BIRTH STORIES 2018
These are the unedited personal birth stories from women of my class from January to March 2018 starting with my replies to them. Whilst the class is not a natural birth class, the stories provide a useful resource for other pregnant ladies, showing what really goes on currently in the local birth environments they choose or find themselves in, what birth techniques and strategies they used and what protocols were placed upon them. Sometimes the stories are a breath by breath accounts, their perceptions and feelings through the process, how they were treated. Some are heartwarming, some heartrending – all are triumphant!
So! not to be outdone by her big sister, here's Miss Annie's birth story...
At 10pm I started having some twinges... they came every 5 mins or so and lasted 10secs. They were really so mild that I didn't think that they were contractions or that I was in labour yet, but as i'd been listening to the Katherine Graves Hypnobirthing tracks as part of my prep, I popped that back on to practice my breathing and to get into the right mindset, should it turn out to be the start of labour. Your "Ha as in heart" one was my go-to... By 11pm they were getting a little stronger but nothing painful (I've had worse hangovers!) so I called the labour line, and told them about my history saying I wanted to come in. The lady said they'd definitely make me come back home, but given my first daughter Mia's birth had been so quick and because I had a little bit of blood when i pee'd this time she said to come in and they'd have a look... but only because of my history... her gut feeling was to make me stay at home (Luckily Ann Gibbs the midwife at my doctors had been amazing in the run up, and had told me the right words to say and to be forceful to tell the person on the phone that i was coming in, not asking to come in) As I hung up the phone, I had quite a large contraction - not painful as such but i felt a lot of pressure move down and opening, so we quickly got in the car - my husband was still somewhat traumatised from my first daughter's unexpected appearance at home - and because of his fear/adrenalin, we'd agreed that he would just drop me off at the hospital and go back home. Because of this and the time, he woke up our daughter and put her in the car - I got in the backseat next to her (on my knees hugging the back seat headrest - so upright) and we set off to the PRUH - which is 10mins down the road... a few mins in I had another big contraction and felt a mighty pressure again - so i checked, and yep there was her head. I didn't say anything to my husband or daughter... a couple of mins later, right at the Crofton lane roundabout - another contraction and out she popped!... she started crying, which caused alot of expletives from my husband re: what that noise was so i had to confess!... I picked her up, turned and sat down, & wrapped her up in my top. Mia was in her car seat next to me so I told her that baby Panda (as she'd name it) had been born, and was in my arms - luckily because it was dark so she was spared the technicolor of the situation... it was all very calm amongst us girls in the back seat... my husband on the other hand probably gained his fastest time ever to the PRUH! ; We got to the PRUH A&E in about 5 mins and my husband ran in, and within seconds we were then surrounded by about 10 nurses/doctors who checked us both over and took us up to the oasis where i delivered the placenta and surprising only had a few stitches for a small 2nd degree tear... We had to stay in a bit longer as Annie's temperature was a bit low, but we were discharged the next day at lunchtime, so in for about 12 hours all in all... and home in time for my birthday meal with the family!... Can't believe I still haven't managed my desired waterbirth!
Thanks again for all the support Lynda - I realise that i'm quite lucky/unique with my births... but I do think that the work you do with us to get our heads into the right space, and to know that we're made to do this really does help... and I just love all the girls in the class!
Husband has said I'm not allowed another one, but I'll keep 'hula girl' in my back pocket should I feel the need to change his mind in a year or so!...
Lots of love,
Aw Flavia, what an amazing birth story and just so so pleased that you managed to put the class techniques into practice. They really do work if remembered and used proactively when the time is right. Fabulous that you got the birth you wanted and hope to see you and meet your little daughter at the coffee and cuddle on Tuesday.
