My birth stories

Isla’s birth story, August 2014 

The question I have been asked the most since the birth of my daughter, is “How was the birth?” when I respond, “it was great” I’m usually met with a combination of confusion and disbelief!

I was 11 days overdue and desperate to avoid being induced so spent the morning at an acupuncturist in the hope that it would bring on labour naturally. This seemed to do the trick as my first surge came at 3pm that afternoon. The surges seemed to be coming every half an hour and just lasting a minute. My first instinct was to eat….if this really was it, I didn’t know when my next meal would be.

Two hours and four surges later, I decided it was time to call my husband and tell him to come home from work. Knowing he would be at least an hour, I settled down and started listening to my MP3s, practising my breathing and making my way to my deserted beach, the place I had been visualising throughout my pregnancy.

I was aware the surges were getting closer together but it wasn’t until my husband got home that I realised they were now just six minutes apart. At this point I was actually being sick, something I hadn’t expected but have since found out is a common way for your body to prepare for birth. Without wanting to sound dramatic, I suggested we made our way to the hospital and so we packed up the car and off we went.

We were shown to our room in the birthing centre and after a quick examination our midwife confirmed I was already five centimetres dilated at it was time to get into the birthing pool. This was all going far quicker than I imagined, at this rate, I’d be a mum in just a couple of hours!

Entering the pool was exactly how I imagined – warm, comforting and relaxing. With the lights dimmed and the MP3s playing in the background, I spent the next few hours floating in the pool and mentally walking up and down the shore of my tropical beach, breathing in time with the waves. It wasn’t until the next day my husband admitted that he spent two hours reading his book while occasionally passing me my water and a wet flannel!

I seemed to lose track of time and before I knew it was feeling the urge to push. Our midwife was standing-by and with the exception of regularly checking the baby’s heartbeat, had left us to our own devices. Before we knew it, she was telling us she could see the head and it wouldn’t be long until we met our baby for the first time. I couldn’t believe we had got to this point so quickly, just a few hours ago I was sat drinking coffee on the Chiswick High Road!

Three and a half hours later, our baby had decided it wasn’t budging and it turned out a hand positioned against the face was to blame. By this time I was getting tired and following a discussion with the midwife about our options, agreed to leave the pool in favour of some assistance in the labour ward.

Twenty minutes later at 4:20am, our gorgeous daughter Isla was born weighing 6lbs 6oz. It was love at first sight – she was absolutely perfect.

While the ending hadn’t gone exactly to plan, the overall experience was as I had imagined throughout my pregnancy, calm, controlled and exhilarating. Much to my midwife’s astonishment, I did not have any pain relief at all and relied entirely on my breathing to see me through. Such an empowering experience.

Woody’s birth story, December 2017

It turns out my waters broke during a minor sneezing fit at 8am on a Sunday morning, 2 days before my estimated due date. My waters never broke before I went into labour with Isla so I didn’t realize what had happened at first. I’ll be honest, these days, releasing a bit of fluid on such occasions wasn’t unheard of!

After a few minutes I realised there was more to it than pelvic floor failure, so went to wake my husband. We called the triage line at West Middlesex hospital and they told me that since I had not had any surges, I needed to go in to be checked over. We agreed we would go in at 10am. I felt absolutely fine and spent the next two hours getting showered and dressed and getting my daughter sorted before we headed off in the car.

Five minutes before we left the house I felt my first surge, it was pretty mild but I did have to stop what I was doing to breathe through it. To be on the safe side we put the hospital bag and car seat in the car and set off on our 10 minute journey to the hospital. By the time we arrived, I had had three, much stronger surges….this baby wasn’t hanging around!

Following a quick review in triage where the nurses confirmed I was just 4 centimetres dilated, we were transferred to the birthing centre and within half an hour I was floating in the birthing pool, listening to my hypnobirthing MP3s and practising the breathing techniques I had learnt to ride out the surges.

Everything was calm and relaxed and I was surprised when just a short time later, I felt the need to push. I used lots of the positions we had discussed during the course. Squatting and simply being upright and forward played a huge role and seemed to encourage gravity to take its course. After just a few big pushes, our little boy was born in the pool at 12:34pm and weighing 8lbs 8oz he was simply perfect.

I felt in control of what was happening and had fantastic support from my husband who did a fabulous job of creating a tranquil birth space and the midwives, who were just amazing. The birth was everything I had hoped for, a natural, calm and beautiful experience, one I will remember forever.

 

 

A final word from the Dad in the room…… 

It is fantastic to look back on the births of both my children so positively. The whole experience felt controlled, calm and confident.

Heading through pregnancy towards the big day I wondered how to be supportive, involved and, to be honest, vaguely useful on the day. The programme enabled me to better understand what Louisa was experiencing, feel able to contribute to a positive birth and create a warm, relaxing environment.

Together we can now look back on a wonderful experience with positive memories and an incredible sense of achievement. An incredible start to a lifetime of memories.

