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Home / Birth Stories / Birth Stories
11 Aug 2020

Our intense but incredible birth

I spent my pregnancy petrified about birth! Anna helped me to calm my nerves and believe in myself. My birth was intense but incredible and empowering and I loved it!

On the 11th August 2020 at 6.30am, I woke up and within seconds heard an audible “pop!” My waters had released at 40+3 weeks. I immediately felt excited and remembered everything Anna had taught us. I woke Jack up and calmly informed him my waters had broken. We got up and called Triage who had said to go in at 6pm that evening unless my contractions became “so painful I couldn’t talk through them” (not helpful language if you ask me but after doing our hypnobirthing practice I decided not to get frustrated. “Control what you can, let go of what you can’t”.

Jack and I got up and called my mum and dad and decided to go on a dog walk together. I had a small breakfast as my surges had started almost immediately after my waters released and seemed to be building quite quickly. I put the TENS machine on and went out. During our dog walk, my surges were coming fast and I was having to pause and lean on Jack, my mum and dad were beginning to panic but Jack and I felt calm and continued enjoying our walk. When we returned to the car I suggested we call triage as I was now having to really focus on my breathing through the surges. They suggested I take paracetamol and relax at home. However, Jack and I both agreed we felt it was time to head in so Jack told triage I had studied hypnobirthing, hence being so calm and we were coming in anyway. He also informed them I wanted a water birth and they made a note of this.

On the way to the hospital (40 minute drive) I put my Birth Affirmations mp3 on and shut my eyes and the journey seemed to go fast. Because I was so in the zone I didn’t notice we had been stuck behind some slower drivers too, which would have normally annoyed me! When we arrived in Worcester, I reached the end of the Affirmations track. I lost control of my emotions and began to cry and panic, the surges had ramped up and I was struggling sitting in the car as I couldn’t move during them, which is what I needed to do. We pulled up at the hospital and Jack held me up and we waddled through the hospital. Jack was calm breathing with me and by this point I was laughing and crying at the same time!

We reached triage and they put us in a room to be checked, I was leaning over the bed and Jack was calming me with massage and calm breathing. They came in to check how far dilated I was and I was only 2cm. They said they were going to send me home but Jack and I knew this was progressing fast so we were very blunt and told them we would not be leaving. They left us to it and came back an hour later and informed me I was still only 2cm, which upset me a lot. Thank goodness for Jack, remembering our affirmations and talking me through surges and the disappointment of not dilating faster. They asked if I wanted pain relief and we asked what options were available for me, with wanting a water birth.

I decided to have some codeine and was then taken to the ward, I think my labour was further progressed than the other ladies in the room as they were all very relaxed and it made me worry I was being a total wimp as I wasn’t coping well with the intensity. (I later learnt these ladies were waiting to be induced and therefore not even in labour!) On my birth preferences I had stated I did not want to be offered pain relief aside from gas and air in active labour. But I really needed rest so Jack and I used the BRAIN tool and decided to request pethidine. The pethidine was lovely and although I could still feel the surges, I was calm and managed to rest. After 2 hours of this and Jack applying pressure to my back I suddenly felt my body bearing down. I looked at Jack and said “I need to push”. So he went to find the midwife who initially didn’t believe me as I was very relaxed, doing calm breathing and listening to my Relax for Birth Mp3! She checked me again and I was 8CM and ready to head to the delivery suite! I was so happy!

Jack asked for gas and air for me at this point and he also reminded them of my wish for a water birth. We were taken to the delivery room with the pool and it was already being filled up! I cried with happiness as I got in the pool. The warm water soothed me immediately and the midwife saw how calm I was and just sat back and told me to go with my body. I got into the pool at 1:50pm and as he began moving my baby moved his head to look up so I was bearing down for longer than I wanted, as he got a bit stuck! Jack asked me if I wanted music on and he started playing my labour playlist. After a few seconds I made him turn it off. He was reminding me of my birth affirmations too, at which point I just wanted quiet so said “I love you, but please shut up!”

At about 5pm after the midwife emptied my bladder using a catheter, which I barely noticed, my baby started moving down. I was exhausted by this point. I found myself giving up and saying “I can’t do this anymore can I have an episiotomy!” the midwife then gave me a sugar tablet which gave me super energy and I pushed with each surge. I found the water helped me get into positions and jack helped me figure out positions too. I got onto all fours and then realised the gas and air (which I just thought I had gotten used to) was on red and had ran out!!! I was pushing my baby out pretty much pain relief free! The midwife went and got more gas and air but by the time a working one had come in to the room (they bought another which was also empty first!) I had pushed babies head out! It was amazing!

I looked down and saw his head and his little ear and told Jack to take a photo (although originally I had said he wasn’t even allowed to look, I was so amazed by my body I wanted to document the moment so I could remember it and be PROUD! This spurred me on, next came his shoulders and then the rest of him! Bodhi Robert Watson was born in the water, just as I had always wanted! He weighed 7lb 15oz. It was a beautiful beautiful moment. He didn’t cry, just lifted his head and looked around the room peacefully. I just kept saying “I’ve done it! He’s here! I’ve done it” I even said “Please tell me this isn’t a dream, I’ve really done it?”

He was placed on my chest; his cord was very short too so he was still mostly in the water. The midwife asked about cutting the chord and Jack informed her we wanted delayed cord clamping. The midwife however seemed keen to get me out of the water fast. I didn’t even get time to breastfeed in the water. She helped me get out and they bought the bed over. I was very shaky and my body was tired. I lay down on the bed and Jack was then given the opportunity to cut the cord which he did. We noticed a lot of blood on the pool and on the floor but the midwives were so calm, so we weren’t worried. They told me I needed to push more. This was to get the placenta out. As babies cord was so short he had pulled the placenta away, hence the blood loss. I pushed and a lot of blood came out but not the placenta. At this point they gave me an injection in my leg to help me push out the rest of the placenta. They also pressed on my stomach to ensure it was coming fully out as it was already detached in part. During all of this Jack had skin to skin and started bonding with our beautiful boy. I had a second degree tear but they were bearable and I hadn’t really noticed them happening. I used gas and air as they stitched me.

After everything was done, they asked me to stay in for a couple of nights as I had lost just over a litre of blood. Jack and I got a few hours together in the delivery suite, I got to have a bath and then they came to collect us. Bodhi and I were taken to the postnatal ward and we had to say goodbye to Jack in the corridor due to Covid restrictions.

I absolutely loved giving birth to my beautiful Bodhi. I would do it again in a heartbeat! Birth is not the terrifying experience the media and TV make it seem. It is amazing and empowering. Despite having a few special circumstances and not being exactly what I had written in my birth plan, Bodhi’s birth could not have been more perfect.