Now I don’t know about you, but I absolutely love hearing/reading about other women’s birth stories.
So here it goes….
Now apart from some morning sickness at the beginning of my pregnancy, I had a blessed pregnancy and love being pregnant. However as I approached 41 weeks pregnant, I was getting slightly restless.
I tried several things to go into labour naturally; raspberry leaf tea, dates, exercise….nothing
I had a midwife appointment at 40 + 5 at the birth centre at Chelsea & Westminster Hospital. I had originally decided not to have any sweeps, however when I got there I was curious to where I was, so had a quick examination. The midwife advised me that I was barely dilated and that my cervix was really far back. Her words were ‘put it this way, I don’t think this baby is going to come tonight’ She told me to go home, have a hot curry and rest. I also booked in for induction for 42 weeks, as well as some complementary therapy for the following week.
I went home a little disappointed, however I thought at least it was good to know where my body was at.
That evening I ordered a hot Indian curry and even added extra hot sauce. 😂
I went to bed and at around 4am I woke up feeling very sick, FFS I thought that bloody curry has made me sick! I went to the toilet and got back in bed and then my tummy started to hurt. At first I thought I needed to go to the toilet, then I quickly realised it was a contraction. They started to come around every 7 mins. I got in the bath, but that didn’t help much. I woke my partner up at around 4.45am and told him I was in labour. I also called my mum and told her.
By 6am they were 5 mins apart and painful…I called the birth centre and they advised to call back in an hour.
Luckily I had a birthing ball at home, bouncing on this during each contraction really helped!! I’m sooo glad I had brought one a few days before.
I got to the birth centre at 8.30am, by this time the contractions were 4 mins apart, lasting around a minute. I would say the pain was around a 7/10. They examined me and I was 3/4cm, I was so happy to hear this. My worst nightmare was being sent home or to take a bloody walk! Why they tell women to do this I’ll never know….walking while having contractions – great idea!
They advised they were going to get me settled in a room and that hopefully my labour would start to progress quite quickly as it was my second baby.
I got to my room, and quickly got on the birthing ball. In between my contractions I walked around the room to try and encourage things to speed up. My partner and my mum were my birthing partners and each had an important role!
Even though I had given birth before this labour was very different, each contraction felt so painful and my back was in so much pain. I didn’t really experience any lower back pain during my first labour. My amazing Mum rubbed my back during each contraction which was a god send!
I had a little cry on my partner, not sure whether it was the pain or the rush of emotions I was feeling. But hey sometimes we just need a good cry.
I also asked my partner to prepare a play list for me a few weeks back as I knew the music would act as a distraction. We put on a gospel playlist, there is something about gospel music which is very uplifting and powerful.
At around 11am I asked to use some gas and air as the pain was creeping up, I tried to wait as long as possible before I used this as the midwives had told me your body gets used to it so it becomes less effective after a while. The gas and air defo helped and took the edge off for a bit!
I had decided to have a water birth, however the midwife advised to try and hold off getting in the water as it can sometimes slow things down. I was walking around a lot so things were moving along quickly (I hoped anyway)
I finally decided to get in the pool around 12ish, they checked me and I was 6cm which again was a relief to hear!
Now – the pool takes AGGESSSSSS to fill up!! So if you want to use the pool ask for them to fill this up in advance!!
The water was really nice, however I’m not sure it assisted with pain relief! After a while my waters finally broke, the midwife then looked at me and said ‘the contractions will intensify now’ I looked at her like WTF! Intensify, how – I was already easily at a 9/10 on my pain scale.
After this point, I really started to think I couldn’t do this. I sobbed a few times to my mum and partner and cried that I couldn’t do it anymore.
I had practiced hypnobirthing throughout my pregnancy, but this pain was intense I was struggling to use the techniques.
By this point I wasn’t even really using the gas and air as I was starting to lose control.
It took all my might to try and concentrate and not totally lose my shit. I was in the birth centre so there was no drugs I could have anyway and I didn’t want to have any so kept that in mind the whole time. I was so drugged up when I had Josh, I really wanted this to be different.
At around 12.45pm I think – I had a massive urge to push. I had no idea if it was the right time, or if I was dilated enough but the midwives told me to listen to my body. So on each contraction I started to push.
Then OMG…the burn. So women have told me about the ring of fire before, but as I had an epidural at the end of my labour with Josh I didn’t feel this before.
The pressure of the baby’s head and the burn was insane, like insannneeee.
I pushed and pushed and pushed on my contractions and her head was out and then within the next few pushes she was here. Well I didn’t know she was a she. 😂 Then my mum quickly reminded me, I lifted her little leg and realised she was a girl. I sobbed and sobbed. I was so happy and relieved the pain was over! At 1.03pm our beautiful daughter was born.
I had decided to have delayed cord cutting and to deliver my placenta naturally. I stayed in the pool for around 30 mins having skin to skin which was lovely.
I finally got out the pool, to deliver my placenta which did not want to come out!! I waited an hour – it still didn’t come out. At this point I was in quite a lot of pain, after some medical intervention I finally delivered the placenta, which was checked and then refrigerated (as I was having it encapsulated)
They checked me and advised that I had a 2nd degree perineum tear! Fab I thought!
Then it hit it….wait hang on, how are you going to stitch me up with no pain relief. Gas and air was my only option.
So let me tell you! No one talks about this part!!! It was so painful! 45 mins later I was high as kite from the gas and air and traumatised from the pain 😩
When I finally was able to relax in my room and feed my baby girl, I was very settled.
The rooms are lovely. Double bed and an ensuite. Defo worth having your baby in the birth centre for that reason alone 😂
Even though the pain was intense, I was so glad I chose to have a natural birth. I felt so much better than after I had Josh.
My best friend brought Josh over who was so excited to finally meet the baby 😍
After some tea and toast and a little sleep, we were all feeling content. We went home the next day.
I had the most wonderful experience at the birth centre at Chelsea & Westminster. The midwives were wonderful, they were all so kind, lovely and encouraging.
I really felt like they cared and I felt so looked after. The aftercare was also brilliant, they were always on hand to help with breastfeeding or get me more tea and toast!
If I have another baby, I will definitely be back….💕