Natalia was born 5.30am on 9th January, Tuesday, 7lb 5ozs, at home. From the beginning we wanted a home birth and then began planning. Luckily I had a low risk pregnancy. We did some prep in the way of hypnobirthing and read up on some useful info. We also hired a pool. Since Sunday 4am I was having irregular contractions on and off, but didn’t go into labour until 10pm Monday eve when I called the midwife. When she arrived and examined me, I was already 8cm dilated and went straight into the pool. Then the second midwife arrived (for home births, they always send two midwives, one more experienced and another one "trainee"; both were really lovely and amazing). At that point, midwives thought my baby girl would fly out. Oh well, how wrong they were!! 😂 Natalia’s head was at a slight and unusual angle and got stuck. I pushed for 4h, and after that the midwifes said they strongly recommend we go to hospital on the basis that I wasn't progressing. I was exhausted and my contractions were getting weaker and weaker. They even started calling the hospital to arrange the transfer, and the atmosphere became a little tense. However, Natalia’s heartbeat was fine all the way through so my husband insisted on some more time in private, which the midwives agreed (they were incredibly supportive). It was such an emotional situation to be in, having prepared for a home birth but seeing that fade away and loosing the faith from everyone around. We knew that we needed to get the contractions going again and remembered that only oxytocin would do the job. So we went to our bedroom just my husband and I, and asked to be alone for a while. I remembered Lynda saying to shake when things get tense and had a little shake and moved my hips to release the tension and reset my body. My husband and I hugged and kissed each other, and he said some encouraging and loving words to me. He remembered me that I was really close (the head was poking out already). It worked! The contractions started stronger again and when the next contraction came, I knew it was the last chance. So I asked my husband to rub my back while I squatted by my bed like an animal focusing all my last bits of energy down and voila! Natalia come out all at once on my bedroom floor! Midwifes ran in when they heard the baby crying and were amazed that we did it! It was a very empowering experience! The whole labour was 7.5h, an epic journey, and all effort was worth it in the end.
As you know it was a medicalised birth for us so I didn’t have the options I would have liked in an ideal world. However despite this I was still able to use techniques learnt from the classes including the all-important breathing and relaxation. They really helped during labour and made me feel more in control of the situation. Knowledge is so empowering.
I am still in touch with many of the girls I met at the classes. Being a first time mum can be isolating and it’s great having a network of other mums going through the same experience of the early days of parenthood. Thanks again Lynda for all the guidance and support. I really miss the classes!
What a lovely birth story despite not getting the planned homebirth, you definitely got the next best thing, along with some timely birthing techniques applied and being a fabulous birthing mamma you ended up with your beautiful early daughter in your arms! Good job she was a bit early too at that plumpsious weight. Yes am going to miss u too lovely lady!
I didn't end up having a home birth as Sophie arrived a little early and I hadn't ordered a pool yet and was keen to have a water birth. As her sister was a week overdue I thought I'd have a little more time! Her birth was quite different to Isabel's, which just goes to show no 2 births are the same.
I woke up around 1:30am on Wednesday and was having gentle cramps every 10 minutes or so, but I wasn't convinced I was in labour. However by about 3am they were getting stronger and coming every few minutes. I called the labour line about 4am and as Isabel had been a relatively quick birth they agreed that I could come in if I wanted to, but left the decision to me. The sensations were getting stronger, but still manageable, so I called my parents to come over and we headed to hospital.
We arrived at the oasis about 5am and I started to use the tens machine and kept upright, either standing or kneeling and focusing on my breathing as well as circling my hips. About 5:45am I asked to go in the pool as the sensations were very strong and coming quickly. I was examined (with my permission) and was 5cm dilated. I got into the pool which provided some relief, although the sensations were coming very close together and I was struggling to find a comfortable position, although I remained kneeling for most of the time. I also had gas and air although I didn't find it particularly helpful, but I'm not sure I was breathing it in deeply enough.
Just before 7am I had an overwhelming desire to push and Sophie was born in the pool with just 3 pushes and a recorded second stage of 5 minutes.
So far Sophie is a pretty content little thing and Isabel is a very proud big sister.
I really enjoyed the classes and am a little sad not to be able to come along to them anymore (and no, there won't be a number 3 😂).
