Just wanted to say thank you again and share Jack’s birth story with you. I honestly feel like it is a privilege to have had the experiences I’ve had with both Dottie and Jack being welcomed into the world in the way that they were.
Tom and I cannot speak highly enough of the BIW course and the education you provide for both Mums and Dads.
Jack was, by the hospital dates, due on 25th February. Tom and I thought he was due on 6th March. Either way we were excited and relaxed. We knew our baby would arrive when he was ready.
On Friday 28th February, I woke feeling a bit groggy. I didn’t know if I had been dreaming of having period type pains or whether I had in fact been having them during the night. I also then didn’t know if it was a false alarm or in fact the start of labour. After a grumpy morning discussion with Tom, he decided he would work from home so that he could be nearby. I set up for a morning nap, it was my first week of maternity leave. Naps on the days Dottie was at nursery were utter bliss and I listened to a BIW recording whilst relaxing in bed and drifting off. I had a reflexology appointment booked for lunchtime.
The period pains came and went during the day and varied in strength. I continued to ignore them and get on with my day, trying to stay active.
I really relaxed during my reflexology. Baby was moving like crazy which was lovely to feel.
Fast forward to 18:30 and it was bed and bathtime for Dottie, luckily she went down a bit earlier than usual and I jumped straight in the bath to see if that would help me relax - just in case it was the starting blocks!
By 21:30 we admitted it probably was labour, after having a show and the period pains continuing, although they were still quite low and I was waiting for them to move high across my belly. We rang the hospital and started timing the surges. The hospital seemed confident I would be ok for a little while longer and that we should call them back when the surges were more regular. That was fair, I thought, as I was only getting surges low down and I was anticipating them creeping up all around my belly.
Tom set the pool up and started to fill it anyway as a precaution. It was lucky that he did. By 23:30 he was back on the phone. The surges were still in the same place but they were regular, longer and intense. I sat on my ball breathing through each one. The hospital were prepped with my paperwork and said they would send both Midwives now. Midwife 1 rang Tom at 00:16 to say she was on her way now from Wickford, luckily, only a short drive. I moved from my birthing ball to the pool, even though it was still being filled, I knew I had to get in. I needed the comfort of the water, the warmth of the water and my association with relaxation had always been practised in the water with baths. The first midwife arrived at 00:31, whilst I was mid-surge, so Tom had to make her wait on the door step.
Both Wendy and Petra, the midwives were here, and as they were unpacking and setting up. I quietly said to Tom 'it is coming'. The following surge I said the head was there, I could tell - I could feel it and it was simply incredible. My baby was doing exactly what it needed to do, nudging downwards and following its instincts to be birthed. I was simply allowing it. After the 3rd surge, since the midwives arrived, I calmly told them the head was out. When they checked me, they were shocked, my baby’s head was there. I sat upright to allow the final surge to deliver the body and I will never forget the moment as I gently held his head, with his soft hair, in the water. I was very aware and really wanted to take it all in.
I have always thought the female body is incredible to grow, carry and birth a baby and experiencing it for myself in the comfort of my own home was an honour for both my husband and I. With candles lit, nice music playing and the majority of labour privately shared with my husband, whilst my daughter lay asleep upstairs, was magical.
I wish everyone the most positive, safe and beautiful births and I want others to know it can be an incredibly empowering and positive experience. I was more apprehensive the second time round but after re-doing the full course and regularly attending the relaxation classes, it helped to dispel and fears and increase my confidence with regards to comparing things to my first birth. I was scared that the second birth wasn’t going to be as positive as Dottie’s, it would upset my relationship and memories of birth if this was the case but I couldn't have been more wrong if I tried. I managed to release this fear, replace it with positive affirmations and build my confidence quickly. This birth was quicker and more intense but the affirmation that I carried with me for the later part of the birth was “my surges cannot be stronger than me, because they are me” - I knew this was true and that helped me cope with them along side my breathing and Tom tickling my back (I never thought I’d like that during the process but it’s funny how we change our mind!).
I encourage everyone to educate themselves, read lots, relax more, and make the most of the once in a lifetime opportunity to share something so special with each baby they birth. There really is no reason to have fear, or to be scared, we are designed to birth, we can do it. If you allow your body to, you will do it in a way you never knew was possible.
My lasting thought on this whole journey is that we start to shape our baby’s tastes, thoughts and habits whilst carrying them. Being relaxed, eating well and taking time to talk and acknowledge the little one growing inside you is beautiful and the best start to life for them.
Thank you again to the Babies in Waiting team and especially to Jo - it has been pure magic and a privilege. Motherhood for me has started and grown in the best possible way with the most positive outlook from the start. I hope to pass these skills onto my children in every day life.
Carry on doing what you are doing, we need more upbeat and positive influences in this world and Jo you really are a strong hold for all of those attributes! I hope to cross paths and share experiences with you again in the future as well as sharing the positive approach to birth and life in general in any way I can.