This has been such a journey……...and I am so grateful for all of it. I'm grateful for not only the highs but all of the lows, the worry that made me investigate and learn more about my birth options, the doubt that pushed me to be unapologetically me and use all of my positivity tools and techniques and of course my unwavering faith in love.
My previous experience of birth was pretty bad. I don't mean 'bad' as in awch this is bloody painful 'bad' (yes it was painful, but……) I mean emotionally, it was a trauma which I swept away under a changing mat. I thought…..'its ok because I'm alive and my baby is alive and that is ALL that matters'. But I've since learnt that we are ALL worth that and more. We should all walk away from birth alive. I know not everyone does but we should, and what we should be grateful for is feeling that we can cherish, love and enjoy thinking about the birth of our child.
This birth story is so different it is one of hope, belief and empowerment…….its my dream birth story and its actually nothing like what I had dreamed it would be. Infact how I feel about Pearls birth is so far away from Rens. I genuinely love thinking about Pearls birth! I love the whole story, the build up, the drama and the calm…..just totally surreal. I feel like every aspect of me came forth during the journey of the birth………… My hippy side, my positive vibes, my inner lioness, my mummy mojo (doing it my way) and even my inner child as I searched for reassurance during that 'ahhhh I cant do this' stage of birth.
To allow my mind and body to embrace birth again I needed to face upto what had happened in my sons birth. To do this I had some Hypno Birth Trauma Therapy* which was amazing. It allowed me to think and talk about the experience without crumpling into tears. I also met with my local NHS Trusts Consultant Midwife who was so supportive, honest and kind in his exploration of my case and how best to move forward with this new birth.
I felt like I just couldn’t go to hospital again…..I just didn’t trust that I would be looked after in the way that I wanted and needed. After chatting to The Consultant Midwife and the local Home Birth Team I opted for Home birth. I had to sign lots of papers saying I understood the risks as I was having a VBAC (Vaginal Birth After C-section which can pose a risk of the scar rupturing). It was THE BEST DECISION that I made and here is why…..
Up until this point Id seen different midwifes at my appointments not building a relationship with anyone. Switching to home birth meant that I got to see the same lovely midwife in my home for all of my appointments. For me this was amazing and the relationship and trust built really came into its own during the post partum period where I was able to text my amazing midwife with any worries that I had during that sensitive time.
There I was at my home birth with dedicated midwife team, surrounded by all my creature comforts, positive vibes and no inhibitions. Oh and sipping a mocktail in the birth pool…….After calmly breathing through another contraction I lifted up my eye mask and opened my eyes. Stars popped in my vision as the glare of the bright hospital lights stung my eyes . My home birth plan had been blown out of the birth pool water when I went for a growth scan at 41+3 days and it was found that I had excess fluid in my uterus. The decision was made to move from a planned home birth to an ASAP hospital birth (as there were quite a few risk factors). But I was determined that this time round it was going to be different.
After my meeting with the fantastic Consultant Midwife I raced home (having extremely mild contractions after the sweep I was given) t sort everything out.
Being away from my son was really hard. I left him to go and change our lives forever and I hadn't been able to say goodbye to him or share some special, tender moments together before leaving him. His Autism means that I just cant make a big deal about things and saying goodbye with a lovely big hug etc would have created upset. Instead my parents who had been looking after him for the morning whilst I went to my hospital appointment jollied him out of the door, into their car and back to their house….. where he would stay for 4 days!
I gathered up ALL the bags, cleaned and tidied a bit and pottered about waiting for my husband to return from work………..then the excitement began as we drove to the hospital…..this was IT! We were going to be meeting our baby girl so soon.
By the time we got to hospital there was no need for me to have the balloon as I was 2cm and having regular contractions! I was overjoyed, the sweep had worked! My biggest desire for this birth was to avoid intervention as much as possible (a sweep seemed a lesser intervention of all) and I felt like this was going to actually happen!
I breathed a sigh of relief when we were shown to a bed….. this was amazing, already this pregnancy & birth experience was shaping up to be something totally different to my last nightmare which spiralled out of control.
I felt traumatised after the birth of my son and saddened by how id been treated. looking back now after the birth of my daughter, I can really see how much it all affected me!
☆ Early birth ☆
I was constantly missing and worrying about Ren…… It was hard to hear other mothers chatting to their children on the phone or having them pop in to visit as I knew I couldn't do this with Ren. However I knew he was safe and happy thanks to my parents. I broke down and cried quite a few times as I worried about being away from him and not knowing when it get to see him.
Another tuffy was seeing other mothers trundling off up to delivery suite before me. I had been rushed into the hospital for induction (that in the end I didn't need as contractions started) and waters to be broken. I was still waiting for my waters to be broken but I could only go upto delivery suite for this procedure once a bed and midwife were available.
LACK OF STAFF AND BEDS WAS A REAL ISSUE, infact one young girl who had received her induction on my ward ended up giving birth in the toilet!
Early birth was all about connecting with my body and breathe. We went for walks around the ward as well as outside. It was good to feel fresh air, to see life outside the ward and for me to be near trees hahahaha. I actually craved being near some trees and just stood next to one for a moment…… Brad was great at going with the flow, talking me through my contractions, letting me cuddle and lean on him or pressing on my hips to ease the pain.
Meditation was key and I remember doing Reiki on myself and Pearl whilst on the birth ball…..my positive birth board in eye line, fave crystals infront of me and listening to some twinkly music. My fave memory of meditation was listening to a guided meditation by Gabrielle Bernstein. I was breathing through my contractions, leaning on the windowsill at the end of the ward with the sun streaming in. I stood there allowing its positive vitamin D vibes to drench me in happiness. At the time I knew this was a magic moment , one that I would enjoy looking back on so I took a photo to capture the moment. The meditation took away all my worries, doubt and negative thoughts as I focussed on 'unwavering faith in the universe' and felt refreshed, uplifted, energised and empowered , I could do this, I was going to give birth and it was going to be in the way that was meant for me.
What is this early stage like?…….for me it was feeling restless and tired all at once. It was focussing on beautiful breathing to bring calm and balance to my body. It was gazing at my birth board…...focusing on all the love filled moments captured in my photos and the inspiring words written on affirmation cards I made with Ren. It was staying active, going for walks, climbing stars, bouncing and rocking on the ball…...helping my body and baby and not fearing the pain.......'it's not pain, it's power'.
We had waited for so long some big wigs came to apologies and offer us a half hour wait before I could go up…..this didn't happen. I only got up to delivery because one of the lovely midwives (Bennie) came onto her night shift and couldn't believe that I was STILL on the ward and still having mega contractions.
She said the only way I would get onto delivery suite was for her to examine me to check dilation. She could then phone them and say I MUST go up as I was in labour. I couldn't sit, lay or move from the standing position I was in and couldnt imagine being examined during this pain….. She kindly offered to get some Gas and Air to help me through this. She then confirmed that YES I WAS IN LABOUR and YES I MUST GO UPTO DELIVERY SUIT NOW. I was so relived to be going up as I had visions of there being another toilet birth in the hallway of the ward.
Prior to this point my body and mind had been super calm. I am so glad for my Yoga and Reiki training as this all got me through the 3 days in hospital and the different stages of birth.
xx Colette xx
This is where is got a bit more crazy and I think the Gas and Air had a lot to do with the 'crazy'. My first breaths on the Gas & Air on the ward and I kept thinking that I was in a night club. The cubicle opposite us were watching a show on a phone I think but to me it was the music in the night club……i knew none of this was real which made me feel super wierded out.