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Home / Birth Stories / Birth Stories
29 Oct 2015

Positive Second Birth

Our gorgeous boy arrived on 29th October 2015 at 5.50am weighing 7lb10. Two days before his "due" date.

I had a few twinges on Tuesday evening which made me think things might start happening. I woke early Wednesday morning and could tell that some of my waters had leaked out (thank goodness for the waterproof mattress cover).

I was due to see my consultant that day anyway so off we went excited but wondering what they might say. I was told I would need an examination using a speculum to confirm my waters had gone but I declined this. Having group B strep and released waters I wanted to keep the risk of infection to a minimum. So instead they did an ultrasound which was much less invasive. The scan confirmed nearly all of my water had released.

My consultant wanted to induce me there and then because along with my waters having released, I had tested positive at 32 weeks for group B strep and I have a blood condition. After asking lots of questions Doug and I decided to decline the induction based on what we felt was right for us. So they monitored baby for a while to see if he was happy, all was well so off we went home with an appointment for the next day. They were insistent they would not want me going more than 24 hours post rupture of membranes before insisting induction due to risk of infection. They told us what to look out for that might indicate this so we felt comfortable with our decision to wait a while and see what happened.

We went home and I spent the day bouncing and rocking on my birth ball and snuggled up with my son to watch a film. It wasn't until about 11pm I started getting some cramping and knew this was birth starting. I felt excited! I put my hypnobirthing tracks on my phone and lay in bed using breathing techniques through my surges. I only managed to stay in bed for half an hour because I felt the need to move. I went out on to the landing, sat on my ball and listened to my hypnobirthing tracks. I felt so calm sitting in the dark thinking about meeting our baby!

I left Doug sleeping until 1am and woke him when my surges were coming every 3 minutes, they were only lasting about 50 seconds but I felt like it was nearly time to go. At 2am we left to go to the hospital. I managed to breathe through the surges during the car journey but definitely found it harder to cope sitting in the car seat and being unable to sway and rock my hips. It took a while to get to the delivery suite as my surges were coming quickly and I had to stop each time to focus myself.

On arrival at triage I agreed to have baby monitored but only if I could stay on all fours on the bed. I am not convinced how useful the readings were, as every time my uterus surged the foetal monitor lost contact. I declined any vaginal examinations because I felt during my first birth that this interrupted my birth and added time pressure. Doug was great at advocating for me, we had joint wishes and he knew what was important to me and what would make me anxious. My midwife wasn't initially happy about me not having a vaginal examination but we were insistent that this wasn't something we were consenting to.

After some conversations about the lack of vaginal examination (I assume with a more senior midwife) my midwife Rachel went to get a room ready for me. She had obviously read my birth preferences because when she took us through to the room she had put some classical music on, a mood light and found me a ball. Knowing that she had read my preferences and had tried to create the calming environment I'd put in my preferences, gave me great trust in her. The room was lovely despite my initial reservations of having a delivery suite birth again. I also agreed to allow a second year midwifery student be present, for which I'm so glad, she was amazing.

By this point my surges were intense and I was kneeling on the bed resting over the raised head end. I found myself rotating my hips and focusing on my breathing. This birth was coming on faster and stronger than my previous birth and it took all of my strength to stay focused and calm. I reminded myself during each surge that I was closer to meeting our baby. I closed my eyes and imagined what that moment would be like and this really spurred me on. I remember feeling really tired but Doug encouraged me and reminded me we'd meet our baby soon.

By 4.30am I started getting the urge to bear down and the midwives said to just go with my body. After an hour the urge wasn't as strong and although our baby was coming it was slow so the midwives helped me into some different positions to try. I couldn't get comfortable in anything but my kneeling position so went back to this, not only was it restful but I had my back to the room and this helped me to feel less watched.

Time crept on, the midwives said they wouldn't want me going past 6am and explained that the consultant was getting concerned because our baby was showing signs of getting tired.

I really wanted to birth without intervention if possible and this was one of those moments when I made a decision based on our situation..... so I found myself bearing down with everything I had (despite my body not really telling me too) but again I felt that this was the right choice for me at the time. I could feel lots of pressure now of my baby’s head and after a couple of surges the head was born. It didn't hurt but felt very tight. The midwives were very supportive and advised me when to breath and when to bear down so that the head was birthed slowly to try and avoid any tearing. After another couple of surges the rest of our baby followed and he was passed immediately up between my legs so that I could hold him. Here was our gorgeous little boy, my body flooded with love for this little person that I had been growing. I don't think there is anything else in the world that beats meeting your baby for the very first time. I felt a whole mix of emotions, love, joy, pride and complete exhaustion.

We left the cord to go white before Doug cut it and then we enjoyed lots of lovely skin to skin. It was the most amazing feeling in the world!

I decided to have a managed third stage and my placenta was birthed quickly. I had one very small tear which didn't need stitching and managed all of this with just my hypnobirthing techniques, an amazing birth partner and a fabulous team of midwives.

I feel so lucky to have had two very positive birth experiences, but it is down to a lot more than luck.....we prepared, we got ourselves clued up on all things birth, we knew what our options were, we had a whole load of tools to help us to stay calm and we felt confident!

Reading positive birth stories is confidence building and empowering. Sharing your birth story helps others to see that yes birth is unpredictable but if you are prepared, supported and armed with tools.... You can navigate whatever path your birth takes and come out the other side feeling like an actual superhero!