Two years ago today I gave birth to my 3rd baby, Juniper Violet. So I thought it might be nice to share my story.
To set the scene….being my third pregnancy, I knew the drill and knew what to expect. Having had 2 previous home births (1st one great, 2nd one not so great, very tricky….but that’s a whole different story!) I was all geared up for the 3rd go!
During this pregnancy I really got into hypnobirthing, much more than previously and boy what a difference. I truly loved it!!!! My husband and i both listened to the mp3s every night and really really got in it. Obviously being 3rd baby i knew the science behind things and how the body works, but this was different, i was really on board with the Hypnobirthing. I had my affirmations up all around the house, i was an A-star student.
My due date was the 22nd of March. On the morning of the 17th it was starting to snow, it was the weekend, so my husband had decided to take the kiddos to soft play. I was busy making them breakfast before they went and I started getting a cramping pain in my bum cheek, like a trapped nerve. It was very bizarre, coming and going, making me hop around the kitchen!! My husband Gavin laughing at me, I was even laughing at myself, trying to get rid of this trapped nerve sensation whilst making porridge for the family! Gavin asked me if I thought it was the start of something, to which I thought he was stupid even suggesting that. It definitely wasn’t labour pains, it definitely wasn’t the ‘start’ and I was absolutely fine. I went upstairs to shower and off they went at 9:30 to soft play.
Despite my positioning or my shower, this nerve pain wouldn’t go away. I spoke to my mum on the phone (those of you who know me will know she is a midwife, Sally). I told her about this silly annoying nerve and her advice to me was to call the home birth team to let them know I was getting some pains. She said the snow was getting worse and it may take them longer to get to me. During this phone call I thought my mum was an absolute twit, and hung up thinking ‘what a silly women, all these years of midwifery and she thinks im in labour now, ha, no way. Ive had 2 babies already, I know what the start of labour is like.!‘ As Gavin was out with the children I thought i would put my hypnobirthing on with my headphones and get in to bed for a lie down. I didn’t realise it at the time, but of course,this was labour and i was labouring.
I remembering being under my duvet, listening to the hypno, almost in a bit of a trance like state i guess, managing my contractions, breathing on my own. Still not thinking I was actually in labour. Little did i know my mum had spoke with my husband and they had both agreed that things were starting for me, so Gavin made arrangements for child care and his parents collected the kids. He came home about 1030 to find me in bed on my hands and knees. He didn’t say much, just left me to it, not telling me he was calling the midwife.
The next thing i remember was hearing my midwife walking into my bedroom saying hello softly, and i felt sooooo embarrassed. I thought ‘oh my gosh they are going to think im a huge time waster as not even in labour yet. Why are they here?‘ I then sat up, almost feeling like i was waking up, coming out of this trance like state and I got a huge contraction. The midwife didn’t say anything, she is a curvaceous lady and she stood next to me on the bed and gently held my head against her tummy, just holding me close, until the contraction passed. It seems like a small tiny gesture when I write it down, but this has stayed in my mind. Because at the time it felt magical just to be held, to feel safe, whilst having a peak in my contraction. She said ‘you had better come downstairs as gavin is doing the pool’. Even then, at this moment, I was still saying I wasn’t in proper labour yet, and it was too soon to be getting pool ready.
Anyway, my midwife helped me downstairs and I opened the door to lounge and it was like walking into a spa, Gavin had done so well! Music, candles, pool filling, i didn’t even know any of this had been going on!!!!! The midwife said i should get in the pool and i said no, its too soon. She said ‘Laura get in the pool’! She just knew. She knew from my body language, my mood, my breathing and my noise, she knew it was time. I got into the pool at 11:45.
Breathing rythmically and trying to relax with each contraction meant I didn’t even really feel myself pushing… but i was. I truly got into the Hypnobirthing process and with each contraction i was able to relax, and it really did work. It was honestly magic. The midwives asked if i wanted to feel my baby. Well at this point i thought they had absolutely lost the plot. No way was my baby’s head coming out…. but i reached down and it was. I was in shock, I couldn’t believe it. My body took over and i gently birthed my baby into my own hands, almost smiling! Sounds crazy i know, but true. A moment in time i think even the midwives won’t forget. Them telling me after “we don’t think we have ever seen a lady grinning whilst the head is crowning”!
Our baby girl was born just before 1230. I remember sitting in that pool, holding my baby in utter disbelief! Thinking ‘hang on a minute, what has just happened, I was standing in the kitchen stirring porridge a couple of hours ago and now I’m holding my new baby girl‘. It really was the most perfect morning and feel very blessed to have had such a positive experience.
So my advice would be to try Hypnobirthing, find a class you like, its important, trust your team, trust yourself, find your rhythm and trust your body.
Women’s bodies are amazing! Eliminate the fear and you are winning.
Happy 2nd Birthday to my little Juni, if only you had stayed as calm as your birth!