The Birth of Alistair
We are very pleased to be able to tell you that our baby boy arrived with us in the early hours of Thursday 1st June and we are now the proud parents of baby Alistair.
Our appointment at Pinderfields on the Wednesday could not have gone better and was quite different to what I’d imagined it would be, in a very positive way. We spoke to a lovely midwife, in length, about what all the different methods of induction would mean, how going with them may change things from our intended birthing preferences and how the hospital environment could be different from what we had prepared for at the birthing centre and how we may be able to work to keep things as close as possible to what we wanted. The midwife could not have had more time for us and answered all our many questions and was very reassuring and able to pick up on what was important to us. Thanks to what we had learned in our sessions with you and referring to the BRAINS questioning method, we were also able to be confident in asking as many questions as we felt we needed to know answers to, in order to feel decisions we were making were fully informed and we were in control.
Happily, after talking us through everything and the heartbeat monitoring having shown baby was well and checks on my tummy showing baby was already sitting very low, we were offered the choice of stretch and sweep with Propess pessary induction as an outpatient, which she could do for us at the appointment but allowing us to return home to see if things progressed into active labour, rather than be admitted and have to wait on the hospital ward. This also gave us the opportunity to still carry out baby’s birth at the birthing centre (although this would need to be Wakefield rather than Dewsbury) if labour started within the 24hours before we would need to be checked over again.
This really appealed to us, as it allowed us the chance to keep close to our birthing preferences if everything worked in our favour with the induction and it was pleasing to us that the midwife we were speaking to had picked up on this. Happily we agreed to go ahead with the induction on this basis. The stretch and sweep examination showed I was already slightly dilated, before the induction even went ahead and happily I could feel the induction had already started to work as we drove home from the appointment in the car. I really believe that being able to stay focused on positives and stay calm and relaxed, as well as in a home environment helped in the labour progressing quickly.
Rob returned to work in the afternoon and by the time he returned in the evening my aches and tenseness which I had felt on the way home from the appointment had already separated into clear surges which had seemed regular and concise for a couple of hours. Rob timed these for me when he got home and confirmed to me we were already almost within the time frame of regularity when they ask you to call in. We had tea and watched some comedy while our labour continued to progress and by 8.15pm that evening, Rob made the call to the birth centre to let them know we had regular surges and would likely be coming in that evening. As everything was still very bearable, calm and under control we chose to continue at home for a few more hours. As the surges got stronger and more defined I used the up breathing and visualisations to stay calm and later also a TENS machine. The tip of also having a cooling face cloth to hand proved to be of great benefit as well! At 9.45 we left home for Wakefield birth centre.
As we arrived at Pinderfields I had started to get a little confused, having felt I may have started to push a couple of times and also feeling my waters may have broken as we arrived in the car. This meant I found it difficult to concentrate on questions I was asked on being admitted to the birthing centre in regards to examinations to check if my waters had broken and what it would mean if I did or did not want to have these. Rob knew at this point however to step in and help in answering for us, to prevent any further confusion from myself and ensure I did not start to get stressed that I was not fully understanding. Checks showed I was fully dilated and my waters were about to break so we were taken to a room in the birthing centre where there were two midwives waiting to help bring our baby into the world.
Having a copy of our birthing preferences I think really helped the midwives to quickly understand the type of birth we were hoping for and what we wanted to follow and they were very calm and supportive, allowing me to follow my body’s natural urges to push and never trying to instruct me. I was still in a bit of confusion as we entered the birthing room but again, Rob was able to confidently take control and explain we had wanted a water birth, allowing the midwives to start filling the pool for us and once he had put on the calming music we had chosen for birthing to and had been practicing breathing and relaxation to in the lead up to the birth, I was soon calm and focused again. The breathing and visualisation techniques were so well practised they came as second nature and I drew on happy memories from one of our holidays to help me through the strongest contractions. Baby Alistair was born naturally (without pain relief) in the birthing pool at 00.17am on the Thursday morning and 1 week and 4 days later we are all still doing well and enjoying learning from each other and establishing are routines as a new little family.
I have to say that the trainee midwife who tended to us during the birth congratulated us on how well we had done and what a calm and focused birth it had been, thanking us for allowing her to experience it with us!! This I feel is testament to how useful your sessions were to us and how well the techniques of hypnobirthing aided the birth of our son.
We would like to thank you for all your support and advice throughout our pregnancy. Rob and I really enjoyed attending your sessions and the principals and techniques are definitely something we will continue to draw on and refer to in everyday situations.
Louise and Rob, Liversedge