January 9th 2019 – I was 2 weeks overdue with my first baby and desperate to meet her, so I did not hesitate to have the induction. This turned out to be a mistake, I was allergic to the induction hormone which caused my tissue to swell up, and my labour to come on thick and fast – not the best combination which caused some very bad tearing, amongst other things. January 10th at 3am, she was born, I had never experienced pain like it and felt traumatised.
Fast forward to October 2019 – big shock to find out that our family of 3 was becoming a family of 4, and due in May 2020.
As it came to February and the news stories began to focus more and more on coronavirus, my fear of bringing another baby in to the world increased. I was constantly worried about him, was he ok? What if the virus gets us? What if the virus takes my husband? Mentally I felt drained – I was scared and that was churning up memories of my first traumatic labour. That’s when I contacted Kerry at Beautiful Births.
My due date of May 21st approached, and passed. Kerry gave me the confidence to stand my ground, I told the doctors I would accept stretch and sweeps but I was not willing to have induction. After 3 stretch and sweeps, I had the 4th stretch on the morning of the 28th of May. By the evening I was feeling the surges beginning. I was convinced this was it, my eldest daughter was taken to her Nanas, and I stayed at home watching happy (endorphin releasing) movies, on my bounce ball, practicing the breathing techniques Kerry had taught me. I felt excited and ready to start.
Later, I had a bath and listened to the hypnobirthing tracks, continuing to try and stay happy and calm and breath through the surges. I rang the birthing center to let them know I was starting to feel quite sore and the surges felt strong. They asked me to come in. All set to meet my baby I headed to the birth center, where a midwife checked me and told me I was only at 3cm and needed to labour at home.
The next day I tried my hardest to distract from the pain, we went on 3 walks, we went to the beach, we did everything to make time pass and try and get dilation to increase. By the evening I couldn’t handle the pain anymore, I felt like he was coming any minute. I rang again, and went in to hospital again, due the pandemic I could stay but my husband had to leave.
Calm second birth
The next morning I begged them to check me again. As my contractions were not consistent and not close together, the midwife’s felt that I would not of progressed, but I kept asking as I knew my body. They checked me and I was now 5cm – ‘you had better call your husband and tell him we’re having this baby today!’.
The pain of the contractions increased. I continued to stay upright, sat on my bounce ball and breathing through the surges. As the pain got worse I asked for some pain relief. I had gas and air and diamorphine. The diamorphine allowed me to go to sleep, when I woke up hours later I hadn’t dilated any further even though the pain was increasing – so they popped my waters.
Within an hour my baby boy, Oscar George was born, weighing 9lb14oz at the South Lakes Birth Centre.
The techniques Kerry taught me allowed me to spend 2 days labouring before needing pain relief. At first I was worried I would be failing by having the pain relief but i listened to my body and I needed it.
In complete contrast to my first labour, this time I felt so in control during the birth, like I knew exactly what to do. I was happy, relaxed, (in pain I will admit), but I wasn’t afraid. This time I felt I had the tools I needed. As soon as he was born he was placed on my bare chest, I felt relieved and happy. The pain was forgotten about. I received an early discharge to allow me to stay with my husband.
We have had 5 happy weeks as a family of four, and I couldn’t thank Kerry enough for helping me when I was mentally drained and needed someone. I would definitely say I had a positive birth experience.