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Home / Birth Stories / Birth Stories
29 Jun 2021

Our intense & sometimes overwhelming but hugely POSITIVE & EMPOWERING birth!

As someone who has dealt with PTSD and anxiety following a road traffic accident, and subsequent years of medical treatment, I knew I needed to look at ways to approach birth.
I read about hypnobirthing and felt it would be the perfect option for us.

I found Anna's course and from the initial contact felt supported and listened to. The course enabled us to feel knowledgeable and empowered to make choices that felt right for us no matter which way our birth went. We spent the last months of pregnancy writing affirmations, practising massage and breathing and being really open with each other about our feelings. I adored being pregnant and actually felt reluctant to go into labour but knew that when it happened we were ready.

At 39+4 weeks I woke up at 2.30am and went to the toilet. As I returned to bed I felt an intense sensation different to the braxton hicks I'd been having for the last month and felt what I thought could be some waters release. I rang my Mom (a midwife) who said it sounded like waters and to try and relax and see what happens. I then rang my own midwife who explained that someone would come and visit me after 12 hours to see if anything was happening.

I thought I was having surges but knew it could go on for days so doubted myself. I came downstairs at 4am to listen to my hypnobirthing tracks but couldn't focus so told Joss I was having surges and went for a shower, asking him to set up the living room with our tea lights and diffuser to get the oxytocin flowing. The shower helped to distract me but I really felt things were already picking up and questioned if I was being a wimp if this was early labour.

Joss started timing the surges and the app said to call the hospital as they were 3 in 10 minutes. At this point it had only been 2 hours so I called the midwife back, she was lovely and offered to come out but said it could still be a while yet. I felt it couldn't be the real thing so said I'd carry on and call her back. I tried to get comfortable using my ball to lean over but quickly started to feel I couldn't cope, we'd put the tens machine on but it wasn't doing much and I was starting to wretch with the most intense surges and asked Joss to call the midwife over. She arrived at 6.30am and took some observations, she asked for a urine sample and whilst there I lost my mucus plug and was sick. Joss helped me down and I was offered an examination, I agreed and was shocked to find I was already 6cm! The midwife called the hospital and told us she would meet us there and get the pool running!

Getting into the car and from the car to delivery suite felt like climbing Everest and Joss made sure to encourage me to use my breathing and try to stay calm. He helped me change and get straight into the pool. I struggled to find a comfortable position but felt happy to be in the supportive warm water. I quickly found myself making more guttural noises and the midwife assured me I was entering the 2nd stage. I felt overwhelmed and a bit frightened clinging to Joss literally and emotionally.

After an hour of pushing surges I was encouraged to try and empty my bladder as it may be holding baby back, I couldn't so agreed to a catheter to drain it. After another hour of pushing in the pool the midwife suggested trying some more positions and I tried standing and squatting in the water before agreeing to get out of the water and tried leaning over the back of the bed. At this point I was asking for help and feeling exhausted, the midwives were fantastic and had clearly thoroughly read my birth plan as they referred to it before every suggestion they made and we truly felt we could decline anything we didn't want. After 3 hours of pushing I agreed to the doctor coming in and talking about interventions the midwives continued to encourage me and I managed to deliver our baby without intervention at 12.48pm. Joss told me she was a girl and I had immediate skin to skin and delayed cord clamping. I felt absolutely incredible that I had done it, and with no pain relief or intervention which is what I was really hoping for.

After an hour my placenta had still not been delivered despite many attempts and different suggestions. The doctors decided I needed to go to theatre for manual extraction something I'm told is quite rare. The midwife (knowing my history of PTSD) immediately reassured me that she would ask that Joss and our daughter remain with me in theatre which was a huge support to me. The procedure went well and once removed the team were excited to tell me that my placenta had grown an extra lobe! Joss had kept our daughter on him and sat with me through the several hours it had taken to get to this point.

When I finally got my tea and toast it was the best meal I'd ever had! My birth was intense and at times overwhelming but overall a hugely positive and empowering experience. I will be taking my hypnobirthing tools into the fourth trimester and beyond.