I took paracetamol and went back to sleep

Hi Mia

I attended your class with my husband in August. I finally have a few spare moments to announce the birth of our daughter Molly, and tell you our amazing birth story.

Molly’s due date was 30th September, and it came and went. I wasn’t ready, she wasn’t ready so I knew she would be overdue. However what was worrying me was the threat of induction and I had decided that the risks imposed on me and Molly from this far outweighed the risks of something happening by going ‘overdue’. So, to the shock of my midwife, I told her I would be declining induction and to not bother booking me in for one.

A week later, still no signs of baby arriving. I was booked in for an appointment with the consultants at the LRI at 10 days overdue to discuss my decline of the induction, and the midwife told me they would probably try and persuade me to change my mind and pointed out the phone number of the supervisor of midwives in my notes in case I needed extra support. This filled me with dread and I almost cancelled the appointment. However, Molly saved me the trouble, and in the middle of the night at 8 days overdue, I woke with period type cramps. I took paracetemol and went back to sleep.

I woke the next morning (9 days overdue) with the discomfort slightly stronger and regular waves coming at 6 minutes apart. They seemed to ease after half an hour, so I got some more sleep and woke at 11am. The ‘pain’ (although it didn’t really hurt that much) had completely gone so I ran a bath with clary sage oil and had a long soak. At 4pm, they returned, 5 minutes apart, lasting 30 seconds. They didn’t go, and I knew this was early labour from that point.

I managed to make dinner and eat in between contractions, breathing and relaxing. At 7pm, I decided it was time to put on the mindful mamma CD and use my birthing ball. At 8:30pm I transferred the music upstairs and got in the bath. The water was amazing relief and I breathed through the contractions, randomly using my legs as a control (grabbing ankles at the start and bring them up my leg as the contraction grew to a peak, then back down as it eased). I was very much in the zone. At 10pm (although it felt like 10 minutes had passed!) Roy told me the contractions were now 3 minutes apart lasting a minute, so we called the hospital who told us to come in.

I decided to have one internal examination upon arrival to assess whether or not I was in active labour, but once I was in active labour I wanted to be left. I was 2cm dilated at this point, and so decided to go home so I could get back in the bath. We arrived home about midnight, and I sat on the loo waiting for the bath to run when I noticed blood. I have to admit here that I panicked, started to get scared and so the pain kicked in. Because the pain kicked in, I was scared even more into thinking something was wrong (for some reason I had placental abruption in my head). We got straight back into the car and arrived at the hospital in a bit of a panic.

Roy put on the music again and I asked for pain relief. I had gas and air, which combined with the music calmed me down. Roy helped by reading out some calming phrases I had written on cue cards for him. I consented to another internal examination and I was 5cm dilated. So the blood was a sign of things happening very quickly. The midwife arrived, and amazingly I had met her before from a Facebook group for ‘natural mums’ (I didn’t realise she was a midwife!). I knew she had the same ideas/beliefs about the birthing process as me and she embraced my birth plan with open arms. I realise I was very lucky in this aspect – she did everything in her power to keep to my birth plan and was absolutely wonderful.

At 4am the pool room was ready (I didn’t plan for a water birth, but at this point I wanted the water as pain relief). I got into the pool and the midwife said she would leave us to it. However, as soon as she left the room I felt the urge to push. Roy called her back in, and she confirmed that things were progressing nicely. The second midwife was called in who was a bit more old fashioned, and Roy told me later that he could hear them having heated discussions/disagreements about a few things in the background (luckily I was in the zone and didn’t hear them!).

After about 45 minutes of pushing, Molly Jane Clemson was born at exactly 5am, 7lbs 8oz. My waters broke when her head emerged. She came out calm, taking in her surroundings in a calm manner. Now, the next part reminds me of the video you showed us -the second midwife was adamant we cut the cord as Molly wasn’t crying or’pinking up’. I thought it’s because she’s calm, and asked to delay this as much as possible. We had about 3 minutes before I decided it was for the best as we were both starting to shiver. We had skin to skin as soon as I got onto the bed. I was then told because the cord wascut, I needed to have the injection to deliver the placenta (I’m not sure why this is the policy at the LRI – something to do with risk of blood loss?), however my body had other ideas andI pushed the placenta out naturallyabout 10 minutes later.

I had a tear so the room became pretty medicalised whilst I was stitched up. However, I had the sight of Roy and Molly having skin to skin to take my mind of it. This definitely didn’t dampen my birthing experience, and I can safely say (after 12 weeks!) that I enjoyed my labour and am so grateful of my positive experience. And, I know that the main reason for this is because of hypnobirthing. My midwife also commented on the speed of the labour especially for a first time(from established labour to end of 3rd stage was 4 hours 20 minutes). After 6 hours we were transferred to St Mary’s for our aftercare, which was fantastic.

I just wanted to say a big thank you for your fantastic course, and for giving me the tools and confidence to get the birthing experience I wanted.

Natalie, Roy and Molly 🙂