At 4am I felt a pop and as I stood I realised my waters had gone. The waves started straight away and at 5am I woke my husband with some wet pyjama bottoms in hand saying “it’s started!”
From that first moment it was pure excitement and just looking at each other saying “I can’t believe this is really happening”.
We were totally prepared, we sat and ate breakfast together, he called work to let them know he wouldn’t be coming in. There was no rush, no mad dash, I just remember feeling calm.
We were planning a home birth so my husband started to get everything ready while I had a bath to ease my back. I just remember feeling in control. I knew what was happening in my body and I talked to my baby giving him reassurance...we were very much doing this together.
I rang the midwife around 7am and she arrived at 8am. During this time the waves were getting more intense and closer together. I used my birthing ball and relaxations to work through them and told my midwife I didn’t think I was that dilated as they seemed manageable. After timing them she said they were quite close together and were lasting a good amount of time and instantly asked if I was hypnobirthing as I was “managing really well”
I think I assumed because I was managing that I couldn’t be many cm’s dilated and kept expecting them to get worse, however my labour was progressing really well.
Me and my husband had made several birth plans and my midwife was able to look through them and respond appropriately, which really helped to keep things feeling calm.
Sadly, after doing my checks my blood pressure was found to be high and even after waiting half an hour had not come down. After speaking with a senior midwife, it was explained to us that there was a risk of seizure and advised we transfer to hospital.
Although I was sad at the realisation I wouldn’t be getting our home birth I can honestly say I never felt panicked. I knew I had planned for this too, our hospital bags were packed ‘just in case’ and we had a birth plan for hospital. Our midwife was brilliant and requested a room with a birthing pool in the hope that I would still be able to fulfil that element of my birth plan, albeit in hospital.
I arrived at hospital around 9am, at this point I was feeling the need to push. Again, I never had any feeling of fear or panic, just an understanding that I was in the next stage of labour and my baby was ready to come.
I started to push almost immediately after arriving, choosing to avoid the bed and stand using the birth pool as support.
The midwives wanted to monitor both myself and baby, however we were able to ask them to do this whilst I was standing rather than the bed.
After around 15 minutes of pushing, the midwives spoke with my husband as baby was showing signs of distress and his blood gasses were low.
My husband was able to talk to me and explain what was happening, subsequently I moved to the bed where my baby was delivered via ventouse at 10:08am.
My beautiful baby boy weighed 5lb 1oz and is absolutely perfect.
As per my Birth Plan, my baby was given straight to me and all weighing etc was delayed. That hour just us 3 was absolutely magical.
Although I didn’t get my ideal birth, I still had a positive birth experience and I genuinely believe that is down to hypnobirthing.
I was able to get to fully dilated just using the techniques I had learnt, which were so effective I felt I must have only been a few cm’s when I was almost ready to push!
Both myself and my husband were calm, we knew what all the medical jargon meant and were able to make informed decisions in what could have been a very stressful and scary time.
My husband was absolutely amazing throughout and I could see how the course had allowed him to be calm, in control and knowledgeable about what was happening. It gave him the confidence to ask questions and not just ‘go along with it’ or be a bystander as I feel he maybe would have otherwise.
He really advocated for me and our baby, so much so, the midwife commented afterwards that my husband and I made a great team and that my husband could be a doula as she had observed him question the consultants at each stage and then translate this to me.
On reflecting on how the hypnobirthing had positively impacted our labour/birth experience, my husband commented afterwards that it was like I was in a “bubble” and I do very much feel like I was able to go into my own space, where it was just me and my baby. It is only afterwards and talking through it that my husband has told me different things that happened that I can’t recall at all.
I really couldn’t recommend this course enough...it completely changed my whole pregnancy and birth experience, particularly in a time where there has been no sense of normal due to covid.
Even my midwife commented how she had seen me change during my pregnancy and become more confident. This is a message I received from my Midwife after I had given birth...
“Oh Lauren, you honestly are so incredible. You absolutely blossomed during pregnancy, into a strong, confident woman and I honestly am so proud of you!
As equally lucky as you are to have him, he is also so lucky having you as his mum”
Thank you so much Rachel...xxx