The Birth of Lucy

Hi Abby,

Just wanted to introduce you to Lucy May Brown. She was born 05/03/2018 weighing 6lb 14.

Both me and Chris had had such a lovely day on the Sunday (the day before the birth), going for a nice walk, to the cinema and for a meal. We both had a good nights sleep and woke up on the Monday morning at 6am as Chris was due to do some overtime. We both headed downstairs and as I went to the kitchen I felt a trickle down my leg, it was only small and nothing of concern as the water was clear but we decided to ring Pinderfields hospital anyway just to see what they suggested we do. The midwife asked for us to come in to be assessed which was fine with us (it was a good excuse for Chris not to have to go to work). We listened to the radio on the way there and our wedding song “You’ve got the love” came on, so we started to sing (badly I might add).

When we got to Pinderfields hospital we headed straight to the birth centre (we had previously done a trial run so knew exactly where to go). At this point I felt completely fine but consented to a vaginal examination where the midwife told me that my waters were still in tact so to go home (meaning that Id had an accident in the kitchen). I wasn’t too surprised though as Lucy’s estimated due date was the 15th March and it was only the 5th.

We headed home and decided to go back to bed and have a nap, there was no point Chris going back to work now. We had episodes of Friends playing in the background and I remember waking up from the nap with slight sensations in my stomach, thinking it was nothing as it wasn’t too dissimilar to period sensations, I went back to sleep, I woke up and drifted back to sleep numerous times but I decided to let Chris sleep as I knew he would need his energy if something were to happen. Eventually I woke up a few hours later with stronger sensations, so I got up, had a paracetamol and went to the loo where I had a bloody show. I woke Chris up to tell him and he rang the birth centre where they told him to tell me to get a bath. At this point I was still feeling fine, I did have the sensations but it wasn’t anything that I couldn’t deal with, I did start listening to my MP3’s in the bath though and practising my breathing technique (Chris counted me through the technique which was such a good focus for me). Chris had started to time the surges without me knowing, he didn’t want to put pressure on me just in case it wasn’t labour but he quickly realised that there was a pattern to the surges. Fortunately, from the hypnobirthing class he knew what pattern he was looking for so didn’t have to bother me to ask if he should call the birth centre, he just did it. The hospital asked to speak to me and they said that I sounded fine so to stay at home for as long as possible, again I was happy with that as I felt comfortable at home and knew that I probably had a while to go. We practised more breathing techniques and chris told me to visualise my happy place (a beach on our honeymoon that had a small tree that we had sat underneath ). Eventually it was Chris that said he wanted us to head over to the birth centre, I felt like I could have possibly stayed at home longer (I knew that it was the best place for me to be) but I trusted Chris so we got into the car and started the journey. To be honest I don’t remember that journey at all, Chris told me afterwards that we got stuck in traffic but I was completely in my own little world, practising the breathing and visualising a dial going from 10 down to 1 each time I had finished a round of breathing.

We finally reached the hospital and I remember saying to Chris “don’t bring our bags in as I know for a fact that we will be going home soon, I won’t be dilated enough and I would prefer to be at home anyway” so he left all our bags in the car and as we walked across the zebra crossing I stopped right in the middle of it, the surges had all of a sudden changed. A lady came over to us and offered to get me a wheelchair but I declined as I felt strongly that I need to be upright (I’m not sure how happy the cars were at this point as I refused to move for a good few minutes).

As we entered the hospital and took the lift to the birth centre I was silent, focused and in my zone. I remember turning the corner and seeing the queue of women waiting to be seen and I thought to myself “oh well, by the time we get to the front I might not have to go home anyway as I think we might be here for a while”. I was thinking the affirmation “control what you can and let go of what you can’t”. Luckily we were put straight to the front of the queue. We saw the same midwife that we had seen only 7 hours earlier, she examined me again and was shocked herself to tell me that I was 9cm dilated!!! I genuinely could not believe it but I knew that my surges had changed on that zebra crossing.

We had a lovely room at the birth centre, the lights were dimmed for us and the birth pool was filled, it was fully equipped for hypnobirthers. All the time Chris was counting for me as it was something that I found so helpful. He stroked my arm like we had been shown in the hypnobirthing class and this really helped to keep me calm, knowing that he was there and knowing that I was right to trust him and feeling confident that he was with me. I got into the birth pool and it was a relief but I found that I actually liked to be pacing around, so after an hour or so I got out of the pool and I tried every position going. I remember feeling like I was in another time zone and at one point I felt like I was looking down on myself, it was such a strange experience, especially since I hadn’t had any pain relief (I genuinely think the cocktail of hormones that I was producing were making me feel high). I would never have described my surges as painful, they were intense and powerful but I always managed and then during the break I was laughing with Chris and the midwife.

A few hours after arriving at the birth centre I gave birth to Lucy (mainly by breathing Lucy down and pushing when my body told me to), there was a point where I didn’t think I could do it, not because I was in pain but because I didn’t want to eat which meant I was losing energy. I was offered gas and air but Chris told me he didn’t think I needed it and to be honest I knew that I didn’t need it either and that if it did make me feel sick that would be worse for me (I hate being sick). Lucy was born calmly and entered the world very quietly. I had immediate skin to skin contact with her, Chris cut the cord after it had stopped pulsing and I tried to birth the placenta myself but as I was so tired from not eating anything I decided after a while to have a little bit of help. My first words to Chris after Lucy was born were “I feel like superwoman”. Chris had skin to skin contact with Lucy whilst I was stitched up (I only had a small tear) and then I rang my mum to tell her that she could only come to the birth centre if she brought me a can of coke and some sweets.

Remember the midwife suggesting that I might have weed myself as my waters hadn’t gone? Well they never went because it turns out that I think they may have gone in the bath the day before, it was only afterwards that It occurred to me that when I thought I had slid down the bath causing a wave (I was huge), that actually it might have been my waters. I’m not 100% sure why the midwife hadn’t noticed that they weren’t there at that first examination but actually I’m pretty glad I didn’t know as it allowed me to continue on as normal. Do you also remember me telling you that we left our bags in the car? Well I refused to let Chris go and get them so I birthed naked and all the hypnobirthing tricks like the lavender, tea lights, MP3’s, tennis ball were all still in the car. I never got chance to use any of them but actually all I needed was the hypnobirthing breathing technique, faith in Chris, visualisations and the knowledge that my body knew what it was doing, don’t get me wrong the lavender and tea lights would have helped but I had all the power within myself.

Hannah and Chris, Pontefract.