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August 06, 2022
I promised I wouldn’t panic if I went to 42 weeks, I promised I wouldn’t let the fear of others pressure me into rushing the arrival of my baby. As 42 weeks loomed, I began to freak out. My patience was running thin and I wanted to meet my baby more than anything, I was also so done with being pregnant. I had felt ready to give birth at about 30 weeks.
As my ‘due’ date passed, and 41 weeks passed many questions popped up, maybe I would have to consider intervention? Maybe my baby wasn’t coming naturally! My dream and desire of a home birth was slowly slipping away. Everyday I went to the ocean for a short walk and I was doing all the textbook activities to get my labour starting, from raspberry leaf tea to diffusing clary sage. Meditation and connecting to my baby got me through those final days, I told myself every day that my baby would arrive on his timing.
Sunday 23/01/22 - One day before my 42 week appointment. At 11am mild contractions began. They were regular but very manageable. I knew this was my opportunity to rest, get fresh air and continue the day as normally as possible. After a few messages back and forth with my hypnobirthing legend I felt calm. (Now looking back around 14.00 on this Sunday was actually when my waters began to show) By 7pm contractions started to ramp up, I had to stop and breath to get through them but I was still in complete control. I asked my partner to blow up the pool just so it would be ready to fill when we needed it. Midwife told me to rest and go to bed if I could and she was on the end of the line for us. 11pm - 2am I had a huge gap between contractions and then completely fell asleep. 8am 24/01/22 - I wake up fresh, I turn to my partner and burst into tears….I really thought we were meeting our baby that night and I no longer had any signs of labour.
We had our 42 weeks appointment with the midwife, I told her I did not want to start talking about induction and just to let me see if labour would begin again that evening, which she was certain it would. She has always respected my plans and I was so grateful for her, she left and said she would be back that evening to deliver our baby. 6pm 24/01/2022 here we go again, contractions came on slightly stronger, but I didn’t want to believe this was the real deal yet after the disappointment from the previous evening. However, by about 10pm things were really increasing, my sensations went to an 8/10 - so I asked my partner Jack to start filling the pool and we rang the midwife as she was an hour away from us.
Just before midnight Nikki, our midwife, was there, I was already in the pool, breathing and moving through each surge. I used the pool ALOT, it was helping so much with easing the pain. Nikki did all her checks, and everything was looking great. She just let me get on with things, until about 6/7am she mentioned she could do a vaginal check, we were aware that my waters hadn’t completely gone, I gave it some thought then agreed for a check, which revealed I was only 5cm, and the position of the baby was not completely on my cervix - slightly disappointing that I was in active labor but not dilating quickly (I feel grateful for Rach's knowledge because I could make informed decisions and also knew that I could say no at any point.) My midwifes shift was almost ending, and a new team would be arriving so she offered a sweep to try to help pop the waters fully. I lay down and rested in a dark room and asked my body and baby what we needed. The answer was to continue as I was and not let her perform the sweep.
I look up and there are two new midwives in the flat. They were super calm and said they would love to check in on me in about 4 hours. It was now about 9am on 25/01. I was really starting to struggle and had another moment that I thought It just wasn't going to happen for me, about 2pm I agreed on one more internal check, SHIT, his head still wasn't 100% in the right place and waters were still there! I told her not to say how much I was dilated. I turn down the sweep again….about an hour later, the waters finally go all over the sofa and my partners legs! OKAY, here we go, I WAS SO READY TO MEET MY BABY NOW!!!
Pool had gone too cold, despite the efforts of trying to keep it topped up with warm water. I got out and said I wanted to be on land. The urge to push finally arrived! THANK GOD. After bearing down for a couple of hours, at 17.15 Bodhi arrived the cord was wrapped twice around his neck, he was healthy and doing great. I was worried by how much blood loss I could see, I was also in so much shock so I handed Bodhi to Jack and said get your shirt off I'm not strong enough to hold our baby.
Midwives suggested the injection to get the placenta out without any effort on my part, but after we waited for the cord to go white I sat into a squat and could feel it was near. Naturally the placenta plopped out (literally) after this we discovered I had a labia graze. I agreed to stitches, I was helped into the shower, then before I knew it my new little family were laying in bed, still a little shocked, but so in love and incredibly grateful to all be healthy after what felt like a marathon labour that was never going to end.
Rachel helped empower me, completing the hypnobirthing course was 100% the reason I managed to have such a powerful birth experience :)
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