I found out I was pregnant for the second time just before Christmas 2011. My husband, Mike, and I were so excited and couldn’t believe how lucky we were. Our first little girl was an IVF baby and so our second pregnancy was completely unexpected.
During my first pregnancy I had been quite anxious and worried constantly which is why I had chosen to do the Hypno Birthing course with Sandra. I thought it might help me to stay calm throughout my pregnancy and look forward to the labour. It definitely worked and Jessica was born easily and without the need for any drugs. As Jessica was only 10 months old when we found out I was expecting again I decided just to go to Sandra for a top up session of the hypnobirthing as felt it had not been that long ago since I did the course last time!!
My second pregnancy was problem free and I was much more relaxed which was possibly down to the active toddler I had to keep me occupied, I had no time to worry or think this time round!! I tried to listen to my hypnobirthing relaxation CD as often as I could but it was difficult to find time while I was still at work. Once my maternity leave started I was able to listen to it every day though and get myself prepared.
Our ‘due date’ was the 14th August and everyone kept telling me baby would arrive earlier as this was my second child. The 14th August came and went and still no sign of baby. I was booked in for a stretch and sweep when I was a week over due and as this seemed to kick start my labour last time I was hopeful it would work this time too. I remained active and walked around most of that day trying to get things moving but nothing happened. The next day I started to feel uncomfortable with pressure low down in my pelvis and noticed a bit of a show. I was convinced this was it so asked my sister in law to have Jessica for the night and waited for things to happen. Mike and I walked around our village for three hours that evening hoping to move things along but still nothing!! I woke the next morning feeling completely normal and without any signs of labour at all and felt very disappointed. I was adamant I did not want to be induced and on the Thursday, I was 10 days overdue, the hospital rang to book me in for induction. I asked if I could put it off and was told I could but only by a day. So I had to agree to go into HWCh on Monday if nothing had happened before then.
I was feeling very down by now and uncomfortable. I was unable to sleep properly as it was warm and I was feeling continuous pressure on my pelvis. I was worried about where I would be when my labour began and what would happen to Jessica. My Mum and Dad live in Scotland so they decided to come down and stay in a hotel round the corner so they could have Jessica with them and I would have one less thing to worry about.
On the Friday I had hardly slept all night and was so uncomfortable. I rang Mike in tears at lunchtime and asked him to come home from work. He rang the hospital and they asked me to come in for observation as I was feeling this pressure all the time. I kept doing my calm breathing while I waited to see the midwife. She wanted to keep me in for
observation for the afternoon as I had a slight temperature and baby’s heart rate was slightly raised. I had still not started dilating though and was only 1cm which was the same as I had been on Tuesday at my stretch and sweep. I felt very deflated as was sure something must have been happening to be having all this discomfort. They put me on a monitor which showed I was having surges quite regularly which explained the pressure in my pelvis. After a few hours of monitoring they sent us home and said to get as much rest as possible as I more than likely be back in later than night!
We went to the supermarket on the way home but I didn’t feel like eating – Mike bought me a new dress instead!! We got home and I went in the bath and listened to my relaxation CD and then had an early night hopeful that I would be needing it!
I woke at 11pm and knew something was happening. I carried on doing my deep breathing and eventually gave in at midnight and went and ran the bath again. I put my relaxation CD on repeat and felt myself relax. I wasn’t sure what time it was or how often or how long my surges were lasting so I shouted through to Mike who was fast asleep. He came through and began timing them for me. I had been in the bath for three hours!! The surges were coming every two to three minutes and lasting about a minute. Mike rang the hospital and they told us to come in and that the birthing pool was available if I wanted it. I had wanted a water birth last time but Jessica had arrived too quickly so I was pleased I would have the opportunity this time round.
We arrived at the hospital about 4am and were shown to the delivery room. A midwife came to see how I was progressing and told me I was 3cm and could stay in. I didn’t want to go home again as thought I might not be able to get the birthing pool if I gave it up now!
The midwife told me I could not use the pool until I was 5cm dilated as the pool can cause labour to slow down. I was to stay active and try using the birthing ball as much as possible. I sat on the birthing ball for about 4 hours just rotating my hips and breathing through each surge with my eyes closed and felt very calm and relaxed. I didn’t feel that my surges were lasting very long so was worried that things were not moving along. I almost nodded off a few times which showed how relaxed I was. A midwife came in about 10am to tell me I could go onto the ward until things started happening as she didn’t think it would be anytime soon as I was too happy!! She asked me if I wanted her to check if anything was happening first so I agreed as was still desperate not to lose the birthing pool. I was 5cm and the midwife broke my waters while she was checking. At last I could get in the pool!!
It took the midwife about 20 minutes to fill the pool, during this time my surges got quite intense. I was offered gas and air but decided I didn’t want it as had heard it could make you feel sick. I was still coping with my deep breathing and didn’t feel the need to ask for any pain relief. The midwife informed me that as this was my second baby that things should move along quite quickly now and that she thought baby would definitely be here within the next 4 hours. It was so nice to get into the pool. It was lovely and warm and I felt relaxed. Mike put the relaxation CD on. All of a sudden my surges just kept coming and coming and I felt the need to bear down. I could feel baby moving down and started to worry that it shouldn’t be happening so quickly. The midwife was very encouraging and just told me to do what my body was telling me to do. She warned me that when my baby’s head delivered I should not touch her until she was fully born as it might make her take a deep breath under the water. I could feel baby’s head moving up and down as my surges refused to let up. Her head appeared and I could hear Mike saying she was coming. I kept telling the midwife not to touch her!! I kept my eyes closed the whole time concentrating on everything I was experiencing. I felt the rest of my precious baby enter the world and the midwife scooped her out onto my chest. Mike kept saying how amazing it was and that I had done brilliantly. I felt amazing holding my little bundle in the warm water while I waited for the cord to stop pulsating. I couldn’t believe it had happened so quickly, only 45 minutes after my waters broke. I had only been in the pool for 20 minutes!
Beautiful little Emily Joan weighed 7lb 15oz and didn’t make a peep when she arrived into the world. She fed straight away and was awake for ages afterwards sucking her hands and looking around, taking everything in. She was so alert. The midwives were very busy so Mike and I had lots of time for skin to skin contact with Emily while we waited to go onto the ward.
I feel very proud of myself for bringing both of my beautiful daughters into the world without any drugs. I feel I have given them the best start in life and know that that is down to the Hypnobirthing and all the support from Sandra. I will be able to tell my daughters that labour is not a painful, horrendous experience and hopefully be able to allow them to look forward to having their own children someday without that fear of birthing hanging over them. Thanks again Sandra xx