“I felt totally different this time around – empowered and positive…..”

We loved hearing Gemma’s beautiful birth story with baby Agatha:

“I wanted to share my birth story as reading others really helped me be positive….. Agatha was born at 8am on the 24th of May, weighing 7lb 3oz.

My previous birth had been pretty traumatic hence the reason I decided to try hypnobirthing. Things didn’t go super smoothly but thanks to Suzy I felt positive and in control – which has been such a big contrast from last time!
I started feeling really gentle surges at about 1pm and started using my breathing and I feeling excited. I’d arranged to meet a friend for a play date and mentioned to her that I thought things might be starting but we both thought it might be a while. I also texted my husband to let him know.

I continued to use my breathing throughout the afternoon and told my husband he should leave work a little early just in case. I made dinner for my son and my husband came home – the surges where a little stronger by then but nothing I couldn’t breathe through. I did bedtime with my son as I knew it would be the last time it would be just the two of us. The surges were getting stronger by this point. When I got back downstairs I ate something (I knew I would need energy!). I used my birthing ball and listened to a soundtrack I’d put together through my headphones, closed my eyes and breathed – it was pretty awesome – I felt really in control and able to just let the surges take over- I was amazed by the power of my body!

At around midnight we decided to go to the birthing centre as we’d heard second births could be quicker – though I didn’t think I would be dilated much. I had spoken with them beforehand and told them we were hypnobirthing so when we arrived my midwife was aware. I had also noted on my birth plan my previous issues with my last birth. My midwife was ace and really got what we were trying to achieve and understood why! She examined me and I was 3cm – I was fine with this as I remembered that this was just a moment in time and things could change quickly.

I got into the pool (it was lovely!), used gas and air and listened to the affirmations on repeat – the surges were manageable. After a couple of hours I started getting the pushing urge and my midwife and husband encouraged me. This went on for an hour or so, however I knew that it wasn’t as appeared – this happened with my first birth when I had the pushing urge for 6 hours. I told my midwife who agreed to examine me and I was at 6cm. With my previous birth, I had been told not to push at all which was awful but this time, my midwife said to go with my body – which felt so much better! She said to try laying on my left hand side too.

I requested morphine, something which I felt incredibly bad about the first time round, but this time I actually felt positive as I was in control – amazing! The morphine helped relax me between surges however the pushing urge did not ease. I carried on like this for another few hours and the morphine started to wear off. I was just 7 cm and getting increasingly tired. We had a chat with the midwife to decide what I should do next. She said potentially it could be another few hours before the baby was born so I decided to have an epidural (again my decision, not something I had wanted but I felt totally ok with it – no guilt although I was worried about the big needle!)

They took me through to the hospital (which is connected to the midwife-led unit) and I had already been told that I would have to be upright to have an epidural. I admit I felt quite nervous when 2 anaesthetists started talking through the procedure with me but I discussed it with my husband and we decided to go ahead. They made a start by wiping clean my back and then I had a surge. However on this surge something felt different – I told my midwife who had a look and said everything was the same as before. After the surge had finished the anaesthetists numbed my back where the needle would be going. I had another surge but this one was completely different (yet very familiar) and I shouted to my midwife that it felt like burning – she tipped me back and quickly pushed me over, shouting to one of the anaesthetists to catch me while the other stood there with the epidural needle! The baby was coming!

My husband ran round the bed so I could see him and hold (squeeze) his hand. The pushing began and I gave it all I could but I felt like I was running out of energy. Because of the situation, my head was almost hanging off of the bed. My husband was supporting my head and my midwife was saying something to me but I just looked at my husband and told him “I can’t do it!”. But he told me “you already have!”. My midwife was shouting “Gemma, look down! Look down!” and when I did I saw she was holding up my baby girl!

She had been delivered in her sac which popped as she came out. She was a little slow in picking up and because of the drama surrounding her entrance to the world, the midwife had a slight concern so asked if they could cut the cord and give her a quick check. She apologised as she knew this was something I really didn’t want to happen because our first had to have his cord cut and be rushed away. She was fine though and was handed straight back within a couple of minutes. It was lovely to have skin to skin and she latched on straight away.
I felt totally different this time around – empowered and positive which was thanks to the positive birth school, an amazing midwife, my husband and myself!

Good luck with your upcoming births ladies!”

To see how you can create your own calm birth please sign up here: www.thecalmbirthschool.com/freehypnobirthing-2016

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