MummyNatal Birth Stories
I have the pleasure of sharing with you 4 amazing birth stories from 4 wonderful mums who each attended at least one course of MummyNatal with me in Walton-on Thames. Each of the stories is in the mums own words.
A Water Birth at the Midwife Led Unit – Katy and the birth of Skyla
*Warning contains strong language*
I’m 37 weeks exactly, It was a Gorgeous sunny day on May 26th my first day of maternity leave. I had been to get my nails done for a pre baby pamper then waddled home for tea, cake and online baby shopping. As I struggled to get off of the the sofa. I felt it! That oh my god I have wet myself, Hold on! That’s not! What! My waters had broken. First thing panic! No I’m 37 weeks this is too early. I haven’t finished the room, I haven’t even enjoyed my mat leave! Quick ring my mum. I tell my mum my waters have gone and ask what should I do (hubby at work). I get to the birth centre and call my husband. Ring ring ring voicemail, ring ring ring voice mail! Of all the times not to answer your phone! 20 mins later “hello are you ok? MY WATERS HAVE GONE! Oh shit really! Yes get home now! My hubby doesn’t drive a car so I jump in my own car and drive myself to birthing centre.
I arrive at the birthing centre and the midwife confirms my waters have gone. No contractions and I’m feeling fine so I’m advised to go home rest and call us when you start to progress. Great I thought, oh bugger I’ve got an early break no pain bet nothing happens and induction and c-section it is.
Get home and I forget the best man from our wedding is popping over. Oh hi Mike. are you ok? “Yeah how are you?” “Good I’m in labour but don’t worry I feel fine come in.” Now I’m starving I could do with a walk to get this labour going I’ll pop to the co-op (also need birthing snacks and drinks).
It’s about 9pm. My waters went at 7pm. Is that a contraction or just achy pregnancy body who knows carry on. Get home and I have some snacks! (I need my strength if I’m pushing a baby out this weekend). I jump up! Shit I haven’t got the Moses basket ready! Shit we haven’t finished packing! Frantically throw what I hope is the right basket sheets and blankets in the washing machine and finish my bag.
At 11pm I have a relaxing bath ouch ….. ouch ….. ouch I think my contractions are started ouch OUCH OUCH yes my contractions have definitely started. My contractions came all of a sudden and every 1-3 mins from the beginning. Ok get out of bath breath remember what Kayleigh taught you.
Get on the ball roll though hips and breath I close my eyes and use my visualisation technique. For me the visualisation technique was the best I would imagine my baby coming in to the world and my hubby holding the baby for the first time. I would think about the end goal of my tiny perfect baby. For me this was the best way to deal with the pain of the contractions and kept me so calm throughout.
It’s about 3am and I think wow I’m doing so well I can handle this my hubby is amazed how calm I am. I call the birthing centre and tell them my contractions are very close and I’m bleeding a little they say give it another half an hour or so as it’s your first baby you will be ages. I though bugger you I know my body so well from Kayleigh’s classes and doing my body scan I know I need to get to the centre this baby is coming.
Again the hubby doesn’t drive (nightmare) ring round finally someone answers. Mike to the rescue we need a lift baby is coming. I’m really starting to feel it now I’m pacing my flat and changes to simple breathing and silence. I can no longer visualise but can focus on the silence and breath.
In the car I admit the screaming starts. This baby is coming now! We should of called an ambulance. I can feel so much pressure it’s coming I’m going to give birth in the car! Poor hubby rubbing my back and telling to remember my classes. I was scared!
We’ve arrived run to doors fall to my knees and shout my baby is coming now! Rush me to the examining room I’m throwing my knickers off down the corridor. I lay down and I hear ok Katy you’re 10cm let’s get you in the pool now! Once my feet dipped in that water I felt a massive sense of calm came over me I could focus again on my breathing. I took the gas and air to take the edge off I hear those words you can push now. My amazing hubby remembered I wanted a quiet room and that’s what they gave me. It was so nice to have such a calm environment I was able to push my baby out it near silence and there she was after an hour of pushing my beautiful baby girl in my arms!
After being cleaned up and a few stitches I lay in the lovely double bed with my baby. I thought to myself wow! I managed to get the 10cm all by myself with no drugs just though the power of visualisation and breathing. I’m so freaking proud of myself. I really don’t think I could of remained so calm with out Kayleigh’s classes. She taught me the power of breathing and knowing your body.
Skyla Elizabeth Storey born 27th may at 37+1 at 7lb3 So in love! Latched 20 mins after birth and still going.
Home the same day just in time for a take away curry yum!
An Elective Caesarean section – Lindsay and the birth of Joni
With my second baby I planned a VBAC. I was under a consultant after having an emergency section the first time around. Everything was going as it should, baby was head down and I was just waiting for that first niggle. A week before due date I had some reduced movement. So I went in for monitoring, I had been having growth scans throughout pregnancy too. Because it was my second episode of reduced movement in the 3rd trimester I was referred for a scan. They estimated the baby to be quite big and advised that VBAC was not a good idea in this case and a planned section would be safer.
