All too often we hear only the negative stories about birth. It is so empowering for mums-to-be and pregnant people to hear positive stories in the lead-up to their birth. Positive birth doesn’t mean any one type of birth, but means a birth where someone has felt listened to, in control and able to make the best informed choices for themselves and their baby.
Below are stories from people who have attended antenatal classes with me. I hope you enjoy them.
Claire and Elina
My daughter Elina was born end of December. She is perfect in every way. She made quite the entrance to the world though, with alarms and lots of people and a loud shrill of quiet panic. Until then her birth was also perfect. I had a sweep at midday, contractions at 4pm, in hospital at 11pm. I was sent home as despite contracting well I was only 2cm dilated and the choice was home with my husband or stay on the ward without him. So we went home (30 minute drive) and waited until the contractions were almost constant and unbearable. On return I was then offered Diamorphine or to walk around the hospital for a while until in active labour. Seeing as walking was quite the feat at this point I went to the ward and rested for a couple of hours with some short term pain relief. I went to the birthing centre and my husband was called at 11am the day after my contractions had started. Almost immediately I was in the pool with gas and air (who knew it was so dry it would stick your tongue to the roof of your mouth?!). I laboured for 4 hours in the pool and apparently (sorry midwife) refused to leave the pool for an examination before I started pushing. My body didn’t need examining, it needed to push and there was no stopping it!! After a while of pushing (time has no meaning in labour but apparently about 1.5 hours) I got out and climbed onto the bed on all 4s where I delivered the head of my baby. “On the next contraction push and we’ll have a baby” they said. Followed soon by “you need to push”. But I didn’t have a contraction. In fact it was another 3.5 minutes until I had one and when my baby was out she was blue and floppy and starved of oxygen. Unresponsive. The alarms were called and within split seconds she had been cut from me and outside in the corridor where my husband was taken to see her. She was resuscitated and give respiratory support while I was repaired and delivered the placenta. She was given to me 45 minutes later and we have been inseparable ever since. We have had support from the birthing team with regards to the traumatic circumstances and I will never have those 45 minutes again but not a minute goes by without me loving her now! Other than the obvious my labour was perfect. As labour goes of course! Everything I had naively planned had happened and with the support of my husband, his affirmations we learnt in Daisy classes and fantastic midwife (and some fabulous gas!) I delivered my beautiful girl. Perhaps next time without the pandemic rules about hospital admissions and of course without the drama I could have exactly the same again. That would be just perfect.