well this is a little different
This week’s birth story comes from a lovely couple Helen and Michael who had booked onto an online group Hypnobirthing course run by Leanne Lawrence of Brighter Birthing Hypnobirthing, covering Tring, Hertfordshire.
Thank you for sharing this wonderful story with us!
Helen & Michael booked onto my online group Hypnobirthing course to prepare for the birth of their second baby. They had used a video Hypnobirthing course for the birth of their first baby but thought that a real-time class would allow them the chance to ask questions, discuss their previous birth and dedicate time to this baby, which seemed harder and harder when they were moving house, amid the COVID-19 pandemic and with a toddler running around too.
Back in October, after our Hypnobirthing sessions Helen had been pondering whether to opt for a home birth. Her previous birth had been running smoothly until a sudden spike in her blood pressure had meant she had been declined her water birth and needed the hormone drip to get baby out as quickly as possible. She felt things had snowballed from this moment. We researched this together, but it was felt that hospital would be their preferred option from a safety perspective, despite her heart really wanting the homebirth.
Helen had contacted me several weeks before her birth, she was experiencing tightening which were disrupting her sleep but fading each morning. We talked about false labour or prodromal labour and I said that whilst she felt tired, these sensations were a good sign that her baby and body were getting ready for birth. I encouraged her to rest as much as she could and to let go of the fear that she would be too exhausted for birth. I also suggested that birth might be that bit quicker when it did happen because her body had spent so many evenings preparing. She checked in with her midwife too, who was also happy with how things were going.
Coincidentally I had supported another mum-to-be a couple of years previous who had experienced prodromal labour, and this had also resulted in a quick birth around Christmas time too and we talked about how this parent had managed.
This is their story…
I woke at 12:30 with tightening’s that were 10 minutes apart. Thinking this was just my prodromal labour continuing, I ignored them and tried to get back to sleep.
I had to wake Michael at 1:30am as they were every 5 minutes and I needed support. This wasn’t false labour, this felt different. He created the right environment, which helped to soothe me and by 3:30am these tightening’s were every couple of minutes.
We called my mum to come over and arranged to go to Stoke Mandeville Hospital. I mentioned to Michael that I didn’t feel I was coping very well. At the time I thought these surges were part of early labour and I still had a long time to go, I expected the intensity to continue growing.
Reflecting now, I can pinpoint the exact moment of transition. I grabbed Michael, who was busy trying to pack the last-minute things into the hospital bag. I remember telling him “I’m going to need more pain relief than last time”. The surges were becoming too much to handle.
Halfway down the stairs, headed out to the car I felt I needed to push. Luckily, my mum had arrived and heard me say this so she rang for an ambulance. It was about 4:15am by this point.
I managed to hobble into the living room and instructed someone to take my trousers and pants off!! Mum had the emergency services on loudspeaker, they instructed me to lie on my back as it is ‘safest’ (they need to change their script). I ignored this and following my body’s lead. I knelt next to the fireplace and the Christmas tree and leaned on the coffee table, refusing to get onto my back.
Michael was busy rushing around getting towels and a shoelace (again, something the emergency services had told him to get). I told mum our baby girl was coming and she could see the head. Michael came in and her head was out with the next contraction. I remember coming out of the zone after that and saying to them both ‘well this is a little different, isn’t it?!!.
One more surge and our daughter was born. Maisie arrived at 4:27am, weighing 8lbs 15oz after a 4-hour labour. Mum did lots of rubbing and Michael checked her airways were clear. I took my top off and after the first cry she was on my chest. The ambulance arrived about 10 minutes later.
We had no complications and just a few stitches for a small 1st degree tear. I was checked at Watford (nearest hospital to our new address) because we were not a planned homebirth but released on the same day.
So unintentionally, I got the home birth I had wanted and had been told it wasn’t safe to have after all!
I cannot express how much your sessions came into use for both Michael and I. He was so calm throughout and we both trusted in my body and baby and fortunately it paid off.
An affirmation that stuck out in preparation for this birth was ‘I will hand my birthing over to my birthing body and let go’. It didn’t really feel like I had a choice at the time! Obviously subconsciously my mind was letting my body do its thing.
I thought you’d want to hear what an amazingly positive birth experience we had, thanks to you. You were clearly right about my body getting prepared as our birth was so quick. My favourite affirmation was ‘I trust that my body knows exactly what to do’ and it came in very handy.
Thank you again, you helped me through my anxiety and concerns from the first session to our emails last week. I wholeheartedly believe every preparation you gave us led to such an amazing birth. Plus, I genuinely feel it could have been such a different experience without it (you). I would have gone down a negative mindset; unable to move on from the trauma of my first birth.
If you want to create your own positive birth you can start today!