I woke up at 7am on the Sunday morning feeling like I couldn’t lie down (by some miracle the toddler was asleep still). I was getting mild twinges but nothing too major. By 9am I started timing the surges and they were coming approximately every 3 minutes, lasting one minute however I was able to keep calm, mobile and breathe through them rather than panic. After an hour of regular surges, I rang triage who suggested I come in.
I used my TENS machine and breathing to keep calm throughout the journey (I don’t think John actually believed I was in labour at this point). Genuinely hilarious moment in the entrance of Stepping Hill when a lady stopped and asked us for directions whilst I was in the middle of a surge, no idea where we sent her, but I must have seemed calm!
Triage assessed me and I was already 6cm dilated. They told me that the birthing pool on delivery suite was broken however rather than panic I just decided I obviously wasn’t meant to have a water birth. We walked down to delivery suite, genuinely laughing and joking with the midwives between surges (by this point with the first labour I was screaming my head off feeling completely out of control).
Despite having continuous monitoring due to the previous section, the midwives were brilliant at helping me keep active and upright.
At around 8cm the surges got more intense, and I asked for some gas and air (the midwives were incredibly supportive of the hypnobirthing and didn’t offer me and pain relief at any point, knowing that I would ask for it if I wanted it).
About an hour later I started getting the most intense pressure, as my waters still were intact. They were reluctant to break my waters for fear of the surges getting more intense and the risk of uterine rupture (they were already pretty full on at this point, but baby’s heartbeat was remaining stable unlike last time). After some serious continued begging they broke my waters. The opposite happened and my surges got less intense (my body obviously new what it needed!)
I was then fully dilated and was able to begin the final stage. I must admit it was more pushing than humming at this point (but I think Meg being back to back made this part trickier). After about half an hour, the baby’s heart beat started to dip slightly and a Dr arrived to discuss an episiotomy/forceps/ventose if delivery didn’t happen fairly soon (however this still felt relaxed rather than options being forced upon me). The midwife caught my eye and we shared a look of ‘we’re getting this baby out’ which was just the motivation I needed to keep going.
The next few surges we made really good progress and before long the head crowned and out popped baba! We had immediate skin to skin and I was able to see we had a little girl.
We had delayed cord clamping and John was able to cut the cord. He then had skin to skin whilst I delivered the placenta and had a few stitches (genuinely, I was on such a high I was laughing and joking with the Dr’s/midwife during this!!)
Looking back at my ‘ideal birth’ there were so many similarities, I wanted to go into labour in the morning after a good night sleep and arrive at hospital 6cm dilated. Even the things that didn’t go to plan like not having the pool, didn’t faze me at all.
The whole experience could not have been more different than from my first labour and I know the difference was down to hypnobirthing. I cannot thank you enough El for all your help in giving us such a wonderful positive birth story. You helped me let go of the guilt I was carrying from the first birth and to achieve a successful VBAC has been a massive emotional healing for me. John has gone from thinking childbirth was the most traumatic experience of his life to the most wonderful. We really couldn’t have done it without you so thankyou from the bottom of our hearts. Keep in touch and we’ll see you for a refresher when it’s time for number 3!
All our love, Fay, John, James, Meg and Stroop xxxx