After having my amazing little boy Maddox and finally feeling the enormous unconditional love you feel when you become a Mama I knew I wanted to give him a little brother/sister. Sadly this wasn’t going to be easy as I went on to experience further loss, a little boy called Albie and three miscarriages. I had got to the point where I just couldn’t put myself through such pain again and almost gave up on my dream to have a bigger family. I spent some time focusing on me, had counselling and for once in the last few years not trying for a baby. This time was invaluable for me to get my strength back and I went to see a miscarriage/pre term labour specialist, Professor Quenby undergoing various tests. There was absolutely nothing wrong with me medically, I had just had very very bad luck and Professor Quenby gave me my fight back, I suddenly felt that I could do this and wouldn’t give up on giving Maddox a little brother/sister.
So, the rollercoaster began again and in November 2019 I was pregnant. I was so happy but of course those feelings of anxiety accompanied me through my pregnancy, along with dreading going to the toilet just in case I was bleeding. Each scan was a huge milestone and relief but I was so very aware of what could happen that I couldn’t get excited or look forward to meeting my baby, not yet.
I began my Hypnobirthing instructor training with The Calm Birth School in January 2019 with a group of lovely ladies which was such a wonderful way to re-learn my own personal Hypnobirthing techniques and helped me to manage my pregnancy anxiety. The more knowledge I gained and the more I practiced the techniques, the more relaxed I became and I started to enjoy my pregnancy for the first time, visualising meeting him/her and as my pregnancy progressed, with each beautiful scan picture I felt excited.
I started to plan my birth and write my birth preferences, I’d always dreamt of a home water birth, although having chatted through the pros/cons with my Husband Benjamin, due to our past experiences he felt nervous about this. So we both decided together that having our baby at The Bluebell Centre at Warwick hospital would be the best option for us, although as I was ‘high-risk’ this wasn’t a possibility. All was going well with my pregnancy and baby was growing perfectly, so at my next consultant appointment I was discharged as high-risk. I now had a plan and could visualise where and how I was going to meet my baby.
My hospital bag was packed, birth preferences were printed, coolbox for my placenta was waiting by the door, all I had to do was wait patiently for my baby. I was feeling hot, uncomfortable and needed to wee every time I walked as baby was so low. Because Maddox had arrived at 37w2d this was the most pregnant I’d ever been and I just wanted my baby here safely. I had acupuncture, reflexology, massage, diffused Clary Sage aromatherapy oils and insisted my husband do his ‘duty’ to help baby along but nothing.
Then on the morning of Tuesday 9 July, 2 days before my estimated due date, I was casually eating breakfast with my Mum, Benjamin and Maddox whilst sat on my birthing ball and felt as though I needed the toilet again with a little pressure on my back passage. I went to the toilet and got into the shower as thought I’d get washed/dressed in case it was my labour starting. Whilst in the shower I started having more sensations, stronger this time and I knew it was my baby! I measured the surges and they were immediately 2 minutes apart – time to go!
Luckily my in-laws arrived just in time to look after Maddox, so I made my way to the car, managing my surges with my breathing techniques – which were very intense by this point. Finally in the passenger seat my intuition kicked in and I just knew I wouldn’t get to hospital on time, then my waters released and I could feel pressure moving down. I asked Benjamin to remove my knickers and instead of pulling them down, he ripped them off like a caveman :0)
The ambulance service were on the phone talking him through things and asking questions about my condition, people started to panic and I was aware of things becoming out of control. I completely blocked out the panic, took myself into my Hypnobirthing practice, especially my breathing and visualised my baby arriving safely, holding him/her in my arms. Intuitively I knew that I wouldn’t make it to the Bluebell Centre and there was no way I was having my baby in the car, so I asked him to help me back into my living room. Once there I flopped down on to my rug on all fours, hugged my birthing ball and breathed through my extremely intense surges. I could hear the ambulance service giving Benjamin instructions and someone ran off to get towels but I was completely in my zone of calm and relaxation, even though everyone was panicking.
Just 12 minutes after my waters had released I felt the urge to breath my baby down, along with stretching sensations and baby’s head was born, one more deep long breath down and Benjamin caught baby in a towel. Baby wasn’t making any noise and whilst Benjamin rubbed them with the towel it felt like an eternity, then I heard them cry, such relief! In all the excitement he announced it was a boy, then I heard my Mother in Law screaming ‘it’s a girl’!! I think my response was, well which is it?! Then my beautiful, perfect, healthy baby girl was placed on my chest to breastfeed, I was overcome with love and still in my relaxed, calm bubble holding my little girl!
Two ambulance crews arrived 4 minutes later and checked us both over. The umbilical cord had stopped pulsating by this point so it was clamped (a little longer so that we could use our umbilical cord tie later) and Benjamin cut the cord. Whilst I focused on delivering my placenta naturally Daddy enjoyed skin to skin with his little girl, Maddox got to meet his little Sister and she got to meet her Nana, Nanny and Grandad.
Our birth photographer Bekkie (Bambino Art Photography) arrived to take photos of as much as she could capture as I had planned to have the birth photographed but baby had other ideas!
Unfortunately my placenta wasn’t really moving, so we were taken to Warwick Hospital by ambulance to be checked over properly. I was still so very relaxed, calm and couldn’t quite believe I was holding my beautiful baby. Luckily when the midwife checked, my placenta was naturally ready to be delivered and was checked/put on ice ready to be collected by the lady doing my placenta encapsulation.
Due to how quickly she arrived I had to have some stitches, which I felt completely relaxed about, we were just enjoying cuddles with our new bundle, laughing and chatting. I didn’t feel as though I had just given birth, in fact I felt amazing!
We chatted about the names we’d shortlisted and decided that she was definitely a ‘Marnie Annabella’. Marnie took to breastfeeding really well and within a few hours we were home, finally a family of four!
Marnie is so calm, she breastfeeds amazingly (constantly), sleeps well and is definitely a relaxed Hypnobirthing baby! I’m one very lucky Mama and know that Hypnobirthing has yet again given me another amazing birth experience!.. I wish I could do it all over again!!