I Felt Strong, Empowered, Emotional And Just Full Of Love

This week’s birth story comes from the lovely couple who attended a TCBS Private Hypnobirthing Pregnancy Course with Atosa Stedman of Kent Hypnobirthing. Atosa also went on to be this couples Doula.

Thank you for sharing amazing home water birth of Tabitha with us!

“First baby – boy (now 5yrs) born on due date.  Attempted home water birth but due to 4 day latent stage I got so tired I lost control and transferred in ambulance for a hospital birth.  Epidural, on my back and in stirrups.  I did not want that this time.  I was determined!

Pregnancy – went fairly well, tried to keep active did a weekly exercise class up until about 35 weeks then switched to swimming.  Baby was breech lots of scans throughout pregnancy up until the 37-week scan! She did like to flip about.  Swimming and vertically diving under the water helped her do her final turn and she thankfully stayed head down to birth! Whoop whoop! My blood pressure had been questionably high but just under the need for medication.  Pressure was obviously put on me for c-section, hospital birth, induction blah blah blah due to my ‘geriatric status’ and BMI.  I had to go into all appointments listening to music/affirmations to relax or the ‘white coat syndrome’ would raise my blood pressure up so much that on one occasion I had to stay in for a couple of hours for monitoring.  I got over it, chilled out, it dropped, and I scurried out of there as fast as I could.

The fact I’m 40 (with added high bmi) was a big deal with the medical staff they had me under the consultant (which I only ever saw in person once) and considered me high risk and wanted me to have my baby by 39 weeks.  I said I’d pass on the message to her but she didn’t oblige.

On Monday 22.08.2022 at 41 weeks about 1am I felt regular surges start.  I had been feeling stronger braxton hicks the day before and had a little show but carried on with our planned family day of swimming and carvery.  I couldn’t sleep so went downstairs and pottered about then bounced on the ball.  I watched ‘Paul’ on Netflix and tried to nap but actually laying down made my surges stronger.  At 7am my husband and 5-year-old woke up, I didn’t want to wake hubs in the night as I knew it would be a long day.  We had some breakfast all together and I wandered round the house most of the day listening to music, playing with my son and his new toys that I had got him to keep him busy and setting things up.  Hubby checked the baby’s heart rate which I know is naughty, but it gave me some relief that she was ok and not stressed.  I got things out methodically as I’d previously planned.  Dolphins swimming on YouTube, clary sage/lavender oil flannel to smell, laid out the comb, massage ball, towels everywhere and all my other gadgets.

I had been worried that my son might be a bit scared but as I breathed through my surges he was fine and even gave my back a tickle after watching his dad. Cute.

3pm we called our doula and explained things had ramped up and she arrived at 4pm.  We also called the midwife and she said she would call back at 4pm.  By 5pm we decided to ring them as we hadn’t heard, and we put on the tens machine which provided some much need relief from the peak of the surge.  The midwives arrived at 5.15pm and 5.30pm.  Hubby started to fill the pool.  I had my checks, and I was happy my blood pressure was actually ok (higher end but ok) I agreed to a VE as I was keen to find out how I was doing.  Pleased to find out I was 7-8cm with ‘bulging waters’ love that phrase, it actually made me spur on.  I was quite vocal at this point, so my son went upstairs with his earphones, iPad and pizza dinner. Hubby had provided him with a big bag of sweets, but he tipped some in a bowl and brought the rest down like a little angel. I wasn’t aware of much going on with my music on, but I heard everyone making a fuss of him and it made me really proud and happy.

Still with my wireless earphones on (listening to music from the hotel spa where we got married in Mauritius) I decided I wanted to get in the pool, at 6.45pm hubby and doula removed the tens (after a surge came and I demanded they stick the pads back on last min) I was quite scared as I had been relying on that boost button but I still thought I had quite a bit of time until the main event and wanted to enjoy the pool.  I was wrong though and didn’t have much time at all, after initial relief from the lovely warm water, I had some really strong surges and started to enter transition stage.  At this point I asked for gas & air and had a little wobble, but I regained composure quite quickly and only took about 10 puffs in total, but I had really got into a good ‘in through the nose out through the mouth’ breathing cycle so it put me off.  I felt between my legs and knew she was close, but my waters had not yet released.  Slowly I breathed her head down and placed my hand on top of her head, then with a little more breathing down her shoulders passed and then she came out with ease.  I slowly lifted her up and it was the most amazing experience of my life.  At 7pm she was here.  I felt strong, empowered emotional and just full of love.  My son actually came down to see her birth but with a blood phobia he nipped back upstairs telling us he’ll come back down once she’s cleaned up

After about 20mins I got out the pool and had skin to skin birthing my placenta about 7.40pm (no injection).  Tabitha had started breast feeding in the pool and carried on whilst I had skin to skin.  I allowed the vitamin k injection, and we all had some sofa time together.  The midwives respected my birth plan and my Doula was just fantastic supporting my husband and myself but also dealing with lots of questions from my son throughout the afternoon.  She is actually expecting a baby herself in a couple of months, but she just cared for me with a gentle touch when she knew I needed it, especially when hubby was dealing with our son.  Her presence and touch just relaxed me which I’ll be forever grateful for.

Everyone had a cuppa, and I had the best jam on toast ever.  We had our checks, and everyone had gone home by 10.30pm.”

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