LILLIAN’S BIRTH STORY
It has taken a while to write our birth story (mostly due to the little munchkin that this story is about) but finally we are there. I hope you find the time to read it, as whilst it’s not the shortest, it will hopefully give you true insight into our experience.
I am a first time Momma, so for me (and I think for most of us expecting for the first time ) the whole pregnancy topic was truly daunting. Not knowing what was going to happen to my body and the mystery of labour itself really scared me. Most of us have heard horror stories about giving birth and the ones that haven’t then probably haven’t heard much about it at all and their only real exposure is to watch fictional births portrayed in film or television, with the woman who is giving birth screaming in agony. Not many of us get to hear how wonderful an experience it can be, as for some reason this doesn’t appear to travel as well.
As you can probably see from reading other people’s stories, there can be many different experiences had giving birth, and birth stories can be quite varied. In the past I was always concerned if I was able to get pregnant or not as I have had endometriosis for quite a few years. I was told I would struggle to conceive and therefore thought it would be a real miracle if we were to fall pregnant naturally. When the test first showed positive we were completely elated and I felt a real relief but very soon after the worry really started to kick in. When we went for our first scan I was worried if there would be a heartbeat and when we heard it beating I was worried if it was beating too quick (as they just sound so fast). Then with future scans it was if he or she was growing normally or not. What can I eat, what can’t I eat. What should I eat and what shouldn’t I eat? What position should I sleep to keep the baby safe… the list goes on.
During these times of continuous worry I went to my Nieces birthday party where we got chatting to my husband’s cousin and his fiancée who were heavily pregnant at the time. They were expecting their first baby and I couldn’t get over just how chilled they were about their pregnancy and how confident she was about the labour. This was the first time I’d ever heard about Hypnobirthing so I said to James that this is something we need to seriously look into because I want a bit of whatever she’s having ☺
James had seen that Claudia was teaching Hypnobirthing and if we wanted to look into it then she would be good to discuss it with. Wow, what a find! We were so lucky to have Claudia teach us all about Hynobirthing as she made our journey so enjoyable and special. We loved every session with her, especially when we were practising our breathing techniques (which was very important to me as I have bad asthma and I was worried about my breathing during labour.)
It was really helpful to understand all the information about what changes and chemical reactions which occur within my body throughout pregnancy and then labour. The language that we used through Hypnobirthing was also very positive and everything we learned made me so relaxed and chilled, yet confident. Claudia gave me all the strength I was both missing and looking for. It was a real eye opening experience for us both.
James felt involved throughout the pregnancy even before Hypnobirthing but the knowledge he gained during our sessions really increased how involved he became and therefore felt.
We were practising the techniques every day which made us feel very ready for any situation and so when I found blood patches in our bed on the night of the 5th of December and we were told to rush to Warwick hospital we were able to draw on the techniques we had learned and we were able to manage to keep calm and relaxed even when we were both naturally very worried for the health of our little baby.
They put sticky patches on my tummy at the hospital so they could monitor our little one’s heartbeat. Fortunately everything was well. At this point I would like to tell you how much I believe in the good, old saying ”Everything happens for a reason”. As on the night in question, in Warwick hospital a midwife called Kate was working and she is true angel sent from heaven.
She was so warm and naturally kind that she made us feel completely at ease straight away. We were both so disappointed that she wasn’t able to be at our labour as she worked in the main hospital and we had decided upon the Bluebell Unit for our birth as we wanted to have as natural a waterbirth as possible.
We planned and planned how we wanted our labour to go (as you should) but it is also important to have many scenarios ready as not many labours go exactly to plan. Baby always decides how he/she would like to enter the world. This was no exception with our little one☺
We were due on Friday the 6th of December but our baby decided to stay inside a little while longer. I must say the most challenging part of labour was this first stage for me (for the both of us actually). I was having my waves from the 5th December onwards but they weren’t very regular at all and unfortunately they didn’t let me rest or sleep. We tried everything we could in an attempt to speed things along such as watching Friends to increase my endorphin levels, eating spicy food and foods that I had read induced labour. We went on walks in the park close by, walking up and down the curb. I even went up and down the stairs like a crab as we’d learnt this helped move things along also. Baby just wasn’t ready yet though and must have been too comfy in my tummy.
We spoke to the Bluebell a few times during these days as with no sleep I was becoming weaker and weaker and so we needed to decide if we wanted to be induced or not. We chose not to and continued to practice the breathing techniques we had learned throughout and diffused natural oils that also helped keep me as relaxed as I could be.
