Getting ready for the big push
We were having a baby.. and we had no clue what to do and where to begin.
Harrogate hospital offered NCT antenatal classes which we jumped at the chance to do. It was really helpful and would highly recommend. We went through;
- Pregnancy and birth choices
- Body awareness, relaxation, breathing and massage
- What happens in labour, role of a partner and how your baby is born
- Pain relief
- More complex pregnancies and medical procedures, including caesareans
- Home births and water births options
- Looking after a new-born and feeding your baby
- Early parenting and lifestyle changes.
There were only 7 other couples so it was nice and intimate. You felt like you could openly and comfortably ask questions and discuss your fears. You also realised that you aren’t the only one who doesn’t l have a clue what you’re doing or what to expect.
Now before I get into the nitty gritty, may I just express how baffled I was throughout my pregnancy at other mums who would always talk about their labour in such a negative way. They’d always say “When are you due” and then start to tell me all about how ‘horrendous’ labour is but how it’s ‘so worth it’.
I remember going into Boots when I was 2 days overdue and a woman asking me “When are you due” I explained how I was two days over. She then went on to say how she doesn’t envy me and how giving birth is ‘hell’ she actually used that word… ‘hell’. Now I wish I had the balls to turn around and tell her that
- I didn’t need her negativity when I’m about to give birth.
- Mums should all stick together! Everyone’s birthing story is different and no two births are the same. She terrified me! So if your reading this lady I saw in Boots.. ZIP it next time!
Now hypnobirthing for those of you who don’t know is using breathing and relaxation methods, the idea is that you can help your body relax and go through the natural process of giving birth without tensing up and feeling scared.
Thom was super keen for us to do this and even paid for it because he thought it would help me as I was quite anxious about the whole ordeal of child birth. The course suggest that, mostly, pain during labour is a fear response that can be avoided if you learn the right techniques before having your baby. So for the next 9-10 weeks it was breathing techniques, script reading and a lot of ocean soundtracks. I would HIGHLY recommend hypnobirthing, not only because it helps but I did the course with Thom and I felt so supported and a lot closer and connected to him during labour.
Tips: hypnobirthing is the use of positive language and keeping calm. You’re encouraged to say you’re having ‘waves’ instead of ‘contractions’, and you’re ‘breathing out’ your baby rather than ‘pushing’ to help you feel more in control. – Practice if you don’t practice you don’t learn and your body & mind won’t respond.
So there I was taking a nap at my mum and dads house. I was complaining in the day of back ache and weird tummy pains but didn’t really read into it, so i just had a nap and hoped I’d wake up feeling a bit brighter.
I woke up, with my dog Bonnie staring at me and acting some what peculiar. Then it happened all in the space of half an hour on Wednesday 2nd May at 5pm. The mucus plug went and shortly after my waters break! (I was actually on the phone to my bestie at the time discussing mucus plug and if that was what it was – gross I know). And then BOOM ‘OMG I think my waters just broke”. The look on my dads face was priceless, anyone would of thought he was the one who was about to have a baby.
My dads such a Yorkshireman and it doesn’t take much to gross him out. Saying this, my dad was an absolute godsend during the whole of my pregnancy and leading up to the due dat- he took me out everyday, looked after me, made me meals. This is something I will never forget- love ya dad!
Now, when I imagined this happening (waters breaking etc) I thought I’d be terrified but I wasn’t, I couldn’t think of anything more exciting than 1. Meeting my baby girl and 2. Not being pregnant anymore!
So I rang Thom, told him the situation and to come pick me up. When we got home I called the hospital and spoke to the Midwife’s who told us to come in, so they can check if it’s actually my waters that had broken. They confirmed that they had broken and to go home and wait until my contractions were coming every 3 minutes.
Off I went home to try and relax and start all my hypnobirthing techniques, the aim is to release as much Oxytocin as you can and try and not release Adrenaline, because that will slow down your contractions.
Wednesday 5am, no sleep and sickness had started again, panic started to arise, oh and my contractions were coming thick and fast. I had already called the hospital but they told me the ward was full and to continue what I’m doing at home.
By this time I was throwing up anything I drank or ate and releasing adrenaline thick and fast. I was pretty hysterical at this stage! I rang the hospital and explained my situation, so they suggested I went in for a sickness injection and a quick check over. They sent me home again but had booked me in for an induction At 6pm that evening. I was hoping things will of started to progress by then so I wouldn’t need to be induced.
TIPS: The sickness injection was a miracle worker (highly recommend).
Now I was hoping I could get back on track and try get my contractions back to every 3 mins. It didn’t happen.
Thursday 3pm sickness starting to come back, contractions all over the place and extremely uncomfortable. I’d sent Thom off for a nap at this point and I jumped in the bath to try and relax.
