Katy, Elliot and Oscar's Birth Story
My Positive Birth Story written by Katy
I tried really hard during my pregnancy not to talk about a ‘due date’ but as the weeks and months passed I was asked so many times about it that as the approximate date came and went, I wasn’t at all surprised that baby hadn’t arrived! In fact it wasn’t until 11 days later that he decided to make his appearance! Up until this point I had been fairly organised, we had taken a wonderful hypnobirthing course, I had done as much physical and mental preparation as I could manage and although I dreamed of a home birth, I had my hospital bag at the ready just incase! I had also been going to post dates clinics as often as possible for reflexology and just a general chat with the midwife. These were so beneficial to me as 2 days before I had Oscar, I mentioned to the midwife that I
was terrified that i wouldn’t be able to have a home birth if he was too overdue as at this point this was really playing on my mind. She immediately said that I wasn’t to worry and if I wanted a home birth, there is no reason why this still can’t happen even if he was ‘overdue.’ I can’t tell you how much this helped me to relax, I was much calmer after this and stopped counting down the hours and looking for signs!
The next day I went for a big walk, I sat in the garden and then made a big cake (I was so glad of this cake over the next few days!)
Later that evening I woke at around 3am needing the loo and for the next hour or so I kept having to go back and forth to the loo and feeling a bit uncomfortable. It’s funny because I’d spent weeks waiting for the signs of labour to start but in this hour I didn’t even consider that this could be it! It wasn’t until my husband said to me at around 4am that maybe I should time the waves that were coming over me and just like that we realised I was in labour!
He quickly called my mum who was on standby and stayed with me whilst I bounced on my gym ball for a bit and concentrated on my breathing. I used the Freya breathing app which was really helpful. When mum arrived, she called the home birth team and was told that there wasn’t anyone available (thankfully I didn’t know this at the time!) and they asked to speak to me. I think they quickly realised that I was in active labour by my breathing down the phone and they thankfully came out to me even though they weren’t actually community midwives.
In the meantime my husband filled the birth pool, set up the music and lights and I took an immense amount of time to shuffle down the stairs, stopping after every few steps to breathe through a surge. Once downstairs you couldn’t have stopped me from getting in that pool, that was my goal and it felt so good to get in. At once I felt like I could do this. I was at home, my husband and my mum were with me, I was in the water, the atmosphere was so calm and I had coped well with the surges to this point.
The midwives arrived at around 5am and they weren’t happy that I was in the water already as they had wanted to examine me. Thankfully I was blissfully unaware of this and my husband quickly gave them our birth plan and just like that, they were completely informed about my wishes and were no longer concerned about examining me, or disturbing me at all really. There was some faffing about going on with the water temperature but other than that they were fantastic at just being there and checking the baby’s heart rate every now and again. I remember the midwife just splashing water on my back every now and again and it just felt comforting to know that she was there.
I continued to breathe through the surges and rest in between, taking sips of cold coconut water. I asked for gas and air once but my husband asked why I wanted it and then I realised I didn’t really, I was just curious so I carried on without!
At 8am the home birth team arrived to take over shifts and one of them was a familiar face from my previous appointments which was so reassuring. The first thing she said was that I was doing really well and she could tell from my ‘purple line’ that I was getting close. This was the first indication I had of how I was progressing and I was getting quite tired by this point and needed this reassurance. I must have transitioned by now and started my down breathing (accompanied with some strange mooing sounds) and at 9.30am, Oscar was born, I couldn’t believe I’d done it! We continued with our plan; delayed cord clamping and natural placenta delivery and all the while at home. After snuggles on the sofa, I had a shower whilst the midwives checked Oscar over and we were both tucked up in our bed by lunchtime. Absolute bliss.
I feel so lucky to have had such a positive birth, I was able to recover quickly, didn’t need any stitches and Oscar was happy and healthy. I truly put this down to the preparation we put in, how informed we were and how positive our mind sets were. Feeling in control of what was happening to my body was the key for me and I was able to focus on this alone without any outside distraction. I found I didn’t use the affirmations so much during labour but they must have been in there somewhere to keep me going and stay so positive! The scientific knowledge and breathing techniques were the real game changer for me. These, combined with being at home were a perfect combination.
Oscar Elliot Robinson, born 29th August 2019
Thank you so much for sharing your positive birth story Katy. It was a pleasure to be a part of it and I am so pleased for you!