Baby: My Positive Birth Story with my second baby

It's been six months since we had our beautiful Millie and I'm finally getting around to sharing her birth story. I wanted to make sure I had it written down so I could look back on it, and I loved reading positive birth stories when I was pregnant so hopefully it will be helpful for some of you! I did the Positive Birth Company course with Florence, and so bought it again so I could refresh my memory. Hypnobirthing has been amazing for me - you can read more in this post.

I went into labour four days early with Florence; you can read her birth story here but in summary, labour was really positive but was 36 hours from the very first contraction so quite lengthy. I was fully expecting Millie to be the same so it was a surprise when my due date came and went - and I didn't enjoy the constant questions asking if I'd had any twinges! I had a sweep at 40+6 which wasn't successful as she was so low so the midwife couldn't reach my cervix. She gave me some clary sage oil to massage in a couple of times a day as that can sometimes help bring on labour.

I was booked in for an induction on the Sunday, however on the Thursday morning I woke up early at 5.30 with a few contractions about 10 minutes apart. I then had one at 6.30 which ended with a big pop - my waters had gone! This was another surprise as my waters only went at the end of labour with Florence. I was laying in bed at this point and suspected what had happened so waddled to the bathroom and sure enough - they had very much gone. At this point my contractions started coming even more regularly and I just had a feeling that it was going to be quicker than with Flo bear.

I called the labour ward told us to come in to be checked (as my waters had gone) so I rushed around finishing my hospital bag and getting Florence ready to go to my parents. I was breathing through contractions and they were very manageable, coming every 5-8 minutes. 

We dropped Florence off and got to the hospital at 8.30 in the morning. It wasn't busy on the ward so we were taken to a room and told to get settled - I didn't know whether Chris could come in with me at this stage (Covid reasons) but luckily he was. I had two wonderful midwives (my main midwife was a student) and both were so lovely and I immediately felt at ease. They said they wouldn't do any checks for a while as wanted us to be relaxed and to get the oxytocin flowing. We were brought tea and toast for breakfast, and the room overlooked Lincoln Cathedral so it was just very lovely at this stage with a chilled atmosphere. Very different to when I arrived in labour with Florence when I was pretty out of it and couldn't eat anything! I bounced on my ball and the midwives set up an aromatherapy diffuser and gave us some Clary sage oil for Chris to massage in to my back when I had a contraction.

At this point the midwives weren't sure if my waters had actually broken, so were going to have to do an internal check and said they could then examine me and give me another sweep if I needed it. However literally as I was getting onto the bed my waters started leaking even more and it was very clear they had gone! 

Everything was very manageable until around 10.30 when the contractions massively ramped up - my student midwife had told me to do figures of 8 on the exercise ball which really seemed to get them going. The midwives couldn't believe the change as they left me happily chatting and bouncing on the ball and came back to me mostly stripped off with Chris holding a fan in my face. I put the tens machine on but it didn't do much at this point and the wires were irritating me. I was given some gas and air which was a good distraction. The midwives realised that things were moving fast and so rushed to get the birth pool filled which was in the next room. At this point I couldn't care less where I delivered but they knew I wanted a pool birth and that the water helped me last time.

Less than an hour later I could feel my body starting to push (just after saying that I couldn't do it and was too tired, hello transition!) and luckily the pool was ready so I could get in. I pushed for about 45 minutes with Chris guiding me. The only time the midwives got involved was when birthing the head - I had to slow my pushing and do little breaths. When pushing the body the midwives quickly realised that her hand was by her face so helped me onto my back (I was on all fours) so that they could help manoeuvre her out. And then she was here at 12.28pm, born in the water! We checked to see what she was (another girl - of course!) and had some cuddles in the pool before I was given the injection and delivered the placenta. 

I was never actually examined internally so it was hard to know exact times, but labour was recorded as 6 hours with 1 hour 45 minutes of established labour - a lot quicker than with Florence! They thought her hand might have caused a tear but it was just a graze so I was very lucky.

We had lots of skin to skin and were able to go home the same day - the hours following both births have been my favourite life moments ever. I loved telling our family the news, and even though I was sore and tired, the high was unbeatable.  I feel so lucky to have had such a positive birth - the midwives were just amazing and didn't do one internal exam as could see everything was progressing (was pleased as I found the examinations really hard with Florence) and they mostly left Chris and I to it. Hypnobirthing definitely helped keep me in a calm space even when things got intense so I really do recommend it.

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