After four very long days and nights my waters finally released at 6am on Monday the 9th December, so off we headed to the Bluebell at Warwick in anticipation of meeting our baby. When we arrived there they checked how far dilated I was and then my waters released again. They weren’t as clear as they would have like, so it was decided that in order to monitor the baby’s heartbeat properly we needed to be moved to the labour ward where they had the appropriate continuous monitoring equipment. We were very disappointed at the time as we had set our hearts on the Bluebell and a waterbirth but knowing all the circumstances now as I do I must say that being in Labour ward at the main hospital was the best outcome that we could ever of hoped for, for us on this particular occasion.
One of the lovely midwives walked me down from the Bluebell unit to labour ward while James gathered all the bags from the car. At this stage my waves were becoming much more regular so we had to keep stopping along the way as and when they arrived. I was breathing through the waves just as I had been taught to and so as a result they weren’t too bad and I was able to remain calm.
It was great that we had already visited the main hospital a few times previously so I could really use the five senses technique to prevent the adrenaline kicking in. They placed us into a lovely room with a birthing pool where they let us put our family pictures on the shelves and stick my affirmations on the walls, so I could see them all the time. My waters released again and as they were becoming less and less clear with each loss the midwife decided I could not have a water birth and so we needed to move rooms again to free up the pool for someone who could use it.
This again was disappointing however we remained calm and positive and entered the final birthing room where we were to bring our little baby into the world. James set up the room with all our affirmations on the wall and he placed our LED candles around to create a nice calming atmosphere.
It was around 8.30am now and we had a lovely new midwife arrive who went through our birth preferences with us to check on all of our birth choices so she knew what we wanted. As the waves continued they came more and more often and with each one the intensity strengthened. I found the best method for me at that particular moment in time was to stand next to the bed leaning over it where I remained for almost the entirety of the rest of my labour (you’ll just do what feels right at the time). I felt calm from listening to crashing wave sounds through our Bluetooth speaker and had the energy gels to keep my energy up. I had some gas and air, which was really cool if you’ve not had it before.
At around midday the midwives needed to do a shift change which we were disappointed to hear as our midwife was lovely. Guess who the replacement midwife was though… yes the lovely Kate who had looked after us a few days previously walked in, to our absolute delight. She said she had seen our names on the board when she came into work and had requested our birth. We were so pleased and the handover was seamless. We spent the next hours as relaxed as we could be as the waves came and passed. Throughout the entire time James was at my side reminding me of my breathing and this really helped me.
At around 4pm I really started to tire and I was so exhausted by this point that I just wanted to lie down and be on my back. I pushed through the waves as I became more and more dilated and with each push I became more and more exhausted. It is very important to highlight though that throughout this whole experience that no matter how tired I became I always felt calm and in complete control thanks to the tools and techniques Claudia had taught us through Hypnobirthing.
At around 5pm we were getting very close to the actual birth and I was near exhaustion but determined to have as natural a birth as possible. Although I think it is also important to listen to your body and if my labour had gone on much longer I’m not sure I would’ve been able to give birth naturally. The doctors came in to assist at around 5.30pm and after assessing me decided that they needed to make a slight incision to allow our baby to make his or her way into the world.
At 5.57pm to our overwhelming delight, our little daughter Lillian did just that. We had decided to not find out the gender of our baby until the birth, which if you can resist the temptation I would absolutely recommend.
I managed to give birth to the placenta naturally at 6.09pm, however my uterus didn’t contract by itself despite the doctor trying to help it do so through massage. I therefore had to receive an injection to help it do so, which it did pretty much straight away after the injection. To be honest though, I was fairly oblivious to all of this happening as I had my baby in my arms and I was in a state of euphoria with oxytocin flowing. I will never forget the feeling of that warm little body coming from inside me and entering into the world, followed shortly by that tiny little cry. The feeling was and still is completely indescribable! All I can say is it was the most beautiful thing I have ever felt or experienced in my life.
Our little angel, ‘Lillian Grace’ was finally here with us and there she was just resting on my chest and listening to my heartbeat from outside my body for the very first time. Then something truly magical happened, as she managed to lift her head right up and look straight into my eyes for a long minute. I’m crying now as I write this just thinking back to how magical that moment was. We were just both staring at each other with such love and from that moment on my life became complete.
That moment will stay with me forever and ever!
There are not many people in this world who are destined to do what they do in life but I truly believe you are one of them and I can’t thank you enough for all the help and support you gave us along our journey. Your personal story is so inspiring in so many ways and I hope every expectant parent will find their way to you. Hypnobirthing is the way forward!
We were so lucky to get to know you and we will be always thankful for you.
I would like to say to all out there who are worrying and scared, especially in these unprecedented times that our body and mind are amazing and ladies we can do ANYTHING!!!
Even if you don’t feel like that at the moment it doesn’t matter what is coming, you will cope with the challenges because we are all wonder women!
Ladies you already have what it takes!