I had a couple of days to come to terms with it and use the skills I had been working on in class to calm myself down and think clearly. It’s not what I had been planning and I felt so disappointed. But if I weigh up my first birth of 2 days of forced contractions, the difficulty they had breaking my waters, being the most tired I’ve ever been and THEN having an emergency c section. It was a no brainer. (I then started getting contractions the night before my planned section… but that’s another story!)
I walked into theatre, I had a full face of make up and freshly washed hair, I had my own music playing, I got skin to skin in theatre and my daughter latched on whilst I was still on the table. It’s not what I envisioned when I initially thought about having babies and ‘giving birth‘. But It was so unbelievably calm and – enjoyable seems like the wrong word…but it really was. I used my breathing techniques and zoned into my music whilst my baby was brought into the world.
I didn’t cry when my son was born, I think I was just too tired, too stunned and just relieved we were both ok. The minute I saw my daughter both my husband and I burst into tears. I think I was more in the moment and more in control and felt safe.
The recovery is tough I cannot lie about that, but I think it was easier second time as I was more at peace with what had happened and it wasn’t so much of a shock. I have also had an amazing experience with breastfeeding this time so I really don’t feel like having a c-section gets in the way of that at all and there were many more reasons I couldn’t feed successfully the first time.
The contractions I did experience gave me the sense that things would not have progressed quickly. And could have potentially ended in an emergency again. In going for the planned section I feel like I took control of the situation and was able to experience a calm and beautiful birth even though I didn’t give birth in the traditional way.
Joni was born weighing 8lbs 14oz.
A Home Birth – Hannah and the Birth of Evelyn
On Tuesday 14th March at 18:14 I welcomed my third baby into the world.
A girl, we have named Evelyn was born at home, in our front room into a birthing pool we had hired, weighing 8lb 5oz, and I am able to look back on the experience and not only be proud of myself, but also know how amazing it was.
I had attended one full course (Jan/Feb) and a couple of additional sessions of the MummyNatal course with Kayleigh at The Nurtured Nest.
The course provided me with time that was dedicated to this pregnancy away from busy home life and allowed me the time to connect with my baby, and focus on what I wanted for this labour and birth.
The mindful breathing techniques and the reminder of the power of mind body connection were invaluable tools during my labour.
In the early hours of Tuesday morning I woke having tightenings and I had decided that I didn’t want to get caught up in timing things, so just pottered around the house, relaxed over the back of the sofa and used breathing techniques learnt at Mummynatal.
We my mum and partner joined me at about 5:30am, I told them that I thought I was probably in early labour and tightenings felt like they were lasting 10-20 seconds and coming every 12 ish minutes but that I hadn’t timed them.
They decided to secretly time me to get an idea of when to call the midwife. We discovered that in reality they were lasting almost a minute each time and were coming between 4-6 minutes.
I believe that the breathing techniques really helped with this as I was able to rest and relax so much in between that I wasn’t feeling the beginning and end of the tightenings. I used a few different breathing techniques at different stages.
In the last stages of labour before my waters broke, I found that the mini body scan was really helping as the tightenings had intensified and I was starting to hold tension in my face and shoulders. Being able to do the scan allowed me to really focus on relaxing each part of my body including my
Tummy, pelvis and bum, and after a few times of doing this my waters went pop…..
I knew that this meant baby would soon be on her way. With previous births it had been 13 minutes and 23 minutes respectively between waters breaking and baby delivering, so after a few more tightenings I decided to get into the pool.
The MW called for a 2nd midwife to attend, and I was asked if a student could also come. I was happy for this and continued to breath through the tightenings. I wasn’t having the urge to push as with previous births and I began to question why and if it meant something was wrong.
From attending the Mummynatal course, I was able to realise quickly that this was just a negative thought, and that there was nothing wrong, and my body and baby knew what it was doing.
Being aware of the mind body connection enabled me to realise that the walking from the kitchen to the pool, hearing the conversation on phone, being asked questions or knowing people were on there way could have all slowed things down while my body assessed what was happening.
I was able to leave these thoughts, and push to one side and really focus back on my breath and breathing techniques. The midwives arrived, and I felt the urge to begin pushing. I had already decided that I didn’t want to be guided and instead would follow my body.
At this point I asked for some gas and air, as felt like I needed something extra to really help relax me. After a couple of tightenings using it, I heard the midwife say she could see her head coming down. I put my hand down, and continued to listen to my body. I felt her head being born, and shortly after her body delivered and I caught her and brought her up to my chest for skin to skin.
My total 2nd stage was timed at 24 minutes.
We stayed in the pool for delayed cord clamping and first feed, and then I got out to deliver the placenta.
All in all it was an amazing experience, I feel very lucky, and we are all completely head over heels in love with her.
An Emergency Caesarean – Hannah and the birth of Alexander.