The Birth of Rufus

Let me introduce you to our beautiful baby boy, Rufus James Dye, born at home on the 4th October at 11:45pm weighing 7lb 12 oz.

If you’d told me 9 months ago we’d have a happy home birth i would have laughed in your face but thanks to Hannah and the refresher course my husband and I took, it gave us the confidence to go for it and achieve a very calm birth, the polar opposite to my first babys birth.

Anyway, back to Rufus’ birth story! A week of low period type aches and pains signalled our little boy was soon to be making his way into the world so I was not surprised when on Sunday the 4th, I woke around 1am with very low pressure aches and the need to go to the loo…delightful hey! I wasn’t convinced it was the start of labour until about 3am when I started to get some very light surges. I didn’t need to breathe through them but felt slightly uncomfortable, enough to get me out of bed when they started to form a regular pattern. I was very aware of how quickly I dilated with Edith and lots of people had told me with the second ones they come quicker!

I left Matt in bed and went downstairs. I didn’t turn on any ‘big’ lights, just lots of fairy lights id set up in the family kitchen living area. I turned on my lavender diffuser, closed my eyes and listened to some hypnobirthing tracks. I knew how important relaxing was to get those endorphins flowing! I fell asleep but woke about 20 mins later with a surge. Again nothing uncomfortable. Matt and edith came downstairs about 7am looking very confused! I told matt I was in very early labour and then
…nothing. No more surges. I felt despondent. I geared myself for what was to come and then felt flat when I realised after 2 hrs i was having no more surges. Thats when I contacted hannah and let her know. She gave me some great advice about making sure to keep the oxytocin flowing and this will help when labour starts again. With that in mind, we decided to go for a family walk, I made sure to pay attention to my little family rather than labour or a lack of it.

Around midday I felt tired, so when my daughter was having a nap in my bed, I joined her, thinking about keeping the oxytoxin going. I could feel the surges returning but they were very sporadic. I relaxed, listening to my hypnobirthing tracks and dozed.

Around 2pm I told Matt the surges had returned and we made the decision to call his parents to pick Edith up so we could set up the birthing pool and begin winding down and getting into the zone. I felt emotional when Edith left…an end of an era. My husband told me to visualise the next time she would be home, meeting her baby brother and soon all my happy hormones were returning.

I decided to have a bath and read through some of the birth stories on the Loveyourbirth website which gave me an added confidence boost as well as updating Hannah. Again, she provided me with encouragement, reminding me that both Matt and I had the skills to do this!

I got out of the bath and back downstairs where Matt had been filling the pool, switching on the fairy lights and he’d turned the lavender diffuser on. I bounced on my ball listening to hypnobirthing tracks once again and I then put the tens machine on as hannah had told me to do this fairly early as they release endorphins. I was experiencing discomfort in my lower back so the tens felt great.

Each time I had a surge I stood up and swayed my hips whilst matt counted for me and did soft touch massage. Once the surges were coming every 5 mins, Matt rang the birthing team and they told us they were on their way. I felt a little anxious about the change that was about to come so made sure I did lots of up breathing to remain calm.

Once the midwives arrived the surges stopped…I couldn’t believe it! They said it is very normal for this to happen with a change in situation and would wait in a different room so I could get back into my zone.

It didn’t take long and they were soon back in the room and I asked for an examination. I felt a bit dispondant when the midwives first arrived, as she said, because I seemed so relaxed, I couldn’t be that close. However, when I was examined just half an hour later, I was told I was 6cm…a reminder that labour doesn’t need to be painful!

I got in the birth pool and floated around, listening to hypnobirthing, chatting to the midwives, Matt held my hand when I needed him and massaged me also. I felt completely normal in-between surges which was such a relief. Abbys affirmation about enjoying the rest my body gives me in between surges replayed in my head. It’s worth noting i  listened regularly to the hypnobirthing tracks Hannah provided for me back in July and these were invaluable during labour.

If you came into the room an hour before I delivered Rufus you’d have thought I was having some sort of spa treatment. We had created such a lovely, cosy atmosphere.
Around half 10 I started to feel like I needed extra help so opted for gas and air. At this point, Rufus was on his way and with each surge matt held my hand (constant source of oxytoxin) and reminded me to breathe baby down and not push. I had a bit of a wobble and matt again reassured me and said we’re so close to meeting him. He changed the lavender in the diffuser to an orange, citric one, remembering from Hannahs Essential Oils Instagram live, that this will provide an energy boost!

I started to really concentrate on breathing the baby down as the surges had changed and I felt so much pressure. After half an hour or so of this, I was told babys heart rate had slowed so I needed to get out of the water and be examined. I was gutted but two surges outside the pool and bam! He’d arrived and within minutes I was snuggled with Rufus on the sofa!

I couldn’t believe that I’d done it! We’d done it! Hypnobirthing not only enabled me to go through the majority of labour with little pain relief, just the use of breathing and relaxation techniques, it had also given Matt so much confidence knowing more about the labour and the ways in which he can help me through it.

Thank you Hannah for not only your brilliant refresher course, which I will be recommending to everyone, but also for your support and advice around the time of labour!

Helen and Matt