After a manic few weeks of moving house, (my guess date being the Friday 4th September and we moved into our new place on the 28th August!) I decided to treat myself to a pregnancy massage on my guess date. We had told bump that the 5th September would be the optimal date she could come- James would be home from work and it gave us enough time to settle in the house (not unpack, just settle!). The massage was the best feeling ever and included some visualisations of baby arriving and clary sage oil which was so calming and lovely. James said I looked like a new person when I got home as I looked so relaxed and healthy. We had friends over for an easy pizza dinner that evening and I’m sure it was the oxytocin from the massage and fun with friends got things moving…
I didn’t feel any different when I went to bed at 1am that night, but the mild surges started at 6am that morning, feeling like mild period pains. I knew they were surges as when I timed them they were evenly spaced apart. I woke James up at 645 and he kicked into action making the living room all lovely with candles and incense. I ate some cereal and drank tea, thinking of other stories I’d read where things still took a little while from here. As we were hoping for a home birth, we decided to call the midwife at around 8am. She said she’d be at least another half an hour so I carried on welcoming the surges and laying out the collection of birthing tools (jelly babies, water, straws, paracetamol etc) that I might need, as well as getting the tens machine going.
At 8.30am the midwife came and I was 3cm dilated. I felt a bit disappointed and immediately my hypnobirthing teachers voice popped in my head saying ‘it’s only a snapshot in time!’ She was totally right, and an hour and a half later after a bath and more powerful surges coming on, I was at 7cm.
After some funky standing up rocking movements with James holding onto me from behind (we still laugh at how ridiculous we must have looked but I naturally just got into that position to ease the discomfort!) my waters broke and I then got into the pool at just before 11am. That’s when the midwife noted active labour starting. The second midwife then arrived and the show really got on the road!
I took to a few different positions in the pool over the next 3 hours- head against the side taking in gas and air, and then back around sat on the inflatable stool with legs up and my hands grasping the back of my legs. James was always sat behind me whispering words of encouragement and handing me the gas and air. During the last half an hour, the midwife respected my birth preferences notes (she did the whole time but I particularly noticed it here) where she talking about breathing the baby down and what it would feel like when she was finally in my arms. James did the same and I swear it was the visualisation and allowing my body to take over in those 3 hours that got me and Mollie through in the way we did. I didn’t experience any tearing, again I put this down to letting my body do its thing rather than pushing at the wrong times. However, by the time her head was out, I had lost all my energy. I heard the midwife talking about Mollie’s heart rate creeping up which spurred me on to give the next surge a big helping hand. It didn’t come for about 3 minutes and James said it was the longest 3 minutes of his life! But I talked to Mollie saying we had to do this one together as the team we were. She absolutely shot out when that final surge came, and the cord snapped because of a combination of this and it being shorter than usual. Mollie’s end clamped itself naturally (amazing!) but I lost 400mls blood, which I didn’t notice at all with the euphoria of holding our newborn baby. I took the injection to birth the placenta as it wasn’t coming naturally and with the blood loss the midwives strongly advised it- by then I was so happy with the way everything had gone I didn’t mind some intervention to make it easier to spend time with our little baby as a new family. Active labour was recorded as 3hrs 8mins- And I put the whole experience down to hypnobirthing techniques, a positive mindset, being at home (I’m sure this was only possible because of the positive mindset I coached myself into) and the birthing pool.
Thankyou so much Emiliana for sharing your incredible story. You can read more from Emiliana here.