The birth of Luna

First time mum / Spontaneous labour / Planned home birth / Birth centre birth / Water birth

 

Written by Hailey

I’m so excited to be able to share my story as I feel so positive about Luna’s birth thanks to all the hypnobirthing and relaxation preparation we did. 

 

Overall, we had a fairly straightforward pregnancy. A few growth scans towards the end measured her to be on the 97th centile but thankfully our obstetrician was also really aware of how inaccurate they can be and was happy for us to continue with our preferences as they were. 

 

We’d set up our lovely ‘oxytocin bubble’ in the lounge with the birth pool box in the corner ready to go, fairy lights hanging all around, and my birth affirmations pinned up on the side. 

 

On the 23rd December we went for a 2 hour walk around Brean Down, which at 39 weeks pregnant was crazy, but I think it may have helped things along!  

 

On the 24th December we went swimming, food shopping, did loads of washing, tidying the house and general other nesting. My husband cooked a very yummy dinner that evening and we cuddled up together watching Die Hard! 

 

I’d been having strong Braxton Hicks in the weeks leading up to labour so when I continued to have them in the morning of Christmas Day, I didn’t think too much of it, but also didn’t want to jinx anything by thinking it could be the start of anything! We had a video call with family around midday and my father-in-law said ‘oh she won’t be a Christmas baby now then’…

We had our traditional Christmas Day BBQ and played some board games together, with everything as normal until about 4pm. 

 

4pm – I thought the sensations started to feel more like waves than Braxton hicks so we decided to start timing them and they were every 6-7 minutes. 

 

4:45pm – by this point I was unable to concentrate on my turn of the game when the waves came. My husband was doing counter pressure and light touch massage during each wave and we then decided to pack up the board game, joking that he’d let me win the last three games for that extra oxytocin boost! He then started setting up the lounge ready to get the birth pool out. However, the waves had really intensified and I remember thinking ‘why the hell are you hoovering right now!’ as I just knelt in the corner, leaning over a chair and focusing on my up breathing. My husband got the tens machine and comb out for me which I felt helped a little at this stage. 

 

5:10pm – I went to the loo and had a very bright red bloody show. I kept the pad on the side as I was a little worried about it then went back to kneeling by the chair in the lounge. My husband continued to support me through each wave whilst getting the lounge ready. 

 

6:30pm – I had now soaked through 3 pads with bright red blood and passed some small clots when going to the toilet so asked my husband to phone our local maternity triage to double check this. I had read on here that others had used the shower as relief and in this moment, that was exactly what I felt I needed so whilst my husband was waiting on the line I stood in the shower, holding the water over my bump and breathing through every wave, each getting quite intense at this point now. 

 

7:30pm – After speaking with triage, we used our BRAINs and decided that the best option would be to go in to the hospital to get checked over as they couldn’t send a midwife out to us just yet and it would mean that if something was wrong we were in the right place, but equally if everything was fine, we could just come back home again. Cue the worst car ride of my life… I hadn’t actually been timing the waves whilst in the shower so we’d just said to triage that they were around every 6 minutes. Whilst in the car, I breathed my way through 5 within the space of 15 minutes…

 

8:00pm – We arrived at triage and the midwife checked the pads we’d brought with us and listened to baby’s heartbeat. She was happy that everything was fine and I’d just had quite a heavy bloody show, however seemed a little surprised at how frequent my waves were for how calm I seemed. My husband and I had also decided in the car that although we didn’t want loads of exams, it would be nice to know at this point how far along we were as, in his words, “if we’re only 2-3cm then we know we can go home and carry on.” To which I replied, “if I’m only 2-3cm, I can’t do this.” The midwife had a check and with an element of surprise to her voice said, “you’re 8cm dilated…would you like us to see if Bracken (the attached MLU) have space for you?!”

 

8:45pm – We walked round to the birthing centre and straight into the birthing suite where they were thankfully already filling up the pool. Our midwife introduced himself, my husband gave him our birth preferences and he followed them all so well. 

 

8:50pm – I got in the shower again as I couldn’t get in the pool straight away but knew I needed the help of the warm water on me. I was still calmly breathing through every wave and my husband was spraying my aromatherapy pillow spray over the top of the shower, which really helped me to stay calm as I had been used to using this during relaxation session with Mollie and at home during my pregnancy. I think I asked my husband if the pool was ready nearly every 5 minutes here!

 

9:35pm – Although the pool still wasn’t full, our midwife agreed that I could get in, I just might not feel the full effects yet. However, the relief getting in the pool was amazing! The lights in the room were already dimmed and my husband had also put my labour playlist on that I had created of instrumental covers to some of my favourite chilled songs. 

 

9:55pm – My waters broke. This was such an odd sensation but also exciting at the same time. 

 

10:30pm – This is when my midwife recorded the start of my second stage. I don’t remember any transition, it all felt very similar to me throughout, perhaps because it was such a short but intense labour. 

 

10:49pm – My little girl was born in the birth pool with no interventions and I remember the midwife telling me to look down and slowly lift her out of the water. This was such a surreal moment that I had dreamt of for so long. He then noticed that her cord had snapped as she came out and very quickly clamped the ends for us (Luna clearly hadn’t read her birth plan that we wanted to delay her cord clamping!). He said this was probably due to a combination of a short cord and the speed of her delivery. As I sat back in the pool with my daughter in my arms and my husband leaning over to hold us both, we then noticed that the music playing in the background happened to be the same song as our first dance! 

 

Hailey and baby Luna, born on Christmas Day 2023.

 

Due to the cord snapping, my midwife was keen for me to get out of the pool so that they could keep an eye on my blood loss. I was so surprised at how much I was shaking as I walked over to the bed. I then delivered the placenta physiologically 53 minutes after my baby. However, I then found out that I had a significant 3rd degree tear that needed surgery. This was really hard to hear as I had just had such a positive birth experience but thankfully I still had a couple of golden hours before going into theatre around 3am. All the theatre staff were lovely and they also let my husband and daughter into theatre with me, which I was very grateful for. We then spent the rest of Boxing Day in a private recovery room before being transferred to the postnatal ward. 

 

 

We have since had a bit of an epic journey over the last few weeks as her speedy delivery impacted on her feeding (although I would definitely recommend seeing a Cranial Osteopath as this has now helped my little girl a lot), but the support we have had has been absolutely amazing, from home visits with midwives to readmission to the birthing centre for extra help, we couldn’t be more thankful for the local offer and services we are fortunate enough to have. 

 

I would definitely recommend Hypnobirthing as an amazing birth tool, and Mollie’s relaxation classes as a lovely support and addition to anyone’s pregnancy journey.

 

 

Baby Luna born on Christmas Day 2023 via spontaneous vaginal birth @ 39+2 weeks, weighing 7lb 5oz.

 


 

Thank you to Hailey for letting me share your powerful birth story. Congratulations on the birth of beautiful Luna!

Want to read more positive birth stories? Click here!

 

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