Mama H – ” When I listened to the fast birth stories in yoga and hypnobirthing, I never thought mine would be one of them, especially since I had a 36 hour labour with my first baby. I am sure I progressed so well because of all the techniques I learned with you, Claire”
Hi Claire, I am very pleased to tell you, that our little boy arrived on Christmas Day, weighing 7lb 11oz. Thanks for all your help, the hypnobirthing techniques you gave us were invaluable in bringing our little man into the world. Please find our birth story below;
I had been experiencing Braxton Hicks for a number of weeks in the lead up to our little man’s appearance. They were like mild period pains and whilst nothing like labour surges, I found them very useful as they allowed me to practice my hypnobirthing techniques ready for the big day. As my due date approached my Braxton Hicks became more regular, happening every evening but always stopping when I went to bed. Christmas Eve came and I began to have surges in the morning, I wasn’t entirely convinced that this was labour starting, as the surges still weren’t particularly painful and I was still clinging to the hope that our baby wouldn’t arrive on Christmas Day.
I decided to have a bath and to listen to my hypnobirthing tracks to try and relax and see if the surges stopped. The surges eased whilst I was in the bath and so I carried on with my day. However by the afternoon it became apparent that my surges were now the start of labour as they had increased in intensity and frequency but they were still very irregular at this point. I phoned my parents to make sure they were ready to come over and be with our little girl when we were ready to go to the hospital. Then we sat our little girl down to explain that we would probably not be there for Christmas morning (which was heartbreaking) but that her nanny and bampy would be there to open presents with her. Over the last few weeks prior to our due date, our little girl had been quite anxious about me having to go to hospital and her not knowing where I would be, the possibility of us also not being there on Christmas morning caused her to be very upset.
My husband calmed our daughter while I rang the consultant led unit at UHW for the first time. As I carry group B strep internally, I required antibiotics to be given whilst in labour, so my midwife had advised me to ring once I thought labour was establishing itself. At this point surges were every 10 minutes but the pain was manageble, especially using my breathing techniques and visualisations. The midwife on the phone advised that surges needed to be 5 minutes apart for about an hour and to ring back when this was the case, unless my waters went before this. We decided to tell my parents to come over as it was now approaching 10pm. When my parents arrived our little girl was still awake, thanks to a combination of Christmas excitement and anxiety over us leaving. She did not want anyone else but me and in the end I had to settle her to sleep whilst having surges. This was actually quite useful as I had to focus on her and stay in control of my surges. When we got to around midnight, I rang the CLU again as surges were 5 minutes apart but the pain was still manageable, they encouraged me to stay at home until surges were 3-4 minutes apart if I could, which I said I could. I encouraged everyone else to go to bed and I set up camp in my living room with the telly, my gym ball, a bed on the sofa, some snacks and some water. I managed to snooze between contractions for about an hour but then the intensity became too much for this, so I moved between walking around, sitting on my gym ball or kneeling and resting myself over the gym ball. I was able to do this until around 3am when I decided the intensity of the surges was getting too strong for me at home and they were now coming 3-4 minutes apart. I woke my husband and rang the CLU who told me to come in, although they still sounded sceptical as to whether I should be coming in yet.
We got to the hospital at approximately 3.45am and I decided to walk from the small car park around the corner from maternity with my husband rather than have him drop me off. Once we got to the CLU I was hooked up to some monitors and advised they would allow me to settle and then examine me to see how dilated I was. At this point surges were taking my breath away but I found that I could close my eyes, breath and visualise my way through them with my husbands encouragement, I was also sighing out audibly to help with this. When I was examined, I was 4cm and told that I could have some gas and air. This was very welcome, as surges were starting to feel intense and I felt I needed something to help. The midwife advised that she thought baby might be back to back after the examination. I said if this were the case I would want an epidural as my daughter was back to back and I found this too painful last time but I decided I would see how I got on with the gas and air first and hoped he would change position.
Over the course of the following hour things intensified rapidly and I decided that an epidural was necessary. The midwife examined me and informed us, I was progressing very quickly and was now 7cm and that an epidural might not be possible depending on the availability of the anaesthetist. Whilst waiting for the anaesthetist, I had to be given an injection to slow my surges temporarily as they were running into each other and baby’s heart rate wasn’t recovering very well, this did provide some respite and allowed me to regain some focus. Shortly after this the anaesthetist arrived to consent me for the epidural as she completed the consenting process the midwife examined me again and informed me I was now 9cm and the epidural would be of no use, as I was going to be delivering very soon. This was both exciting and daunting as I was struggling to maintain my breathing and had resorted to making some pretty primal noises to soothe myself. My husband was using the stroking technique from the hypnobirthing scripts and using words of encouragement throughout this part of my labour and whilst he wasn’t sure I was aware he was doing this, I assured him after the birth that I had noticed and I had found it extremely soothing, even though I couldn’t acknowledge it at the time. Not long after this the surges changed and I felt the overwhelming urge to push, the midwife encouraged me to follow the urges as they came. I realised that for some reason I was fighting these urges at first but once I gave into them things started to happen very quickly. By allowing my body to guide me, it was only a few pushes before our little boy arrived.
So with an active labour recorded as 2 hours and 16 minutes our little boy arrived at 6.59am on Christmas Day, two days earlier than our estimated due date but obviously he didn’t want to miss out on the Christmas fun. When I listened to the fast birth stories in yoga and hypnobirthing, I never thought mine would be one of them, especially since I had a 36 hour labour with my daughter. I am sure I progressed so well because of all the techniques I learned with you Claire and my husband even said to me that my recovery following this birth was completely different. I was having tea and toast straight after delivering and our little boy started feeding on me half an hour after birth. Thank you for helping make my second birth such a positive experience. We will see you in baby massage soon and hopefully mum and baby yoga once we are signed off by the doctor.