Isla’s birth story, August 2014

 

 

The question I have been asked the most since the birth of my daughter, is “How was the birth?” when I respond, “it was great” I’m usually met with a combination of confusion and disbelief!

I was 11 days overdue and desperate to avoid being induced so spent the morning at an acupuncturist in the hope that it would bring on labour naturally. This seemed to do the trick as my first surge came at 3pm that afternoon. The surges seemed to be coming every half an hour and just lasting a minute. My first instinct was to eat….if this really was it, I didn’t know when my next meal would be.

Two hours and four surges later, I decided it was time to call my husband and tell him to come home from work. Knowing he would be at least an hour, I settled down and started listening to my MP3s, practising my breathing and making my way to my deserted beach, the place I had been visualising throughout my pregnancy.

I was aware the surges were getting closer together but it wasn’t until my husband got home that I realised they were now just six minutes apart. At this point I was actually being sick, something I hadn’t expected but have since found out is a common way for your body to prepare for birth. Without wanting to sound dramatic, I suggested we made our way to the hospital and so we packed up the car and off we went.

We were shown to our room in the birthing centre and after a quick examination our midwife confirmed I was already five centimetres dilated at it was time to get into the birthing pool. This was all going far quicker than I imagined, at this rate, I’d be a mum in just a couple of hours!

Entering the pool was exactly how I imagined – warm, comforting and relaxing. With the lights dimmed and the MP3s playing in the background, I spent the next few hours floating in the pool and mentally walking up and down the shore of my tropical beach, breathing in time with the waves. It wasn’t until the next day my husband admitted that he spent two hours reading his book while occasionally passing me my water and a wet flannel!

I seemed to lose track of time and before I knew it was feeling the urge to push. Our midwife was standing-by and with the exception of regularly checking the baby’s heartbeat, had left us to our own devices. Before we knew it, she was telling us she could see the head and it wouldn’t be long until we met our baby for the first time. I couldn’t believe we had got to this point so quickly, just a few hours ago I was sat drinking coffee on the Chiswick High Road!

Three and a half hours later, our baby had decided it wasn’t budging and it turned out a hand positioned against the face was to blame. By this time I was getting tired and following a discussion with the midwife about our options, agreed to leave the pool in favour of some assistance in the labour ward.

Twenty minutes later at 4:20am, our gorgeous daughter Isla was born weighing 6lbs 6oz. It was love at first sight – she was absolutely perfect.

While the ending hadn’t gone exactly to plan, the overall experience was as I had imagined throughout my pregnancy, calm, controlled and exhilarating. Much to my midwife’s astonishment, I did not have any pain relief at all and relied entirely on my breathing to see me through. Such an empowering experience.

Woody’s birth story, December 2017

It turns out my waters broke during a minor sneezing fit at 8am on a Sunday morning, 2 days before my estimated due date. My waters never broke before I went into labour with Isla so I didn’t realize what had happened at first. I’ll be honest, these days, releasing a bit of fluid on such occasions wasn’t unheard of!

After a few minutes I realised there was more to it than pelvic floor failure, so went to wake my husband. We called the triage line at West Middlesex hospital and they told me that since I had not had any surges, I needed to go in to be checked over. We agreed we would go in at 10am. I felt absolutely fine and spent the next two hours getting showered and dressed and getting my daughter sorted before we headed off in the car.

Five minutes before we left the house I felt my first surge, it was pretty mild but I did have to stop what I was doing to breathe through it. To be on the safe side we put the hospital bag and car seat in the car and set off on our 10 minute journey to the hospital. By the time we arrived, I had had three, much stronger surges….this baby wasn’t hanging around!

Following a quick review in triage where the nurses confirmed I was just 4 centimetres dilated, we were transferred to the birthing centre and within half an hour I was floating in the birthing pool, listening to my hypnobirthing MP3s and practising the breathing techniques I had learnt to ride out the surges.

Everything was calm and relaxed and I was surprised when just a short time later, I felt the need to push. I used lots of the positions we had discussed during the course. Squatting and simply being upright and forward played a huge role and seemed to encourage gravity to take its course. After just a few big pushes, our little boy was born in the pool at 12:34pm and weighing 8lbs 8oz he was simply perfect.

I felt in control of what was happening and had fantastic support from my husband who did a fabulous job of creating a tranquil birth space and the midwives, who were just amazing. The birth was everything I had hoped for, a natural, calm and beautiful experience, one I will remember forever.

A final word from the Dad in the room…… 

It is fantastic to look back on the births of both my children so positively. The whole experience felt controlled, calm and confident.

Heading through pregnancy towards the big day I wondered how to be supportive, involved and, to be honest, vaguely useful on the day. The programme enabled me to better understand what Louisa was experiencing, feel able to contribute to a positive birth and create a warm, relaxing environment.

Together we can now look back on a wonderful experience with positive memories and an incredible sense of achievement. An incredible start to a lifetime of memories.

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