All of a sudden I felt a pop!

This week’s birth story comes from a lovely couple who attended a TCBS Hypnobirthing Course as well as weekly relaxation classes with Leanne Lawrence of Brighter Birthing Hypnobirthing covering Tring, Hertfordshire. 

Thank you for sharing this wonderful story with us! 

This is her home birth to labour ward birth story during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

I wanted to share our birth experience with you as I feel you played such a massive part in our preparation for it!! Also, it is a positive planned home birth turned labour ward story during COVID so might reassure anxious mums-to-be. 

One day past my ‘guess’ date I had woken a few times during the night with back ache. I thought nothing of this, putting it down to usual pregnancy aches and pains! 

When I woke at 6.30am I felt waves of period like pains coming and going. They were quite frequent (about 1 or 2 every 10 minutes), so I presumed it was most likely Braxton Hicks. 

I had some breakfast and decided to go back to bed for a lie down. Whilst upstairs at about 8am I decided to try and change position during one of these pains, to see if it would go away. This would have reassured me that it was Braxton Hicks. I got on my hands and knees in bed ready to move. All of a sudden I felt a pop! A huge gush of waters went all over our bed!! 

I called my husband up from downstairs and told him things had definitely started. I then went to the bathroom and called my midwife whilst sat on the toilet. 

My husband told me at this point that my waters had a black/green tinge to them. I told the midwife this and she said we would have to go into triage. She explained that if it cleared, we could still come home and have our homebirth. 

In my head though I kind of knew that if we went into hospital we wouldn’t be coming back out again. I think I made my peace then and there that I would likely not get the homebirth I had planned. It had been touch and go so many times during the COVID-19 pandemic. I had been so happy when homebirths had started up once more, but I knew this was always a chance. So we moved onto Plan B. 

My husband was on and off the phone to Lucy, our doula, who gave him amazing support and reassurance. I was sick a couple of times and the surges were increasing in intensity. Lucy helped him to help me through this. 

Time started to pass very quickly. I realised afterwards that it was over 2 hours before I got in the car to go to the hospital. I had a TENS machine on. My earphones were in as I listened to the Freya app. We breathed through each surge. I pictured my positive affirmations in my head:
“I can do anything for 1 minute”
“every surge brings my baby closer to me”
“I feel safe, I feel calm, my body and baby know what to do” 

When we got to the hospital my husband wasn’t allowed into triage. I was in there for an hour and my surges ramped up a lot during that time. My husband again was able to speak with Lucy whilst he waited. This helped him stay calm whilst separated from me. 

I asked to use the pool and was told that due to the meconium in my waters I could not go to the Midwife Led Unit (MLU). Instead, I would need to stay on the labour ward. 

I asked for gas and air. I was asked to consent to a Vaginal Examination (VE) to see if I was in established labour. If so, they could move me to the labour ward where gas & air was available. I had stated in my birth plan I did not want any VEs. However, I was confident I was in established labour. I wanted to move out of triage and have my husband back with me. I also wanted to get some gas and air for the intensity of the surges. Using my BRAIN (Benefit / Risk analysis) I decided to consent. 

I was told I was 4cm and fully effaced. Plus, my surges were coming 3 in 10min. I was moved quickly to the labour ward and my husband was allowed in. This was around 11am. 

Things continued to ramp up quickly. Really focusing on my breathing helped. My affirmations were helping a lot as the surges got to 4-5 every 10 minutes and strong in intensity. I felt like I should get off my back and onto my hands and knees and I also felt like I should go to the toilet. I could feel myself giving little pushes with each surge but felt that something was blocking babies head from moving downwards. 

By this stage every time I tried to move another surge would take over. Things get a bit hazy time-wise here, but I remember hearing the doctor talking about putting in a canula and wanting to put a clip on my babies head to monitor her. I declined all of this (and my husband was amazing at holding the pushy doctor off!). 

As a result, I was asked to consent to another VE. I decided to agree to this because my intuition was telling me that everything was fine. My intuition told me we’d be meeting our baby soon and I felt it would stop the pressure for these interventions. I told them I didn’t want to know what the result was even though again I felt sure I had to be pretty far along. However, I heard the doctor come back into the room shortly after and say to a midwife that I was 9cm. This actually really helped me find the focus I needed for the last hour or so. 

The midwife told me that they thought my full bladder was preventing babies head from coming down. This made sense to me, from what I was feeling myself. Again, I used my BRAIN to decide to consent to an in/out catheter to drain my bladder. I knew I couldn’t make it to the toilet myself and it would help my baby to descend. 

Sure enough, as soon as they did this my surges kicked into overdrive. I could feel her head moving rapidly downwards. I shifted onto my side and my husband helped prop my leg up. This was a great position for giving my pelvis more space whilst still allowing me to lie down. 

Our daughter Isla was born shortly afterwards at 3.05pm weighing 8lb 1.5oz.  She was perfect in every way. We had 10 minutes of delayed cord clamping, immediate skin to skin and I breastfed her whilst still in the labour ward. My husband had skin to skin with her whilst I had a few stitches for a very minor tear. 

We tried for a physiological third stage. After waiting 40 minutes I was fed up and wanted to get out of there. I agreed to a managed third stage and had the injection, birthing a HUGE placenta shortly afterwards!! 

We thought my husband would have to go straight home after. I had been told I would need to stay in for 12 hours of observations for baby because of the meconium in the waters. Amazingly the midwives found us a room on the MLU and my husband was allowed to stay the entire time with us. We stayed there overnight all together and got home the next day at 3pm. 

Our birth was very different to what we had planned but it was a really positive experience. 

We had the confidence from the hypnobirthing course we did with you, Leanne. We declined those interventions we felt were unnecessary and adapted our birth preferences according to the situation we found ourselves in, using our BRAIN to make decisions. 

Our baby is happy, healthy and amazingly calm. I put this down to staying calm and relaxed throughout my pregnancy, especially at the end for which your Pregnancy Relaxation classes were a really great help! 

A huge THANK YOU from all three of us for your invaluable help and support during such a strange time. We can’t wait to introduce you to our new arrival hopefully very soon!! XX 


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