Congratulations Armarni what a beautiful boy he is - a delightfully written birth story and you got the VBAC you so wanted and a Sunday Roast to boot! I shall miss your wonderful yoga from the classes and I will organize a baby night so hopefully will get to have a cuddle with your gorgeous son soon.
hi, Lynda here my birth story, I start to have contraction around 3am on Saturday. First I get up at 2:30 for do a wee then I saw litle light pinky colour on the toilet paper then made me thinking about that bcoz never had before so I get back to bed and still thinking and also I feel contraction started and then I woke my husband up to call the midwives for ask about pinky colour and contraction. My husband tried to called midwives and she said that normal for pinky colour it's mean sight for birth. SO I went back to bed and my husband getting ready for go to work but I feel my contraction get stronger and more often so I said to him you better not go to work bcoz I can feel different then order day and he said let me go to give the van keys to my friend first and I will call you for make sure again. He still thinked it's not time to give birth yet so he still want to go work. Anyways my contraction get stronger while he went out the door so I called him you must come back not go to work with your friend and call to midwives again so he come back home and tried to call to midwives again and midwives talked to me and asked my feeling then told me can come checked it's real contraction or not. So we went to hospital and check for my wee blood pressure and put monitor on my stomach to check the baby and how many time my contraction and the midwives did exam to know how much my pelvix open and my one opened about 2 cm and she said must be about 4cm and she asked me for sweep to make open quicker so I said yes after that she said to us can go home and wait for I get contraction stronger and call them if feeling contraction stronger or if water break so we back home around 8am and when at home I kept do many position that you told us for make pelvix open during my contraction get very stronger and very painful but I kept moving and did many position and around 9am I feel very painful and dont want to waited till I cant walked out so I told my husband call to midwives and told them we are coming. So we get to PRUH when I get out from the car I feel my contraction so pain and not easy to walked too. We went to 3rd floor and told them that I the one to call them to come and the midwives told us to go in the room and laid on bed to gave her exam. After she exam she told me that my pelvix opened 6cm already so told us straight to labour room and we get to labour room I laid on bed and my husband sit on the side bed and the midwives getting ready for gave birth.and she said will have another midwives to help me giving birth and I got very good midwives. I have monitor on my stomach so not easy to gave birth the position that I want so must only giving birth on bed after while my contraction stronger she tried gave me the gas if I want to tried but I said no and my husband kept give it to me when I get painful from contraction and tried a bit but not the right way how to use so I don't use it. and then I feel want to pushed so midwives checked my pelvix is's opened 9cm so she said baby coming so when I feel want to push more she start told me what to do and push like I wanna do a big poo.after that I pushed and midwives said keep going look your baby head are near and she told me try to touch my baby head and I touch and can feel my baby head really so I kept pushed then my baby come out at 12:42pm and I didn't use any pain killer. After that midwives gave me and baby skin contact and start breastfeeding while she do my stitch I did 2 stitch and she told us go to the ward.so we went to the ward and stayed for one night on Sunday evening next day we back home and have a roasted diner ready by my father inlaw. My baby is a boy his name Arthur.
What a fantastic birth story of your fabulous Pheobe - what a cutie she is Chloe! I'm gonna miss you too and so pleased the classes helped you and you coped absolutely brilliantly!! Ironically being made to lie on your back to be monitored is not only painful but can prevent the blood flow to the uterus, which does nothing for baby's ability to move!! Quite the reverse I reckon! I would recommend yr classmates Insist on either lying on their left side, or even better stay upright and forward, so you did really amazing Chloe! I also to wanted to 'escape' and only learnt after having 4 babies that this for some women is 'transition' lol.
Yes can't wait to meet her and will send out a date for a cuddle. Huge well done's to you - enjoy a well deserved baby moon with your beauty. Love Lynda Xx
Sorry for the delay in writing this, little Phoebe is definitely taking up a lot of our time at the moment.
Our little girl Phoebe Joyce arrived 9 days early on 10/03. My waters broke at around 5.30 on that morning but I wasn’t having any contractions, after a sleepy discussion with my husband if it was my waters or just a result of pregnancy bladder I called up labour line and went up to see them. By the time I went there I was having the odd contraction but only every 40 minutes. I was seen and had an examination and was told that my waters had broke but I hadn’t dilated and my cervix was still closed. This was at 10.30am. They advised me to go home and to call up if the contractions increased otherwise I would have to come back the following morning for induction.
Feeling determined that I didn’t want to be induced I went home (having made my husband drive me over every speed bump possible on the journey back) and got straight onto the exercise ball and tried to keep as active as possible. After a few hours the contractions started to increase but weren’t regular and were varying from three to ten minutes apart but very strong. The pain was starting to get very intense that I was vomiting after each contraction. My husband called up labour line and they advised to bring me in.
