Tag Archives: Newborn

Baby Albert

Baby Albert

At 37 weeks my midwife sent me to KGH to be monitored by fetal health due to high blood pressure. I was sent home the same day but had daily visits from the midwife to keep an eye on things. Unfortunately my blood pressure continued to rise and other signs of preeclampsia appeared  over the following weeks.

I was asked to stay in hospital over night on Sunday 1st March and the following day the doctor explained that it was best that I was induced. This began with a pessary being inserted. Quite quickly mild contractions started, I remembered to stay active taking walks around the ground and doing exercises on the birthing ball. 24 hours later this was removed and I was told I was 3-4cm dilated and ready to have my waters broken.

Unfortunately the hospital was very busy during my stay with a lot of emergencies arriving, due to this I was waiting to have my waters broken from Tuesday until Friday. Obviously being in hospital while heavily pregnant and seeing lots of emergencies happening around me was a very stressful time, the breathing techniques and finding my own zone was extremely useful for both myself and my partner.

Finally on Friday 6th March at 9am I was told there was a bed for me on labour ward and I was ready to have my waters broken. I packed up my stuff and was taken straight down. By 12.30pm the doctor had broken my waters, she told me I was actually only 2cm dilated and that my labour would be long and painful! This is not what I wanted to hear after such a long week! She wanted to put me on a drip straight away to start contractions and get an epidural set up as she thought it would be needed. I was not comfortable with this and remembered that I had been told that I had a choice. I explained I did not want an epidural without trying things without first.

Within minutes of my waters being broken contractions started fast and hard, by the time they had set up the drip (to start contractions) the midwife decided it was not needed as my body had taken control. I was strapped to monitor which made it difficult to move around too much so I made sure I was lying on my left side rather than my back. Roughly 2 hours later I told the midwife I needed to push, she told me this was very unlikely as contractions hadn’t been going for long enough. She explained that she didn’t want to examine me until she was sure there would have been movement. However, after doing the body scan I was sure i was ready to push. The midwife did examine me at this point and to her surprise I was fully dilated and she could see my baby’s head! She decided to cancel the epidural the doctor had recommend as I had got to this point just using gas and air and my breathing techniques. I was so pleased I hadn’t agreed to this right at the start.  I put the gas and air down as I wanted to fully focus on my own breath counting to 10 each time while pushing. 45 minutes of pushing and my gorgeous baby boy arrived at 3.13pm.

I was so happy I had attended your course, it saved me from having an unnecessary epidural and helped to keep me calm during a long build up. It wasn’t the long labour the doctor predicted, it just goes to show that everyone’s body works in different ways and certain things can’t be assumed.

Not everything went to plan but I would do it all again tomorrow for the safe arrival of my little boy Albert!

Thank you again for sharing the great techniques, it helped at every stage of labour!

Birth Story – Henry

Baby Henry

Despite falling pregnant at 39, the fact that I would be in my 40th year when giving birth meant that I was automatically placed in a higher-risk pregnancy bracket and was put under consultant care. At my first consultancy appointment, I was advised that it was protocol for women 40 years and over to be induced on their due date. It was explained that this is because there is a small amount of evidence to suggest that the placenta in older mothers loses efficiency in late pregnancy and therefore there is a higher risk of still birth.

Only three years earlier, I had given birth to my first child, Georgia. I had had a very healthy pregnancy and a relatively normal delivery at 41 weeks so I have to say I was a little frustrated as to why an induction was being suggested just because I was a few years older….after all, if I had fallen pregnant only 5 months earlier, I wouldn’t be under consultant care at all. I was not at all keen to have an induction but at this stage, I put it to the back of my mind and thought I would simply deal with it nearer the time, if the time came! Maybe this time my baby would be early and it wouldn’t be an issue!!

I joined the MummyNatal class when I was approximately 5 months pregnant. I had done a similar course during my first pregnancy and found the techniques and education really helped me to stay calm during labour. During my first class, I mentioned to Kate the advice I had been given regarding being induced on my due date and I explained that this was not at all my wish for my labour. Kate explained that I was in control of my labour and no-one could force me to do anything I didn’t want to do. This made complete sense and really put my mind at rest. If all went to plan, my wish was to have a water birth at hospital but only time would tell whether this would be possible.

My pregnancy progressed well and as my due date drew closer, the “induction” word was starting to move closer to the front of my mind. I started to feel quite pressured and quite worried that my labour was going to go down this route. I decided to have a stretch and sweep at week 39 to try and bring on labour and despite having my show shortly after, nothing happened. I booked another stretch and sweep 3 days later and then a third on my due date in case the second one also hadn’t worked.

