Leanne gave birth to her second baby during the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic, here’s her story:
Where when & how did you birth your baby, was it as expected?
My hind waters started trickling at home in the early hours of Friday morning and then nothing more happened. 36 hours later they decided to call me in to hospital to induce me to prevent the risk of infection. There was a small pocket of water at the front cushioning baby’s head that seemed to be stopping labour starting. So they broke those fore-waters at 8.32am and baby Martha was born at 9.41am. So a very very quick delivery.
Originally we had planned a home birth as my previous labour with my 5 year old was very straight forward & low risk. Due to COVID-19 our home birth was cancelled 4 days before I gave birth. However, this turned out to be a blessing in disguise as after I delivered the placenta I sadly haemorrhaged and lost 2 litres of blood. They then discovered I did have an infection but weren’t sure where and assumed it must have been from my waters breaking.
This meant I was treated in hospital longer than I anticipated. The fact I had an infection caused me to have a raised temperature which meant I needed to be tested for the corona virus. I had to be kept in isolation for another 24 hours whilst they waited for the results. This was actually another blessing as it meant I continued to have my own room and my partner could stay and help with care and keep me company. Really this wasn’t actually allowed but due to the severity of my blood loss & my unstable blood pressure they felt it was actually more helpful for them if my partner helped with taking care of me & baby as they had an unprecedented busy couple of days. Once results showed I didn’t have the corona virus we were moved on to the ward which meant visiting hours were restricted to 1 hour a day. That was hard. Even though nothing in my labour went to plan I tried to focus on the more positive aspects of the situation. And there were lots of positives!
What’s your top tips(s) for others?
Practice breathing and positive affirmations leading up to labour. These will help you! If you haven’t done any Hypnobirthing then use YouTube or other online resources (@realbirthproject has a great online resource). Breathing in to my labour and accepting things weren’t as I had planned or hoped allowed me to focus on just being present
What part of your journey are you most proud of?
How accepting I was of change. But also of how resilient I felt. Might sound silly but nothing went to plan and yet I still felt in control and positive and most importantly happy.
If you could change anything, what would it be?
I wish I had prepared my 5 year old for a potentially longer stay in hospital. She was very upset and confused why mummy & her baby sister were in hospital for so long.
What helped you?
I had the most amazing midwives and doctors on duty throughout my hospital stay & they were so amazing I can’t put in to words how grateful I am. I cried when the anaesthetist came back to see me before I was discharged as he said he just wanted to see all 3 of us got off home ok. When I was in theatre he was so supportive and kind and kept me calm and present. So many kind and selfless humans out there!
Thank you Leanne for sharing your story and birth wisdom with us all.
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If you’d like to get tools for birth, our online Hypnobirthing course offers tools, information & support including birthing during the pandemic.