Seeing as my last blog post was announcing my pregnancy, this feels like a natural progression on from that!
Wednesday 11th September at 4:57pm, 11 days overdue, all 8 pounds 2 and 1/2 ounces of our baby boy came into the world. He kept us waiting but he was so worth the wait.
When I was pregnant I became a beacon for birthing horror stories, everyone wanted to tell me theirs! People would go out of their way to tell me all of the horrendous and frightening experiences they had had whilst in labour. I was anxious enough about giving birth but the bombardment of stories of emergencies, tears, life threatening issues etc ensured that I was petrified about going into labour.
Our experience was so positive, empowering, surreal, intense, beautiful, challenging, intimate and everything I could’ve wished for.
On Monday evening Stu and I were slowly winding down and getting ready for bed, I went for a wee and it was now that I noticed I was bleeding. For me, seeing blood in pregnancy, meant something was wrong. I called our midwife who advised me to head on in to hospital to be checked over. We grabbed our hospital bags just in case but I figured they’d say it was a show and send me home! After examining me they could not determine where the bleed was coming from. This coupled with being 9 days past my due date and the baby measuring big, we decided to stay. I now know this was labour starting for me!
We had further monitoring and baby and me were doing great. Contractions started to come and it was now that I put in place the breathing techniques I learnt from the Positive Birth Company course. My biggest fear about labour was what I call “losing my head”. I knew if I lost my head I would come out of that hospital in a bad way mentally. The Positive Birth Company course really helped me keep my mental strength intact. Contractions came and then eased, came and then eased and stayed this way for a little while.
The next day I was examined and was at 3cm dilated. At this point I was 10 days late, the bleed had stopped but the Doctors were very keen to induce me. Throughout my pregnancy I had declined all intervention unless there was a concrete medical need. I was offered around 8 sweeps in pregnancy and probably more inductions to which I declined them all. The baby was healthy and so was I. I also declined the latest offer of induction because again, the baby and I were fine. However, there was now a potential medical need – the bleed. I agreed to allowing them to break my water instead of the full induction process.
Early hours Wednesday morning my waters were broken with the help of some wonderful gas and air! From there we were in full swing! Gas and air worked absolute wonders for me, it took away nearly all the pain form the contractions.
As the contractions became more frequent and intense I asked for pethidine, which worked perfectly. It knocked me out for a solid 2 hours! I got some much needed sleep but my contractions continued lovely.
Eventually I was given the hormone drip to speed up my labour (I wasn’t aware it was going slowly) and as I had heard what that drip can do, I requested an epidural before the drip was administered.
Again the epidural worked amazingly, it took away around 60% of what I could feel which was perfect. I was still able to move onto all fours to push the baby down, still able to feel the urge to push, I had no coached pushing, no one shouting push at me! Just me feeling the need to push and slowly, gently pushing my baby down. No screaming – no drama. Breathing my baby down and out. Magic.
I’ll never forget being told one more push and the baby would be out, looking at Stu and him telling me I can do it, that I’d been doing it, one more push. I had affirmations up on the wall in my delivery room – Stu had made sure my affirmations were up and my tea lights had been placed around the room. We were all about getting that oxytocin flowing!
When it came to my final push I read my affirmation of “300,000 women across the world are giving birth with you”. This, along with my husbandS continued support, I dug deep and found the will and strength for one last push and just like that, my baby was here. All 10 fingers and toes, beautiful soft skin, a healthy cry and already wanting a feed. He was perfect and I was doing perfectly.
It really was amazing. My birth experience was more medicalised than I wanted but each decision was made by me! Labour didn’t just happen to me, I did it! With the help of fantastic NHS midwives, my amazing husband and the game changing Positive Birth Company.