Blog Takeover - My Positive Birth Story
My Positive Birth Story by Holly @ heyitsok.holly
No matter what type of birth you have, look at the positives and see you have something beautiful. Your baby.
When Sarah from Tommy and Rex, messaged me to share my birth story I was so nervous. Despite being a mummy blogger and being on social media daily, my birth story is never something I’ve shared. I think it’s because I never wanted any other mother or pregnant woman to feel like they weren’t good enough because their birth story wasn’t the same or similar to mine. So I hope that by sharing my experience I can offer a different perspective on how birth can be.
I think it’s good to mention that I had a really good healthy pregnancy. I had no complications, and I continued to exercise up until the day I gave birth. This is NOT something I’d recommend doing and you’ll hear why a bit later on. If you’re looking for exercises to do whilst pregnant that will help during labour I would recommend following expecting and empowered on Instagram. They have set workouts that you can do whilst pregnant that specifically target your pelvic floor and internal muscles that are put to work during labour.
It all started on Saturday the 10th of March at around 4pm. 11 days before my due date. I thought it would be a good idea, it wasn’t, to go into my local town to do some shopping earlier that day and was actually on my way back when my contractions started. Although I didn’t realise this at the time. It felt like I needed a wee to start with so I got home as quickly as I could and dashed to the toilet. After going to the toilet and realising the pain was still occurring, every half an hour 40 min, I thought it has to be something else. I remember texting my mum and my friend with a diagram that looked a bit like an upside down triangle with two arrows either side. I described the pain as a very mild period pain. So they assured me it wasn’t labour and wasn’t Braxton hicks either.
As the evening went on the pain became more frequent and stronger. At this point I decided to text my partner, who was at the pub at the time, just letting him know I was having these pains but there wasn’t any need to come home. I just wanted him to keep his phone on loud incase I needed him (the pub was only 2 min walk up the road). Once he was home we sat and had some dinner together and the pain at this point was like a heavy period pain, but manageable. We decided just to ring the Birthing Centre just to query what the pain could be. Being pregnant you with any pain or symptom that isn’t familiar to you, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. It was around 7pm at this point. However they reassured me that the pains I was experiencing were far too mild to be labour, to get some rest and relax.
Quite quickly after having dinner (half an hour or so) I needed the toilet. The reason I’m sharing this is it CAN be a sign that your body is getting ready for labour. It was quite runny but after speaking to other mums who had already had their children, I was assured this was normal. I then decided to go and run myself a bath and practice my hypno-birthing breathing.
For anyone who doesn’t know what hypnobirhting is, the best way I can describe it is: Getting yourself into a total relaxing state. Practicing different breathing techniques to reduce the adrenaline in your brain (which is caused by pain) and increase the oxytocin levels. Oxytocin is commonly known as the “love/happy” hormone and is naturally released during sex, fertility and contractions during labor, as well as breastfeeding.
As advised by the midwives at the Birthing centre, I decided to put myself to bed and try and get some sleep. I actually managed to go to sleep for about an hour and half before being woken up by a strong contraction. Still not really sure, but having a good idea, that I was in labour or not, I decide to text the only other person I knew who had experienced labour without their waters breaking. She asked me how far apart my contractions were. Of course, being me, I wasn’t really timing them so she advised me to just get my bag ready if I hadn’t already and time my contractions. At this point they were around 5 min apart.
I came downstairs to be with my partner, Jack. Who at the time was watching, what has now become a really nostalgic film for us, pineapple express. I got into my most comfortable position which was “childs pose” or on my knees resting my arms on the sofa edge or on a table or chair. As my contractions got to 3 min apart we called the birthing centre and they advised us to start making our way.
The car journey was probably my most uncomfortable/painful part so far. However, I just kept breathing and listening to my hypnobirthing music which was really relaxing. Once we had arrived it was SO calm and quiet. There were no horrible smells, screaming, or nurses or doctors rushing around. Jack and I were greeted by a lovely smiling midwife who showed us to the birthing pool room where they were already filling up the pool. The midwife asked me a few questions about my health and how I was feeling and then check to see how far dilated I was. She told me I was already 5 centimetres dilated which was “amazing”. I was overwhelmed with happiness and excitement I remember turning to Jack and saying “he’s coming our boy is coming”.
I quickly got into the pool and things started to move on very rapidly. The midwives put down that my “active labor” was under two hours. Once I was in the pool I started to have some back pain, which if Im honest was the worst. I really struggle with back pain so I asked her if there was anything I could have. She offered me gas and air but after having a few “puffs” I knew it wasn’t for me. It made me feel sick and distracted me from my breathing which I found the most effective form of pain relief. I then just asked her to press hard on my lower back which began to release some pain. I continued with my breathing and then I felt a “wiggle” it was painful, but it was more a shock. This was what the midwife told me, Arthur getting into position. Shortly after I felt a sudden urge to push. Worried I was going to be told to “not push” I shouted I need to push I want to push. Much to my surprise and relief the midwife told me to “do what felt I right”. After two big pushes Arthur was in the world!
6.8oz little bundle of beauty. He was placed on my chest and was quiet. I was told this was very normal for babies born in water as they don’t realise they’re out of the whom. After about 3-5 mins he started to whinge but not a loud scream or cry. He was then wrapped up in a blanket and parsed to Jack whilst I got out of the pool and was checked over.
I always get so emotional when speaking about my birth story as it was everything I ever wanted and more. It was truly the best experience of my life. Although it was of course painful it was a lot less painful than many had described and I was so pleased I got to feel it all. No matter what your birth experience, I think you should look at the positives. You have something beautiful and amazing to experience for the rest of your life. YOUR baby.
I hope you’ve enjoyed hearing about my birth story and if you have any questions make sure you head to @heyitsok.holly and drop me a message. I’m always so keen to chat about all things motherhood and labour.