This is a wonderful birth story about a very empowering and beautiful experience, even when plans changed dramatically. I supported Ellie & Paul as they planned for the birth of their second baby.
“I had been planning a home birth throughout my pregnancy but was gutted to find that this was put at risk from 33 weeks when I was diagnosed with suspected obstetric cholestasis due to some very slightly increased blood results. After these quickly returned to normal without medication I continued to plan and look forward to my home birth against the hospitals recommendation. Unfortunately, at 39 weeks I found, through weekly blood tests, that my bloods had suddenly shot up significantly. After taking advice from the obstetric cholestasis support group I decided that under the circumstances a hospital birth would be more appropriate. As the risks to baby are unclear after 40 weeks I opted for an induction.
As the birthing unit was quiet that day I found myself on the birthing ward later that same day. The midwives were lovely and made me feel so at ease, they even allowed my husband to stay with me throughout the process after having a negative covid result.
I had the propess pessary inserted at 9pm which quickly started regular tightenings but these weren’t uncomfortable and I was able to get some sleep. At 6am the next morning I agreed for babies heart rate to be monitored. After showing a good trace for almost half an hour babies heart rate suddenly dropped for 7 minutes which almost led to an emergency caesarean. Luckily, babies heart rate returned to normal but by this point the propess had been removed in the event that it was this that was causing the baby some stress. Through an examination I was so pleased to find that I didn’t need the propess reinserted as I was 2cm dilated and able to have my waters broken. Unfortunately, due to the lack of available midwives I wasn’t able to have my waters broken until 11:30pm. Throughout the day I tried to stay active as I was still having regular tightenings, however, I was also conscious that I wanted to get some rest.
At 11:30pm I found that I was now 3cm dilated and the midwife was able to easily break my waters. I made it clear again, as I had previously, that I wanted to be as active as possible during birth and opted for intermittent monitoring in order to avoid being restricted. The midwives were very understanding and supportive of this decision.
Myself and my husband went for a walk around the hospital and as my contractions were getting closer together and more intense we decided to return to the birthing unit around 1am. I asked my husband to put the shower on to relieve some of the pressure in my lower back. I stood there for some time leant over a chair listening to my birthing playlist. I continued to breathe through each contraction as I had from the beginning, each time repeating my affirmations and using visualisations to ensure I remained calm. During this time I found that the midwives were very much ‘hands off’ as they only visited me once to briefly listen to babies heart.
Still stood in the shower, I quickly found that babies head seemed a lot lower down and I was experiencing the urge to push. I changed my breathing technique and after 3 or 4 contractions felt that babies birth wasn’t far away and decided to get in the birthing pool that had already been prepared. I was conscious of working with my body to breathe baby out rather than push. Three surges later and at 1:56am our little girl was born peacefully into the world.
I had a first degree tear that required one stitch and we were able to take our little girl home less than 12 hours later. I am so thankful that I was able to get my prefect birth despite being in a hospital under consultant led care. I honestly can’t recommend hypnobirthing enough!!
I honestly thought when I found out I needed to be induced that all my plans were out of the window but it was such a beautiful experience!”
Huge congratulations to them for birthing their own way: always making the decisions that felt right for them and their baby. Birth can still be positive, even if it does change direction!