The birth of Ivy

 

First time mum / Spontaneous Labour / Bracken Birth Centre / Water birth

 

Written by Lucy.

 

I felt empowered and knowledgable about the whole experience which, even in my darkest moments, made all the difference and enabled me to have a very gentle, quiet and intervention free birth. I have no doubt that my birth would have looked very different without Mollie’s support and care. I have so much respect for my body having learnt about Hypnobirthing and seeing it work in practise. 

 

 

The day before (17/03/24) I’d sat in the first sun of the Spring, been for a long walk, out for a lovely brunch and my husband had cooked a delicious roast dinner so I went to bed with a good feeling that my oxytocin levels must be high and this might be the night… 

 

At 3am on the 18th March I woke with fairly intense back pain. I went to the toilet and walked around a bit – but it seemed continuous so I wasn’t sure it was the beginning of labour. As a couple of hours progressed and I tried to go back to sleep, I realised the sensation in my back had become less continuous and I opened the Freya app to start timing how often I was feeling it. Surges were coming every 7-9 minutes and varying in length from 45 seconds to 2 minutes. I sat in the armchair in our nursery and listened to Hypnobirthing tracks and affirmations, getting up to pace and lean over something when I was feeling a strong sensation. I was managing to breathe through it and told my husband to carry on sleeping. 

 

About 5-6am I went downstairs to try and sleep on the sofa but the surges were arriving every 5 minutes at too high an intensity to nap and my husband called triage as we were booked for a home birth and wanted to know if there was an on-call midwife. I had already partly changed my mind and decided I wanted to go for my “second-first-choice” which was birthing at Bracken, our local midwife-led unit. I was already feeling a bit nervous about the later stages of labour and my gut told me that I would be able to achieve a more gentle birth if these nerves were not getting in the way. After my husband had spoken to triage I told him I’d decided to go into Bracken when the time came. After the phone call my husband suggested I try out the TENS machine which was an instant success (and I ended up using it until I was in the final stage of labour). 

 

We let a couple of hours pass as I did not notice any big changes. I tried to eat and drink as normal but I was feeling quite queasy and didn’t manage more than water. My mum came over as she had agreed to be an additional birth partner. Between surges she, my husband and I chatted about random things which really distracted my mind. 

 

At about 9am my husband phoned triage again. The Freya app was telling me that I was in established labour, although the time between surges varied from 3-5 minutes. The midwives at Bracken were happy for us to come in and my husband quickly got us all bundled in the car. I managed the car journey okay thanks to the TENS machine. I kept my eyes closed (for most of labour) and concentrated on breathing. 

 

When we arrived at Bracken I met midwife Becky who said that she would leave us to progress but to call if we needed anything. We were in a lovely big room with a pool and could hear children playing outside in the nursery next door. For several more hours my surges followed the same time pattern, although they were gradually increasing with intensity and I had to keep turning the TENS machine up. I carried on bouncing on the birth ball and trying to “chat” to my husband and mum. I had postcards from my family and friends with positive affirmations and messages on them which made me very emotional. I’d also taken favourite photos and really enjoyed reminiscing on the memories at this stage

 

Becky went on a break at around 1pm and in the following hour things really progressed. I started to pace around the room a lot, with my husband next to me. I was breathing through surges but they felt continuous suddenly and we stopped tracking them. The TENS machine had started on level 5 and I’d now ramped it to level 17

 

I started to feel sad and desperate and although I recognised that I might be in transition, I thought maybe I just wasn’t strong enough to cope anymore. My mum went and found a midwife who observed me for a while. At the point that I asked Jack for a C-section, the midwife asked what she could do to help me. I decided to have an examination as I wanted to have some indication of my progress. I had not lost much show or my waters and although I knew this did not always indicate progress, I was starting to loose confidence. When I was examined there was lots of show and when I asked how dilated I was the midwife said a good 8cm

 

Very shortly after this I felt the need to be on all fours and rocking, I told my husband I needed to push and for some reason he grabbed a dish. As my waters broke he caught most of them. Becky came back from her break and I asked when I could get in the pool as I was starting to feel “pushy”. She said it was definitely time to fill it up – which seemed to take FOREVER! 

 

I knew from my prep with Mollie that I didn’t need to “push” and my body would do the work for me if I let it, but when the fetal ejection reflex came I just couldn’t stop myself. At this point I really did just want to meet my baby so much (and for birth to be behind me!) so I gave everything I had to pushing. I was still feeling deflated and as though I wasn’t progressing. The midwives were very gentle, quiet and unobtrusive but as quite a chatty person I think this actually unnerved me slightly. A midwife suggested I get out of the pool for a bit as baby was probably just struggling to get “round the u bend”. The prospect of standing felt impossible but I tried. As my mum and husband helped me, the midwife said she could now see baby’s head and I could get back in the water! 

 

From my memory, in the next few pushes out baby was born. We didn’t know we were having a girl and it took us a couple of minutes to remember to look! The utter relief that she was safe in my arms was sensational. I birthed my placenta within an hour, with the help of an oxytocin injection in the end. I was losing quite a lot of blood at this stage and unfortunately, my huge efforts with pushing did come back to haunt me as I sustained a bad tear that needed surgery. This was a shame but did not take away from the wonder of the next few hours and days with our little girl. 

 

Baby Ivy Primrose born 18th March 2024 via spontaneous vaginal birth on Bracken Birth Centre.

 


 

I’m so grateful to have done Hypnobirthing with Mollie as I managed to breathe my way through the whole of labour and knew what each stage meant. I felt empowered and knowledgable about the whole experience which, even in my darkest moments, made all the difference and enabled me to have a very gentle, quiet and intervention free birth. I have no doubt that my birth would have looked very different without Mollie’s support and care. I have so much respect for my body having learnt about Hypnobirthing and seeing it work in practise. 

 

I would really recommend Bracken Birth Unit to Hypnobirthing people – their approach of a “hands off” birth experience complements Hypnobirthing perfectly and it really did feel like a home away from home to me. 

 

 

Thank you Lucy for allowing me to share your beautiful birth story with other mums-to-be! I am over the moon that you got the hands-off and intervention-free birth that you had worked so hard for.

Lucy joined my Pregnancy Relaxation Sessions last year (read her review below), before her and her husband then booked onto my Group Hypnobirthing Course in January. Find out more about Group Hypnobirthing Classes in Somerset!

 

 

Mollie is the perfect coach if you are looking for a smooth, gentle and informed birth. As a qualified midwife Mollie has a wealth of experience which she brings to the tranquil relaxation sessions, mixing hypnobirthing, aromatherapy and science-backed information. I have loved every minute of the Relaxation Sessions and my husband and I are now looking forward to starting our hypnobirthing course with Mollie in January. Invest in a positive birth experience now!

 

Do you want to learn more about how Pregnancy Relaxation Sessions can be a wonderful way to bond with your baby and prepare you for a positive birth? Click here.

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