An Epidural Birth – My Way!
This week’s birth story comes from a lovely lady Jess who attended a TCBS Hypnobirthing Pregnancy Refresher Course with Leanne Lawrence of Brighter Birthing across Hertfordshire having already completed the course with Leanne for her first pregnancy.
Thank you for sharing this wonderful story with is!
“There were a few signs that labour was imminent. I had been experiencing surges and some sickness for two days. But when I woke up to surges at 2am and they became increasingly intense I knew this was it! My husband ran me a bath but laying down was not helping at all, so I got out to pace the floor and squat through them. I had my Freya app playing the whole time. This really helped me get in the zone and stay relaxed.
This continued for hours. I was getting tired where I couldn’t lay down, so I started using my birthing ball. I spent the whole morning kneeling on a cushion and leaning over the ball, rolling backwards and forwards through the contractions.
My husband came up with the idea of using our sons bean bag sofa to sit on because it’s soft and low. So, I sat on the edge in a squat position to help me dilate and continue to lean over on the birthing ball. I managed to doze off for about 20 minutes. When I woke up to another surge, I realised I had started bleeding heavily. I called delivery suite to let them know and they agreed I should go in so they could check on baby. Thankfully her heartbeat and movements were all in the normal range, so I continued to labour in triage while we waited for a room.
This is where it really became clear how amazing hypnobirthing is and how much your environment makes a difference. We were in triage for quite a long time. I was starting to struggle, but as soon as they got us into one of their suites with lovely dim lights, a birthing pool and a beautiful tree mural, everything changed. I was so much more calm, even laughing and talking between surges again. With each one I was saying to myself ‘this is easy, you can do this!’, which really helped.
Due to the blood loss, I had agreed that they could monitor baby more closely. They weren’t happy with her heart rate. They started expressing doubts around me having a water birth without monitoring. I knew that they had wireless telemetry. However, by this point I hadn’t properly sat down for around 7 hours and my legs and arms were really aching from constantly standing and leaning over through my surges. I was also experiencing intense shaking and some vomiting. I decided to opt for an epidural so that I could get some rest.
From there it took around another 4 hours until I was fully dilated. One of the doctors came in and suggested forceps due to my epidural. Thankfully because of my sessions with Leanne, I was confident this wasn’t necessary straight away. I decided to decline forceps and try on my own initially.
I had been trying to let the epidural wear off slightly. I wanted to be able to feel the sensations, and it was incredible. After just three surges and a few minutes she was out!
Born at 1:47am, almost 24 hours after that first surge, we cuddled skin to skin for the next 3 hours before she weighed in at a tiny but perfect 6lb 3oz.
An epidural birth – my way!
Our family is complete! Thank you, Leanne, for all of your help and advice. Because of you I had two labours that, although they weren’t my dream water births, they were extremely positive and something I will never forget!
I’m just so happy that we met you. I remember I got in touch with another teacher who couldn’t see us in the end, so she referred us to you. I know it sounds cheesy, but I feel like it was fate, because we just got on so well and it was a great fit for us.”
Leanne said – “Epidural birth isn’t always top of the wish list for Hypnobirthing parents. I work hard to ensure that expectant parents realise that there is nothing wrong in using comfort measures. We are, in fact, fortunate to have these at our disposal. Getting through your birth experience feeling happy and supported, means far more than whether you did it with or without drugs.
There is nothing wrong with hoping for a certain kind of birth. However, Hypnobirthing is not about epidural birth versus drug free birth or vaginal birth versus caesarean birth. It focuses on your options and understanding. It helps to reduce fear through education – by birthing brighter”.
If you want to create your own positive birth you can start today!