Katie and I felt we should both write our stories down as they are very different (as all are!) and positive. So here goes…
Katie and Maisie Evelyn
Maisie Evelyn was born on the 29/10, in slightly dramatic fashion compared to her older sister. Before I go into detail about Maisie, I will quickly recap Violet’s birth.
Violet was a planned c-section as she was breach, they had tried to turn her (which I found incredibly uncomfortable) but she just wasn’t having it. My husband and I went in to hospital the morning of the 3rd of August, armed with many episodes of Netflix; I assumed I would be waiting around for hours, only to be told we were first up. Violet was born at 10:30 and everything went pretty smoothly (well as smoothly as giving birth ever does). We were discharged the next day and off we went.
Second time around, I now had to choose between a c-section or a vaginal birth. I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes for the second time and was on course to have a big baby, at my last scan Maisie was estimated to be 4.5 kg so I chatted it through with my mid-wife and decided a planned section was more preferable. This was scheduled for 31st October.
I woke up on the 29th at 5am with really bad stomach cramps, I immediately thought about what I had for dinner that night, assuming I had food poisoning. As time went on it dawned on me that I was actually having contractions, but definitely remained sceptical. It was a nursery day, thank god, so I just had to wait until Chris dropped Violet at nursery (it felt like the longest 20 minutes of my life) then we went straight to the hospital. I think the taxi driver took pity on me and took the route with the least amount of speed bumps. We got to hospital at 9am and my waters broke about 30 minutes later. I was on the gas and air by this point, which did nothing to reduce the contraction pains. Unfortunately, there was meconium in my waters so I was rushed in for a c section. Having to stay still for the spinal block injection whilst having contractions was a major challenge! It all happened very quickly and Maisie was born at 11:30am, she came out crying which was a relief as Violet wasn’t breathing initially which was very traumatising.
The midwife that was checking her over initially kept referring to her as ‘him’ which really threw us,, as we saw her come out! All the staff were commenting on her size (she was 4.1kg), not far off what the scan had predicted. The staff at the hospital were amazing and we had such a positive experience.
Sarah and Penny Nora
Penny Nora was delivered on 14 Nov, 8 pounds 2 ounces of perfection.
To put it bluntly, I had a rubbish birth with my first, Ivy. Episiotomy + forceps, need I say more.
I wanted to have a different experience this time and knew I had to try and get into a different head space, a friend recommended a hypnobirthing course. I am going to sound like a sales person for this course (link to site below) but in all honesty I put down my positive birth with Penny pretty much down to this.
I went to see my midwife at 3pm on the 14th and she said I was 5cm dilated, I hadn’t had a single contraction at this point, I was over the moon with this news and totally confused about how this can even happen!? For context, I was told I was 0cm with Ivy and was biting the metal arm of the chair and screaming for pain relief.
She gave me a sweep (which was completely fine) and off I went, warning me that if I got one contraction I needed to go straight in. There I was in the bath an hour later, definitely experiencing period type cramps which I ignored and thought I cannot possibly be in labour. Which in hindsight is mental, but I hear this so often from friends, you wait so long and then it arrives and you almost do not quite believe it.
I got out of the bath 20 minutes later and went upstairs to sit in the bedroom, in the dark, to try and focus on what was going on and to see if I was actually in labour. There I was on all fours with my head on the bed, swaying my hips back and forth, still telling myself I was not experiencing contractions. My husband tentatively suggested I open my birthing app. Within 7 minutes, the app was telling me I was in active labour.
I slowly started pulling my stuff together and told my husband we had to get going. I remember leaving the house and seeing Ivy in the bath, I just started crying and thinking about all the change that was about to happen for her.
I was most nervous about the taxi ride to the hospital, so much so, that I was going to have a home birth until I was told I was strep b positive.
My nervousness originated from my journey to hospital with Ivy where I recall every single speed bump and Dom chatting to the taxi driver as if we were off home from a night at the pub. We’d had a chat and he was under strict instructions to remain completely silent, I couldn’t handle 20 minutes of inane banter!
Once I arrived I was looked after by a lovely midwife (thank you Rose) who gave me gas and air and promptly told me I was 8 cm. HURRAH. She then whispered that the best birthing room was available but she needs to run to ensure we get there before the other couple. I legged it. I wanted that room.
Last time I was in the labour ward, the birthing centre was gorgeous (for a birthing centre anyway, think posh Travelodge).
We were admitted at 6:30pm and at 8:54pm Penny Nora arrived in the pool with zero drama. I couldn’t believe I had done it. I cannot stress how different this was from my first. I had all the drugs and was screaming for an anesthetist to administer anything and everything. We were discharged a day later, feeling a sense of overwhelming gratitude for the NHS and all the amazing staff that work there.
*The online course I completed was - https://thepositivebirthcompany.co.uk/digital-pack. You can dip into it when you want through watching a series of videos. All the other hypnobirthing courses I looked at were over weekends and over £400. Not only expensive, but really difficult for those of us who would then need to organise childcare too.