Birth Stories

The Birth of Leo

I was at work on Tuesday and feeling really well. Due to start maternity leave that Friday. Bump was still very high and had no pressure low down or anything odd. Felt he was going to be late! I had a midwife appointment on Monday and she thought baby had turned head down but I didn’t – he felt just the same, but I had a placenta scan scheduled for Thursday so thought I would wait and see. Was in the middle of moxibustion too!

I popped into Tesco and then was in the kitchen at 7 unloading the shopping when there was a gush and my waters burst! I was still so sure that it couldn’t be that, I thought it must be wee but it didn’t smell, and more continued to come out. I called MAU and given the potential breech and low placenta and the fact I was only 36 weeks they told me to come in.

We were so sure it was nothing we planned to pick up a pizza on the way home and when I got to MAU I kept my coat on. I even drove there as I had no pain.

They tested my pad and told me it was my waters! I couldn’t believe it. As we waited for the Doctor, I began to get what felt like wind pain and it took about half an hour of that before I realised they were the start of surges! A scan showed that baby was still breech and also that my cervix was shortening.

I then was given the options in terms of a vaginal breech delivery and a section. We used the BRAINS system and got given lots of information. Ultimately we chose a section as felt there was less risk to the baby and that although we could try a vaginal delivery, the rate of sections and interventions after that was pretty high. So we got ready, had a steroid injection and they hoped to wait another 13 hours before the section so I could have a second injection.

The early labour was quite easy and I used my breathing. The midwife and doctor commented on my high pain threshold which I put down to the breathing. I was then moved to an antenatal labour ward.

I asked for a birth ball and spent most of the time on that or on all fours on the bed. After an hour I found the pain quite tough and felt I wasn’t getting much more than a minutes break. The midwife came in and said she was sure it was still early labour and gave me some paracetamol to try and make sure I could keep going which I was happy to take.

Within half an hour I just felt there was no gap at all in the surges and the midwife called a doctor. They checked and I was 8 cm dilated! My waters had broken at 7, at 9 my cervix was shortening but closed, and by 1 I was at 8cm! This meant that they again asked if I still wanted the section, as baby’s bottom was starting to be visible in the examination and they were worried about timings. I didn’t want to change our decision because of a quick labour as the facts were the same so they jumped into gear and within 15 minutes I was being wheeled to surgery. I was still breathing but it was intense! I had to have another exam on the operating table to make sure baby hadn’t started down the birth canal and I was 9cm but then we got going and the section began.

Everyone was lovely and within 5 minutes baby Leo was born. I didn’t have my room spray or candles or my music as it had been so frantic, but the radio was on and Ed Sheeran Perfect was playing as Leo was born, and this was on my birth playlist and a song both Rich and I love so it was very special.

Leo cried at once and was a healthy 7 pounds 3 at 36 weeks and 3 days, born at 3.16am. It wasn’t my hypnobirthing water birth but I was calm and in control throughout and have a beautiful baby at the end of it! Thank you for all your help and support and see you at a coffee morning soon.

Jess and Rich, Halifax