Tuesday, 30 October 2018

My Birth Story

This feels like it's very long overdue but, anyone reading this with children will understand what a whirlwind the first few weeks, months and I am guessing years of parenthood can be, but I have broken the back of 2 months and what a couple of months it has been. I am coming out of the fog; we are clawing our way out of the blur, slowly but surely.

Anyway, I will save my thoughts on parenthood and how the first eight weeks or so have been for another month. In this blog entry, I am here to share my own birth story. Now, if you're an expecting mother and maybe don't want to know the nitty-gritty, maybe don't read much further. However, I would say, I found it quite comforting watching positive birth stories, listening to them and learning about them and I can say that my birth story is real, honest and positive. Every woman's experience is different, but this is mine.

Right, let me begin

Tuesday 28th August at 5:30 am

I woke for one of my usual early morning toilet stops, which became pretty standard during the later stages of my pregnancy. Which is when I had a "show." Which is a sign that the main event isn't far away (if you don't know what a show is and you're pregnant, give it a google!) Anyway, I found this quite exciting and remember waking Ben up to say things were starting. I guess even though I knew it was going to happen within the next few days, I mean he/she had to come out before the 8th September, but knowing that my body and set the wheels in motion filled me with nerves but mainly excitement, we were on the cusp of meeting my baby.

This was, in fact, the 3rd day of my "show" it had gradually started happening, but on Tuesday it was the biggest one and was pretty obvious what it was. I am not afraid to admit, I took a photo and googled what a 'show' looks like because sometimes it's good to have a bit of reassurance, especially when it's all new. Honestly, ladies or men, it's worth knowing what to expect.

As the day went on I began to get what I can only describe as period pains; I wouldn't say they were painful, more uncomfortable. So, I took a bath, went for a walk and caught up on some work. Ben had gone into the office because I didn't feel like anything would happy that day/night. The cramps were on and off and seemed to stop for an hour or so after I had a bath or walked around. However, as soon as the evening hit the dull ache seemed to become more consistent. I remember calling my mom to tell her how I was feeling because Ben had gone surfing and I wanted to give her the heads up that things were progressing. Little did I know I had a long while to go ...

Anyway, that evening I tried to eat, but I felt so sick. I managed a couple of slices of pizza, but that was it. We went to bed early, watching Madagascar on Netflix as a distraction, childish I know, but it put a smile on my face and took my mind off the uncomfortable feeling I couldn't seem to escape. We were both quite exhausted we went to sleep, with the aim to get as much rest as possible.

Wednesday 29th 2:00 am 

I wake up with contractions. Mild ones but certainly more intense than the period pains I had before. Not wanting to wake Ben, I moved from my bed onto the sofa, where I lay until the sun came up. I couldn't sleep, I couldn't get comfortable, and I felt sick. It was clear that my body was getting ready for birth and I just had to sit back and let it's run its course.

Ben took the day off to stay at home with me, he cleaned around the house, put the washing on and did anything he could to keep busy. I guess looking back it was his way of preparing for the arrival of our little one. But, I remember at the time wanting him to come to sit down and relax with me, but he couldn't sit still.

Heading into the afternoon the contractions got worse and worse, so my mom suggested I try Clary Sage oil in the bath. It's supposedly used to help with contractions. So, there we were, Wednesday afternoon, while in the early stages of labour, driving around trying to find this oil. Luckily we did, and as soon as we got home, I ran a bath and soaked in it for a while. This bath certainly helped my contractions, I just worried it would slow down the contractions like it had done the previous day, but this time it was different, this time they continued to increase in intensity and become closer together.

Wednesday 29th Around 4:00 pm

Late afternoon hit and I was in a lot of pain. I am going to be brutally honest with you all; I HATED the contractions. They hurt, made me feel sick and like nothing I could have prepared myself for. BUT, I dealt with them, and I just tried to keep the thought that it's just my body getting ready for birth at the forefront of my mind.

Pacing the room, unable to sit down, I had to keep moving throughout everyone. Ben sat patiently with his contraction app open, timing each one as they came and went. As they got closer together and the intensity increasing we decided to call the midwives, luckily my midwife was on call and came round before her shift ended. She could see I was in a lot of pain, so examined me to see how my body was progressing. It turns out I was only 1.5cm dilated. Not great for me to hear, I had a long old way to go, so she gave me a stretch and sweep to try and speed things up a little.
As I got myself together, she chatted to Ben, explaining what to do when I progress further, I wasn't in any state to be taking on relevant information.

Wednesday 29th Around 7:00 pm 

Ben calls the midwives; my contractions are increasing with intensity, lasting longer, with little to no break in between. Ben was told to monitor my contractions closely and to come in for 9 pm.

