My Birth Story..
The year is 2015 and I’m just under 5 months before my wedding day when I find out I’m pregnant. The mixture of mild panic and excitement was a heady mix. It was looking like quite the year for me and my soon to be husband!
I began looking into, reading up on and researching everything birthy. I knew I wanted to have as little medical intervention as possible and also wanted a water birth in the midwifery led unit (MLU), but that’s about it. After the wedding I threw myself into hypnobirthing practice listening to tracks before bed and practicing relaxation exercises. Looking back, I wish I had done a course, but it was just a bit of a stretch for us at the time.
The 40 week mark came and went with no sign of our little one. I had been drinking raspberry leaf tea, going for daily walks… or waddles and bouncing on my birthing ball morning noon and night. At 41 weeks exactly I was woken up by my first surge at 3.32 AM. It was time! I was so relieved and very excited, so excited I did a little happy dance in the bathroom. I laboured at home using my TENS machine and tried to stay as mobile as possible.
Throughout the day my surges became more frequent and more intense and when I felt I might need a bit more support I called the midwife. She came over to assess me and confirmed I was in established labour. She then called ahead to the hospital to let them know I was heading there. But it was just my luck that both suites in the MLU were in use and the rest of the labour ward was really busy too. No water birth for me! And nearly no room at the inn either. If it had not been for my need to stay calm and relaxed, this would have thrown me as I’m a worrier. I was determined to give my baby a calm and gentle birth, so repeated to myself that everything would be fine, we would be looked after and most of all I couldn’t wait to meet our baby.
After getting to the hospital it was a bit of a blur. I was given space to labour as I wished, my midwife knew I didn’t want to be examined if not necessary and she was amazing at observing me without being intrusive. My birth partners (mum and hubby) were amazing, they helped to keep me calm and their encouragement (along with some gas and air and jelly babies) kept me going. I spent a lot of time on all fours, leaning over the bed and a while sitting on the toilet in an effort to help baby move down.
When I needed to calm myself I would sniff my flannel that had a few drops of my favourite essential oil. When my mooing turned into a more primal growling sound, my midwife suggested I get off the toilet and sure enough I was fully dilated and ready to meet my little. With guided pushing I focused all my energy on baby moving downwards. The midwife asked if I wanted to feel her head and the wave of emotion that came over me gave me that final boost and before I knew it, she was in my arms. The room was calm, and so was she. She gave the smallest of cries and was the most alert, inquisitive, beautiful squishy thing I had ever seen. From the moment our eyes met, we’ve been BFFs <3