The Birth of Angus
I’d been feeling surges occasionally for about 2 days when I felt that they were starting to become regular just as we were getting ready for bed. An evening of snuggling up with hubby in front of the telly was obviously great for building my levels of oxytocin. After a night of surges we headed into the birth centre before the morning traffic hit the roads, where we were warmly received. We had a male midwife, David, who listened calmly to our requests and we found that this sat very well with the approach they take normally, encouraging nature to take its course. Despite this, after several hours the surges diminished, partly I think, due to the room being a bit chilly, so we made the decision to head home. I was gutted! I was ready to meet my baby!
At home I watched some nature documentaries, listened to the meditations and rested, to alert from the surges to sleep and by the early morning we had stronger and more frequent surges again. Back at the birth centre, I consented to a vaginal exam, mostly to reassure myself that things were progressing and I was 9cm dilated – joy! At the birth centre we turned on the candles, played some soothing music and practiced up breathing. The surges were still powerful but after several hours progress was slow and my waters hadn’t broken. After several requests, my waters were broken for me, which made me a lot more comfortable and the second stage of labour began. However, despite all the good work, time had taken it’s toll and I was exhausted. Supporting our wish for a natural birth, our midwife, David, suggested some more active positions to help move baby but eventually it was clear that we needed some help. The maternity unit was in the hospital in the next town, so I needed to get an ambulance, not something I was looking forward to! Mike was brilliant and kept the music going, and made sure that the ambulance staff knew to keep their voices soft and quiet. As we set off, he told me to think about the ‘carpet place’ from the carpet meditation we had practiced so often. It worked and I remembered how tranquil and I happy I felt on the beach we had breakfast on during our honeymoon a few month earlier, visualising the trees we sat underneath. When we arrived, Mike spoke to the hospital staff about keeping their voices quiet and posted the sign on the door. While it was a much harsher environment, the little touches like the relaxation music and candles(even under the harsh strip light!) helped remind me to remain calm, and I did! I had a syntocin drip and felt better very quickly, but the surges were not strong enough to move baby so after some discussion with the doctors, we prepared for forceps in theatre. Although I’d dreaded the idea of forceps, Mike and I used the “BRAINS” process to discuss our options and remain rational, which helped reassure me that this was the best option for us and we felt very much in control. Mike brought the music into theatre with us and again spoke to the staff about keeping their voices quiet, and shortly after, our baby boy Angus was born. As requested, Mike passed him to me and introduced our son to me, as I’d wanted. Despite the need for medical help, I’d had the birth I wanted. I had remained calm and did not scream or shout. We’d remained in control of the options and staff had respected our wishes at every step. And most importantly, Mike had been an integral part of the process, and he felt that he was able to help me birth our son.
Alison and Mike, Huddersfield