My baby was obviously quite comfortable where it was as there was no sign of movement by the time my due date came about. The head wasn’t engaged so it didn’t seem there was going to be any movement anytime soon either. I was still being encouraged to book an induction but I was determined to not go down this route. I wanted my baby to come when he or she was ready.

Despite my reluctance to have an induction, I was fully aware that labour was not only about me; it was of course about the safety of my baby too. The risks that had been explained to me at the start of my pregnancy started to play on my mind and I therefore agreed an “end plan” with my midwife and booked myself in for an induction at 41 weeks. I now had six days to desperately wish my baby to make its appearance the natural way. My midwife booked my induction on the phone there and then and I was simultaneously booked in for foetal monitoring the next day so that they could check my baby’s movements and heartbeat was all fine….which it was.

Whilst at foetal monitoring, I had stretch and sweep number 4. Still baby’s head was not engaged.

I was due to return for more foetal monitoring in 3 days time if the stretch and sweep hadn’t worked.

3 days later, nothing had happened so back I went to foetal monitoring for stretch and sweep number 5 and more listening into my healthy happy baby; the head still not engaged. Whilst behind my curtain being monitored, I overheard a consultant telling another lady that the labour ward was extremely busy and that ladies being induced were waiting three days before they were being taken to have their waters broken because there were so many spontaneous labours.  This only added to my worry as I was not keen to stay in hospital any longer than I needed to, especially as I had my three year old daughter at home and I didn’t want to be away from her.

I reminded myself of the Mummynatal advice; that I could not be forced into anything I didn’t want and that it was my baby, my body and my labour. The night before my induction date, with new-found confidence, I decided that I would go into hospital but if the labour ward was still super-busy, I was coming home. I knew from my Mummy Natal classes and my previous labour how important it is to be relaxed when labouring and for me, the hospital environment didn’t provide that. I just wanted to stay at home for as long as possible to manage my contractions. This worked for me during my first labour and I wanted that again.

The morning of the Induction came and sure enough, I went to hospital and asked how busy the labour ward was. It was still super-busy so I said that I didn’t want to be induced and that I would continue with foetal monitoring instead. I was taken to a ward where a lovely midwife came to speak to me about the potential risks (albeit a low risk) and she explained that she would have to get a consultant to see me. At this point, the pressure to stay and be induced ramped up a notch. I had two consultants standing over me at one point, adding to the list of risks to my pregnancy which to date had been perfectly healthy. After several hours of pondering what was the right thing to do, my husband and I discharged ourselves and went home (on the condition we now had daily foetal monitoring). The minute we walked out of the hospital doors, I felt my body relax – I was really proud of myself that I had the confidence to stand up and not be bullied into a labour I was adamant I did not want.

At 10am the next day, I returned to foetal monitoring only to be told that I had to go straight down to the labour ward instead. I realised there was a plan for me, only I hadn’t been made aware of what that plan was yet! At the labour ward, I was given my own room and a lovely senior midwife explained that they were keen to break my waters to get my labour moving. She explained that if my waters broke, it could mean that I could go into spontaneous labour as the head would finally engage. If this happened, I could potentially have a water birth, as per my birth plan. At this point, I was feeling a bit fed up of being prodded and poked and to-ing and fro-ing to hospital and this option meant that I would avoid the time-consuming pessary stage of induction, so I agree that my waters could be broken. This happened at 12pm.

My husband and I went for a walk around and even popped to Costa for a spot of lunch. I could almost immediately feel slight pains that I was hoping were contractions, which meant a spontaneous labour. I went back to my room at 2pm to be examined and by this point, my contractions were starting to become quite intense and close together. I managed them by counting and breathing calmly – no-one could speak to me during a contraction as I was keen to get in the zone and concentrate on the contraction passing. An hour later, I was checked again by my midwife and it was clear things were progressing quite quickly. I was very calm and collected and in my mind, so pleased that things were progressing spontaneously. My midwife examined me and it was decided that I could go into the birthing pool. I continued to use my breathing techniques to manage my contractions with a little blast of gas and air to help with the intensity. After approximately an hour, I felt the need to push and after what felt like 2 or 3 pushes, at 4.01PM my beautiful baby boy, Henry was born. I was the first one to see him in the water so was able to tell my husband that we had a little boy. We were absolutely thrilled. Everyone was safe and healthy and my labour had gone very much to my wishes. We were all home by 10.30PM that night. I still chuckle to myself when I think that only 12 hours earlier we had left the house for some foetal monitoring, completely unaware of how the day was to unfold and that we would be bringing our baby home that night.

