So our due date was the 11th September, I’d had growth scans towards the end of my pregnancy due to my bump and baby measuring on the larger side of the growth charts. My bump was pretty impressive, I won’t lie and I’m still shocked at how I didn’t topple over face first. We had our midwife appointment on the Friday (38+3) where we discussed my birth plan and I was given the go ahead for a water birth at a midwife led unit. I was so excited, this was exactly what I was hoping for especially seen as I had been learning and taking part in a hypnobirthing course with the positive birth company.
We went for our last growth scan at 38+4 weeks (the next day) to be told that our baby’s growth was tailing and that she wasn’t growing as well as she had been, I was sent over to the maternity assessment unit and was put straight on the monitors. Thinking nothing of it, we were waiting to go home when the consultant doctor came to tell me that they wanted to induce me and get baby delivered as soon as possible. This isn’t something that I expected and in all honestly I thought I would have gone into labour naturally by then so induction never really crossed my mind especially not for this reason. This happened on the Saturday and they scheduled my induction for 1.30pm on the Monday.
I was absolutely petrified. I had been working so hard on doing the hypnobirthing course that I really wanted to avoid induction. I’d had one natural birth already and felt panicky at the thought of an artificial labour. I was examined on the Saturday afternoon to be told I was already dilated enough to not have the pessary and that they could easily break my waters. We then waited 17 hours on the maternity assessment unit for a bed on labour ward.
They broke my waters at around 7.30 am on 4/9/18, it wasn’t the nicest experience I’ll be honest but with gas & air and the reassurance from my partner that everything was going to be okay, we bossed it. Rewarded with Jam on Toast I was happy as Larry.
After having my waters broken it didn’t take long for the cramps to start, we walked around the room in hope that it would get things moving. Real contractions started around 9.30 am and I used the breathing techniques that I had learnt on the hypnobirthing course to get me through each one. They started at around 3 minutes apart but soon got closer together and much more intense. I said to my partner “I think she’ll be here by lunchtime” and he looked at me in disbelief.
I was determined to stay upright during my labour knowing that gravity would be on my side. I stood up leaning over the bed, sipping iced water, with my partner rubbing my back and the music channels playing in the background. I felt so relaxed and in control, I trusted my body one hundred percent and felt so close to meeting my baby.
Labour & Delivery
The contractions started to come thick and fast, I could feel my body starting to panic and just knew that I was in transition (something I had learnt on the hypnobirthing course) I powered through and within minutes my body felt that sudden urge to push. I knew what was happening and just let it happen, I trusted my body and trusted my baby. With every contraction I squatted down, sounds quite funny when you say it like that but it really did help. That alongside having my back rubbed. I practiced my breathing techniques and learnt to breathe the pain away. Every pain meant that I was one step closer to meeting my baby. It didn’t take long at all, the pushes got stronger & my body just knew what it was doing. I started to feel her head come out, and all I can say is wow the burn. It definetely stung a little that’s for sure. I can imagine a waterbirth would have been amazing to help with this type of pain but luckily my waters were still leaking and that certainly helped the situation. With her head fully out it felt like forever between contractions and I started to panic that she was going to get stuck, one of my biggest fears. With the next contraction I felt a huge urge to push and out she came, born at 10.18 am with my partner by my side. I was pushing for a grand total of 10 minutes and my whole labour took just 38 minutes.
I was absolutely exhausted, my legs were still shaking and I felt so weak but I was so relieved that she was okay. The midwife passed her up through my legs and with some help we managed to get up onto the bed, my legs were like jelly by this point.. but that’s not surprising really if you think I had just been squatting my weight for nearly an hour.
Our first cuddle
We had our first skin to skin cuddle and I couldn’t believe what I had just done. I had just given birth standing up, with no pain relief whatsoever. Wow. I could feel the oxytocin flowing through my body, I was beaming with pride and I couldn’t stop thinking about how much her big sister was going to love her which made me pretty emotional.
Physiological Third Stage
On my birth plan I had requested a physiological third stage and delayed cord clamping. We cuddled and attempted to feed for a good half an hour before the cord stopped pulsating and was then cut by my partner – who is still frustrated over the fact that the scissors were so blunt. Little lady was weighed at 7lb 6oz, her name tags were written out and Rob did skin to skin with her whilst I delivered the placenta naturally.
The midwife was happy with how everything went and left us to it for a good half an hour or so while she went to do some paperwork, Rob got Isabelle dressed into her first outfit whilst I had a quick bath and we then packed up our things ready to be taken to the postnatal ward. I could barely walk, I was very wobbly, my stomach muscles had visibly collapsed and I struggled to even hold myself up so I was wheeled down to the next ward by another lovely midwife while Rob carried our bags.
We chilled out on the postnatal ward, announced the arrival of our new daughter to family and were very lucky to be discharged the same day. My brother came to pick us up from the hospital and I was SO excited to go home and see Alyssia, and for her to meet her baby sister for the first time. She absolutely adores her and I’m sure they’re going to grow up to be the best of friends.
Reflecting on my labour
Overall I really enjoyed my labour with Isabelle. Despite panicking about being induced initially, it meant that we were allocated a room and I was already at the hospital in time to give birth. If you’ve read my birth story with Alyssia you’ll probably know that Labour progressed very quickly with her and we almost didn’t make it to the hospital in time making it a first time labour full of anxiety.
I practised hypnobirthing from around 30 weeks and it was the best thing I could have done, it allowed me to have a calm natural birth with no complications because I was in the right mindset. If you know me you’ll know that I’ve struggled with anxiety for years but doing this course has taught me breathing techniques that can be used in any situation. Its an absolute game changer and if you’re pregnant or know someone who is, I would definetely reccomend the £35 digital course with the positive birth company. Not only has this course helped me massively, it has also helped me to understand my first labour a little more. The science behind birth is incredible and throughout my whole labour I felt like I knew exactly what was happening to my body. We had a very positive birth and I am so happy with how things went.