After plenty of walking, bouncing on my birth ball, clary sage and breathing practice on Saturday afternoon my surges started. They sped up over the afternoon and by around 8pm they were lasting a minute and were about a minute apart. We phoned Bluebell Birth Centre – a midwife led unit at Warwick Hospital and they invited us for a assessment. 

It wasn’t quite business as usual. Due to COVID-19 restrictions Jack waited in the car until it was confirmed I was in labour. Having your biggest support away at such a crucial time was definitely hard to comprehend, however breathing and focusing on Lola kept me calm. 

We stayed at Bluebell Birth Centre all night, surges coming and going; COVID-19 testing being carried out in between surges. We used ‘The calm birth school’ playlist to support us and dim lighting. It was such a lovely centre and was relaxing to use their birthing pool but at 4cm dilated everything paused and we were sent home. 

When learning about Hypnobirthing Claudia taught us about the different stages of birth and how a pause in labour is normal. We arrived home Sunday morning to eat, sleep and repack the hospital bag snacks that had been demolished the night before. 

Around 4:30pm my waters released whilst getting out of bed. At this point there was a panic. I had so many questions. Is the baby okay? Why are my waters brown? Why can’t I feel her moving? Does this mean I need to use Warwick’s labour ward and not the Bluebell Birth Centre we had hoped for? All while Jack had chosen this exact moment to get in the shower with music blaring so he couldn’t hear me calling his name to help. 

We called Bluebell Birth Centre, who instructed us to go to labour ward instead, as brown waters meant Lola was distressed and had pooed in them. For the 30 minutes from my waters releasing, to arriving at the labour ward Lola didn’t move. I felt enormous amounts of anxiety and allowed myself to panic. However upon arrival I was greeted by the most amazing team of midwives, who assessed me quickly, established I was in active labour and quickly allowed Jack to join me. 

My support was back, I trusted the midwives, I felt safe and my Hypnobirthing techniques all came flooding back. I told the midwives that I had practiced Hypnobirthing and we wanted a calm birth. I had a pethidine injection to help me calm down after the worry of meconium in my waters.  After it kicked in I was back on track and focused on having a calm birth. 

I needed to be monitored as they were concerned about Lola’s heart rate but I had the confidence to ask to move into a position that felt more natural to birth in. I listened to my body, got on to all fours and focused on my breathing. Jack supported with getting the lavender essential oil out and made sure I was kept cool with a cool water spray and a fan. Jack was in tune with when to provide encouragement and when I looked like I needed water or a jelly baby! 

After breathing Lola down into position I felt the urge to bear down. The midwives took a step back during the labour as they could see I was prepared and this gave me even more confidence in my body doing the right thing.  After a few long pushes Lola’s head appeared. Her shoulder was stuck but the midwives kept so calm I had no idea anything was wrong and continued focusing on bearing down and breathing.

At 8:12pm weighing 8lb 13oz Lola arrived! Healthy, calm and she immediately started feeding. 

I felt no pain when Lola arrived, just pressure. Even with some tearing it just felt natural to let go, relax and let my body do what it needed to. I truly believe this is down to being in such a relaxed state and understanding the process of labour. 

Without Claudia our birth would have been completely different and full of fear.  We will never be able to thank Claudia enough!

5 months on and Lola fills us with so much joy every day!

Chloe, Jack & Baby Lola x