I’m really excited to be able to share Teddy’s Birth Story with you. I absolutely loved working with Holly and Steve on my June online group course, and supporting them in their preparations leading up to Teddy’s birth. If you’d like to prepare for your own positive birth story – book a course here.
I have always been very anxious and scared at the thought of giving birth, this has heightened in recent years as I became a neonatal nurse and regularly attend delivery’s which have become an emergency situation. Add to this a global pandemic and the possibility of labouring and birthing on my own due to hospital visiting policy, and my anxieties and fears were sky high!
When I initially thought about my birth preference, I thought I wanted an epidural. I had heard and seen so many stories of women struggling without, then having an epidural and wishing they’d had one earlier. So I thought: why not cut out the middle man?!
Then hospital visiting policies changed and I realised my husband would not be able to be with me until I was in ‘active labour’. The thought of labouring without him terrified me more than any pain, so I started to research ways to stay at home longer- and that’s when I found Mama’s-TLC and hypnobirthing!
Teddy’s birth day!
I woke up Thursday morning at 2am having some tightenings very infrequently and very mildly. I wasn’t sure if they would progress as this had happened to me the two previous mornings to no avail! But after an hour I started to time them using the Freya app (invaluable!), and at 4am I decided to wake my husband and tell him things might have started! Having only gone to bed at midnight I was aware it would be a long day so tried to rest as much as possible. We went downstairs and put a Disney movie on whilst I tried to sleep. Although they were 10-15mins apart at first, the surges were too uncomfortable to cope with lying down so I switched to lying over my physio ball so I could at least rest if I couldn’t sleep. Steve got me a hot water bottle and placed this on my back, but this quickly got replaced by the tens machine (also invaluable!). For the next few hours we kept the house nice and dark, had clarry sage burning, my favourite music on, Steve did light touch massage, told me positive affirmations and timed my contractions for me. All I had to do was focus on my up breathing, using my tens machine and remaining UFO. I had a bath but this slowed my surges, and although the rest was nice I knew we needed to keep moving forward.
At about 3pm my surges were every 10 minutes but lasting 3 minutes a time. I knew to be classed as in ‘active labour’ they needed to be lasting at least 45 seconds and having 3 in 10 minutes. However, I had had some fresh blood loss (I now know to have been my mucus plug), and I felt I was beginning to struggle during the surges because they were lasting so long. So we decided to ring triage and ask for advice, my midwife was lovely and gave me advice but said if I would like to come in and get examined that would be fine aswell. We decided we would go in and I would be examined. I think we were rather optimistically hoping that because each surge was lasting 3 minutes, there was a chance I could be in established labour. Unfortunately, and rather unsurprisingly, by the time I arrived at triage my surges had slowed and had become more manageable. I was examined and told I was 2cm and my cervix was favourable with only 1cm left to go, and I consented to a sweep. The midwife then gave me the options of going home or being admitted to the antenatal unit to continue labouring until I was in active labour. I rang Steve and we decided that I would be able to labour more comfortably at home with Steve by my side, compared to the antenatal unit and being on my own.
When we got home we ordered a McDonald’s so we would have energy for the night ahead, but my surges quickly ramped up and I was unable to eat nothing more than one chicken nugget (gutted). Despite my best efforts I had not managed to sleep or keep any food down all day, I was running on water and lucozade and was beginning to feel really weak and upset, unsure how I could possibly continue with so little energy. Using all the tricks Steve had learnt throughout hypnobirthing he managed to pull me out of this dark place and keep my mind positive. He repeated positive affirmations to me, told me how proud he was of me, and reminded me that I was already doing what I thought I couldn’t. He took charge of my Tens machine and the Freya app so all I had to do was focus on breathing. He was absolutely amazing and I have no idea how I would have coped without him.
My surges continued to increase in intensity and length. They were lasting on average 3-5 minutes, with only 1-2 minutes rest at most. This was by far the most intense part. Steve rang triage and we were advised to come in. This time nothing slowed down and I knew I would soon be allowed access to the pool and gas and air (I think this thought kept me going). Throughout each surge I focused on my breathing and telling myself I had already made it through so many surges, I could get through this one. When we arrived on labour ward the midwife kindly let Steve stay with me instead of asking him to wait in the car. On examination I was 7-8cm! I was given gas and air and got into the pool!
The next couple of hours were a blur, my surges must have settled because I remember having conversations in between them, and even posing for a selfie! The room was lovely and dark, Steve set up our music and leant over the pool massaging me. The midwife was in the room most of the time, but left us to it, just listening in to baby and checking my temperature when needed. After a while my surges suddenly changed and I knew I needed to push, my body just took over. I had been laid on my back in the pool up until this point, but the midwife advised me to become upright again. I got onto all fours and realised the gas and air was hindering my down breathing so I stopped using it. The surges then intensified again and I got back into the zone. I’m not sure how long this stage lasted but it didn’t seem to be for very long before baby was crowning! I continued to down breath and soon enough Teddy’s head was out and I thought the hard bit was done! Continuing to down breath it became obvious to the midwives baby was stuck. I changed positions again and needed to be coached to push now as it was becoming important baby got out quickly! Although I was aware of it becoming an emergency situation and the tension in the room rising I was still able to remain calm and focus. I knew all of my energy needed to be used to get baby out. Without hypnobirthing I would have definitely been panicking at this point and the outcome may have been very different. Instead, 6 minutes after his head was born the rest of my baby’s beautiful body was born into my arms and I lifted him to my chest. Steve was supposed to tell me baby’s gender but I saw first and blurted it out in excitement! We had our first photo as a family whilst I was still in the pool. I had opted for a physiological delivery of my placenta but I changed my mind at this point as I was tired and wanted to get out of the pool.
On examination afterwards they found I had a 3rd degree tear from baby being stuck and I would have to go to theatre. This was incredibly emotional for me, but the support from staff and my husband was incredible. Looking back, this final stage won’t put a dampener on the beautiful birth of our gorgeous boy.
I am immensely proud of Teddy’s birth and can’t believe the woman who was planning to have an epidural actually chose to stop taking pain relief and breath through the birth! I would have never achieved this without Mama’s-tlc and hypnobirthing. The support and knowledge Tacita provides is invaluable. I was skeptical at first but I am now a fully fledged convert and will be telling any body and every body about the amazing power of hypnobirthing!
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