The Birth of Evan
The last few weeks and months of my pregnancy with Evan were to say the least, incredibly testing on my skills, resources, strength and patience. Hypnobirthing techniques really came into play for me.
Having had a previous PPH (post partum haemorrhage) in birth, I wanted to make sure that they would still let me birth the way I wanted to, but in the midwife led unit rather than the labour ward where I had my little girl. The MLU had opened since then and I was very keen to utilise the facility. It seems trying to make sure that this was the case, actually highlighted my history to hospital staff which led to me having to have many consultant appointments in the process. Slightly annoying and certainly hard to keep calm during all the to-ing and fro-ing in the last weeks.
A consultant had to give the OK to me delivering in the MLU and in the pool again, like the first time. During these consultant appointments, they were convinced that the baby was not head down so I was sent for a scan. During the scan the baby’s position was found to be head down (hurrah) but he was measuring large (cue MANY more appointments and a disturbing number of people commenting on the weight of my baby and my impending birth).
I had to have another scan and saw in total four different consultants during the last six weeks. I was initially told that I could not deliver in the pool (due to the PPH, possibilities where I may need to be out of the pool to deal with blood loss, the water causing more blood loss and needing to be further monitored to control the loss). I used the BRAIN training to conquer these concerns and it was decided I could deliver in the pool. They asked me to have a managed 3rd stage (which I was fine with) and also told me that they would fit a cannula on arriving at the hospital in case I needed a drug to retract my uterus back quickly to stop blood loss ( I would look over this bit at a later date, I thought)
During the scan to check for position, when the baby was found to be large, I was then told that they would not be happy for me deliver in the MLU or the pool, because as he was larger it was even more likely that my blood loss would be even more extensive. Again BRAIN came into play and we went through all the possibilities and options. There were some tense moments over a few meetings but I managed to negotiate my way into the MLU and delivery in the pool, with a few things on standby rather than definitive.
Eventually, with a week or so to go, having asked all the questions, I settled down with the birth plan I had wanted.
Unfortunately also, six weeks prior to giving birth, our family was hit by devastating tragedy in the sudden illness and death of a loved one. Obvious devastation hit us all and I found it immensely difficult to stay calm in the weeks leading up to the birth, I drew on every teaching and skill that hypnobirthing (and others) had taught me.
On the 19th May (10 days after my guess date), after a few false starts in previous days, I was laying watching the Royal Wedding of Meghan and Prince Harry in my bed with Reece and Elsie sorting breakfast downstairs, when I had the urge to time the feelings I had been having for an hour or so. After counting a few I realised that they were regular, albeit ten minutes or so apart. Could this be the start? I stayed in bed all morning, well into the afternoon and was so relaxed watching the festivities, but it became clear that today may well be the day (or tomorrow!)…
I knew well enough, from my previous birth and teachings, to reserve energy, eat and relax as much as possible during this time and this is exactly what I did. Reece took our little girl, Elsie, out for the daytime which meant I could totally unwind with no distractions.
In the evening, things got a little more intense, but again I was watching a TV series I love and stayed in my cocoon of the bedroom whilst trying my hardest to stay calm. It wasn’t until around 12pm (the exact same time as with my little girl!) that I felt I needed to go down to the Midwife Led Unit at Pinderfields Hospital.
On arrival, the suite was all ready for me with my bath prepared and a dimly lit room. We connected our phone to the tub speakers and played my playlist into the room. We were convinced that I wasn’t so close to giving birth, probably because first time round it lasted quite some time and also because I was more relaxed, so I didn’t get into the bath until around 2-2.30am when I felt I needed some extra relief. Once I got in, things moved on fairly quickly, to the point I could feel my body moving my baby out to meet us and at around 4.29am on Sunday 20th May 2018 little Evans head emerged followed shortly by the rest of him, and he was placed on my chest for a cuddle. Another pain relief free birth with the help of hypnobirthing and not a single examination this time round.
My blood loss was very small (much smaller than the first time and pretty non-existent in general terms) so I had a natural deliver of the placenta and no drugs for my uterus. I was so pleased I had asked the right questions and made the right decisions for myself and once again, I had an awesome, amazing and beautiful birth.
I left the hospital a few hours later, having introduced him to my daughter, totally in love once again.
Katie and Reece, Leeds