Wednesday 29th 9:30 pm 

With our bags packed and my contractions feeling even closer we arrived at Treliske. I don't remember much of the car journey to be honest; I had my eyes closed, for the most part, trying to focus on breathing through my contractions which felt like they were back to back. With the main reception closed, we headed straight up to the birth centre where we were greeted by a midwife. She checked over my green book and examined me. Much to my dismay, I was now only 2cm dilated; my body wasn't working productively. The lack of food and sleep had really taken its toll.
We were quickly given two options, to go home, try and sleep and eat or have pain relief, go to the ward and sleep. This was a decision I had battled with. I didn't want to go home. I had been at home all day, unable to eat or sleep because of the discomfort, and the level of pain I was in, and it wasn't going to get any better. But, I didn't want to take any pain relief. The midwife left the room to give us time to make the decision but even when she came back a short while after we still hadn't decided what to do. I had so many questions to ask about the pain relief and wanted to weigh up my options, but during this time, my contractions got stronger and stronger. I knew I only had one choice, to take the pain relief.
Luckily for me, the ward was full, and there were no beds, so the midwives ushered us into the St Michaels Mount room to rest. I was given my injection here and soon drifted off into a light sleep. My contractions continued, and I woke every time they passed through my body, but I was able to rest. Up until this point, I had to stand up for every contraction, so it felt nice to relax a little.


The pain relief had worn off, and the contractions were here with a bang! As I stood up and focus on the pain, I noticed I had passed some blood, which turns out was the start of my waters breaking. Ben rushed to get the midwives, who examined me. Now at 6cm, they filled up the birthing pool, and we were on!

Ben set up the playlist, I grabbed a biscuit, shoved it in my mouth, sipped some water and got myself ready. At this point, I couldn't have been more excited.
As I got into the pool, I felt instant relief, pure bliss in fact. The dim lighting, warm water, gas and air I had been given made my contractions pass with ease. However, as soon as I got in the pool, I felt like I need to push. Which is precisely what I did!

Starting on my knees, then turning around with my back against the side of the pool I used every contraction to push with all my might. I remember the midwives commenting on how agile I was in the pool, which made me laugh.

As the birth progressed, I started to get tired, again the lack of food and sleep was taking its toll, but I was so determined to meet my baby that I didn't let either factor get in the way.
I pushed harder and harder, and soon the head was out. All I had to do was wait till the next contraction to birth the body. The wait felt like a lifetime. Knowing the head was out, and all I had to do was push one last time to meet my baby felt so wonderful. Pushing with every ounce of strength left in my body I finally got to meet my beautiful little Albee.

Thursday 30th August 1:11 am

Grabbing him and holding him up to my chest, my body felt instant relief and my heart full with love for my son. I held him tight, staring down at his big eyes, we were both seeing each other for the first time.

It was a moment I would never forget. I had become a mother.

My Thoughts

In a nutshell, I hated the contractions but loved the birth. I found it such an empowering experience. When I think about it now, it fills my heart with joy.

The midwives who supported me were unbelievable, going above and beyond to make the birth as positive as possible. They made me feel in control and never let me doubt my ability to have the birth I wanted.

What I did

Before the birth, I completed the Postive Birth Company Hypnobirthing online program. This helped me prepare for the birth, understanding what may happen. It taught me how to breathe through the contractions and learn how to breathe during active labour.

I was kindly gifted a session with Cornwall Hypnobirthing, which I loved and cannot recommend enough if you live in Cornwall. Within this session, I visualised the birth, relaxed my mind, body and practiced my breathing. It allowed me to prepare my mind for the task ahead.

I honestly think both Hypnobirthing experiences helped keep me calm throughout it all. Before I completed my Hypnobirthing course, I had no idea what to expect. I thought it might be a little out of my comfort zone and unable to relate to it, but that couldn't be further from the truth. It helped put my mind at ease about birth and made me excited about the experience. 

My advice 

To anyone preparing for the birth of their first child, I want to give you some advice! 

1. Don't fear birth. Your body is built for this, and you're going to be able to deal with whatever it throws at you. 

2. Relax as much as you can before the baby arrives. Give yourself time to mentally prepare without overthinking. 

3. Be ready to adapt. Your birth plan may not go to "plan", and that's something I wanted to prepare for. Keeping your options open is always good, and knowledge is power. Knowing what you want to do if you have to have an emergency c-section, for example, will give you comfort in what can feel like quite a stressful time. If you have to have more pain relief that you initially didn't want (like I did), then that's ok. You have to do whatever is best not only for the baby but also for yourself. 

4. Watch positive birth videos. I had no idea what happened in a waterbirth and watching one allowed me to have a better understanding of what to expect. I had so many questions, all of which were answered by watching a variety of different videos on YouTube. 

5. Enjoy it. Try to embrace every moment, your first contraction, the first time you push, the tea and toast after. Embrace and embody it all because it may feel like it takes for every to birth your baby but it will be over in a flash and those 9 months or so you have spend growing your little one will fly by. 



  1. Ah what a lovely birth story, I'm so happy you had a great experience. It is always so nice to read positive birth stories. Congratulations on your gorgeous little man x

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