The Birth of Peter
At 24 weeks pregnant I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes and felt that I needed hypnobirthing more than ever. Hearing the words high risk, I thought that all of my control would be taken away and that I would have to battle to get the birth I want. At every appointment induction was mentioned, and every time I declined as I really wanted to go into spontaneous labour.
I believe that the power of visualisation and meditation helped me go into spontaneous labour.
I believe I started very early stages of labour on 17/2/21 when I was 36 weeks pregnant. I can’t put my finger on it but I just didn’t feel right and this was the day I began losing my mucus plug.
On Sunday 21st Feb (37 +1) I began having sensations which was pressure, mild abdominal tightenings and sensations in my lower back. My husband works away in the military and was not at home at the time, I decided to contact him at 1.30am on Monday 22nd Feb.
I began timing the sensations and tried to get some sleep, I was woken every 8 minutes or so and decided that it was time for my husband to make the 4 hour drive home.
He arrived home around 8am in the morning and I had laboured for 12 hours in the sanctuary that is my bedroom, with low lightening, some lovely relaxing music and the only position I was comfortable was standing and slowly walking around the room.
When Michael arrived home, I decided to have a bath and in the meantime Michael had packed the hospital bags, packed the car, had been to the supermarket for snacks and had put some relaxing music on for me to get in my zone.
At around 11am I decided to go to the hospital as surges were around 4 minutes apart and were becoming more intense.
I consented to an examination in hospital and was 3cm dilated, due to the pandemic Michael was not able to come in until I was 4cm so i decided to go home where I could have another bath and something to eat.
On arriving at home, we had food and put Peter Kay on the tele to boost oxytocin as this is something that we both really love to watch and find hilariously funny! And I decided to have another bath and have some paracetamol. I was still most comfortable standing up and pacing slowly. The surges were manageable but became more intense on getting out of the bath, I decided I needed some more pain relief so at 1pm we went back to the hospital. I found being in the car very uncomfortable, as a distraction and to boost oxytocin we talked about our wedding day in New York as one of the songs had come on the radio that reminded us of the day, perfect distraction!
On arrival at the hospital I consented to another vaginal examination to learn that I was 4cm dilated. Michael was able to come in and I started with some gas and air to help with the surges. I consented to monitoring to see how baby was coping with the surges.
Within an hour the surges became more intense, the sensation was solely in the bottom of my back and after requesting another examination I learnt that I was 6cm dilated but by this time I felt I couldn’t cope well with the intensity and requested an epidural. It was then that my waters also broke.
Following the epidural, I felt so much better and was coping well with surges. Baby was becoming tired and his heart rate was dropping so a monitor was placed on top of his head to monitor more closely.
Following discussions with doctors and Michael it was decided that baby needed some help to come into the world. He was born using a suction cup and I consented to an episiotomy to aid him being born.
The doctor who delivered the baby asked me to focus on her and to listen to her, she talked me through everything she was doing and gained consent for everything explaining why she was doing it.
Peter was born safely with the help of the amazing staff! His umbilical cord was complexly wrapped around him which was causing his drop in heart rate so the interventions were very necessary at the time.
It was overall a positive experience, I felt empowered and informed at all times. I felt that staff were involving Michael in decision making and the midwives put us at ease very quickly, asking questions and being genuinely interested. The anaesthetist took time to speak with myself and Michael following epidural and had some military background in common with Michael.
This was not my plan A birth but knowing that I was informed and made to feel at ease and relaxed made it a positive experience for me.
We will be forever grateful for the intervention of the delivery team and how the made us feel during the birth of our son.
I feel that hypnobirthing gave me the tools to labour at home for 18 hours using breathing techniques and staying calm, boosting oxytocin and staying positive throughout the birth. Hypnobirthing also helped me make informed decisions regarding my pregnancy and birth, and helped me understand that it is my body and my birth and every aspect was my decision.
Francesca and Michael