I love sharing my birth story with others as I feel that positive stories just aren't shared enough and there are likely so many more positive stories out there than negative ones. Unfortunately we all know that negative stories sell more!
I was PETRIFIED of giving birth. To a point where I didn't think I would have a child. Then I was fortunate enough to meet the person I wanted to be with for the rest of my life and make a family with which helped change my mind.
This was my first child and I had a pretty straight forward pregnancy overall. I was hospitalised for sickness in the beginning for a short period but then medication kept it under control for the rest of the pregnancy. I was pregnant with a little boy :)
As I was so worried about giving birth, I decided to read 2 books - The Positive Birth Book by Milli Hill and Hypnobirthing by Sophie Fletcher. I read them both twice and took what a felt I needed from them. I downloaded the hypnobirthing affirmations onto my phone and some nights when I had a bath, I used to listen to them with my headphones on. Both of these books really helped calm my mind and get a better understanding of the birthing process your body goes through. I was pregnant through the stifling summer of 2018 and to be honest, towards the end, I just wanted him out !
I kept hearing from people that boys are lazy and are always late and true to form (apparently) he was late.
I had the talk with the midwife about the induction process which scared the pants off of me. I hadn't heard many good induction stories but kept googling them to find them ! There were plenty of good induction stories. I was booked in for the induction nearly 2 weeks after his due date and I kept thinking positive thoughts about it, as relaxing the mind, relaxes the body.
1 week exactly after his due date, it was a Sunday evening. I was sitting at home on the sofa watching tv whilst my husband was cooking dinner (rather lucky I know) I felt an involuntary wee ! Nothing dramatic but went up to the loo and a little more come out and it was clear in colour. I knew at this point it was my waters. I didn't panic, I was just bloody relieved that it had all started and he was on his way ! I called the birthing centre to update them and they wanted me to come in to check to make sure it was my waters. I told them I wanted some dinner first (for energy) as I knew I would need it ! So I had dinner, washed my hair and shaved my bits, dropped the dog to my parents and headed to the hospital. They had a look and apparently couldn't see any waters pooling, so sent me home to see how I went. I got home around 9pm, had some more food and went to bed. At this point I wasnt in any pain, mild niggles now and then but no more than that. I went to sleep for around an hour or 2 and then woke around 3am when my husband got up for a wee ! He came back to bed and all of a sudden I felt a 'pop' in my tummy. It didnt hurt, just felt weird and minutes after, more water come away along with my plug. I then started to feel a little more cramping. I called the birthing centre back up and then told me to start timing my contractions and come down when they are 3 mins or so apart. They were pretty close right from the start to be honest. When they came on, I just stopped, breathed slowly in through my nose and out through my mouth. My mum told me that breathing is one of the most important things when in labour. I was mindful that if I tensed up, then so would my uterus (from what inn at read) I came downstairs, bounced on my ball and watched Only Fools & Horses (always helped calm me and make me laugh) and then they become a little more intense and closer. I called up the birthing centre, it was 5am around about then and they asked me to come in...
I got out of the car when I got to the hospital and walked across the car park and into reception. All of a sudden the contractions seem to change and I felt pressure that I couldn't control. They midwife wanted to check me for dilation and got me onto a bed in a small room and said I was 8cms! I think she nearly fell over! She asked me if I wanted to go into the pool, which I did. So she started running it and I got into it whilst it was still running. There is no "comfortable" position when in labour, so I was on my knees in there for around and hour and a half and my knees were starting to hurt ! So the midwives said I should get out and move around as not much was happening, so I did. Sat on the toilet, on a beanbag and then onto a stool where my husband propped me up from behind. This seemed to be my effective pushing position. She checked dilation again and by this point I was 10cms and good to go! I can honestly say (this may make me sound like a hero and I'm really not) but I can't say I felt pain in labour, just intense pressure like I wanted to have a big poo ! Not once did pain relief go through my mind and I felt I was coping ok. Thankfully baby was coping ok with it all too and I just zoned out. I didn't feel panicked once. We had music from my phone in the background (a personal playlist of happy songs I had picked). The hardest bit for me was pushing. It was bloody exhausting! My mum was feeding me yoghurt between contractions and my husband an energy drink. I knew I only had a certain time to push before they would want to help out with possible forceps etc (which was another thing I dreaded and didn't want) and I did get to a point where I didn't think I had anymore energy left to push...I dug deep at that point and his head started to show. With a little more digging deep with pushing, he was out! I felt a little stinging on the way out but boy what an amazing feeling it was to have him out. It's so overwhelming and worth every second! We waited for the cord to stop pulsing and then my husband cut it. They gave me the injection for the placenta and about 15mins after I had a little push and that came out too. God it felt wonderful when that was out ! I had a 2nd degree tear which they stitched up shortly after. All in all I was in labour from start to go finish for 7 hours. Which isn't bad going for a first baby I know. I was expecting alot longer with all the stories I had read! I truly believed that staying calm, not panicking and believing that my body was meant to do this, helped him come calmly and quickly.
Would I do it again? I would ! The aftermath with the breast feeding, healing, tiredness etc made the labour and birth feel like a walk in the park!
I'm very aware that I am extremely lucky and grateful to have had a straight forward pregnancy and birth without any intervention and not everybody is fortunate enough to have this BUT a positive birth is completely possible and does exist. I hope for those that are just as scared as I was about giving birth, that this story has helped somewhat reassure your mind that giving birth doesn't have to be the most painful experience you will ever have.
Thankyou so much to Leanne for sharing her amazing story!