The birth of Juno

Second time mum / Homebirth / Hypnobirthing / Water birth

 

Written by Mollie

 

All went well with in my second pregnancy, but I did find it more challenging than my first (thanks to my small toddler!). However something that never wavered was how excited I was to give birth again. I was honestly looking forward to feeling those first twinges of labour.

 

I had been having on/off early labour signs for days. Each night I would go to bed and think *tonight could be it*. I would have regular, manageable surges for hours, then they would ease off so I could sleep. I knew my body was gearing up, so I kept myself calm, but busy, and went on my days as normal with my toddler. At 40+3 I requested my brilliant Midwife to see what was going on! I was beginning to feel uncomfortable, not sleeping much and just wanting to meet my baby now. I asked for an examination and a sweep. Not to my surprise, I was already dilating and my cervix was on it’s way to being in established labour. All of those nights of start/stopping surges really were my body getting ready. Vicki gave me a good old sweep, and told me she thought that once I ‘got going’ it probably wouldn’t be long. So she said ‘SEE YA LATER!’ as I was planning a homebirth, and she would hopefully be there.

 

At 2pm I went home to my son, had loads of cuddles, pottered in the garden, chatted to the neighbour… and then at around 4pm I started to feel a bit crampy. This felt really normal as I’d been experiencing this on and off for days anyway. But by 5pm I thought I was definitely in early labour, my surges became more frequent and more regular. It was very manageable, but I was starting to have to take some deep breaths. I made my son his tea, and got his overnight bag ready for his sleepover with my parents. I asked my Mum to come and take him soon. My partner, Jack, came downstairs from working at 6pm he was like “WTF is it go time?!” …and I had realised I hadn’t really told him I was in early labour. I messaged Midwife Vicki “Well that sweep did the trick!” Tightening, but manageable for now x”

 

 

At 6.30pm Jack started to get the pool ready. I only just managed to get in it to give birth last time, so this time I really wanted to get in with plenty of time to feel the benefits of the water! My mum arrived at 7pm and I welcomed her in. I felt completely fine, in control and calm. And then she witnessed a surge… I didn’t realise, but I was bent over the kitchen counter, doing my deep Hypnobirthing breathing, swaying from side to side. This was all completely instinctual, and felt kind of out-of body! After that she said “Mollie… we need to leave you to it.” And I kissed my baby goodbye, knowing the next time I would see him he would be a big brother.

 

The pool was filling, but not at the speed I needed it to. So Jack got the TENS machine on, and I remembered how much it helped me the first time. I rocked and swayed and listened to my affirmations. I was in a deep state of relaxation during my surges. I was on all fours for most of my labour. This position really helped me feel in tune with my body and my breathing. At 8.15pm things started to intensify. The pool was STILL not ready, so I took myself upstairs for a change of scene and to go to the loo. But I called for Jack as I knew things were changing quickly, I really wanted to get in the water now. But I knew was still coping well, welcoming each surge, picturing my baby making their way to me.

 

 

By 8.45pm I was back downstairs, on all fours and managed to message Vicki “Might need u here soon x”. I had felt so in control, safe and comfortable, I had kind of forgotten my midwife needed to be present. Right after I sent that message, a big surge came and my body started to push. I thought… OOPS! I know that feeling! Completely uncontrollable and primal… It wouldn’t be long. And I wasn’t in the bloodypool yet.

 

At 8.55pm I got myself up, ripped the TENS off, and as I stepped over the pool side my waters released like a huge wave. I really wanted to stay in control during this stage, and I knew that breathing my baby out slowly was what I needed to do. I breathed through 2 more surges with my body bearing down. I could feel the baby’s head coming slowly, and then… I had completely I breathed it out! I took some deep breaths and waited for the next surge, where I knew I would then have them in my arms. Then, with a huge wave of love the last one came, and I pulled my baby up out of the water onto my chest. They cried straight away and we saw she was a girl! I couldn’t believe we had done it again.

 

 

My midwife arrived a few minutes later. We were there, in the half-filled pool in amazement. She said “I knew you were going to do that!” And we laughed. We stayed having skin-to-skin in the pool for a while. Eventually we got out of the water and onto the sofa. Here I breastfed the baby, and Jack had skin-to-skin too. I birthed the placenta without any help or drugs, and I didn’t need any stitches. I didn’t leave the sofa for hours and it felt AMAZING.   

 

 

I am so proud and blessed that my births have gone the way they did. I worked so hard for them! Hypnobirthing allowed me to access the tools to give my body the best chance at a natural birth. Having amazing, continuity of care during my pregnancies made me feel safe and supported going into my births. There is no doubt these things made a huge impact on our outcomes.

 

 

 Baby Juno born at home at 21.00 on 1st March 2021. 7lbs 15oz at 40+3 weeks.
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