The Birth of Zachary

Our bump had measured small throughout pregnancy so after multiple scans and our agreement we were booked in for an induction on the due date, which was the 27 December.

I showed no signs of labour so I was induced by pessary at 1.30pm on the 27th. The induction worked ‘too well’ and I was having these intense feelings – about 7 in 10 minutes, so the pessary was removed by 4.30pm. I used the deep breathing and positive thinking tools which the hypnobirthing course had taught me to get through the feelings. The pessary being removed slowed the feelings down but they were still intense. As we were on the antenatal ward my husband Mark had to leave by 10pm as partners were not permitted to stay overnight.

The intense feelings continued and my mucus plug showed. I continued to use the hypnobirthing tools to remain calm, this was even more important as I was now on my own. The midwife checked the feelings and told me they were mild contractions so I was offered paracetamol which I took. This wasn’t enough so I asked if my husband could come back as I felt I needed more support, I was told no but that I could have a bath instead. The bath seemed to slow the contractions down but further intensified them. I kept telling myself that my aim was to get to 8am when I knew Mark would be back.

I was still bleeding slighting from the mucus plug so the midwife wanted to do a vaginal examination. I refused but the midwife asked again, and said it was important as they were worried about the bleeding. I agreed and had a vaginal examination at 3.30am and was told I was 9cm dilated. To tell the truth I hadn’t even realised I was in the first stage of labour and having proper contractions until this point as I was told multiple times that the feelings I was having were only mild contractions. I was told to call my husband and tell him to come and rushed to the delivery suite.

I laboured standing up, listening to my body. Mark arrived at 4.15am (after having a shower!), he massaged my lower back through the contractions, and I took gas and air in between. The midwife had been monitoring the baby’s heart rate using the thing they put on the baby’s head (which I had agreed to earlier as I was labouring standing up and didn’t want my movement to be restricted), I was told that the baby’s heart rate was dropping and I needed to get on the bed, I refused as I was comfortable in the standing position I was in. Another midwife came and asked me again, saying this was urgent and I needed an episiotomy due to the heart rate dropping. I managed to get on the bed, with help, but the episiotomy was delayed as there was no anaesthetic in the room. Some anaesthetic was brought in but the midwife couldn’t open the packet it was in. I was getting worried by this point so I wanted to try and push the baby out to avoid any further delay, I took in a big gulp of gas and air and pushed the baby out, it worked.

Our beautiful baby boy was born at 5.03am weighing 5lbs 13ozs. I had some skin to skin time with baby but as I had a very high first degree vaginal tear, I passed baby to Mark for skin to skin time and was stitched up, this took an hour, I then gave baby his first breastfeed.

We felt very grateful and blessed. I could not have got through the first stage of labour without the hypnobirthing skills that Hannah had taught me, there was no scenario in our birthing preferences where I would be doing that part on my own, thank you so so much.


Anna and Mark