My due date was the 7th June, everything had been packed for weeks, I felt calm about giving birth, I had been asked if I was scared by numerous people but my answer to them was always no, it’s what my body is designed to do.
On my due date I was offered a sweep at my midwife appointment but declined, I wanted to give my body chance to do what it could. After booking myself on pregnancy yoga (I would be 2 days over) I instead discussed with Tessa the option of having an aromatherapy sweep after 41 weeks, which is what I felt I would do.
Later that night I started with period cramping type pain. I went to bed as normal thinking it was in my head and it wasn’t happening yet, ha I was wrong!
About 6.30/7am the morning after the cramps had changed to wave like sensations and I always remember Tessa saying contractions are like a wave, so that was when the penny dropped that yes it was happening, I knew then it was the start of the journey to meeting our baby. I was feeling excited but slightly nervous.
At about 9am I gave up trying to sleep in bed, so I came downstairs and got out my yoga mat, put Russell howard on the TV and sat on my birthing ball which soon became uncomfortable. I text Tessa (who is also my cousin) asking what yoga position would be good to get baby out of my ribs, she advised downward dog so that was what I did. When the baby moved I got on the sofa to have a nap and I managed about an hour.
I then got up and started pottering around doing little jobs in the house aswell as yoga inbetween, keeping active and moving, breathing my way through each contraction.
I found it comfortable to lean on the kitchen worktop swaying my hips and breathing through the contractions.
At 4.50pm my waters started to go, I rang my partner Aaron and told him to come home, then rang Burnley Birth Centre. We discussed going in at 8.30pm as I was managing at home fine but with my waters going they wanted to see me before 9pm.
When I started to move again the rest of my waters went, which was a strange thing to experience. A warm bath later and keeping my mind busy texting family, Aaron weny to the shop for porridge (to build my energy up). It got to about 7pm and contractions started coming more frequently so I rang the birth centre and asked to come in sooner. It was then that I also asked to have a room with a pool in if possible. We set off to Burnley with porridge in hand, breathing through the contractions using golden thread breathing.
We got there around 8pm and were welcomed by a lovely lady who showed us to our room where the pool was already filled ready if I needed to get straight in.
My contractions had slowed slightly, I knew that when I had settled in and tweaked my surroundings to how I wanted them, it would be fine. Dimmed lighting, my playlist on - I was breathing and swaying through each contraction.
Two midwifes came and introduced them selves (Beth & Jess), 1 was a trainee about to qualify.
I was still in early labour, there were conversations about having 12 hours from my waters breaking to birth my baby otherwise I may need to be helped. I wanted to avoid that if I could. With being in early labour they also spoke about sending me home but I declined as I couldn't do the car journey again. We agreed to have a VE in an hours time.
Beth & Jess read my birth preferences and asked if I had done hypnobirthing, I laughed and said “yeah can you tell? I have also done pregnancy yoga too”. Jess mentioned she does hypnobirthing too, which made me feel more at ease.
Around 9.45pn Jess came back in to see how I was getting on and to do the VE. My contractions were not as long as they would’ve liked, but I was 3cm and my frontal waters hadn't gone, so I could stay.
Within the hour my contractions really ramped up, from here I have no concept of time at all. I tried gas and air but it annoyed me with having to hold it as I needed to hold both of Aaron’s hands and squeeze through each contraction aswell as breathing (my way of getting through). I didn't want any pain relief that meant I couldn't use the pool.
Before I knew it my body wanted to push. I told Beth who went and consulted with Jess, when she came back she said it was possibly the pressure from the frontal waters, they re did the water in the birth pool and as soon as it was ready I got in. Then began the pushing stage of labour, my first position I was on my knees leaning over the edge of the pool using KICO.
Aaron got my hand held fan out of the bag for inbetween my urges to push, the midwife then suggested a cold compress - I had also face cloth ready in my bag for a cold compress too. After a while Jess siggested getting out and changing position but I declined as the pool was my relief, I changed my position in the pool to malasana (yoga pose, a low squat). When I lost my concentration or Jess could see I had slightly moved out of position she reminded me KICO, floppy face... Aaron also would remind me of my breathing too, and I’d reconnect my thoughts with my body and my baby. When I found it tough mentally I would say out loud, “come on baby we can do this, we can’t wait to meet you”.
I was told to slow my pushing down and at this point I knew her head was coming. Tessa had mentioned this at yoga, I remembered to breath like blowing out candles. Not long after that our baby arrived and she was put on my chest. The umbilical cord was short so I only had her there for about 8mins (I requested delayed cord clamping) before Aaron cut the cord.
I gave birth to Matilda at 00.52 on the Thursday. From my waters breaking to giving birth it was 8 hours.
I couldn't believe we had done it, Aaron was amazing throughout the whole thing. He kept calm and relaxed and that also helped me stay calm too.
I felt relieved that my baby had arrived, shocked that we had done it and overwhelmed by the whole thing and that I didn't have pain relief (that was not in my plan, it just happened that way).
We went home less than 12 hours after to start our new chapter as a family of 3.
For about a week after I was on cloud 9. I felt absolutely amazing, no one could take the smile off my face, I felt I absolutely smashed my birth and we have a fabulous little girl.
I had a 2nd degree tear but I haven't felt uncomfortable. My coccyx felt a little bruised and tender, but overall I had a great recovery.
I am so thankful for all Tessa spoke about in pregnancy yoga and everything I learnt from hypnobirthing too. Without all the knowledge I gained from them both I feel it would’ve been totally different.