Mike and Lauren came to my January Group Course and were keen to learn some techniques that would enable them to navigate whatever twists and turns they faced! Having done it already, they had a good sense of what they wanted. Despite needing to accept some intervention with an induction, I think their story written by Lauren illustrates their preparation perfectly and they were a total dream team...enjoy!
Our birthing story
On Tuesday evening I started to get period pains off and on with the feelings being more in the lower abdomen. At about 8pm they were coming every 10 mins and lasting for approx 1 min.
I found having Michael do some massages whilst I lay over the birthing ball was wonderful. Using tennis balls to do circular motions was calming. I practiced my breathing and visualisations.
The pains eased off after a couple of hours so we went to bed in case things were starting up. I started to bleed at 2am, as if I was starting my period, and didn't panic as presumed it was my mucus plug or a show. I stayed in bed until Cole got up so everything was normal.
As the pains had stopped I knew I wasn't in labour yet. Did some googling and carried on bleeding feeling small gushes every hour or so. I rang the hospital to check if it was normal and was told to go to triage to be checked as it's not normal to bleed and they didn't think it sounded like my show.
My mum arrived to watch Cole and we got to the hospital at around 10:15. I had to take all evidence of bleeding with me and the midwife checked me out quickly. She wasn't overly concerned until she did an internal and saw more clots. So I was seen by a registrar who explained that they didn't know where the bleeding was coming from, and I was continuing to bleed small amounts every hour coming up to 12 hrs later, and because I was 38+3 weeks (full term), they would recommend breaking my waters and starting me on syntocin.
We spoke to him at length about our options, the risks, what would happen if we didn't etc and spent plenty of time just talking between the two of us so we were making the right decision for us.
The risks outweighed the reasons for waiting and hoping to either stop bleeding or go into spontaneous labour. We decided to have our waters broken but wait a few hours to see if I went into labour without the need for the drip. We were transferred to labour Ward where they made sure they had a midwife to dedicate to us in case any issues arose. The midwife we had was lovely, Di Brown, and was very open, honest, chatty and respectful of our wishes.
Waters were broken and we were left to bounce and breathe to get labour to start with only a few quiet check ups. I really found the breathing useful at every stage because I was stressed, worried, and sad that our labour wasn't going the way we had hoped and planned for. I also spent time listening to the calm birth school affirmations which gave me something else to focus on as I started to get very slight cramping.
After 2 hrs I was still 2cm and not progressing much. The midwife recommended we start the drip but gave us the option to carry on as we were. We decided to start the drip and get the show on the road. So they started the drip, with my permission, at 19:20. For half an hour the drip was on low but contractions started almost immediately coming every few minutes. I found that standing over the bed, rocking my hills side to side and breathing through each surge whilst imagining bubbles floating away was the best way for me.
Michael would massage my back and as they got more intense I found him squeezing my hips together helped the most. The midwives were wonderful and very respectful of my hypnobirthing and my birth plan.
After half an hour they upped the drip and my goodness the intensity of the contractions increased dramatically. After a while I could feel the change and at about 8 I was feeling pressure in my bum and needed to poo.
At this point we had a change of midwife - this is never nice especially if you've made a bond with a midwife and I worked hard not to let it panic me. However, our new midwife (Sue Cowley), was amazing. She walked in, saw the situation and said she wasn't leaving the room. She was calm, patient, supportive but also bossy when needed!
As the surges intensified I started to feel the need for some pain relief and muttered to myself. She heard and said I could use the entonox whenever I was ready - I hadn't thought I could as I hadn't been checked to see if I was past 4cm, and the breathing was working so well for me that I hadn't needed it. It helped calm me down and I didn't need a lot.
Surges coming thick and fast by about 8:25 and I said I needed a poo. She gently offered to check how far I was so I had to get on the bed and she said my cervix had nearly gone (never mentioned how many centimetres) and to just let her know when I felt the strong urge to push and to go with my body. I wasn't comfortable on my back and said it didn't feel right - I wanted to be on all fours. However, due to my previous birth she explained that in order for her to prevent any serious damage to my perineum I needed to stay like that. She did say that I could be in any position I wanted but that was the one I should be in for her to do her job the best way possible. I started pushing about 8:35 and she coached me brilliantly.
She took the gas and air off me because she said it was making me lazy with my pushes - and she was right!
Antonia safely made her appearance at 21:09 and I couldn't believe I'd done it!!
The whole thing was so quick and so calm compared to my first birth. I really feel the breathing worked amazingly and just helped me to focus on the job I had to do rather than the pain of it all.
If you would like to know more about preparing with Hypnobirthing the Calm Birth School way - get in touch! There's still space on the next group course