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02 Jun 2023

Our birth - the most beautiful overwhelming experience of my life!

After 4 days of waiting for a bed to become free to have my waters broke (after 4 unsuccessful sweeps we decided an ARM was needed as I knew my body was ready but it just couldn’t get there on its own) we received the eagerly awaited phone call at 9:40pm on Thursday 1st of June, letting us know a bed was free and to make our way up to the hospital.
We had already packed our bags, one for me, one for baby and one for dad (although that one mainly contained our birth picnic, which we may have overdone) so, they were ready to go into the car and make our way in. We got to the hospital at 11pm, after having a shower and listening to endorphin boosting music to keep the adrenaline away. Even though I was having an induction I was determined to do it as naturally as possible.

During our time prepping for the birth, we had discussed why hypnobirthing meant so much to me, it was a way for me to feel in control after having a very rough pregnancy medically. It allowed me to think and ask the right questions to gain power in my decision making. So when we got to the delivery suite, and our midwife was running through the plan of action, I made sure that before any decisions were made, my birth preferences were discussed. I took with me a printed version of my birth plan, which I asked all of the midwives who were involved in my care to read. My birth partner Dylan played a vital role in continuing to make sure my wishes were listened to throughout.

At midnight an anaesthetist came into the room to insert a cannula into the back of my hand, as I had found out I had GBS. I knew that I could require antibiotics and decide that it would be best for my mental wellbeing that I wouldn’t have to worry about my little boy being under observation after the birth but he would be getting what he could from my body (even though it was being put into me) that would keep him safe. The anaesthetist had to try on both hands and I was in a lot of pain with it. I did begin to doubt myself as to if I couldn’t handle the pain of the cannula, how would I be able to birth my son. I began my breathing techniques and remained calm and it was soon over.

At 1am my midwife came into the room to break my waters and get the process going. By 1:35am I felt the rush of liquid and knew that the journey to meeting our little boy was about to begin. We decided to keep mobile and went for a walk around the hospital, we did side step walking up and down the stairs and at 2am we had seen every floor of Worcester Royal Hospital and around half way through the walk I began to feel cramping. I didn’t think much of it at first as we had had Mexican for dinner and for some reason my brain decided that would be the reason for my discomfort.

We headed back to the delivery suite for a bit of a rest before everything started. Upon our return, my midwife mentioned to us about the possibility of needing an artificial oxytocin drip. This wasn’t something that I had wanted so asked them to let me continue to let my body do what it knows it should do. The cramping from earlier began to get more intense but there was no pattern so again, thought it was the food. The midwife left us alone to get some sleep and have a discussion and a think of what we could do if things didn’t progress. I had asked throughout to have as few vaginal examinations as possible, and to not be told about any times or progression. Dylan would keep track of any timing if needed (he kept a log of what happened and when, so that I could refer to it when I wanted). Around 5am my midwife then came back to see if we had spoken about the hormones drip. We had in fact discussed it and also discussed the questions we wanted to ask. After an hour talking things through with the midwife we had decided that due to medical risks that I have, the longer we waited for my body to start labour naturally, the more risks would appear for my health in the future. So we knew that we had to get things moving.
At 6:10 they began the drip. Within 5 minutes contractions began, I swayed back and forth, bobbing along to the playlist that Dylan had created for me (containing my favourite artists and carefully chosen songs from our relationship that sparked happy thoughts and memories) increasing the oxytocin and giving me the best chance to stop any further steps on the ladder of intervention. I have never felt more connected to my partner than I did throughout birthing our son. He held onto me and allowed me to focus on my body and the music around me whilst being supported and knowing everything else was under control.

Once the surges had intensified I knew I would need some form of pain relief and asked for the gas and air. On my birth preferences I had stated that I wanted to try only gas and air if pain relief was required and if I truly wanted anything more-Dylan and I had a code word to show that I was fully aware of my decision.

I wasn’t able to have the water birth that I had hoped for, but I came prepared and had a backup plan, having discussed different positions with my midwife and throughout the courses we had taken part in. I got myself on my knees and facing the back of the bed, keeping myself off of my back was the goal. However, we knew that the little man would require monitoring for multiple different reasons. So whilst I was getting in the zone and changing positions and keeping myself moving, I knew that the midwifes were working hard to keep tabs on my son, and make sure he was okay.

Contractions intensified and eventually, after an hour of active labour, around 10:25am, I asked if I could be examined to see what was going on. I knew something was very close to happening as my body was telling me to push. Listening to my instincts and requesting again to be examined, I was met with replies that they were struggling to monitor baby and they would check me after they had established the heartbeat. I knew he was okay, and I knew he was about to make his entrance. I again requested for someone to examine me and stressed that I knew something was happening. At this moment Dylan decided he was desperate for the toilet. As he was heading for the door, my midwife lifted up the blanket and told him not to go anywhere as our little boy was about to make an appearance! I knew my body was right and I knew he was on his way.

I let my body do what it had to and around a minute after hailing Dylan back into the room, I breathed my little boy into the world. From beginning “active labour” to making that final push. I spent an hour using all the tools I had in my inventory to bring our little one into the world in the most amazing way. When they brought him up onto my chest I looked down and burst into tears because I didn’t think it was possible to have gone through everything that we did and come out the other side feeling so confident that I had done it right.
It was the most beautifully overwhelming experience of my life and I wouldn’t have done it any other way.

Amber and Dylan - Worcester