Liz and Carina’s fantastic positive birth story shows that even when things don’t go to Plan A, a positive birth can still be possible….
“Two days after the NHS due date and one day after the IVF due date, our daughter arrived gently into the world at 6.45am on a Tuesday morning, delivered into a loving and calm environment by my most amazing wife.
In 2017, we started our baby journey.
We found a private clinic and started IVF using donor sperm we had chosen from a sperm bank.
My wife’s family has a history of dramatic, traumatic birth stories including death in childbirth.
We researched and found none of the causes were hereditary. I am older and already have 2 children both with positive birth experiences. After much discussion, we decided it would give us the best chance of success if my wife carried our baby, as well as giving her the incredible experience of pregnancy.
After being brought up with such stories, my wife was feeling very anxious about birth even before we started IVF.
We made it our mission not to follow suit with our story.
We did lots of research, rationalisation and positive thought and came across ‘hypnobirthing.’
A local course was found and we decided to attend.
We really enjoyed it and religiously practiced the relaxation and breathing techniques up to labour.
We made a detailed but flexible birth plan for a natural gentle hypnobirthing labour and birth.
Our hospitals policy was to offer early induction to IVF babies.
We looked at the statistics and chose that for us it wasn’t the right course to go.
We refused until after 41 weeks and waited.
At 39 weeks, baby was low and there was a few Braxton hicks so we increased the walking and positive birthing visualisation
through the week.
Due date was the Sunday so over the weekend we did lots of walking, about 13 miles. Braxton hicks got stronger as did the pressure but tailed off at night.
During Monday there was show and slight cramping.
These continued and got stronger from about 8pm on Monday, we stayed at home using bath and ball.
As the waves increased the breathing techniques were used.
At 3.30am we went in to be checked. But she was 2 cm so headed back home.
On the way out of hospital my wife went to the toilet and there was drops of fresh blood so we went straight back to triage.
They called to the doctor to examine. In that 20 mins she had got to 4cm which was classed as active labour.
They couldn’t find where the bleed was from but it was a concern.
We had a discussion with the doctor and as the membranes were bulging anyway we all agreed that to rupture the membranes to speed things along would be ok with us and not to much of an intervention.
At this point it took a lot of control and calming thoughts to remain relaxed.
We were moved to our room and hooked up to the monitor as was now high risk.
We were disappointed as wished for a active labour and waterbirth but we embraced the change in plan and adapted.
My wife chose to stay on the bed and labour in different positions. The waves came thick and fast.
Main lights were switched off and only a corner lamp used.
Our relaxation music played and affirmation embroidered hankies with our chosen essential oils were placed under the pillow to help remain relaxed as we had practiced.
Anyone who came in the room spoke with hushed voices and only one internal examination was don’t just to confirm all was well for delivery.
Using only little gas and air, lots of breathing techniques and positive affirmations and encouragement we got to the delivery.
Baby started to struggle.
The midwife was wonderful. She gently explained that she understood we didn’t want to be coached but baby was struggling and heart rate dipping so my wife either had to push hard or an episiotomy was needed.
Pushing was chosen and the head was delivered ensuring baby was safe, at that point the midwife guided my wife through gently breathing out babies body. Our daughter was born calmly, gently into a dimly lit room with gentle music playing at 6.45am.
After 2.45 hours of active labour and 11 minutes of ‘pushing’, baby was delivered on to her.
We chose delayed cord clamping, delayed weighing and measuring and left alone for the first hour. All of which were done.
Even though it wasn’t exactly how we had planned it was still such a wonderful, positive,experience.
Calmness and relaxation was maintained throughout and there was just us two, me gently encouraging though the surges.
Maintaining touch, just us in the zone while the medical professionals did what they had to.
The midwife was amazing.
We were so pleased we did a detailed but flexible birth plan.
She followed it as closely as possible and we got the positive birth we all hoped for, breaking the cycle of negative birth stories so our daughter can be raised hearing her own wonderfully positive birth story.”
Thank you so much to Liz and Carina for sharing their wonderful birth story. This story shows that even if birth doesn’t go to Plan A, the hypnobirthing techniques can still help to make the experience positive.
If you have a birth story to share, a story where you have gone against the grain in some way to create a positive experience, please send it for consideration to [email protected] I’d love to hear from you x