This week’s birth story comes from a lovely lady Becki who attended a TCBS Hypnobirthing Course.
Thank you for sharing this wonderful calm birth story of your gorgeous Wilf with us!
“It all started on the Wednesday evening after an examination and sweep on the Monday. I was already 5 days overdue at this point. Surges started as I was bouncing on my birthing ball. They were mild but I could still feel when they were coming on and I used my TCBS breathing techniques to get me into a nice, relaxed state. I was excited! Our birth plan was for a water birth with minimal pain relief and delayed cord clamping – so I started visualising my birth along with listening to the TCBS affirmations.
I had mild surges all throughout the night and into Thursday morning but then things seemed to stop. Slightly disheartened, I went for a walk up a big hill and carried on with the birthing ball. I also must’ve watched about 4 Disney films that day! Surges started again Thursday evening and carried on through the night. Friday was a similar story but the contractions were getting a bit stronger, so the breathing techniques helped. On Saturday things started ramping up and I asked my mum to come over for moral support. By now I was quite tired but carried on with the breathing techniques. I also had my TENS machine on by this point and had a comb ready for squeezing as things intensified.
Saturday night we decided to go into hospital as my surges were frequent and strong and I felt like this must’ve been progressing. We got to the labour ward, and it was empty! I was examined by a lovely midwife to find I was only 1cm dilated. She told me my baby was back-to-back and that slow early labour is common. After 3 days of on and off surges I have to admit I was slightly disheartened but off we went home hoping for a bit more sleep. I literally slept with my TENS machine on a low boost setting and woke for each contraction but then drifted off to sleep. Sunday came and the surges were more intense and more frequent. I was trying the spinning babies’ positions to get the baby into a better position but I’m not sure if it was too late by then. I had not been made aware that the baby was back to back prior to the visit to the hospital the day before. I called my mum to come over for moral support as I was very tired now and needed reassurance that I was doing the right things. Squeezing the comb helped massively as did the TENS machine, along with my breathing.
We went back to the labour ward that afternoon as things intensified again. This time I was only 1.5cm dilated and I think the midwife gave me the additional 0.5cm as she felt sorry for me! She gave me some co-codamol to help me sleep and off we went. By this point, the possibility of a C section entered my mind as we were on day 4 now and nothing was progressing. I was getting really tired now and tried my best to stay positive with the breathing techniques. I was listening to my affirmations on repeat now and a hypnobirthing music playlist I found.
That night I slept a lot better and woke up with surges but fell straight back to sleep again. I also had my TENS machine on a low boost all night and just turned it up when needed. Monday came and surges were more intense and frequent, so we went to the labour ward again. This time I was 3cm dilated and me and my husband were ecstatic! Unfortunately, not enough to be classed as active labour but still progress! The midwife said they could send me home or I could stay in. I begged to stay in given how long I’d been at this by now. I told her I wanted a water birth and she said they’d get the big pool room ready for us. I had some pethidine as I thought it would help me sleep but I didn’t like it at all. There was a shift change over for the evening and the new midwife came on shift and sorted me out with gas and air. This was great as I could use my breathing techniques with the gas and air. By now, my waters had gone – though only the waters above the baby’s head as his head was so tight against my cervix after all of the surges. The surges were 4/5 every 10 mins and strong so my body was doing its best to progress my labour. The midwife said the pool room was ready but after 4 hours of really strong surges I was still only 3cm. Instead, I opted for an epidural – something of which I’d never considered prior to going into labour. The surges were so strong and frequent, and I was so tired that I just felt I needed more help. We walked to our new room and the anaesthetist came to administer the epidural. My surges were almost constant now, so I was deep breathing on the gas and air whilst she was doing it to keep myself relaxed. It took two attempts but eventually it was in. The hours came and went and both me and my husband managed to get some sleep. I agreed for the midwife to examine me every 4 hours and each time, still 3cm and 4cm during a surge. We laughed throughout the evening and developed a lovely relationship with the midwife. I stayed relaxed and positive throughout despite the amount of monitoring they had to do and the lack of progress.
By 5am, the midwife went to speak to the consultant on shift and he came to discuss the possibility of a C section. My surges had been strong and frequent all night and still no progress was made. I used my BRAIN and asked loads of questions. We agreed that a syntocinon drip was not an option as my body was doing everything it needed to progress the labour but it was likely that the baby was in the wrong position and this is why the cervix was failing to dilate further. Baby’s heartbeat was fine throughout so it was not an emergency. After lots of questions, we decided to go ahead with the C section and the team starting prepping. They wheeled me down the theatre and I admit I was a bit scared as I had not prepared myself for this eventuality at all. However, I used my breathing techniques to relax myself and it worked really well.
During the procedure, I breathed deeply to keep myself calm. Baby was somewhat stuck so it took a while for them to get him out. It was unpleasant but I stayed calm and relaxed, listening to my hypnobirthing playlist and breathing. My husband was brilliant as well, reminding me to breathe. Then I heard baby’s cry for the first time and suddenly it was all worth it. Wilf Alexander O’Hara was born at 07:04 weighing 8lb 1oz. Obviously my labour was long and was the complete opposite of my birth plan, but I still managed to stay calm and well informed throughout. It was a special time for us and I’m very proud of how we dealt with everything – utilising the skills learnt from our hypnobirthing course. I wouldn’t have coped as well without it so thank you very much.”
Photo Credit – @the.doula.tog
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