I’m delighted to let you know that our son was born at 9pm and we are totally in love.
It wasn’t an easy journey in the final few weeks leading up to his birth but on the day his birth was swift, instinctive and a wholly healing and life affirming experience.
At 40+4 I became quite ill with an infection. I spent three nights in hospital on IV antibiotics as they bought it under control. It was very challenging. The whole time, I was worried about going into labour as I was concerned about how I would cope physically as I felt so ill. However, I knew the longer I was ‘past dates’ the more the team would talk about induction which was somewhat intimidating.
I was very keen to get home as soon as I was well as I knew that being at home would give me the best chance of going into labour naturally. On the day I left a consultant came in to ‘double check’ that I didn’t want to start an induction there and then instead of going home. However, I stuck to my instincts and headed home. I was now on oral antibiotics by this stage and was assured that I could use the Birth Centre when the time came.
We got home, spent a day together as a three, had a lovely relaxing night together and within 36 hours of being home I began contracting. In the end I laboured at home for a short amount of time as they were coming close and they were intense. We arrived at the birth centre at 5pm and got straight in to the pool. Our son was born just before 9pm in the pool. The team were wonderful. They had clearly read my notes and my preferences carefully and were wonderfully supportive and caring. I was only examined once upon request. They kept reminding me to trust my instincts and go with what felt comfortable. It turns out he was total OP presentation (the team knew this based on their examination but didn’t tell me – I will be forever grateful for their discretion) When his head emerged, we had a rather special few moments looking at his face as he was looking right at us. By this stage I knew I had one last surge to go and that the work was done. It felt like a really special time, just at the brink of huge transition and I was able to relax and take it in and be present in that moment with D before the final push. The rest of him followed and I picked him up out of the water and cradled him.
In stark contrast to our experience with our first birth, the moments following his birth were calm and relaxed with lots of smiles and laughter. The team were incredible at reassuring me about placenta delivery and blood loss. I remember them telling me repeatedly about what to expect next and what was normal. They communicated calmly and consistently which was great. I never once felt panicked about the sight of the blood loss following his delivery.
I really had no idea at this stage about what my body had achieved – all without intervention. Our son weighed in at a hefty 9lbs 5oz and I’m told it’s unusual to achieve an OP birth without some form of assistance. I also sustained only a small graze and a small labial tear which the midwife put a couple of stitches in while I held him. If I’d have known beforehand that he would be so big and would be in a ‘less than optimal’ position I think I would have been fearful and things would have been very different.
We stayed overnight in the Birth Centre and I’m pretty sure I didn’t sleep a wink. I spent the whole night cradling, feeding and staring at him. It was such precious time and because I missed out on that with our first birth it was even more meaningful.
We are now home and adjusting. Our daughter is delighted with her brother and he is bringing us all a lot of joy.
I want to thank you for the role you played in supporting myself and Duncan with the birth. The counselling was hugely impactful for me. Understanding myself, my thoughts and the feelings I had about the first birth was a healing experience for me and I’m so glad I took the step to reach out and seek help. The hypnobirthing tools were also hugely helpful in those final few weeks and on the day. They supported us in making decisions, trusting our instincts and preparing us for his birth. D was able to support me with breathing, affirmations, reminders to relax my jaw and shoulders and keeping me calm in times of worry. He was a wonderful birth partner and the midwives also commented on how prepared and engaged he seemed!
When we told people about this birth, inevitably the question ‘how are you feeling’ was asked of me. With hand on heart I was able to reply that I felt incredible. His birth was empowering, life affirming and a healing experience for me as an individual. It’s also been a really key part of us being able to transition to a family of four in the most positive way. I feel like we’re off to a great start and having not had that experience previously that’s not something I take for granted.
Anyway, I’ve ended up writing a huge amount but I really wanted to let you know how it all turned out and to take the time to thank you for the role you played as part of our birthing team. We will forever be grateful to you.
So happy for Becca & Duncan that they felt empowered in their second birth. I was privileged to work with them as they processed their first birth with Birth Trauma Resolution Therapy then 1:1 5 hour Hypnobirthing course. If you’d like to chat about working together, please get in touch.