Birth plan: I wanted a relaxed environment, candles, incense, dim lights, calm music and a water birth. Now this was all subject to change obviously depending on how I was getting on.
Thursday 5pm off we went to hospital with all of our bags. I’d already been awake 24 hours but I didn’t actually feel tired just wanted this baby out!
At the hospital
When we got to the hospital we were told AGAIN that it was still busy and I couldn’t be induced as there wasn’t a room for me to use. So they put me on the maternity ward until there was a room and some midwifes available to take care of me (kinda important).
Thom set up all our stuff that we brought, blankets, my teddy, Ipad and snacks. I made some phone calls to mum to tell her the situation, spoke to some of my friends to keep them updated and we just chilled for a few hours watching friends and practising our hypnobirthing.
I spoke to the head midwife who was so incredibly nice and made me feel really calm. She talked through my birth plan and spoke about pain relief with me. We came up with the plan that we would check how far dilated I was at midnight and If I wasn’t ‘ready’ then I would have a hormone drip to hurry things on and then the epidural.
I kind of got my head around this and was getting excited that I’ll be doing it ‘pain free’ so to speak. Up to this point my contractions were really strong but my hypnobirthing was keeping me focused. Oh and my husband who was literally a superhero the whole way through. I have no idea how I would of done it without him. (Shout out to Thom)
Midnight struck. And I was ready to begin. So it was over to the pool room for me. Which by the way was like a spa! (Check out the pics). For 4 hours I had what I wanted: relaxed environment, candles, insense, dim lights, calm music and a water birth.
Enough is enough!
4 hours pushing in the pool using gas and air and still no baby… I even tripped out from the gas and air that when I was pushing and could hear the Midwife’s telling me that they could see the babies head. When I said “Is she here” seeing their faces looking back at me blankly I knew she was still nowhere near.
This was where the ‘3 times’ rule came in. Myself and Thom agreed that I would have to ask ‘3 times’ for the epidural to know I was serious. (I never had anything against the epidural for those of you who are wondering, I just had this image and a plan that I wanted to follow, but as I said I was open to change.)
“GET ME OUT” now this was the scariest part of my labour, my contractions were so intense and I had to go from the room I was in to another room. I just wanted the ‘pain’ to stop. I had the epidural at about 5am after that I was able to have a brief rest, send Thom off to get food for himself , have a shower and a nap. Meanwhile I was administered the hormone drip at 8am. I then slowly built my contractions back up and was fully dilated at about 11.30am.
The big push!
I was so excited to start pushing and a little scared as I didn’t really know what to do. The Midwife’s took care of that. They were incredible! (Shout out to Harrogate Midwife’s) it was so casual she came into the room and said “Right let’s start pushing shall we”. I honestly felt like we were all in it together. Me, Thom and the two amazing Midwife’s.
I started pushing at 11.50am Friday morning and with a little episiotomy to help her, she was born at born at 1.06pm Friday 4th May (May the fourth be with you)! 43 hours and she was out! Hurrahhhhh.
I’m a survivor #destinyschild
I survived it! I had given birth.. not how I planned but that didn’t matter anymore not when I had a happy healthy baby.
I instantly fell in love. That moment when she is placed onto your chest, into your arms it’s a moment I’ll treasure for ever. I think that’s probably the reason why all women do it over and over again.. because of that moment. I’ve never felt closer to my husband than at that moment. (Shout out to all the birthing partners around the world. It isn’t just the women giving birth that have their work cut out!)
The best bits
◦ Pushing her out:!My epidural was amazing I could feel my contractions still but without being uncomfortable. I knew when to push and it was honestly amazing and watching her come out was incredible.
◦ Skin on skin: for an hour was magical. I delayed weighing so that I could have skin on skin for an hour with my new baby girl.
◦ The first latch: I chose to exclusively breastfeed Adeline and hoped I would be able to. The moment (with a little help from the Midwife’s) where she latched and fed from me for the first time was a magical moment where I suddenly felt connected to my new baby and I knew from then on this was the best thing myself and my amazing husband had done.
◦ The secret: we didn’t tell anyone I had given birth for at least 2 hours which was quite cruel to say my close friends and family were so worried. But we both agreed we didn’t want any phones taking over our moment, we just wanted the three of us to enjoy this special time. And I’m so glad we did.
◦ Going home: going home was surreal. Leaving the hospital was surreal. Watching Thom proud as punch whistling down the hospital corridor with baby Adeline in her car seat was a sight to see. At that moment I remember thinking.. that’s my family and my god I’m lucky.
#newmum #newparent #babystory #birthingstory #hypobirthing #motherhood #honestmum #mumblogger #mumblog #babygirl