We got to the hospital at 17.00 and was told that I was already 6/7cm dilated. I had to be put on a monitor for around 30 minutes when I got there due to reduced movements. I found it absolute hell having to lie on my back during that time and found it was completely going against what felt natural to me. While I still had the monitor on I started to feel the urge to push. Happy with the baby movements they took me straight around to the oasis and started to fill up the pool.
By this point I was starting to feel very agitated and just wanted it all to stop and run away. I tried to go on all fours to help while the pool filled up and going into the relaxed pose you showed us between contractions. As soon as I got into the pool at around 18.30 I instantly calmed down. Having already been sick I did not use the gas and air as found that it made me feel worse. So I just got on my knees in the pool and used the bars on the side to hold myself up. At this point my husband and my mum where being amazing at helping to keep me as comfortable and calm as possible (would definitely advise anyone planning a water birth to take a handheld fan in with them as the pool is a lot warmer than I thought it would be).
I started to push almost as soon as I got in the pool. The midwife was fantastic, at times I barely noticed she was there, no internal examination just used a mirror to assess how things were progressing and only got more involved towards the end, guiding me on when to stop pushing.
Phoebe was born in the water at 20.08. She is an absolute dream baby (although a bit of a night owl but hoping that she grows out of that soon!). The breathing techniques that you showed us definitely helped me get through the labour without having any pain relief.
Thank you for all your advice Lynda! I will miss the weekly yoga classes but have made such good friendships through the class that have definitely helped me adjust to motherhood over the last 9 days! Looking forward to a catch up and introducing you to Phoebe soon! Chloe xx
Thea's StoryCongratulations Thea! Wow what an amazing birth story - very mammalian and you experienced the sought after foetal ejection reflex!! Only a handful of ladies have had this kind of birth and even fewer unattended. So you are officially fabulous and great you used the class positions etc. to such good effect.
Little Jack looks so pink and healthy - obviously meant to come as he did and in time for Easter. Enjoy your Easter boy, rest up and I look forward to meeting him soon. Love Lynda xx
Our son Jack Luca Bartholomew was born on Friday at 10.06am weighting 7.5 lb.As you know, I convinced myself I was going to be overdue so when I woke up on Friday morning at 4am with mild contractions i thought I just had a bit of an upset stomach. By 7am the sensations I was feeling became quite strong and more frequent so I realised there were definitely contractions. When I called the labour line, the midwife recommended to stay at home as long as possible, have a bath, use a tens machine and try to keep the energy levels up.My husband ran me a bath and when I got out I started using my tens machine. The contractions became pretty strong and I asked my husband to start timing them, by then I was trying to breath, relax in between them, using the positions you thought us in the class.Around 9.40am I started feeling like I was in too much pain and couldn’t do it anymore, and I asked my husband to call back the labour line - I guess that was the transition. The midwife asked to talk to me and even though I was pretty much screaming by then, she still recommended to wait at home as the contractions weren’t regular enough, take some paracetamol and if things didn’t change, to go in for an examination in 30 mins.Things progressed way too quickly from then, I went into the bathroom as I just got the urge to push. Shortly after I had the show and pushed out my waters, which hadn’t broken, and I realised baby was coming. My husband called the ambulance, we gave birth while he was on the phone with the operator and I caught the baby on my own while standing on the toilet. The paramedics arrived 5 mins after Jack was born and examined both of us. Luckily we didn’t have any complications!The midwives arrived 30 mins later and it was decided we had to go to the hospital to get stitches, proper examinations and breastfeeding help.I think I’m still a bit in shock and can’t fully grasp what happened, it was such a powerful experience. We got discharged last night and we’re trying to settle down. I would have never thought that my birth would end up being an unplanned home birth. Looking back at what happened I feel really proud and I couldn’t have wished for a more natural birth. We really did not get any medical intervention or form of pain relief, which is what I was hoping for!I’ll miss the classes but I’m looking forward joining the reunions so you can meet little Jack! Thea xx
He's the cutest hungry caterpillar I've ever seen Rachel! Great birth story and am so relived to hear after being induced things went rapidly well for you. Great use of class corridor techniques and well done for turning down the nasty pethadine in your time of need too. Just to explain why your midwife 'threw you on the bed' - induction is a high risk intervention (please see my recent Facebook post about induction) and it sounds like your uterus was going hypertonic "Uterine - hyperstimulation is a serious complication of labour induction". I honestly think because you were so amazing in second stage that you were able to birth Max so easily given his hand was by his head. Huge well done's to you Rachel. Love your Facebook posts of your beautiful family too.Lynda X
Hey. Here's the long essay birth story haha!
