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  • Writer's pictureerinbetterbirth

Laura’s birth story

Laura completed a 4 week group hypnobirthing course with me in October 2022 and kindly shared her birth story with me.

My birth story

I had been having braxton hicks for weeks, so on the actual day I didn’t even notice I was probably in labour when I had irregular and very light contractions throughout the day. I was even on the group WhatsApp chat Erin set up from our hypnobirthing course asking how to get this baby out, I had no idea all was about to kick off! Sex was recommended and my partner was pleased so I took one for the team 🤣 Literally an hour later at 12:30am my waters broke ! I had no contractions to any relevance but I phoned the birthing centre to let them know.

About 2am the contractions had built and were strong enough for me to notice them but I still had to be convinced to go to the birthing centre as I genuinely didn’t think I was anywhere near ready! But after lots of nagging from my mum who was timing them, off we went!

We got to the centre and I’ll be honest I thought my contractions were stronger than I remembered at this point with my other two and it felt a bit overwhelming so I asked to be examined, something I felt quite strongly about not wanting. I will add though I felt totally in control of making this decision and knew exactly what I was asking for and why because of Erin. I was 4/5cm but the midwife said it was very thin and I could go quickly so she didn’t recommend pethidine.

I used the birthing ball and gas and air and although the contractions were strong I was managing really well. I asked to go in the pool, again totally contrary to my birth plan but something I knew I wanted in the moment.

I think I was in the pool for all of 20 mins before baby arrived and I’m proud to say I breathed him out very calmly with guidance from my amazing partner who kept reminding me to keep my shoulders down and jaw unclenched which really helped.

I was totally in the zone the whole time and felt 100% in control.

I had felt my baby coming since I was on the birthing ball but didn’t say anything in case I was wrong or I jinxed something and I didn’t say anything in the birthing pool either so my partner was shocked when the midwife announced she could see his head! I reached down to touch his head which I hadn’t done with my other two and it felt amazing! I didn’t pull him out as he was so quick the midwife had to catch him!

Nothing really about this birth was in my plans, the midwife needed to cut the cord quickly as he wasn’t breathing and needed to resuscitate but as soon she was about to take him he took a big gasp. I know I could have waited and the midwife did give me the decision to make but of course in the moment I chose to cut the cord over waiting.

I was lucky to have a brilliant midwife who read my birth plan, understood my anxieties and my preference and made sure she explained everything and not telling me I had to do anything. Everything was my choice.

From my waters breaking to birth was 3 hours and I felt amazing until my placenta refused to make an appearance! They tried everything at the birthing centre to help it naturally come out, then we tried the injection and then sadly I needed to go to hospital as it had been too long.

I was very nervous but able to keep calm with the knowledge I had from Erin’s classes, I knew how to breath through my nerves and the pain and I had comfort in the fact I knew my rights going into hospital which luckily I didn’t need as I have to say all the staff were amazing.

The manual removal of the placenta took so much longer than the actual birth and wasn’t pleasant, they tried to remove with the use of just gas and air but it really wasn’t working so after hours of trying both at the birthing centre and in hospital, I finally went into surgery. I think they wanted to try everything before surgery as they knew I had a fear and I was grateful for that but agreed we needed to go. They knew I was scared and they talked me through everything, they even let my partner in with me which they said they don’t usually do. He held my hand through the whole thing and the actual procedure took about 5 mins! Apparently they played music to help me but I don’t remember it at all! I remember one of the doctors saying to me “just relax and let us look after you now, you’ve done all the hard work”. Which was very sweet.

I had a panic attack when I realised I couldn’t feel my legs and in recovery I couldn’t stop shaking but they knew this was my surrounding and hurried up getting me on the ward with low lights and some rest. This was right because the minute I got to the ward and my partner closed the curtains and we were left to relax, that’s when I finally could.

It wasn’t my perfect birth and I’ve never had a perfect birth but what I did have this time more than the other two was confidence, knowledge and power.

My partner jokingly said there was no point to my birth plan as we didn’t do any of it but I totally disagree and I would 100% always recommend writing a birth plan and having your preferences stated because I don’t think I would have received the personalised care I needed without it.

It was amazing that the midwife took the time to read my preferences as she then knew how to care for me regardless of how the experience went, she also knew that I had knowledge. At least one of the doctors who treated me at the hospital read my preferences as they knew my fear and anxieties and they treated me accordingly which again might not have happened had I not stated them in my notes. They too knew I had knowledge and I don’t know if that’s the reason I was talked through everything, made sure I had the choice all the way, didn’t touch me / examine before asking and allowed my partner in the room but I suspect it helped!

Regardless of it not being perfect and ending up in hospital I still view this birth as positive and powerful. I felt in control in every situation throughout and that is massively to do with Erin who I can’t thank enough.

My proudest moments? Breathing my son out, touching his head as he crowned and not tearing! I will forever be grateful I experienced that.

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