Mama L Says: “My contractions we’re coming thick and fast now. Barely a minute between them and the pain was intense. However, whilst waiting on the induction ward for a room to become available on the delivery suite, I was being offered gas and air but I refused it. I laid on the bed and just breathed through each contraction. For every contraction I used my Hypnobirting visualisation practices and that was key to getting through the process.
The midwife said to me “are you a hypnobirther?” Of which I managed to reply that I was. She kept praising me and saying how amazing I was doing.”
So…he may have been 12 days late but our little boy arrived on 6th April at 21.27, weighing a whopping 9lb 11ozs. I thought I’d email you whilst he’s having a sleep to give you my birthing story…
I had had three stretch and sweeps and yet our little boy still didn’t want to make an appearance, so I was taken in on the induction ward at UHW on day 12. Due to covid restrictions my partner was able to be with me for the arrival onto the ward and the first two hours but then had to go home again and wait for the phone call to come in.
I was checked by a nurse for an initial assessment, who confirmed what my midwives had told me, that I was 2-3cm dilated so I was able to have my waters broken as my induction pathway. My partner was going to be there for breaking of my waters as I’d be on the delivery suite – it was reassuring that I wouldn’t be going it alone at any time. The only down side was that there were three other women before me waiting for a bed on the delivery suite, so it was going to be a long wait.
Waiting in the induction ward, a woman who came in that morning alongside me went into spontaneous labour. She was making all sorts of noises and sucking on the gas and air which then made her sick. Listening to her started to unnerve me but I quickly took action and control as we talked about on your Hypnobirthing Course! I had made a list of mantras that I could use and go to in birth to keep me calm and in control. Using them helped and soon enough the lady was taken up to delivery suite and peace resumed! I felt calm.
Then the ward had a call. They were so short staffed as eight midwives had covid and the ward was so busy that they were stopping any inductions being undertaken -so in other words a huge wait! A couple of hours later they were given the go ahead to get started again, however our little man didn’t want to wait for the go ahead and I went into spontaneous labour without induction myself at 3.30pm before this announcement!
To begin with my contractions were oddly spaced but long lasting – average two minutes. They were very different to my braxton hicks and were all on my front low down. This was a surprise as baby was back to back and I suffered from hideous pelvic girdle pain so was told to expect my pain in the back. After an hour the intensity of each contraction was certainly ramping up and I asked for some paracetamol. I was actually given co codamol, which made me quite woozy between contractions meaning I lost chunks in my memory of this time, but trust me… I felt every contraction. My body flushed hot regularly. Then I felt my Adrenalin kicking in with my legs shaking and feeling chills. The contractions weren’t as long now in length but they were quickly getting closer together and gaining fast in intensity. I did all of this alone in a bed cubicle.
At 6pm I asked to be examined but the midwife was unsure as to whether to do it for risk of infection and it being a little early on to examine but I politely asked her to do the examination…I just knew I was in active labour – I was very in tune with my body. The new midwife on shift came in to examine me and said with real surprise “you’re 4cms and in active labour” and then had to stay with me as protocol.
My contractions we’re coming thick and fast now. Barely a minute between them and the pain was intense. However, whilst waiting on the induction ward for a room to become available on the delivery suite, I was being offered gas and air but I refused it. If I moved a body part I would trigger a contraction, so I laid on the bed and just breathed through each contraction. No noise made. For every contraction I used my Hypnobirting visualisation practices and that was key to getting through the process. The midwife said to me “are you a hypnobirther?” Of which I managed to reply that I was. She kept praising me and saying how amazing I was doing and that it was such a shame I had to be consultant led for my tachycardia as I would have made an ideal candidate for a home birth or be in the midwife led unit. I didn’t make any noises, just breathed through it with Hypnobirthing visualisations and still wearing the co codamol wooziness. She said my hypnobirthing technique was amazing…I remember feeling proud.
Very quickly afterwards a huge pop sound that we could all hear and a gush of water…my waters had burst in spectacular style. I could hear the midwife saying to ring for my partner to come and that they needed to get me on the delivery suite as this baby was coming and very quickly!
After that things moved very quickly. I was ushered into a wheelchair and taken up to the delivery suite…room 13!!! We met my partner in the lift and was I glad to see him! A long story short, and with just gas and air, our son was born after just 1 hour 52 minutes of active labour. The gas and air was needed to help me get my breathing regulated as there was no gap between contractions – I had no recovery time. It was intense, a bit of a blur but I got my little one out safe and sound into the world…and he had turned the right way in labour! The midwife prepared me that baby would be shellshocked from such a rapid birth and may need assistance but he was fine and screamed the place down…it was actually me that was in shock! It has taken me some time to process and move forward from such a quick birth.
I wasn’t able to practise all the hypnobirthing techniques we’d done as due to my covid restrictions and how our chose to get started meant I was without my partner and his support as a hypnobirthing partner and the techniques we had chosen to use. However, the Hypnobirthing mantras, media tracks, visualisations, and breathing techniques were all absolutely essential to my birth being as natural and calm as it was. Most importantly it meant that I was able to go through a precipitous labour initially by myself without breaking down or not coping. I did it! I was even more proud that my midwife could spot my hypnobirthing breathing and approaches. Afterwards she commented again at how well I coped with labour and I felt so happy that I managed it without swearing, screaming or making a plethora of noises. I did have a few moans, mooed like a cow on the first push but other than that I felt proud. Even when baby showed some distress when in the birth canal…no one panicked, we just worked through it in calm. It all worked out beautifully!
Unfortunately giving birth to a 9lb 11oz baby with a chiselled chin meant a third degree tear and two other internal tears requiring then a spinal block and trip to theatre!! However my partner got to spend the first hour of our son’s life together with him in the delivery room and he even gave him my expressed colostrum which made a huge difference and his blood sugars in the first hour of his life.
I don’t know if my nether regions will ever be the same (joys of a big baby!) or whether I’ll properly process such a precipitous labour. Never in a million years had I prepared for that to be a possibility and with the shock I went into afterwards it was so different to anything I’d thought of. However I would never have managed labour, especially in the beginning, without my hypnobirthing knowledge and practise.
I can’t thank you enough Claire for making the most physically challenging experience into a manageable, calm and controlled labour. Hypnobirthing was my saving grace!
Hope you’re keeping well. I’m booked on for baby massage in June.
Lots of love,