My surges started on the Monday night at 1am and continued on and off throughout the day until they fizzled out altogether that night. They returned on the Tuesday after a walk and progressed quite quickly to every couple of minutes lasting around 50 seconds at 10pm. My surges were manageable through breathing and my visualisations; my calming purple colour and my Disney Up house- blowing up the balloons!!! Dan called the midwife, as we were having a homebirth… However this is where our well constructed birth plan changed!!!
The community midwife service had been suspended for the night so my home birth was out of the window. I first of all refused to believe it, saying they’ll have to find a midwife- I wanted my home birth. My husband Dan calmed me down and suggested we go along to the hospital just to see how far along I was, telling me to focus on remaining relaxed. So Dan grabbed the hospital bags and the all important labour snack box and we made our way to the hospital.
Headphones were on, listening to hypnobirthing music and I kept my eyes closed the whole journey, focusing on my breathing. When we arrived at the hospital I agreed to be examined, at around 11:30pm, and was told I was 2cm. The midwife said we would be best to go home as first time births last between 8-16 hours, so it would be highly likely that I would get my home birth when the service resumed in the morning. Just as I was about to move off of the bed, my waters broke. The midwife then suggested to stay for half an hour to see how my surges progressed.
We chose a room in New Beginnings (and our first dance from our wedding came on the radio- Dan thinks I’m mad for telling everyone this but I think it was a sign to stay in hospital!!!) and the surges continued. Unfortunately the walls aren’t sound proof, and all we could hear was a lady screaming the hospital down giving birth making it really difficult to relax. However Dan went straight for the headphones and put them on me to block out the noise.
Within half an hour of being in the room I felt the urge to push!!! Dan went to get the midwife, who probably thought I was an overreacting first time mum. I agreed to be examined, and I was 9cm!!! I asked for the pool to be filled as I wanted to give birth in water. The sound of the pool filling actually helped with the waterfall visualisation to breathe my baby down. I got on all fours and continued with breathing and visualisations… Along with some primal noises that I didn’t know I could produce- where do these noises come from???!!! Dan played the music through a speaker, that he brought with him, and constantly reassured me telling me how well I was doing. The pool was now ready, however I knew it wouldn’t be long and I didn’t want to delay the progress I had made so I continued on all fours.
Our beautiful Mila Belle Osman made an appearance at 2:04am- 2 hours 30 minutes after arriving at hospital. I breastfed straight away having skin to skin and within half hour, I naturally delivered the placenta. I still took advantage of the pool and had a bath whilst Daddy had skin to skin with Mila.
When the midwife finished her shift she came to say goodbye and gave me a hug and said “thanks for restoring my faith in a natural birth.” (Note from Keri- this made me weep…)
And that’s the power of hypnobirthing and having a supportive birthing partner who kept me focused, ensuring we kept to our birth plan as much as possible. For example when I was offered gas and air and the injection for the placenta I agreed, however it was Dan who suggested I try naturally first as this was what I originally wanted. I’m so glad he did step in as this was the birth I wanted and it was the completely natural birth that I got. Although we didn’t get our home birth, it was still a perfect birth for us and an empowering, positive, magical experience.
Thanks to Keri for all her super support and advice- even when I was in labour itself!!! We are so glad we went on the hypnobirthing course- it empowered us and gave us confidence in our birthing decisions and throughout the birth.