Updated: Apr 5, 2022
Like so many people, I'd imagined a spontaneous labour and relaxing water birth. I hadn't done a course, but I'd read a good book about hypnobirthing and attended some online classes. My husband and I had listened to relaxation tapes and prepared by getting some oils, battery operated candles and put the fairy lights at the top of our birthing bag!
After another spell of reduced fetal movements at 39 weeks, it had been reccomended that I have an induction. This made me really anxious and I felt like all my hopes for the birth had gone out the window. However, after expressing my concerns to the doctor, we agreed I'd have a stretch and sweep and then wait a couple of days before the induction to increase the chances of a spontaneous labour. Sadly that didn't happen, but by the time Thursday came along and I was going to hospital, I wasn't anxious anymore and just very excited to know I'd have a baby by the end of the week! Instead, we'd just adjusted our plans and expectations. Staying in control where I could was really helpful.
We set up the hospital room with our fairy lights and I kept them on all the time. This made me feel much more relaxed during examinations and discussions with midwives. On Thursday evening I had a propess inserted, and then 24 hours later the gel as it hasn't done much. A further 12 hours, and I was sitting at 1cm with nothing more than mild but constant period type pains. While I was getting anxious about what was to come, my husband and I kept ourselves busy and the oxytocin flowing with plenty of cute walks around the hospital, funny TV shows and festive hot chocolates from the Costa downstairs!
Saturday morning arrived and while waiting for a foley to be inserted, we decided to go for another walk around 9.30am. As I was signing out of the ward , it felt like I had wet myself! I almost cried with happiness that my waters had broken themselves. Contractions started immediately and were progressing quickly. By 10am, I was timing them as being only about 2 minutes apart! While this was exciting, it also took a lot of breathing and 'going into myself' while bouncing on the ball to deal with the pain, as I wasn't on delivery suite yet and I wanted to avoid the gas and air for now.
At about 1pm we arrived on delivery suite and we were greeted with the most wonderful midwife who had already set up some mood lighting and said we could use the room how we wanted. I wasn't able to have a water birth but quickly got in the bath! Again, keeping in control where possible. Our midwife reccomended some hypnobirthing tapes to us, so Simon downloaded them and I listened to them in the bath. Although I didn't care much for what was being said, concentrating on the words helped me control my breathing and keep calm. We also had the fairy lights on in here even though the awful bright light wouldn't turn off!
My contractions were very intense by this point and I was already getting urges to push, but by around 5pm I was still only 4cm. Of course I felt disheartened but I handed the role of communication over to Simon and got back on the ball, leaning into him while having gas and air. The next two hours I didn't really move. Simon spoke for me, fed me, passed me water and most importantly counted my breathing for me so I remained calm. I was involunterily pushing with each contraction by this point, and the 'waves' felt like a stormy sea that didn't calm! I was examined again, I believe around 7pm and had gotten to 8cm with baby down very low!
Not long after this examination I knew I needed to push, so moved like a spider (my husbands words!) onto the bed and instinctively on all fours to push. Sadly baby seemed to be getting a bit distressed by this point and he needed close mointering so I had to lay on my side or back while I pushed to keep an eye on him. I didn't care though, pushing was the most incredible experience of my life and it felt amazing to be productive with the pain. I put the gas down and pictured the moment of cuddling my baby for the first time, and within maybe 15 minutes of pushing, baby Roo was here at 7.41pm on Saturday evening.
Birthing my baby is my biggest achievement. I felt (and still feel now!) like superwoman! I hope I'm lucky enough to do it all again one day.
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