After attending hypnobirthing at Amy’s studio with my husband we were quickly set on what type of birth we wanted. Labour for as long as possible at home, gas and air pain relief with a water birth. We were still unsure on where we wanted to give birth. The options being the Horton Midwife Led Unit, or The Spires, an Alongside Midwife Led Unit.
After weeks of deliberation I decide on the Horton, I didn’t need to be near a labour ward full of Obstetricians “just incase”. I got my head into the mindset, “I can and I will have the birth I want”. A mind pathway not possible if had not been for the insights into hypnobirthing and informative impartial details on birth places and outcomes.
Anyways early labour began at 3am on a Friday. I spent the day resting between contractions, using my birth ball, eating snacks and watching TV. Getting up with each contraction to move, sway and breathe! They were 20 minutes apart until my husband came home where they quickly reduced to 10. We stupidly decided to walk the dog together where they rapidly shortened to 3 mins apart - so the lesson there is, early labour is for rest not to get things going faster! Thankfully they reduced back to 10 minutes after a “quick dash home” (waddling and pausing in the street).
We used our time at home to get things dark, light candles, get birthing ball out, enjoy each others company and get a bonus massage. Despite contractions at this stage being uncomfortable, this was a magical experience and time I had with my husband I’ll cherish forever.
By midnight we wanted some stats and the contractions were becoming increasingly uncomfortable in my back and hips. I was beginning to dip in energy as I had been labouring for almost 24hrs by this point. So we went to the Horton for an assessment, I was 1cm dilated which was nice to know and left with a TENS Machine. The back pain was pretty crippling but the TENS machine massively helped with that!
It gets spicy from here, by 6am things were ramping up and my mental state was beginning to dip. It was taking more conscious and adamant effort to keep intentionally breathing through contractions and hold my nerve. More dropping all fours and swaying! So at 8am we went for another assessment, I was a crushing 3cm dilated and was devastated as I was ready for gas and air.
But, either I'm an absolute powerhouse or the assessment spurred things on. The midwife told me to go home, even though I was on all fours in the assessment room with contractions down to 2 mins apart…MOOING. So we went home, mooing. The midwife believed I would dilate more slowly and perhaps thought I was being a tad dramatic lol!
We got home at 9:30am where things really began moving rapidly. Contractions became intense, I was ahh-ing, ooo-ing, doing everything I could to not tense my face and send energy downwards. Climbing the walls, crawling on all fours, swaying and generally just gasping for life, where I looked at my husband and said I could not do it, I needed the pain to end, I wanted it over and “I'm gonna die”. So at 12:30 pm we were back to the Horton.
The midwives knew in a glance I was in active labour. Which meant I got my gas and air!! Yay! (It bangs by the way). To their surprise I was 8cm dilated, my waters broke during a contraction and the sensation and urge to push was getting stronger.
The midwives around me were rushing to fill the bath with water, I was stripping off, foetal heartbeats were trying to be taken, it was chaos! By 1pm the bath was ready, I dashed in and dropped to my knees, turned my knees in and ankles out and by 13:07pm, after one of the mightiest contractions and no pushing our Daughter was born (in one go - head and shoulders out) Thats 40 minutes from arrival to born… wild!
I reflect on the whole journey and I'm smiling from ear to ear writing it down. It was an incredible experience to labour like that, trusting in yourself and I count myself incredibly lucky to have had the spontaneous labour I wanted. Even if I'd much rather had gas an air from 6cm rather than 8cm!
I really hope my story empowers other women to trust their bodies, be at home and be head strong.
I know without Amy’s course my labour would have been a lot different than this.