In Rosie’s words
I knew something was happening on the Tuesday night, when I was getting mild period like cramps in my tummy. My partner was away from home that night. The following day I continued to get the tightenings but carried about my business- walking the dog (I had been doing a lot of walking leading up to this day), and I even got my hair done at the salon! The tightenings started to get more intense and quite regular by about lunch time so I popped myself in the bath, listened to music and sat on my bouncy ball. All the while I had my gorgeous dog for company (and baby of course).
My partner returned home about 5pm, and we rang the hospital for advice. They said we could come in if we wanted as we’re an hour away, and we could either stay over or come back home. We got to the hospital at about 8pm where they hooked me up to the monitor briefly, confirmed I was in early labour and we chose to settle in for the night in a great room with a double bed and a huge bath! We were the only people in the maternity ward- it was so quiet which was lovely. I was feeling very calm and happy. The lights were low, and I spent time in the bath, on the ball and in the bed- but mostly in the bath. I listened to a lot of music on my i-pod. A lot of the songs I had chosen reminded me of when I was a teenager and I enjoyed the memories as they came back to me. The midwives had read my birth plan and so pretty much left me to it which was perfect. My partner was a great support, encouraging me, holding my hands and pouring water on my back. I eventually asked for the nitrous oxide gas during the night at some point. I remember visualizing myself opening up with each surge which was also helpful.
I continued on peacefully in the bath and started to bear down about late morning. At about lunch time I was encouraged to get out of the bath as the water was getting cold and they don’t do water births there. I then found it hard to get comfortable again, and my partner became anxious at one point which I picked up on. I had been ‘pushing’ for over the allocated 2 hrs and so the midwife called in the doctor (although she really didn’t want him to intervene). I managed to scramble onto the bed and despite the lack of another all important surge, I managed to birth my baby without any intervention. We then enjoyed the euphoric skin to skin bonding with our beautiful little girl Olive.
During the whole of my labour I felt happy, excited and calm.
The hypnobirthing course allowed me enter my labour without fear which I am sure is why I felt so calm. I think I left my bubble of calm during the second stage, but think this could have been avoided if I had stayed in a nice warm bath.
Olive was born at 38 weeks, which I was very pleased about, as I had gestational diabetes which meant that the doctors would have been encouraging me to be induced at 40 weeks. I drank a lot of raspberry leaf tea, walked and did yoga during late pregnancy. Olive was born with very low blood sugar, and wasn’t feeding enough to get her blood sugar back up. Luckily I had been expressing colostrum from about 36 weeks, which solved the problem quickly.