People have been asking me to share my birth story, so I have finally got around to writing it!
When I tell my friends that I had a pain free birth they stare at me quizzically, call me deluded, or tell me I must have forgotten the pain. To be honest I would have said the same a year ago.
However, even my husband vouches that our first child Eleanor, was born into the world easily and calmly on 28th Septmber. I believe that this is all due to the fact that I stayed active during my pregnancy. From week 8 I began attending local pregnancy yoga classes, aquanatal sessions, and right until the end of my pregnancy I was out waking the dogs, although admittedly I was a lot slower in the last month!
From the 25th week of my pregnancy I started attending a Lazy Daisy group in Wimborne Minster, and the techniques I learned were the reason that I had such a smooth labour.
On Sunday 28th September my husband and I were shopping in the co-op when my waters broke! We got home and I began moving on my birthing ball, I could hear my class leader saying ‘rotate to dilate!’ Unfortunately my TENs machine had stopped working (typical!) so I just had 2 paracetamol.
On the way to the hospital (45minute drive) I listened to a natal hypnotherapy CD which I had listened to throughout my pregnancy. This helped me to mentally prepare for the birth; I felt positive and completely in control of the situation.
Throughout the car journey I had strong cramps in my thighs, I made myself ignore these as I thought my contractions would be so much worse. It wasn’t until I got to hospital that I realised these were part of my contractions. Apparently the pain can be transferred to other parts of the body, who knew!
By the time I got to hospital I was 5cm dilated and still feeling fine. I kept active, moving on the birthing ball, on all fours, walking around. The main thing that got me through was the 4 and 8 breathing (breathe in for 4 seconds, out for 8), this worked really well with gas and air.
I quickly got to 10cm dilated and was ready to push. My plan of having a water birth went out of the window as the midwife was concerned I wouldn’t make it to the water birthing room! Unfortunately after this things actually slowed down and I had a slow second stage as I was getting tired. Despite my husband’s best efforts of feeding me haribo and apricots, I need a bit more assistance.
The Dr was called, and they administered a drip to strengthen my contractions, and eventually decided to use a ventouse. During the pushing stage I stopped having gas and air as I was so focussed, I was determined to meet our baby girl.
At 19.11 (8.5 hours after my waters broke) Eleanor Catherine Mead was born, weighing a healthy 8lb 2. Even though she was delivered by ventouse and I had an episiotomy I really didn’t feel pain, just pressure.
I had the most amazing birth experience, and I would love for other women to know that it is possible to have a pain free birth, yes really! But even for women that don’t have the positive experience I did, the result is the same, we all have our beautiful babies at the end of it, this thought keeps you going.
I would like to thank the staff at Yeovil District Hospital for looking after me and helping me through my journey, they really were amazing and I can’t wait to go through it all again (let’s give it at least a couple of years though!)