In the second day of labour I went to hospital for a check over and was only 1cm dilated
Introducing Isaac Thomas Morley, born at 21:35 at Nottingham’s Queens a medical Centre on March 29th weighing 9.05lbs.
I was in the latent phase for about 60 hours with contractions every 10 minutes from the word go, but no signs of things speeding up until the very end. However I was still calm and collected thanks to the focus hypnobirthing gave me and a little help from a tens machine, paracetamol and codeine. In the second day of labour I went to hospital for a check over and was only 1cm dilated, I’d been very sick in the night and I couldn’t keep food or drink down which slowed the labour down considerably. I went home again but instead of letting it get to me, I knuckled down and focused on my breathing and listening to my mp3 tracks. I quietly breathed though each contraction and nodded off between them getting some much needed rest and my husband managed to sleep for a while. Later I started loudly reciting my birth mantras and ‘321 relax relax relax’ through each contraction which really helped. I also did a bit of golden thread breath and loud ‘Omm’-ing which I learnt in my pregnancy yoga class.
Eventually my contractions were around 4-6 minutes apart and I went back to the labour suite. I still couldn’t keep food or drink down so was very dehydrated and had ketones in my urine (another reason why things were so slow) the midwives popped me on a drip and gave me an injection to curb my nausea. They spotted that I was hypnobirthing straight away and assured me they had seen euphoric hypnobirths many times. I managed half an energy drink, some toast and half a snickers but the ketones were very slow to reduce, but the midwives stayed positive and were really keen so support us as much as possible in our desire for a natural birth. As I had Strep B in pregnancy I was on also an antibiotic drip every 4 hours, I was encouraged to still move about and have a dip in the birth pool with a rubber glove over my canula!
As the labour was still showing no signs of speeding up the consultants started taking an interest, they descended on us with an intimidating entourage and offered us pethidin to let me rest but we remained calm and pragmatic and after contemplating I calmly refused. In spite of very little sleep I still felt calm and in control using my hypnobirthing techniques and the contractions were still manageable. I was around 6cms and we were told that if I wasn’t 7 or 8 cms when they next checked they would like put me on an oxytocin drip to speed things up and break my waters, even under this pressure I felt calm and it didn’t bother me.
When the midwife checked me next I was just over 7cms and she was adamant that we were going to keep ‘the green scrubs’ (consultants) out of that room! I suddenly started to get the urge to push with my contractions and things started to speed up, the oxytocin drip went unused and by this point I’d ditched the tens machine as I’d forgotten to reattached it after getting out of the pool!
We agreed with the midwife that it was time to break my waters manually and then the active phase really kicked in! There was meconium in the waters, another reason why the birth could’ve taken a medical turn, and he was lying slightly back to back. But we took it in our stride and the midwife got me into all kinds of poses, including sitting on the loo to get him into a better position! We were actually laughing and in good humour and I insisted on having the window wide open and ditched my modesty sheet as I was getting too hot and I’m pretty sure some poor bloke on his tea break got an eyeful!
After what felt like about 10 minutes of pushing (actually a short 2 and a half hours) he was finally here! The contractions didn’t feel painful at this stage, hard work and just really intense and satisfying! The birthing itself was a burning stingy sensation but once he crowned he was out in a couple of pushes. We were so proud and full of joy to finally see him! Our miracle baby who took 3 years of heartache, anxiety and medical intervention to conceive was finally here with us, and had arrived as naturally and calmly as we felt was possible! It was a beautiful feeling!
The doctors popped in once he was born to check him over due to the Strep B and Meconium, we were kept under observation at the hospital for several days to be on the safe side. He’s now fighting fit and a very chilled out and happy little chap!
I really can’t praise the hypnobirthing experience and the midwives at QMC enough. What could’ve been an exhausting and emotional labour, which could easily have turned medical was calm and manageable and remained as natural as it safely could. We felt prepared and in control. My birth experience was wonderful and I feel that I’m proof that hypnobirthing can be the difference between a natural and medical birth.
The care, support and understanding we received was incredible. I had suffered terribly with anxiety and depression after years of failed fertility treatments, with yoga and meditation being a huge help. When I finally fell pregnant just before we started IVF treatment (!) I knew that I had to explore the mindfulness route to get me through the pregnancy and birth and start to believe in myself and have faith in my body again. Hypnobirthing was the answer and I had been looking for and I would recommend it to anyone. I had no idea how strong my mind could be and how much I could make positive changes to the way I think and feel until now!
We’d like to thank our midwives : Louise (who delivered him) Wendy and Sam (who was on her first ever shift!) on the sanctuary birth suite. Kate Askew, Sheena and Rebecca the breast feeding experts on the postnatal ward C29.
Photos are by Natalie J Weddings www.NatalieJWeddings.com