This week’s birth story comes from Holly in Folkstone. Holly attended Hypnobirthing classes with one our lovely instructors, Katy Lockey, from Kent Hypnobirthing.
“My ‘due date’ came and went and it was Thursday 29th March. I was 41+2. The ‘I’ word was mentioned and it was booked for Sunday 1st April (which I would have politely declined, all being well). I declined a cervical sweep while I was with the midwife, then regretted it a little, so made the decision to have one the next day instead!
I tried to stay positive but really I was a little on edge about the prospect of having to go to the WHH to be monitored every day that I was ‘overdue’ purely for the inconvenience! After the sweep I promptly went out food shopping to help things along & stock up on a few essentials *cough COOKIES cough* then spent the evening feeling a bit crampy and sore from the sweep so I went to bed (after deciding to clean the bathroom sink at gone 11pm, it might have even been gone 12am)…”
I woke up the next morning at about 4:55 needing a wee and immediately felt the disappointment of not going into labour over night and that I was going to be pregnant for at least another day. So I went to the toilet and had a ‘clear out’. It caught me off guard a bit but thought nothing of it as it had been the norm for weeks.
As soon as I got back into bed I felt a tightening and another shortly after, so decided to time them. They were 7-8 minutes apart, so I woke Jon up & we finished setting up the pool together. Jon called the Singleton unit so they could send round the on call midwife and I messaged my mum shortly after, as she was coming over to take care of the girls. By this point the surges were getting stronger and 3-4 minutes apart.
As I practiced hypnobirthing I visualised a heavy iron gate of a castle (think GOT) being drawn upwards with each surge and the colours of the rainbow chakras surrounding me. Jon had run a bath as we remembered it helped with controlling the sensations with my first labour, but I didn’t actually get in!
The girls woke up and Isla started to help daddy fill the pool up, they were so excited and were VERY attentive; Isla was stroking me and reminding me to breathe and Sienna was taking to me about baby Elsie being born in the pool!
The midwife arrived and set up around me as I clung on to the end of my bed (which is practically in the doorway) and the girls were weaving in and out of people and going through her stuff. At this point I was really wishing my mum was there to keep them occupied, but she still hadn’t arrived!
A second midwife turned up and I felt the need to vocalise my breathing through the surges, like a long oooooooo noise that I could feel in my throat and felt a shift, like gravity was pulling my baby down! This was my queue to get in to the pool, so I got in and felt the relief of the water on my lower back and around my bump. Jon and the girls joined me around the pool side as I continued to surge. “oooo” I squeezed Jon’s hand for extra relief and the girls got front row seats on my bed.
After a few extra strong surges… POP went my waters, along with the involuntary urge to push, the downwards pressure was intense and continual and I was surprised that it didn’t come with a surge, so with gentle breathing and a little bit of pushing I continued to bring my baby into the world in a way that felt right for her and my body!
I felt her head emerge with my hands and calmly (although it was quick) the rest of her followed. I brought her up and out of the water and onto my chest as I sat back and with the rush of endorphins I just laughed and breathed with relief. It was calm, amazing and perfect and she was calm and amazing and perfect too.
PS. Mum made it, five minutes too late!”
From Holly in Folkestone