This week’s birth story comes from the lovely Heather and Jacey, who attended a TCBS with Anna Owen from Rock Your Birth in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire. Thank you for sharing this wonderful story with us.
Everything was running really smoothly in the pregnancy. We even got given our ‘birth centre sticker’ and I was feeling like it all might ‘go to plan’. During a routine midwife appointment at 40 weeks my blood pressure had risen, and they found protein in my urine! Samples were sent off and later that day I was called by the hospital to tell me I had preeclampsia and I needed to head in to be monitored. This was the first time I needed my calm breathing. I called Jacey to come home from work and off we went to the hospital.
Once we were there, baby and I were monitored. After a little while the consultant came and discussed our options. We were told that I was now classified as high risk and an induction was highly recommended. We put our brain tool to use and decided that it was the best option for us. As we lived so close to the hospital we could go home and call in the morning to see when a bed was available.
I immediately contacted Anna for advice on inductions. She sent over lots of advice and positive induction stories. This was so helpful, and we began to prepare ourselves for having an induction. I watched the videos recommended and read lots of positive induction birth stories and this really put us back in the right frame of mind.
The next morning, we called and were told it was unlikely that there would be a bed free until the afternoon. We were told to enjoy our day and wait for another call.
We took the midwives advice and enjoyed our day. We went for a lovely dog walk and enjoyed a treat lunch. We were then called to say there was a bed and we needed to head in. There was a rush of emotion at this point. Excitement, nerves and so much more! I started using calm breathing to keep me calm and relaxed.
Once at the hospital we settled in and I was given the pessary. We went straight out for a walk as we wanted to keep as active as possible. Once it was evening, we watched a movie on our tablet to try and get the oxytocin flowing.
I wasn’t having any signs of anything happening so off I went to sleep and sent Jacey home to ensure she was well rested as I knew she would need it. Being in the hospital it was hard to sleep! There was so much noise and different lights I was also being monitored 2 hourly so when I did drop off I was soon woken. When I couldn’t sleep, I worked on my visualisation to think how the few days would go.
I woke up and was straight on my ball! Jacey arrived and we went out for a walk around the local woods (the Midwife’s were happy for me to go for walks as long as I let them know where I was going) it was so lovely we even stopped off at the countryside centre for a coffee.
It had been 24hrs and still no feelings of surges. The Midwife’s examined me to see if would need another pessary. Luckily, I was 2cm dilated so would be able to move to the delivery ward for my waters to be broken and be put on a hormone drip. We were so excited and feeling really ready. Frustratingly there were no beds available, so we had to wait! Again, I used all my tools including my affirmations to keep relaxed, calm and accept that this was all part of my birth. I sent Jacey off again to ensure she was as rested as possible.
I was woken at 2 in the morning by the Midwife’s to tell me that there was a bed and I was ready to move to the delivery suite.
We were taken to our room. As soon as we were introduced to our midwife, we made sure to share our birth preferences and really talked through how important it was to us.
I had another examination and had my waters broken we were then hooked up to the hormone drip. I had to have continuous monitoring so hooked up even more! I was a bit shocked by how ‘hooked up’ I was. We really had to start to think of how to be as active as possible. I started on the ball while Jacey set to making the room our own. Getting our playlist on and setting mood lighting.
Once the drip had started surges came thick and fast, very quickly as I was having 4 surges in 10 from the very beginning. Breathing helped so so much. Jacey breathed along with me and if I ever held my breath or lost myself, she would bring me back!
During the labour Albie’s heart rate kept dipping so I was told I needed to be on my back to try and regulate it. Being on my back was really hard I found it difficult to manage. I made sure I expressed that when it was safe, I needed to be active or upright – Jacey was brilliant at being my voice at this. I concentrated on breathing whilst she asked the Midwife’s all the right questions. When it was time I could move again. I wanted to be upright but wasn’t quite sure what positions would help. I used the handout that Anna gave us (we packed them in our labour bag) to help guide me on different positions. This really helped and I’m so glad we took the as in the moment I forgot these positions. I was draped over the back of the bed and found this so relaxing and comfortable! Jacey gave me handkerchiefs with grapefruit aromatherapy oil on. It’s what we had used in pregnancy and instantly calmed me.
The midwife examined me not long after and I was only 5cm! I tried not to dwell on this and continue to use all of our tools. About an hour later I had the urge to bare down. I asked the midwife if she would examine me again to confirm my thoughts of being fully dilated. She was reluctant as they don’t like to do them that frequently, and said it was unlikely that I was. I knew my body and I felt the urge to bare down (I had started to moo at this point!) so was fairly confident. Reluctantly she examined me and low and behold I was fully dilated.
All of sudden I felt a complete sense of clarity and calmness. I remember Anna talking about this during our sessions. I remember saying my affirmations to myself at this point and after only a few pushes Albie was born. I felt like a superwomen!!
I loved giving birth and am so glad that we did hypnobirthing. Without it I don’t think our birth would have been so positive. It wasn’t what we had planned by any means, but it was amazing.
If you want to create your own positive birth you can start today!