techniques learnt during the hypnobirthing sessions. At around 4pm the surges picked up their pace and intensity and we walked round to my husband’s sisters. My in-laws and husband’s sister’s in-laws were also there so I sat in a corner trying to look like I was breezing through my surges, turning the TENs machine to around 7 at this point and breathing through. By the time we walked home the surges were around 5 minutes apart, so my husband phoned the midwives to let them know that they’d be needed soon. As we were having a home birth, he ran us a bath and we got in to try to ease the pressure on my lower back.
At this point we started to engage with the Hypnobirthing techniques fully. All day, when the surges had felt particularly powerful, I would use breathing techniques to get through them but we now started to use the MP3s and hubby started to use some of the positive affirmations that we had agreed on.
At 10pm the midwives arrived and examined me I was 3cm and at that point my body seemed to stall a little. By midnight, I was being sick and still only 3cm, so the midwives left to give us some time to reset. We used the hypnobirthing MP3s and lay on our bed cuddling, despite the surges being around 3 minutes apart I felt so relaxed that I actually managed to sleep for an hour!
At 2am the midwives arrived back and after an examination it was confirmed that I was finally in active labour- thank you hypnobirthing! They set the pool up and by 2.30 I was in the water which was instant relief.
The effects of the water began to wane around 3.30am so I requested gas and air. The surges weren’t painful but they were intense and coming thick and fast by that point.
The next few hours passed by in a blur and by 10am I was around 6cm. To me that felt like the end of the world, like I still had a mountain to climb but the midwives were so encouraging. We were still using the breathing techniques and I was reaching out for my happy place, but I was feeling overwhelmed by this point. At 31 hours in and on 1 hour sleep and hardly any food and I felt like I couldn’t continue. I tried really hard to reset again and we listened through the background MP3s and the bond and breathe my husband was using outside touch to guide me.
Around 11 my body was trying to push the baby out, even though I was only at 7cm, because of the position of the head and I really needed to focus on allowing my body to recognise that it wasn’t the time for baby to come. By 12.30 it all started to get a little more dramatic, baby still hadn’t turned in to the optimised birthing position and still had their bottom to one side, their heart rate was dropping and I had to get out of the water to try to move things along a little.
Once I was out of the water, I also started to bleed so the midwives were repositioning me to try to get baby to move. All of a sudden, I felt an overwhelming sensation, like something was very wrong, the noise I made caused my husband to nearly faint and the midwife that wasn’t actively involved in my care was straight on her phone (unbeknown to me.)
At that point my body took over, I rolled off of the sofa on to all 4s and began to push, I also hummed and within 5 minutes baby had made their appearance. We had a beautiful baby girl!
It turns out that the overwhelming sensation that I felt was my body transitioning rapidly, I went from 7cm to having my baby girl in my arms in under 22 minutes. I was just so grateful that she was here safe and sound! We didn’t know that we were having a baby girl and those precious skin to skin moments after birth are ones that I will cherish forever.
I honestly believe that without learning with Maria that our birthing experience would have been so different. I’m a calm person normally, but being faced with so much uncertainty as a first time mum and going through such an intense experience could have certainly been overwhelming. It was hard at times to hold on to what I had learnt in our sessions, but my husband had the tools to keep me focused and balanced from his experience in the classes too.
Thank you so much Maria for helping to make our birthing experience so wonderful.
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