Shilpa’s Birth Story

I was one week overdue on the Saturday of the August bank holiday. I was convinced that the baby was not coming till after the Monday and was going to relax, put my feet up and enjoy a few last days off. Unfortunately due to a last minute school shoe drama I had to go into Birmingham with my older daughter on the Friday which involved quite a bit of walking, rushing around and the absolute chaos of Clarks a week before schools started.  That night was the usual uncomfortable night of a pregnant woman at full term but no other signs.

On the Saturday afternoon, around 2pm, I felt a sudden heaviness in my girdle area but put it down to getting up too quick, in an awkward position. A couple of hours later I felt the same sensation again, lasting for just a few seconds. Then at around 5pm I noticed that I was starting to feel this sensation more regularly about every 45 – 30 minutes. I still did not believe that it was the real thing and put it down to Braxton hicks as I was expecting the sensations to be more intense. I later found out that this feeling was due to my baby’s head moving down.

By 6pm I started to think that maybe the baby was coming but I was still reluctant to call the birthing centre in case it was Braxton hicks and I was sent home with my tail between my legs. The sensations became more frequent and it was clear that they were actual surges.

We arrived at the birthing centre at around 8.30pm when the surges were about 3-4minutes apart. It was lovely and calm there, in fact I was the only person there. I cannot rave about the midwives enough. They read my birth plan and were so so supportive of my wishes. They encouraged me where I needed it and seemed to anticipate what I needed.

I was able to get into the birth pool at around 10pm which felt wonderful. I would lie back and relax between surges and each time one came up I would turn and squat on my knees which felt like the most natural position for me (not for my pedicure though). The one affirmation that kept coming to mind was “each surge brings my baby closer to me”. At one point a tissue smelling of lavender appeared next to me which was lovely and comforting.  Whenever I would do my relaxation session I would wear an eye mask filled with lavender.

By 11pm I was well on my way. The midwives said that my baby would most likely be with us by midnight. However, due to my practicing on the toilet (great trick Liz) I was able to breathe my 8lbs 5oz baby out who was born at 11.27pm without any intervention. Sunil received the baby as planned who was placed in my arms, completely calm, staring up at me with her big eyes.

Now I’m not an over emotional person but to my surprise I acted just like many of those women we saw in the birth videos. I was half sobbing, half laughing as I kept repeating “it’s my baby, it’s my baby”.  As I mentioned, my little Mila did not come out screaming her head off but was in fact extremely calm and wide eyed.

I remained in the pool for some time cradling my little girl, coming out with god knows what gibberish. They did not cut the cord immediately as requested.

Whilst Sunil and Mila had skin to skin time the midwives examined me and decided that they would need to assist the delivery of the placenta instead of naturally letting it come away. None of this was decided without my consent. They explained everything to me and made sure I understood the choices. As it happened they were unable to do it and were about to call an ambulance to take me to the hospital when one of the midwives said she would try again but this time could I help. Using my HypnoBirthing techniques I was able to breathe the placenta out within seconds after which the bleeding slowed down, furthermore there wasn’t any need for stitches.

They then left me and Sunil to bond with our baby alone for a few hours only checking on us a couple of times. We left the birthing centre after a few hours and we were back in our own home and bed by 4.30am.

The following day I was surprised at how well I felt considering I had just had a baby. There was obvious tenderness but I was up and about , not lying in bed constantly.

To say I was happy with the experience would be an understatement. However I need to be honest, I did panic near the end. As my surges were pretty much one after the other I decided that I had had enough. With the panic I began to tense up and do all the things I had been working against doing. I even demanded gas and air from the midwife who was very reluctant to give it to me due to my wishes and how I had progressed up until that point. In the end I would only use the gas and air for one puff to slow my breathing so that I could concentrate on my surge breathing and filling the balloon.

Everything I practiced worked brilliantly. The only area I wish I had practiced more and I didn’t was my surge breathing which is where things veered off the intended path slightly. Lesson learned – practice, practice, practice!

My whole experience was so very different from my last due to hypnobirthing. I was aware and in control the whole time. I was able to enjoy my baby instantly. My recovery has been great.

Mila is less than 2 weeks old and my body has recovered dramatically. I saw the midwife today who was impressed that my uterus has completely gone back to its original pre-pregnancy position.

The day after Mila was born we had to return to the hospital to have her standard checks done and for the oral vitamin K. As we were leaving I was thanking the midwives and telling them how much I appreciated their understanding and support when one of them replied that it was down to people like us that made the job worth it and how impressed they were with the hypnobirthing.

So thank you Liz for all the support, you’ve really opened my eyes!