This is a wonderful birth story with many twists and turns. One powerful Mother! This story is such a strong example of 10% what happens and 90% how you feel. Abi came with her partner Mark to Christy’s group classes and this is her story and the birth of their son Reuben
My waters went at 1:37am on Saturday, I popped to the loo and put on a pad and went back to bed. We put on our Hypnobirthing songs to try and relax. Neither me nor Mark could settle so we went downstairs, started the woodburner and I bounced on my ball.
At six I decided to call the hospital to see if they wanted to check me over as I thought my waters had gone. After many attempts I finally got through however the lady thought I had wet myself and that my waters hadn’t gone. The hospital didn't invite me in for any checks.
We decided to go for a walk and see if anything started at around 11am contractions started. They were 6/7 minutes apart lasting about 30 seconds and I could easily talk through them so we chose to go and visit some family and then watch Strictly.
Through this whole time my contractions remained consistent and didn’t increase in consistency or intensity. We decided to call up the Birth Place to see what they wanted me to do as I believed my waters had been leaking the whole time.
At 8:30pm we called the Birth Place who were shocked I wasn’t called in earlier and asked me to come in straight away. We made sure to have some final snacks before we went just in case.
When we arrived they confirmed that my waters had gone but that I wasn’t contracting frequently enough to be considered in Active Labor. They said I could wait on a ward until 1:30am Sunday to see if I progressed enough to be admitted into the Birth Place or I’d have to go to the Delivery Suite due to the length of time since my waters had broken.
We chose to wait to see and waited for a bed to become available. The hospital decided that rather than move us to a ward and then delivery they would put us straight into Delivery Suite and see how I progressed there.
We moved over to the room where we met our first midwife. I was a little dazed and confused as she spoke very quickly about the plans going forward. When she left the room me & Mark had a quick chat to check we were both on the same page and to see if there were any concerns.
I thought she was leaving me until 1:30am to see how I progressed whereas Mark thought that she was inducing me. When the midwife re-entered the room we clarified with her what she was doing and it emerged that she was under the impression I was being induced and was planning to start it there and then.
We advised her that we wanted to wait and see how I progressed. Due to hospital rules I couldn’t stay in the room and would need to be moved to a ward. The midwife was very apologetic and blamed it on the handover.
Once on the ward I was advised that I was first priority to move to delivery suite if nothing progressed due to the length of time since my waters had broken.
During this whole time my contractions remained at a similar level.
We settled into the ward and tried to get some sleep. 1:30am Sunday came and went with no change.
I called my mum for some womanly reassurance and went back to the ward to bounce on my ball, listen to affirmations and rest. During this time my contractions would vary greatly in intensity, regularity and duration.
At 7:40pm Sunday a midwife came through from delivery to take me over and start my induction.
She got me a ball to sit on it the room and started running through my birth plan explaining what she could do to help make the delivery suite more relaxing.
A rather abrupt Doctor came in asking why I wasn't on the bed and ready for induction. Our midwife explained that we were talking through my birth plan and discussing the induction. The doctor was not happy with this as she wanted to get me started as soon as possible. When the doctor left I said to the midwife that I didn’t want her in the room. The midwife reassured me that she would be off shift at 8 and until then I was under the midwife’s care.
Our midwife kindly took a while to set me up to ensure that I wouldn’t need the doctor to come in before she ended her shift.
I had a cannula inserted for the medication and continued to bounce on my ball as the midwives changed shift and handed over.
Our new midwife Gemma came in and again ran through parts of the birth plan to ensure we were on the same page and then at 9:40pm on Sunday she started up my Syntocinon drip.
The dose would be increased every 30 minutes until I was contracting 4 times in 10 minutes and then it would be kept at that level.
To begin with I settled on my side on the bed listening to my affirmations and relaxation tracks. This continued for around an hour and then I moved onto the ball.
Whilst being on the ball was incredibly comfortable there were problems in monitoring the baby. I had to have continuous monitoring as I had been induced.
My contractions had quickly picked up in frequency and intensity and the midwife and by 11pm I was contracting 4-5 times in ten minutes so the midwife stabalised the drip.
By around 12:30am I was struggling with the contractions as I had no gap between them and felt as though I couldn’t “get on top of them”. I asked the midwife for gas and air and it made a world of difference. I also found standing and swaying really helpful but this generated it’s own problems.
The monitors couldn’t pick up a consistent reading on baby so the midwives asked if they could put a fetal scalp electrode onto him so that they could continue to monitor him and I wouldn’t have to remain still on the bed.
I had to be on the bed to have it fitted and it took 2 midwives 5 times to attach but it was worth it when I could get back on the ball. They then told me I was about 4cm dilated.
After being “awake” for the 3rd night I was falling asleep on the ball and my husband was playing catch with me whilst trying to feed me and get me to drink.
After discussing what to do next with the midwives Mark decided that pethidine would allow me to relax and rest between the contractions ready for when I would need to push. From our discussions before birth he knew I’d prefer Pethidine to an Epidural so felt comfortable requesting this on my behalf. We thought I would have a number of hours of labor ahead of me.
I was given the pethidine at 3.30am and whilst it did make me feel more relaxed it did not take away the sensation of pain or pressure. At one point I was insisting for an epidural but was told I had to wait 2 hours from the pethidine, which I was not impressed by.
I continued to use the gas and air whilst always changing position - my favourite was leaning on the bed because as the pressure increased I could squat down into it which relieved some of the feeling.
Whilst the midwives were out of the room Mark noticed that baby’s heart rate was fluctuating between 60 and 180 bpm during the contractions and was struggling to come back up after. He pushed the buzzer and highlighted this to the midwives who confirmed that baby was getting distressed and struggling to recover after the contractions. I had to change position onto the bed to see if this helped minimise the stress on the baby.
I continued to feel a lot of pressure and around 5am the midwives confirmed I was ready to push. I started with leaning against the back of the bed and then moved onto my side with Mark holding my leg.
I was very vocal during this stage as it helped focus my push. When the head was half way out the midwives asked me to move onto my back as the change in position would help baby come out as his descent had slowed. As I turned I could feel him move and as I settled onto my back he was born.
The midwives tried to delay the clamping of his cord but due to a bleed this didn’t happen he was passed straight up onto my chest though.
Whilst the birth was not how I imagined it could be due to the hypnobirthing skills and techniques I view it as a positive experience because each decision was made with all the options available and we felt in control of each decision. The breathing techniques helped me to remain calm and relaxed in the early stages and the affirmations helped me through my whole labor. I fully trusted Mark and felt able to “go within” knowing that he could communicate our plan to the midwives. I could not have labored without Mark and he said he would not have been as comfortable supporting me without the hypnobirthing course.
To come along to one of our hypnobirthing courses, check out the different classes we offer, or speak to one of us head here