Sarah's Birth Story: Welcome to the World Grace!

birth story Jul 27, 2023

I’m not sure how I came to know about Hypnobirthing, but when I found out I was pregnant with my first baby and started thinking about having a nice pregnancy and birth, I read all about it and knew I wanted to give it a go. In life I’m a pretty chilled person, so felt like it would fit in well with wanting my baby to grow inside a relaxed and happy mummy. I also wanted my birth to be something I looked back on with pride, not horror. I wanted a beautiful experience of birthing my first born.

I attended the workshop and read the book many times, practising and practising my relaxation techniques. If I’m 100% honest, I didn’t religiously do the techniques day in day out, but I certainly did them on a regular basis.

When the time came and I went into labour it was a Sunday lunchtime and I just knew that is wasn’t the usual Braxton hicks. It was actually my due date, too. My latent phase was, unfortunately, quite long! My contractions were manageable and I was using my techniques to breathe through them. They were getting stronger and longer and by Sunday night were around 5-7 mins apart. I couldn’t sleep through them so spent Sunday night on the sofa, listening to my relaxation tracks, and feeling an excitement that I was going to meet my baby very soon.

By Monday late afternoon things hadn’t progressed much. Contractions were all over the place but were really quite long (some up to 2 mins) and were getting uncomfortable, but I felt in control and kept bouncing on my ball, having a walk around, and using my breathing techniques. At around 5pm I had a particularly strong contraction and felt quite wet. Thinking my waters had broken I went to the toilet and I was horrified to see quite a lot of blood. I had had bleeding earlier in my pregnancy and I must admit I did panic and made an emotional call to the hospital to let them know. They asked me to go straight down for a check-up.

As I’d gone in with bleeding all my plans of a water birth were out of the window as the birth centre wouldn’t take me. I was now under consultant care. The doctor examined me and I was 2cm dilated. She then swiftly told me that she was going ‘to get this baby out’! I asked if the baby or I were in any danger. We weren’t. The baby was absolutely fine. She said she’d start me on the oxytocin drip and then go from there. The midwife then said I’d probably need an epidural due to the pain of the induction, so I was devastated that all my plans for a natural birth were unfolding. Remembering everything I had learned from Mindful Mama and knowing that, actually, I didn’t have to just do want was being insisted on, I refused the induction, explained my birth preferences and I was sent up to the ward where I was given until 7am to labour naturally.

By 5am I was 7cm and I was delighted as I knew that I didn’t need the interventions planned. Although I couldn’t use the birth centre, my husband made the labour room very relaxing by dimming the lights, putting on the relaxation CD and I felt very calm and in control. However… I was exhausted as I had now been awake nearly 2 days so I did have some diamorphine to help me get some sleep. I totally regret that decision. In my sleep deprived state I felt I needed it, as I didn’t think I’d get through the next few hours due to sheer tiredness. It made me feel sick, made me feel totally out of it and I was pleased when it had worn off by around 9am. Plus, it totally slowed things down for me, I was still 7cm at this point. Looking back I was doing just fine on the gas and air. I was managing my contractions and standing over the bed to help get into the right position…. If only I wasn’t as tired as I was, I would have continued with just the gas and air.
Fast forward to 2.37pm and after quite a lot of pushing my beautiful baby girl was born. I needed a small cut, but other than that everything else I did by myself and I am so proud.

Grace was perfect. She did a little cry and then was so calm. In fact, she was the only baby on the ward who didn’t make one peep!

If I hadn’t been for what I had learnt on the course my birth would have taken a very different path, one which I definitely didn’t want. I look back on my birth with such pride and I honestly cannot wait to do it all again with baby number two. Hopefully next time I’ll get my water birth!

Needless to say, I always recommend Mindful Mama to all my pregnant friends! Thank you so much for helping me to believe I could have the birth I really wanted, even if it didn’t all quite go to plan.

If you are interested in the audio tracks check them out here

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