Sarah’s Incredible Birth Experience

“Hi Rachel, I’ve finally written up my birth story!

My waters broke at 10.30pm on Monday 31st August. We weren’t sure about the colour so we headed in to hospital. On arrival 3 different midwives checked and also weren’t sure on the colour. We were hoping for a home birth and having read my birth preferences the midwives were keen to try and help me achieve the birth I wanted which was really reassuring. Eventually after 3hours of walking around and rechecking, they allowed me home.

Once home we went back to bed and got some sleep.

The next morning I woke up to very mild sporadic contractions; there wasn’t really any pattern to them so I got up and went about my day. James and I went for a walk at lunch time and I spent my day bouncing on my birth ball, rereading my notes and watching TV.

At about 5pm the contractions had started coming roughly every 9mins. They were still very manageable and not particularly painful. I decided to drink a raspberry leaf tea and go to bed to see if I could speed things up a bit. As I lay in bed listening to the birth preparation audios you sent us the contractions started ramping up. I breathed my way through each one and by the end of the recording they were coming every 5mins.

I called James and told him to ring the midwife and get the pool up. As he was preparing the house the contractions ramped up again and they were soon coming every 3mins. The midwife had now arrived and I decided to go to the loo, it was then that we noticed that there was meconium in my waters. The midwife had also been taking my blood pressure and was concerned that it was getting high, so these two factors made us decide to transfer to the hospital to be on the safe side. Despite the change of plans I felt calm and in control.

While we were waiting for the ambulance to arrive I started to really struggle to stay on top of the contractions. Luckily James was amazing and he was by my side for every single one, holding my hand and helping me breathe through each one. Hearing him tell me “that’s it, it’s just a wave, it’ll pass in a moment” and “that’s another one done, you’re doing really well” was so reassuring and I knew he’d taken on everything we’d learnt, I couldn’t have done it without him.

The knowledge that there would always be a break after each contraction was such a relief and I kept thinking of your surfer visualisation from the manual.

Once we arrived at the hospital the contractions were still coming every 2-3minutes and the staff were surprised I hadn’t had any pain relief at this point. They knew I’d wanted a water birth so they put me in a room with Tele-monitoring so I could still get in the pool. Unfortunately due to the shape of my bump the monitor on baby wouldn’t stay on him well enough without the midwife pushing on it which was agony, so we opted for internal Fetal monitoring which was much more comfortable, unfortunately this combined with the blood pressure worry (which had meant I’d had a cannula put in) meant the pool now wasn’t an option.

The midwives could see from the monitoring that I was fully dilated and kept asking if I was feeling the need to push. Perhaps it was the relaxation techniques but I wasn’t feeling the need to push. Eventually the midwives suggested I tried pushing with the next contraction, so I did and suddenly everything made so much more sense! I understood what you were meant to do with each contraction and it felt a lot more purposeful. I actually found the pushing stage really comfortable. Im not sure if it was the relaxation techniques or if I’m just built in an odd way, but I couldn’t feel my baby moving down the birth canal but the midwives assured me he was on his way. With a few more pushes Harry was born at 00.35am on the 2nd September. After Harry was born he was put on my chest and we were given time together before his cord was cut.

Unfortunately, there were some complications in passing the placenta and I lost more than a litre of blood which meant there were suddenly 10 people in the room and lots of things were happening. Luckily the relaxation techniques really helped here, as I could remain calm and breathe through all the activity happening.

Overall, I couldn’t believe how quickly the labour went, and how much of it was completely comfortable and calm, and I think that was 100% down to learning what to expect and knowing what I could do to manage contractions, so I’m really grateful for all the teaching and knowledge!”

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