Birth Stories

The Birth of Jacob

I have just had my first baby, a little boy called Jacob. My due date was 28th April, however my birth waters broke just over a week prior to this. I had been feeling very tired for a few days and I just wanted to stay inside and rest – which is what I did.

On the Wednesday I was lying in bed in the afternoon and I heard a pop, actually it was more like a cracking sound from my stomach. I immediately assumed my waters had gone and ran to the toilet, however there was nothing there. About 15 minutes later I felt a large trickle of water. I rang the hospital and they advised they would send someone out to assess if it was my waters as we were a planned home birth.

When the midwife arrived she confirmed it was my waters, and informed us that if I wasn’t in labour within 24 hours they advised us to go to hospital due to an increased risk of infection. My contractions started that evening but were very mild and far apart, however I woke up with each one. By 4am they were about 7-8 minutes apart so we rang the hospital to advise them that things had started. It wasn’t until the following afternoon around 3pm (24 hours after my waters breaking) that the contractions reached about 3 in 10, so I got in the birthing pool and rang the hospital. However as they were every 2, 3 or 4 minutes apart, they advised us that they weren’t regular and we needed to get out the pool as it was too early, and as 24 hours had passed asked us to go to hospital.

We knew that other hospitals had a 48 hour rule rather than 24, so with this in mind and knowing the risk wasn’t very high, we decided to stick it out at home, which they accepted. The contractions continued, every 2, 3, 4 minutes, then a 20 minute gap, then every 7-8 minutes…. and this continued with lots of gaps. I used my breathing techniques learned from the hypnobirthing course, and played the relaxation CDs whilst using the birthing ball. During the night I tried to sleep between them but they were becoming too painful, I was exhausted, and by about 1am things were still the same and I knew something wasn’t right.

The hospital advised that it was likely my hind waters had broke but not the fore waters, which was the reason for things stalling. They advised they could go at any point or it could be hours away. As I had already done about 36 hours and nothing had changed, I decided I didn’t want to just keep waiting, knowing it could easily be another 12 hours or more, there was no way of knowing. Something was telling me to go to hospital, and I felt very happy with that decision.

As soon as we got to hospital I felt much more relaxed. I just wanted things over with, they confirmed my fore waters did need breaking, and I happily accepted induction, and requested an epidural due to pure exhaustion. I just wanted things over with!

We arrived at hospital at 2am on Friday 21st April, i was only 2cm on arrival, 4cm by 7.30am, I started pushing at 3:30pm and Jacob was born at 5:27pm. The epidural stopped working for the pushing stage so I felt it all, I needed an episiotomy as the cut off point is 2 hours before they would intervene with forceps.

I really enjoyed both being at home for the early stages and being in hospital. I was so relaxed in hospital and the staff were brilliant.

I really had an amazing experience and although things didn’t go to plan I feel so happy with the way it went. Not once did I feel anxious or any fear, the hospital completely accepted all our decisions and not once did I feel pushed into anything.

I don’t think I’d have lasted as long at home without the Hypnobirthing course. Both me and my partner Luke had prepared as much as we could for labour and we felt that we had a good understanding of our options. Luke found that through the home birth plans and the Hypnobirthing support, he was fully involved and had plenty to contribute whether it be his positive encouragement,  preparing the birthing pool, reminding me to drink, eat and relax he never felt like a helpless spare part. He was even fully involved in the birth as we only had one midwife for the pushing stage so he was very hands on and loved the experience.

Lucy and Luke, Leeds