First time Mum Becky was told throughout her pregnancy that her baby was measuring "big". After additional growth scans, she was offered an induction. Read about how Becky confidently made decisions that were right for her and her baby and enjoyed a wonderful positive birth.
My ‘dream birth’ was a water birth at the midwife led centre, with dim lights, calm music playing in the background, my favourite scent filling the room, pictures of happy memories and positive affirmations throughout the room and our baby boy’s ‘coming home’ outfit hung up in view. It’s safe to say that this vision I had pictured a hundred times in my head did not happen - but I still had an extremely positive experience full of happiness, calmness and laughter.
I knew that during pregnancy I wanted to work on my mindset about birth. I started by reading - after all knowledge is power. I read a positive book about birth which went through all the various aspects and options, along with research. The book made me feel more informed, in control and positive. The book referenced hypnobirthing as a form of pain relief which I decided to look into further.
After following social media accounts around hypnobirthing which shared positive stories, helpful information and tools and techniques, I decided to sign up to a course to learn more. The course for me was a game changer, it gave me a toolset to practice in the lead up to labour and helped my birth partner understand the vital role he had ensuring we were both aligned.
For me, the positive affirmations really resonated with me - especially ‘my partner, my baby and I are doing this together’ and ‘my baby will come when my baby is ready’. I listened to a positive-affirmations track regularly and I also created some of my favourites as images to have as a rotating lock screen on my phone. I practiced my breath work and I put this into practice whenever I was in any slight discomfort (for example, when blood tests were being done, or during perineum massages!). As the weeks went by, I was actually looking forward to being in labour!
Throughout pregnancy, my ‘little one’ was always tracking ‘big’ - on the 97% percentile. Following our 37-week scan we were advised to be induced as soon as possible. Induction was something I desperately wanted to avoid, especially as when applying our ‘BRAIN’ (a tool to help with decision making) we didn’t feel that there was a real risk presented. We agreed to have another scan at 39 weeks and go from there. At our 39-week scan (4 July), we were told he was 9lbs 9oz and again was advised to be booked in for induction as soon as possible. At this point we applied our ‘BRAIN’ and felt that the risk had changed, and decided to go ahead with the induction. We were booked in for the next day (5 July) and was advised to call the ward that day at 9AM for a time to come in. We tried to make the situation as positive as possible – ultimately, we were going to meet our baby boy very soon!
At 9AM on 5 July, I called the ward and they said to come in at 2PM. We had a slow morning, watched some Game of Thrones and had some good food. At 1PM we made our way to the hospital with all our home comforts (diffuser, laptop to continue watching Game of Thrones and a mountain of our favourite snacks, to name a few!).
Shortly after we got to the ward, they put me on the CTG machine. At 5PM they examined me to see if I was dilated as this would impact which method of induction they could offer. At this point I was 2CM dilated and was told that I did not need to be induced and instead could just wait on the ward to have my waters broken - we were told that the ward was busy and this could be a while.
We made ourselves comfortable, we set up the diffuser, got Games of Thrones playing and started working through our snacks. We also had lots of laughs in between. I don’t know what it was but I felt the most relaxed than I had in a long time. I think subconsciously I had stopped ‘trying’ to naturally induce labour and just let things be. It got to 9PM and we didn’t know how long we would be waiting so we decided to try and get an early night - just in case we were up early.
I struggled to get to sleep, there was quite a lot of background noise in the ward so I put on some music and did some breath work to stay relaxed. 12AM hit and I was lying on my side where I suddenly felt and heard a ‘pop’. Seconds later I felt water trickling. My waters had broken naturally while waiting to have my waters broken!
I instantly felt excitement and the affirmation ‘my baby will come when my baby is ready’ came to mind. My partner got the midwife who put me back on the CTG and said try to rest if I can. I wanted to be as upright as possible so I sat up with the CTG monitor on. I also told the midwife at this point that I wanted to see how my labour would progress naturally (rather than have the oxytocin drip). The contractions started building - they were fairly regular and I used the breathing techniques to work through them. I was actually quite surprised that I liked being on the CTG monitor as I could see the uterine contractions and baby’s heartbeat. Every time I had a contraction, baby’s heartbeat went up and all I could think of was the affirmation ‘my partner, my baby and I are doing this together’ - and we really were!
At around 3AM my contractions were lasting 45-60 seconds and I was having 3 every 10 minutes. They were also increasing in intensity. I decided to have a bath at this point to help with the intensity. The warmth really helped, and my partner held my hand the entire time.
At around 5:25AM I was convinced my labour would have progressed quite a bit because of the intensity so I asked to be examined (again something I was surprised I’d ask for!) but I was only 3CM dilated. I must admit I did feel a little deflated at this point.
Over the next couple of hours, the intensity increased. At around 8:00AM I suddenly got an urge to poo so I went to the loo. As 2.5 hours ago I was only 3CM dilated it didn’t cross my mind that little one was ready to make his appearance... little did I know he was!! My partner realised what was happening and got the midwives. At this point I was in the transition phase and really doubted myself but my partner held my hand throughout and continually reassured me. The midwives examined me and could see baby’s head! At this point I was involuntarily pushing.
At 8:30AM I was quickly wheeled down to the delivery suite (from the induction ward) where I spent just 18 minutes before our baby boy was in our arms. My partner and I had instant tears and it is a moment I will never forget. We had skin to skin and the cord was left until it was white and no longer pulsating, where my partner then cut the cord. Those moments were absolutely magical.
I was advised to have active management in delivering the placenta. To be honest this part felt like a bit of a blur and happened really quickly! I was so focused on our little one.
I did have a second-degree tear and was advised to have stitches. At this point I had gas and air and held my baby throughout.
We were left in the delivery suite room for a couple of hours where we could just enjoy our baby bubble... and was also given the famous tea and toast before being transferred to the postnatal ward. A few hours later my partner got us sushi - something I had mentioned I’d missed quite a few times (read: constantly) during pregnancy.
I have gone from flinching at the thought of child birth and was sure that I would want every pain relief option available, to reframing my mindset and having a completely unmedicated and wonderful birth as a result.
While I had a positive birth experience, I wanted to have a debrief with a midwife - which I did one month later. I found this extremely helpful. We went through my notes and talked through my questions and concerns - mostly around what happens next time where baby may make an appearance even quicker!
Welcome to the world baby Atticus, weighing in at 9lb 9ozs, and huge congratulations to Becky and Maken!
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