Vicky and Matthew's Positive Birth Story

Updated: Sep 8, 2021

Tuesday 17th August

So, tomorrow would see me go to 41 weeks which would have meant decisions on a sweep and possibly talk of induction, which is not something that I saw as part of my birth plan this time around, so I spent the day on my birthing ball watching stupidly funny films and doing things to get the oxytocin flowing!

Later that evening I got up off the sofa to feel a warm trickle down my legs, after having period like pains and a bit of a show earlier in the day I knew this was now my waters going. There was no big gush, just continual leaking whenever I changed position.

I called the hospital I was due to give birth at to let them know they’d gone and that my preference was still to give birth in the MLU there, in the pool if possible. They advised me just to keep my Community Midwife appointment the next day, where they’d check me over to see if it was my waters that had gone. At this point they advised me that if I hadn’t gone into spontaneous labour within 24 hours they’d advise on an induction due to the risk of infection. Again, that was not my preference if it could be avoided, so I continued to practice some of the techniques we’d discussed during my hypnobirthing course, so we carried on our comedy film marathon to boost the oxytocin, I also continued to bounce on my birthing ball whilst doing some up breathing to relax me.

Sure enough by 22:30 my surges had started, at first they were very mild and infrequent, so I found breathing through them no problem. I started logging them on an app, and in a short space of time they’d really started to get stronger and closer together. I tried to have a lie down and rest with some deep relaxation in the back ground, but being laid down was becoming increasingly uncomfortable. I left my husband in bed to rest whilst I went back to my ball, in a now peaceful and dimly lit living room.

Wednesday 18th August

01:30 The time passed and the surges were coming more frequently and more intense now, so I switched between the ball and being on all 4’s over the back of the sofa, until I woke my husband up, getting him to come and be with me through the surges. Around 2am we called my mum over to ours to look after our youngest son whilst we made our way to the hospital. I called the triage midwife on the way to let her know that we were on the way as the surges were now around 3 in ten minutes, and with a 35 minute drive ahead of us wanted to make it in good time, she informed me that they’d opened up the MLU for us, so a midwife would be there to greet us. My confidence and positivity was boosted hearing this, as we really had our hearts set on a water birth within the birth centre.

I was feeling really calm and in control at this point, using up breathing for each surge and going back to some recorded positive affirmation tracks in the car as a way to remain calm, positive and focused. We made it to the MLU around 2am, I agreed to a vaginal exam to find that I was 7cm dilated on arrival, I was so proud that I’d gotten to this point using my hypnobirthing techniques, however the surges were really powerful now so asked for some gas and air whilst the pool was being filled.

My husband left my birth plan on top of my notes so the midwives were aware of my birth preferences, he was such an advocate for me, so again felt so empowered. Shortly after the pool was ready, so I got into the warm water which provided great comfort during the surges, which were at their most powerful, after being in the water for a while I was again examined to be told I was fully dilated so would hopefully meet my baby soon! However looking back on it now I was fully in transition, kept telling my husband and the midwives that I couldn’t do it, that I needed to get out of the water to go to the labour ward and have them take my baby out! I’d started to forget about everything I’d learned however my birth partner and the midwives were incredible here and really reassured me that I could do it, I think the fact they’d all read and respected my birth plan meant they knew what I wanted and did their best to help me continue with the water birth we’d planned.

I did my best to re-centre myself and went back to concentrate on my breathing, this time I remembered the down breathing technique, that along with a change of position meant that after a couple of surges I’d managed to push/breathe my baby all by myself, he’d happily come straight out into the water at 4:30am, just an hour and a half after getting to the MLU. I was able to be the one to catch him and bring him out up to my chest. It was an incredible feeling, more empowering than anything I’d felt before!!

We stayed in our little birth pool bubble whilst I delivered the placenta, which remained attached until the cord ran white, daddy then cut the cord, I was still the only one to have held him up until the point, so he was still covered in vernix whilst we enjoyed skin to skin cuddles. Daddy then enjoyed some skin to skin whilst I made my way out of the pool and onto the bed, on assessment I had a 2nd degree tear that’d need a few stitches, but I had to wait at least an hour for those as I’d been in the water. The midwives then left us to it to enjoy quiet time as a three… I’m still in awe of my body and how it really did just unknowingly knew what to do to birth baby Louie so naturally!

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