After reaching 41+5 weeks and having tried every single natural way to get baby to arrive, we were told I would need to be induced. I was happy for this by that point as was in so much pain with hips and back and not able to sleep. We went in at 9am on Tues for an outpatient Induction, but the plan soon changed when we got there and they said that I couldn't go home due to my noted heart condition, luckily we put bags in car just in case!!
The midwife was adamant that the whole labour would take at least 48 hours and said the first pessary will slowly work in 24. At the time she put it in I was 1cm dilated and had been for a few days.
She put pessary in and after being monitored and scanned and we were free to wander round hospital and kill some time. After this I felt quite heavy sensations in pelvis but it was constant so I didn't think it was contractions, so we went and visited some friends who were on the ward after having their baby on Sat. I stood and cuddled their little one, then about 3pm said I think I'll go for a sit down.
By time I reached my ward I couldn't sit/stand/squat or do anything! I was in so much pain and it was still consistent- I managed to get TENS on which helped a bit, and used all corridor techniques you taught us to try and remain focused and calm (Chris was brilliant and prompting my toning and keeping me focused on the end goal of a water birth!) within a few minutes it was obvious it was contractions which only had 5- 10 secs between them continuously and were soooo intense, all from nothing so I paced up and down and asked midwife to check me and she said "no no you are just starting, I'll see u in a while" I knew this couldn't just be early labour because the pain was so severe so I begged her to at least run me a bath and said I think I need some kind of pain relief.
By 3.30 she came in with bubble bath and took one look at me and said ok I think I should check u, I had made it to 4cm and she then panicked and said I was contracting far too much and too strong so threw me on bed and removed pessary. She then went to ask birthing suite if I could go there for water birth- by this point I was saying I needed an epidural, but they just gave me gas and air (thankfully!). They offered me Pethidine, which I strongly refused.
Within 10 mins I suddenly shouted for midwife cos I could tell I needed to push 😂 she basically called emergency button and they whizzed me down corridor on the bed and into a labour room. From there my little man was born within the hour or so (coming out with his fist by his head!)
I only had 2 tiny tears and couple of grazes so they've done a few stitches. They noted my first stage of labour as 10 mins long and second stage was 1 hr 25 mins. So total labour time was 1 hr 35!! They've told me I should have home birth next time. My little man is called Max Gregory James and weighed 8lb3oz
The advice from your classes was invaluable and although I never reached the pool, I felt in control during the second stage and was able to block everything out and just listen to my body!
Tess's StoryYour story shows a great use of the class techniques Tess and sunglasses! You did so well especially considering the induction process, plus coping with the disappointment of an empty pool - no wonder readings dropped as well as your expectations! This is to remind all birth supporters to make sure birth pools are ready, warm, full and waiting for all labouring lady's before they are needed.....Another big beautiful girl for you and it would be lovely if you ever wanted to come back to the class for a little blue one ......Well done and lots of love to you. xxI went into hospital at 41 plus 5 days to be induced. I was considering delaying but having been told the baby was on the larger end of the scale I thought it'd be good for her to finally come out! They used the pessary method and within 20mins I could feel contractions were beginning. After that everything progressed at speed and within 4 hours I was ready to start pushing. I kept asking to go in the pool and was transferred to the Oasis only to find the pool empty. I was very disheartened as had been told they were all ready for me and was very keen, by this point, to feel it's sensation-relieving effects. They began filling the pool however further checks showed the baby's heart rate was dipping so I was transferred back to the labour ward. During those 4 hours of sensations building I utilised lots of different methods from your classes which were invaluable- being on all fours a lot whilst moving hips, hula girl, focus on breathing, lots of toning (especially nearer the end), dim lights plus use of sunglasses when being transferred between units!Although I was pushing for a while at the end, the staff were amazing at guiding me through the most effective way. I needed an episiotomy right at the end to help his head come through as it got slightly stuck, but the relief and happiness I felt once I'd pushed him out was amazing.Thanks again Lynda for all of your help! I felt so much more prepared going in as a result. xxxMy only tip with hindsight would be to try and stay as calm and relaxed in advance of labour/induction and focus on the wonderful end goal!
