The Drive To The Hospital Was The Most Intense Journey Of My Life!

This week’s birth story comes from a lovely couple Kim and Rob who attended a TCBS Hypnobirthing Course with Charlotte Inkpin of Hypnobirthing with Charlotte, covering areas across Braintree, Essex.

Read below to find out more about Kim’s second birth after a less positive birth experience with their daughter Harper back in 2019.

Thank you for sharing this wonderful story with us!

“I first came across Charlotte’s hypnobirthing Instagram account after meeting her best friend at a new parent group I attended with my daughter, Harper.

My first birth was not a positive experience, so I started following Charlotte’s page and when I fell pregnant with my second, I knew straight away I wanted to sign up to her course.

My husband Rob and I had a taster session with Charlotte on zoom which was really fun, informative and covered all our questions and what the course would entail. We found it very reassuring that we’d learn lots of techniques and skills to prepare us for the birth of our second baby and that we’d have a lot more control over the decisions being made this time round and that was most definitely the case! We really loved our weekly sessions with Charlotte and the time it gave us to reflect on Harper’s birth.

After a very long labour first time around, which was a forceps delivery in theatre at Broomfield, I was really keen to have my second baby at William Julian Courtauld Hospital. However due to a postpartum haemorrhage I had to see a consultant to talk through my options. After the second appointment, it was agreed I could have the baby at WJC and a special birth plan was put in place to enable this to happen.

In the lead up to my guess date I knew WJC had been closing a lot at night due to staff shortages at Broomfield, but I tried not to focus on this too much as it was out of my control.

I was still feeling relaxed and enjoying lots of good night’s sleep, listening to my hypnobirthing mp3s and resting as much as possible on the days my little girl was at nursery. I had a sweep at 40+3 and the midwife confirmed I was 3cm dilated and cervix fully effaced, which I was really pleased about.

 

It seemed things were already progressing quite well, and I was in the latent phase without any physical signs of labour. The sweep encouraged my mucus plug to come away but there were no other signs that baby was going to make an appearance.

I kept Charlotte updated throughout and she was so helpful with messages of support.

My daughter then came down with a virus and was poorly for a few days. It was almost as if our little man knew it wasn’t a good time to arrive and we were able to focus on getting her better and be there to look after her.

I then had a second sweep at 41+1. I was still 3cm, but the midwife could stretch my cervix to 5/6cm. She felt the waters behind the baby’s head and managed to sweep right around his head too. This time the sweep was a lot more uncomfortable, and I really focused on using the breathing techniques we’d learnt with Charlotte to manage this. The midwife warned that when things progressed, baby could come very quickly so to be prepared. She even said have lots of towels ready as my husband might have to be talked through delivering the baby at home! Which I found amusing, although I’m not sure it was a joke!

I went home, did a bit of cleaning, watered the plants, bounced on my ball, sprayed some lavender, and listened to mp3 powerball. I kept Charlotte updated and she gave us lots of reassurance and suggestions to help labour progress. That evening I had a nice relaxing bath with candles and clary sage oil, we practised light touch massage and listened to the birth rehearsal mp3.

I woke the next morning quite surprised things hadn’t started overnight, but I still felt calm and relaxed and was confident active labour would start soon. I still had a few days until I needed to think about the induction date I had been given.

That night we put our daughter to bed as usual at 7pm and came down to make dinner. Whilst I was cooking I felt a tightening and wasn’t sure at first whether it was a wave or not. Once we sat down to eat, the waves kept coming and I had to keep leaving my dinner to bounce on the ball, then return again. Once we’d finished dinner my husband had to deal with an unsettled toddler (what are the chances!) So, I continued to use the ball and breathing techniques throughout my surges. They were really starting to ramp up, so I timed them using the Freya app. I found this really helpful while I was on my own as it counted the breathing for you when managing each surge.

At 8pm my husband came downstairs, and my surges were 3 minutes apart and lasting around 1min 25sec, so he called the hospital. WJC and St. Peter’s were both closed, and Broomfield were also on divert, so they said they would contact Colchester to see if they could accommodate us. At 8:15pm my waters released, and I decided to go for a shower while Rob rang my mum to come and look after our daughter. At 8:20pm Broomfield called back to advise we needed to go to Colchester. Rob let them know my waters had released and they said we better get a move on!

At 8:35pm My mum and her partner arrived, and we left for the hospital. By this point my surges were 2 minutes apart and I felt like the baby was very close to arriving, knowing we were 45 minutes away from Colchester hospital, Rob rang Broomfield back to say he didn’t think we were going to make it there, so made the decision to go straight to Broomfield instead.

The drive to the hospital was the most intense journey of my life! If it hadn’t been for the breathing techniques Charlotte had taught us, I would have most definitely panicked, but I managed to keep in control (just!) and breath through each surge

 

As we approached the hospital at 9pm, I felt the need to bear down, so we pulled up outside the maternity emergency entrance, two midwives met us with a wheelchair and whisked me off to the birthing unit. We abandoned the car as there was no time to park up.

I was standing over the birthing pool, feeling the need to push and the midwife was trying to measure the baby’s heartbeat. She asked me to lie on the bed so she could listen to baby – at this point I asked for gas and air, but I was struggling to hold the handle to use it. Whilst bearing down I used images of a flower opening and also pictured Harper running around laughing which kept me relaxed and calm. With 5 more surges Finlay was born at 9:15pm, just 15 minutes after we arrived, with his amniotic sack still intact.

Unfortunately, a couple of hours later, I had a secondary postpartum haemorrhage, however this didn’t take away from our positive birth experience.

I had built up a stigma in my mind about having our baby at Broomfield after my first experience, however the staff were fantastic and it was managed really well with IV medication, so I still got to enjoy those first precious moments with our baby boy.

Although the birth happened a little quicker than I had envisaged, it was the most amazing feeling to have my baby placed on my chest, and after such a slow labour with my first (plus all the pain relief under the sun), I was so grateful to the power of hypnobirthing for guiding me through. Thank you, Charlotte, for everything you taught us and helping us prepare for a wonderful birth experience”.

 

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