Words by Chloe, Photo by Chloe Thornley Photography
We are so delighted to be sharing Chloe's birth story. Chloe came along to some of our relaxation classes and when she mentioned her story to Sophie we were desperate to share it. Welcome to the world Isla!
On the morning of the 19th December I was woken at 6am with my first contraction, although I was pretty confident that my labour had started I lay in bed for the following 15 minutes awaiting the next contraction just to be sure. Once I was certain I was in labour I woke my Husband, we were both very excited that we were finally only hours away from meeting our baby girl. I was very relaxed in the hours that we spent at home before heading to the hospital, I had a shower, plaited my hair and got our final belongings packed and ready to take with us.
Only two and a half hours later we were on our way to the hospital. Upon arrival I was put on a monitor to check the baby’s heart rate and movements, as all was fine we made our way to the MLU where we discovered that I was already 5cm dilated. Our lovely midwife, Natalie, prepared the pool room and we headed in there shortly after. It was such a peaceful, positive and tranquil environment with fairy lights and colour changing mood lights, we added electric tea lights around the edge of the pool and had a playlist of water sounds playing throughout the birth.
The pool was extremely relaxing, after a couple of hours I decided to take a break as I was beginning to feel a little drowsy and was concerned it may slow down my contractions so I had a lay down. I was feeling very calm and content which allowed me to drift in and out of sleep for a couple of hours. When I woke up my contractions had progressed and after another examination we were informed that I was now 7cm dilated. At this point I decided to accept the offer of gas and air, until this point the only pain relief I had had was the water.
Things began to progress rapidly after this, I was back in the pool and preparing to push. Before I knew it I was on my knees and my body had taken complete control, our baby girl was on her way. With every push I was repeating to myself, ‘keep going, keep going’ over and over throughout each contraction. This, along with the support from my husband saw me through the final stages of labour. I no longer needed the gas and air, my husband holding my hand, breathing with me between contractions, supporting me every step of the way is what made such a positive and stress-free experience. We were doing it together and I could not have done it without him, I wouldn’t even let him get me a glass of water as it meant he would have needed to let go of my hand.
The most amazing feeling in the world are those final few pushes that after all the hard work in the hours leading up to this moment see the arrival of your baby’s head, quickly followed by her body. At 17:40 on 19th December, Isla Elsie-Ann, joined us in the world, weighing 8lb9oz. She arrived wrapped up in her umbilical cord and took a minute to cry. I was surprised at her purple colour, how slippery she was and how much dark hair she had, she was, and still is perfect! Holding her in my arms for the first time was such a magical moment that no words can describe.
After a final examination I was informed that I needed to be taken to theatre for stitches as I had a third degree tear. This meant that I had to have spinal injections of anaesthetic that paralysed me from the chest down and I could no longer stay on the MLU, I had to be put onto a ward on the unit for monitoring. I ended up staying in hospital for three days, luckily with no further complications. Although the stitches, the ward and the extended hospital stay were not exactly at the top of my list of dream expectations of birth, it could not take away from the incredible experience of bringing our baby Isla into the world.