Great birth story Caroline - especially as you were so so nervous. You are the first yogabirth to have tap danced their way to labour and good advice from lovely Amy the reflexologist (she's had 2 babies with me) and of course, cd application! Your description of pre labour is useful. It can come and go and your insistence about drugs with your amazing midwife sounds like a woman in transition - she was right to be reluctant as pethidine is a nasty drug which can suppress the Mums and babes breathing abilities and can also have breastfeeding consequences! Enjoy your snow princess. Love Lynda X
It all started about 5.30pm on Sunday when I had "the show" and then mild contractions beganSunday night. Due to the quick labour with my first pregnancy, I ended up at The Oasis about 2am but after checking me out, the midwife said I was only about 1cm dilated and said it could be days so we came home!
My husband stayed off work Monday as we hoped something would continue but sadly the contractions stopped!
At this point I was feeling quite deflated and anxious. I was due to have reflexology that afternoon so I spoke with the reflexologist and she suggested I sit in a dark room with meditation music, so I looked no further than your CD! This made me feel much calmer and relaxed
Amy (the reflexologist) came over later that day and then rather than sitting at home that evening, I went to my tap dancing class! 😆 (I was a subdued participant!)
That night at 11pm it felt like baby had punched me down below (!) and my waters broke! The contractions were much stronger than the night before so I was at the Oasis by 12.30am
I had an amazing midwife who was reluctant to give me pethidine (which I was insisting on!) because she could see I was progressing quite quickly. When she finally gave in, it was too late! I told her I needed to push and within about 15 minutes at 3.37am, Grace was born weighing 7lb 3oz! No pain relief (!) and no stitches! :-D
Your calming advice definitely helped during my last weeks of pregnancy and my labour and I’m sure the raspberry leaf tea, the medjool dates, the reflexology and the tap dancing all played their part too!
Congratulations Victoria! She is a beauty and so pleased the classes helped you. Sounds like you were able to cherry pick what u did and didn't want when the time was right for you to birth your little Leni with the help of a very supportive birthing partner - well done!! Will get a date out soon for a baby night and coffee and cuddle - be so lovely to see you and have a cuddle. Love Lynda Xx
So sorry it’s taken a little while to get my birth story to you. Leni was born on Friday 9th March at 9.08am and we came home late that night. After a very difficult birth with my son two years ago, I was determined to have a more mindful experience this time.
As you know, I’d gone over due date and had three sweeps to avoid an induction. I religiously had six dates a day from 36 weeks, walked a lot, bounced on my yoga ball and practised hypno birthing and positive affirmations so I felt a lot more prepared for this birth.
After the first sweep I began having contractions and had them on and off over five days over the three sweeps but I knew deep down I just wasn’t dilating. The babies head was quite high and kept moving. On weds 7th March we went into Oasis at 4pm with regular contractions, I came home again by 7pm as they slowed, they picked up again and I bounced on the yoga ball throughout the night only for them to stop for about 4 hours.
At 6pm on Thursday 8th I was back in oasis and went into the pool at 9pm having strong contractions two minutes apart. I found it so painful but really used the breathing to over come each sensation. My purple line and contractions suggested everything was progressing but after four hours like that I was only 4cm dilated.
I decided to go into the labour ward, have an epidural and try to relax. I’m so glad I did as the contractions had barely any time between them then and that continued until 8.20am on morning of 9th when I started pushing. I pushed Leni out within and hour, only had a tiny tear and no assistance. She was 8pounds 11 and looked perfect, not a bruise or scratch on her. I have to say that my husband Will was a brilliant birthing partner, he never missed a beat and was extremely attentive with water, gas and air, massages and positive affirmations and humour. The midwives even said so!
Thank you for all your support and info along the way Lynda. I think I just have one of those tricky cervixs’ and this birth could have gone the same way as my previous birth but I was much more informed and able to make better decisions. Hope to intro little Leni soon. Victoria xxxx