Although Things Didn’t Go To Plan, It Didn’t Feel Out Of Control

This week’s birth story comes from the lovely Lizzie and Kyle who attended a TCBS Hypnobirthing Course over Zoom with Laura Schafer-Hall of Birthing Confidently with Laura covering Chorley, Lancashire, UK.

Thank you for sharing this wonderful birth story of Edison with us! Like you say, it didn’t all go to plan but you felt positive & calm throughout and you were in control.

“We undertook a hypnobirthing course with Laura Schafer-Hall; this occurred via zoom (our choice), x4 2.5hour sessions over a few months. We also had extra sessions and updates as changes occurred in our situation.

Edison Alexander Adams was born at Royal Bolton Hospital Maternity Unit on Monday 9th August 2021 at 21.07, weighing 8lb 15oz.

On discovering the pregnancy, we went for a private scan which both of us could attend as the NHS ones were mums’ only due to covid-19. We were given an initial due date of 29th July 2021, however after having the NHS scan, this changed to 31st July 2021.

In the two weeks running up to the due date, I became even more uncomfortable, fatigued and experienced Braxton Hicks intermittently; though there was one day where these were much more consistent and intense, making us think there was the potential for baby to be coming early, however they subsided. I also experienced some spotting a week before the due date and the midwives informed us this was normal and to keep waiting.

At 40+1 I saw the community midwife who offered a sweep which I accepted (though she wasn’t convinced it would do anything just yet) and she was right, it didn’t. She told us she thought it unlikely anything would happen in the next few days, which actually helped us relax over the weekend.

On the Wednesday before Edison was born, I was concerned that he wasn’t moving as much as usual. After speaking with maternity triage, we went to the hospital where he was monitored. Everything was ok, however given the reduced foetal movement, they wanted to book us in for induction for the 9th August if he hadn’t already arrived. The Friday after this, I had another sweep by the community midwife, again this didn’t have any affect.

In the meantime, we spoke with Laura and tried all the tips we knew to get labour started naturally. We tried everything to get labour going: rest and relaxation, gentle walks, side stepping, eating foods with stones in, clary sage baths, sex, and birthing ball but to no avail. We had an extra free session with Laura to talk about induction. Over the weekend however the mucous plug came away over the 2 days.

I went to bed around 11pm on Sunday night, aware I was generally uncomfy, up and down to the bathroom. However at 2am, I felt contractions starting and called Kyle (who hadn’t been to sleep yet and was downstairs). Kyle ran a bath and created a relaxing environment, encouraging my breathing techniques and timing contractions as well as helping to distract me.

We called maternity triage at 03.05 to let them know our situation. They advised paracetamol and a bath and to call them back if concerned. We called again at 05.04 as the contractions were lasting 1 minute and occurring every 3 minutes. I was shaking and teeth chattering and Kyle thought I was beginning to panic, however we later found out this was a response to adrenaline. The midwives told us to come in. Once in the car, I was more settled; I think knowing I was going to hospital offered reassurance for me.

We arrived at triage at 05.30, however I was vomiting and retching. I was examined and found to be 3/4cm, with good, strong contractions, given gas and air and baby was monitored. We were then moved to the delivery suite, where we were introduced to the midwife and student midwife who looked at the birth plan and preferences. We discussed I was considering birth pool but it was in-use at the time, but actually the bath was fine, I just wanted hot water round my belly and back. Stayed in the bath for around 45 minutes and was then taken out as they wanted to monitor baby due to the reduced foetal movements earlier in the week. I always thought I’d be most comfy upright and leaning forward but actually, in the moment, I was comfiest at a 45 degree angle in bed on my back. Continued with breathing techniques and using gas and air. Kyle offering encouragement and guiding me through each contraction, turning my focus to breathing. I continued to retch and vomit throughout and was given 2 anti-emetics during labour. I mobilised to the bathroom and back and onto my sides at times. I ate very little, just the odd, light snack. Kyle and the midwife encouraged plenty of fluids and were monitoring urine output. Music was on in the background and we remained calm.

At 10:50 I had some Pethidine which seemed to relax me for 30 minutes or so and provided some rest.

At 11:30 I was 4cm and fully effaced.

As things continued to progress, I then decided I wanted an epidural, feeling exhausted and beginning to not cope as well. The team attempted an epidural however struggled to get this in place despite trying numerous times; then decided to stop trying and get the consultant. Sometime later, the consultant came and managed to carry out the epidural with me lay on my side. This worked so well, and it was as though I had instant relief and rest. My waters were then broken and I was examined again, now being at 9cm at 15.15. By 18.00hrs I was fully dilated, however I had to wait 2 hours before I began to push (in the hope that baby would naturally and reduce risk of instrumental delivery) , so this period of time was used for resting. At 19.30 the midwife suggested I try to push just to see, as sometimes the babies have worked themselves down and are just waiting to be delivered however this wasn’t the case for us. I then stopped. The midwife and student swapped over as with others as their shift ended and we were introduced to the night team.

As I began to deliver baby, Kyle encouraged and explained pushing technique needed and the midwives told me when to push as I couldn’t feel any contractions. The baby had a clip on his head inside of me to monitor his heart rate, which began to drop. The midwife sought assistance and the team felt they needed to get baby out quickly, with the best way being the use of forceps. The bed was altered to provide leg supports and an episiotomy performed. Edison was born and placed straight onto my chest for skin to skin. Kyle cut the cord and I was given an injection to help the placenta come away.

I then began to haemorrhage and the team was called in, this was calm and controlled. I lost 2.5L blood (2L more than expected). I was in and out of consciousness; medications were administered until I was stabilised. They tried to get baby to latch on, in the hope that this would release hormones that would contract uterus and stop bleeding however didn’t quite manage. I then spent the night in critical care and was then moved to a post-natal ward for care before discharge home. I received iron infusions afterwards along with some other treatments.

We feel a lot happened, but it was still a positive, calm experience. Although things didn’t go to plan, it didn’t feel out of control. We think that had we not undertaken the hypnobirthing course with Laura, there would be some trauma being suffered still. The course encouraged us to ask questions and research, to consider at our options; therefore we had already looked into the team at Royal Bolton and had trust in their reputation which allowed us to let go, do what we needed to and have confidence in those looking after us. We were also encouraged by Laura to have a positive mind-set; this allowed us to be open to changes and also enjoy the fact that regardless of what happened, our son arrived healthy and safely.”


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