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When my sister caught our baby girl Jemima...

Updated: Apr 9

On Saturday 26th March I was having braxton hicks, and this continued throughout Sunday at various points. We had planned to go out for the day but changed our minds and stayed at home. By Sunday night the surges became more regular and throughout the night I was having one surge every 30 minutes. They started off really mild, a little like period cramps. Monday morning they started to increase in intensity and became more regular so we started to make plans for the children. My 2 year old went to my parents house, and we told the eldest two that they may need to go to their Nan's house after school but we wasn't really sure because this first stage of labour can take days.

We had a home birth planned, so my sister came over and started to set up downstairs. We had bought a birthing pool and that was out, but not blown up. We also called the hospital and they told us that the homebirth midwives were already at someone's house from the night before so unless it was after 7pm that evening it was unlikely that they would be able to come out to us, so we also made sure that we had the hospital bag packed and ready to go. These surges continued without any change for the rest of the morning and afternoon. My sister went back home again and my husband was working from home, sat in the corner of our bedroom at his desk. I was in our bedroom as well and went between laying on the bed, to sitting upright on the birthing ball. I watched some TV, listened to music, and tried to keep eating and drinking... still not really sure if this was the 'real deal' or not. I was using the TENs machine, as well as my up breathing and was quite comfortable with the surges.

We decided that it was probably best that the children stayed at their Nan's that night so my husband packed their overnight bags and dropped them off. Whilst he was out I was starting to get fed up, and started to google positive birthing stories where there was a long first stage. Other than the surges there were no other signs of labour, my waters hadn’t broken. This birth was so different to my first.

Whilst my husband was out I shut the curtains, put our birthing play list back on, got out of bed and sat up on the birthing ball leaning forward on the bed, I also got my sons teddy to smell… all the things that I had learnt through hypnobirthing. The surges were comfortable, but I wanted labour to progress, I was thinking about the environment, oxytocin, and UFO! I heard the door shut as my husband came home, felt a pop, and my waters broke on the next surge. After that each surge felt more intense, I continued to use the TENs machine and breath through each surge. My husband logged back into the computer and started to complete his handover. It took a couple of surges before he realised that things were cranking up quite quickly!

I messaged my sister and asked her to come back over. The surges were very quickly becoming more regular and intense. My sister tried to phone the hospital and couldn’t get through, and my husband was trying to get through to 999. Things had ramped up so quickly it was too intense to get in the car. We had moved downstairs, attempted to inflate the pool but soon gave up. I was on my hands and knees leaning over the half inflated pool when I had an uncontrollable urge to push.When it was clear that the baby was coming with no midwife there I started to panic before reminding myself that the best thing for the baby was for me to trust that my body knows what to do.

After three or four surges she was out, along with the placenta. I guided her on her way out into my sisters hands. She was born 45 minutes after my waters breaking, and was delivered by my sister and husband.

The paramedics arrived 10 minutes after she was born and stayed with us for another 4 hours. They stayed with us until the midwife arrived 2 hours after she had been born, and for another 2 hours until the midwife had left, to make sure that we didn’t need transferring into hospital. All the checks and stitching were done at home, by the time everyone had left our living room was cleaner than what it had been that morning! The midwives and paramedics were incredible.

Having a shower in our own home and going to bed that night was the best feeling. As well as the three of us spending the night together, instead of my husband having to go home. I will treasure our first night together in our own home forever.

At first I felt that it was my fault and that we should have left to get to the hospital sooner, but in reflection there was never a moment before my waters breaking where I felt that the surges were more uncomfortable than what I could cope with, and after my waters had broken we only had a 20 minute window or so before I had the urge to push, and in that time we were trying to get through to the hospital.

I wish I could bottle up the feeling after giving birth to my daughter. It felt amazing, I was so proud of myself and my body, it was a feeling that I didn’t want to forget! I felt so grateful to my daughter for all that she had taught me about myself before she had even taken her first breath.And I felt so grateful for hypnobirthing. Hypnobirthing had already transformed how I felt towards birth in the lead up, but there were key points during my labour where I can vividly remember referring back to everything that I had learnt to guide me on what actions to take next, as well as having the confidence in my body to follow its lead.

We requested a recording of the 999 call and have a snippet of the recording below-

The voice in my head was coming from a place of calm and confidence, which I truly believe that was down to what I had learnt through hypnobirthing. If you would like to approach birth, with calm and confidence take a look at my one-day group hypnobirthing and antenatal courses.

Hypnobirthing and Antenatal Course Rayleigh Essex

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