Looking back now, the three criteria that helped me the most were:

-being aware of what my body was doing and why, during all stages of labour so there were no surprises

-being able to use my breathing techniques to remain calm and to cope with all stages of labour

-to have the confidence to go with my intuition so I wasn’t forced into a labour I would have regretted. Of course, if there were any signs that my baby was under stress, I would have just gone with the professional advice but at no point during my pregnancy was my baby stressed; I firmly believe that if the labour environment is calm, then the baby’s disposition is calm too and thankfully Henry remains a very content and relaxed baby boy – long may it last!

Birth Story – Eliza

Baby Eliza

At 37 weeks pregnant, I had an examination and was told I was 2cm dilated, and in ‘slow labour’. As a first time mum, I began to get excited and anxious that established labour was imminent! I told myself that baby will come when baby is ready, and tried to relax remembering the techniques learnt in class.

At 38 weeks pregnant, I was worried I was showing signs of an infection and baby had slightly reduced movements throughout the day. After a trip to the hospital, test results came back clear, and baby was very happy on the monitor! However it was decided by the consultant that I was no longer allowed my planned home birth and I was to be induced at 9:30am on my due date.I remembered that I did have a choice, and after a lot of discussion and questions with various midwifes and consultants, I decided to go against the consultants advice and carried on with my original plan to have a home birth. I opted to go for daily monitoring just to check baby was happy. I felt that this was the best decision for me and my baby.

On the 25th of May, at 11am, my contractions started. I had been having periods of stop/start contractions for several weeks so I tried to relax and carried on as normal, hoping that this was the real deal! By 1pm, my contractions came on strong and were around 4 minutes apart. Initial panic set in, but I focused on my breathing techniques and counted through my contractions which really helped to calm me down. By 4pm my contractions were coming every 2-3 minutes lasting roughly 60 seconds, so I decided to contact the home birth team. After being examined I was very disheartened to find out that I was now only 3cm. I focused on the positives, and told myself that my body was doing what it needed to do!I tried to stay calm at home, focusing on my body and baby. By 10pm, I felt like I needed some form of pain relief as the contractions were becoming much stronger. I had been told earlier in the week that baby was back to back, so I tried various positions that I learnt in class to help with the contractions whilst I waited for the midwife to return. I was examined again as I wanted to know what stage my labour was at. Again, I felt disheartened as I was now only 4cm. By this point I had became pretty exhausted, and I wasn’t coping as well as I liked with the contractions.

I made the decision with the support of my partner, to go into hospital where I could receive stronger pain relief. This was the right decision for me, as I instantly began to relax once in the hospital. I was examined again at 12pm and was relieved to now find out that I was 6cm! YAY! I was then moved onto the labour ward! I carried on counting through my contractions, and kept active around the room. By 1pm my contractions were now coming 1 minute apart, and I was becoming very exhausted.

Even though on my birth plan I only chose to have gas and air, I made the decision to request an epidural as I felt this was right for me. However, it was exceptionally busy on the labour ward through the night, and I wasn’t able to have the epidural straight away. I breathed through my contractions, went into my ‘zone’, and told myself that I was strong, and that my body was designed to do this! At 7am I was finally given the epidural, and I was 9cm! Double Yay! I was so proud that I had managed to get to 9cm on gas and air. I caught up on a couple of hours sleep before being woken up with the news that I was now ready to push!

Throughout the night, baby had shown signs of distress, and was now in a tricky position, so it was decided that if after an hour of pushing baby wasn’t moving, I may need a little help with forceps! The hour flew by before I knew it! But unfortunately baby didn’t want to move! I was then taken to theatre for a forceps delivery and told that if this didn’t work I would be having a C sections. Everything seem to move very quickly, and I quickly become anxious. I tried to remain calm with my breathing techniques and focused on the fact that very soon I would be meeting my baby!

Once in theatre, baby shown further signs of distress and was still in a difficult position, so I was prepped for a C section….

Baby Eliza and parentsAt 11:12am, right on her due date, my beautiful little girl, was born, and she was so worth the wait! Pure love and joy soon replaced the earlier feelings of anxiety. I believe that by listening to my body, I made the right decision to go against induction, and once relaxed, baby knew exactly when she wanted to enter the world! A huge thank you to you Kate, you taught me so many great techniques that helped me through my labour, and although it was a ‘tricky’ labour…I would do it all over again in a heart beat!

Welcome to the world Eliza Amy Jane