Hi everyone, my name is Hannah a new mama to the most beautiful Dream Baby - Jonah James Edmunds and I am thrilled to share my birth story with you. Hopefully this empowers you to see birth has something truly incredible. I’ve seen birth stories written so many times but I actually can’t believe it’s my turn to tell my birth story! I took part in a few courses, the Dream Birth Masterclass and started to read about hypno birthing from around 14 weeks. I really enjoyed learning all about the stages of labour/birth and feeling informed.
🥇FTM Surprise Gender - Jonah James Edmunds ⚖️ 8.7lb 26.07.20 (day before due date) @ 2:21pm Hospital, labour ward ❌ No pain relief ️ possible triggers - 3rd degree tear, loss of blood. Waters broke...this is it, we are in labour!
The day before my due date, fortunately after a great nights sleep, my waters broke at 7:30am, at home in bed. It started with a trickle but it felt uncontrollable and a little different to anything else. I got up and put on a pad, which is when a few more ‘gushes’ occurred making me more certain it was my waters. We rang our parents (after a few bouts of Diarrhoea - making me even more sure something was happening!) but I tried to not get too excited just incase. We then rang the labour ward who said to come in as I wasn’t sure if there was reduced movement and to double check it was my waters. Luckily my husband put all the bags in the car - I wasn’t going to! - and we made our way to hospital. I went into the MLU alone and chatted to a girl in the waiting room. We got called through to be checked and as I sat and chatted I noticed contractions ramping up.
Traces of Meconium meant it was going to a labour ward birth...not my preference but thats ok.
The midwife came to check my monitor and said contractions were quite strong but not really that regular. She asked if I was handling them ok then explained that Meconium traces were in my waters, so I would have to go up to the labour ward to be monitored further. I was abit disheartened at this point as my plan for a water birth had gone out of the window instantly. The good news was my husband could join me on the labour ward as we had a private room.
Having the confidence to ask
I was examined by the midwife and given a sweep, they confirmed I was 3cm dilated and asked me to have the syntocin drip to ramp things up as my contractions, although stronger, weren’t as regular as they’d like. Because of my reading and courses I felt informed and in control about this and decided I would like to avoid any kind of intervention. I explained to the midwives that ideally I didn’t want the drip, but if baby was at risk I would. The midwife understood but said she would only give me 2 hours max to see if things started happening and if not, then I would have to go on the drip - so glad I asked!!
Almost instantly contractions had heightened so I was really focusing my breathing through them now and using my up breathing techniques, it was working really well for me just staying on the bed in one place. I tried to move to the ball for the next contraction but upon doing so lost my breathing and it felt quite intense. I moved back to the bed (weird as I had thought I’d want to be as active as possible but I just didn’t find it comfortable!) The next contraction took me by surprise - I lost my breathing and felt increased pressure and a huge instinct to push, my body took over and started pushing. I hadn’t even opened my birth bag at this point so all the candles/music etc I had planned was out the window 🤣.
From 3 cm to 10cm in 30 minutes
The midwife looked at my husband and asked him to ring the alarm for a senior mid wife to attend. The midwife came in and did a quick exam and confirmed I was at 10cm! I had gone from 3cm to 10cm within 30minutes! She said that we would have our baby soon and I now had to push with each contraction. The next contractions came and I couldn’t control my body it just took over, using all my strength to push baby out (this did mean that I was quite loud with my bearing down sound!) again this took me by surprise as I didn’t want to use a ‘ufo’ position, instead I had my legs up on the bed, on my back(!) and used handles to help me push! With each contraction I did about three pushes and could feel baby travelling down with each one. There were a few times I pushed and felt the babies head emerge but pop back in and up - I watched it empty and fill my stomach a few times! This did start to make me feel disheartened, but the midwife assured me they were working and that baby was coming a bit closer everytime.
The crazy part for me was the calmness in between, where I could talk normally, ask questions and prepare for the next contraction. My husband had a look after each set of pushes and kept me informed of the progress - I even reached down to feel babies head! It was the most surreal feeling when I pushed the head out and then gave an extra push as the babies body followed behind - the relief was instant! Although I felt in shock as I had only been labouring a short amount of time, the pride and power I felt was incredible. Due to the quick process I suffered 3rd degree tears and lost quite a lot of blood (so true that you don’t feel it!), I was informed that I would have to go down to theatre to be stitched. They used a spinal block and stitched for nearly 2hours, but this was painless and I actually enjoyed talking to all the doctors - I was on a high!
My labour lasted two hours and twenty one minutes!
My actual labour + birth lasted 2h and 21mins and our baby boy was born at 2:21pm. Such a surreal and incredible experience. It will stay as a positive memory in my mind forever! I can’t thank the companies that promote positive births enough, as the hypno birthing breathing was what got me through without any pain relief, panic or feelings of not being in control. My husband couldn’t believe what he’d witnessed and still keeps repeating that he was just in awe of what happened and how focused I was on my breathing and staying calm and in control.
Before I was pregnant I was so scared of birth.
I feel it’s important to add that even before I fell pregnant I was terrified of birth. I was actually known to my friends and family as being the one who was really scared of it! So I knew I’d have to work hard to avoid being anxious and scared for the whole of my pregnancy. As soon as I caught wind of this positive movement to empower and equip women with tools to make their birth calm and positive, I was right on board! It didn’t take long before I was feeling excited about my birth, reading positive birth stories daily and eagerly awaiting mine! I embraced the meditations, guided relaxations and positive affirmations - and even though I didn’t use them during my birth, they absolutely helped changed my mindset before hand.
Our bodies and mind are incredible, fact!! So many women have traumatic experiences and it really doesn’t have to be that way. I can’t recommend The Dream Birth Company enough.Myself and my husband also took part in the Zoom masterclass, where Clodagh shared lots of techniques and tips on how to prepare for a mindful, centred and overall positive birth. I used the free audio files frequently, listening to positive affirmations and regularly doing the ‘full body scan’ to feel relaxed. Even after birth their Instagram content still provides me with information, encouragement and support. Thank you!
Thank you Hannah for sharing your birth story with us. We were honoured to be part of your birth preparation journey. To follow Hannah find her on instagram here.