It took me a while to write this as I felt at first my birth didn’t go to plan, the first bit of labour where i was contracting at home was nothing like I imagined it! I was not prepared for how intense contractions could be! Looking back it was literally the birth I planned for and really positive!
I had my first contraction at 4:17 on the Saturday night and they were consistently 5 mins apart and lasting 45 seconds, I was convinced I was having her that night, so made the mistake of not going to bed!
I called the Horton about 1am but they told me I could be like it for days and to rest up.
I couldn't sleep due to contractions but I did rest.
Early hours that Sunday morning we went to the John Radcliffe Hospital as I hadn't felt her move, but she was perfectly fine!
They gave me some strong painkillers as I hadn't slept and contractions were getting more painful. My contractions slowed but it allowed me some much needed sleep during Sunday daytime.
By 7pm Sunday contractions were intense again but still never getting 3 mins apart and I started to doubt how much longer I could do it! I was in and out of my hypnobirthing, one minute breathing through them the next crying and feeling quite alone!
I found in these moments talking to my friends who had been through it really helped, and getting Sam to count my breaths with me also helped. I cleaned the house, had a bath and found the most relief from getting showers.
Early hours Monday morning I was defeated and went to the JR to ask for more pain relief to try sleep, I thought my Horton water birth was out the window for sure! But when I got to the JR the lovely midwife explained my options, take pain relief and sleep which could slow it down, or head home and stay on my feet and try and get things moving, if nothing happens by Monday night I can always come back but she was confident after my examination I would have her out within 24 hours. I was only 3cm but she said things were progressing nicely.
So I didn't have the pain relief, I went home and I tried resting between contractions - now 20 mins apart, then when I got some strength back I spent 3 hours on my feet, dancing, cleaning and trying to get some oxytocin flowing! Still my contractions remained about 5 mins apart! Nothing seemed to work but then at 4.30pm i went for a wee and had a never ending contraction - turned out that wee was my waters breaking!
We called the Horton then rushed down there at roughly 5pm where I demanded gas and air and anything else they could give me, as the pain had now peaked! I was struggling to control my breathing and actually felt quite scared, but they offered me the injection to help take the edge off. I happily took it and managed to calm my breathing.
I spent roughly an hour or so on the bed contracting, trusting my body with each one as every contraction I felt like I might push her out! The midwives asked if I still wanted the pool for when I birth her and I said I did!
At about 6:30 I got in the pool and the relief and calm that I felt was amazing! I had a smile on my face and told Sam ‘I'm about to have our baby’ I was hardly touching the gas and air at this point.
Roughly an hour of contracting and pushing in the pool I birthed our beautiful baby girl!
She arrived at 7:46pm weighing 6 lbs 4 oz.
It was nothing like I imagined and yet everything I had planned for. I had gone from 3cm when we arrived at the Horton to 10cm in just over 2 hours which apparently is very good going! It amazed me how quickly things progressed after what felt like the slowest start!
We spent a few more hours at the lovely Horton doing skin to skin and soaking in our new daughter! It was so peaceful and lovely! We asked to go home the same night and were in our own bed by 1 am!
At the time I felt like I had completely disregarded all the hypnobirthing techniques, but Sam reminded me that I kept coming back to it and without the knowledge gained I wouldn't have made all the informed decisions along the way.
Sam also was the BEST ‘coach’ ever while I was pushing her out in the pool, he was breathing with me, holding my arms for support and really encouraging me every step of the way! This I believe is down to the classes we took with you - he was well prepared and took it all in his stride! He asked all the right questions when I was too out of it to ask and he stayed calm when I couldn't!