Lizzie's positive birth story - kings birth centre
photo of lizzie holding baby grayson an hour after he was born
Lizzie gave birth naturally to her baby Grayson who was 10lbs 2 oz. One of the recurring worries that come up during my Hypnobirthing classes is that the baby will be too big to be born easily. I hope that reading this story will help allay some of those worries and so does Lizzie. She says she has written this because:
"I'd love for people to hear/read a positive story before going into labour themselves as I think it will really help. I spent the last few weeks googling positive birth stories and watching hypno birthing videos which I think also helped my state of mind remain calm and relaxed"
Lizzie's positive birth story
"My waters finally broke at 6pm on the 11th September, 9 days after my due date and the evening before my induction was due. I was desperate not to be induced and so was very pleased when it felt like things were finally happening.
early signs of labour
I'd had a few pre labour signs a few days before, one of which was the release of my mucus plug (or mucus slug as my husband and I called it) it was actually quite gross and a lot different to what I was expecting but we were so happy to see the slug (we high-fived) as it meant labour was coming. I grew a lot bigger in those 9 days after my due date and the doctors had already mentioned I was having a big baby - luckily this wasn't on my mind too much during labour. If I'd have known the size of my baby I might not have been quite so relaxed!
I'd been doing all the things to try and get labour going, curry, pineapple, raspberry leaf tea, sex, walking, even acupuncture-twice! But nothing seemed to really do the trick, my last hope was a visit to the amazing ice cream shop on Lordship lane. I'd been wanting to go all summer and just hadn't got round to it, so when the sun paid us a visit on the 11th September we decided to go for a part drive part stroll with a stop at the ice cream shop on the way. (We lived about a 25 minute walk from said ice cream shop and I wasn't able to walk that far by the end of my pregnancy without getting a stitch or desperately needing the loo!) The ice cream was so delicious that it got the oxytocin flowing in my body and brought on labour-that's what I like to believe anyway.
So I got home, was chilling upstairs on my bed when I felt a little pop and a small gush of water, had I just wet myself? It didn't feel like that so I ran to the loo and as I sat down a surge came on - bloody hell, it was happening! I rang my midwife and told her what had happened and she said it sounded like my hindwaters had broken and to keep an eye on my surges as I may be going into labour but they also may stop. 20 minutes later I had another contraction and then another one 20 minutes after that. Then they came every 10 minutes and I felt the need to get my tens machine on and start timing them. My husband Matt thought I was crazy and it was way too early to do all this but I felt like that's what I should be doing, so I did it.
At about 8pm I told Matt to call the midwife and let her know I was definitely in labour, she spoke to me during a surge and said to call her back in a couple of hours to let her know how I was doing. I then paced around moving from the sofa, to the ball, trying to find a comfortable position during surges but I wasn't comfortable sitting down as it felt like the head was between my legs! I finally found myself in our small downstairs toilet where I stayed for a while breathing through my surges.
"I welcomed each surge"
The breathing and the tens machine really helped to get me through each one. I welcomed each surge, knowing it was a step closer each time. By 9:30 pm my surge app was telling me to go to the hospital, I called for Matt to call the midwife again and she spoke to me during another surge and decided she'd better come and examine me. I was lucky enough to be part of a group of case loading midwives which meant I could take them with me to the hospital instead of having to be examined again when I arrived at hospital.
off to kings in an uber
Adjoke (my midwife) turned up around 10:30 by which point I was having 4 surges in 10 minutes and after examination, confirmed I was 4cm dilated and ready to go to the hospital! Matt called an Uber and we made our way to Kings, our taxi driver was far too chatty and managed to take us down a road with ALL the speed bumps but I didn't care and just sat in the back with my eyes closed holding Matt's hand over the head rest in front. My body was telling me to push already but I managed to breathe through the urges and make it into the birthing suite.
We got to the hospital at 11:45pm and Adjoke filled the water bath as I breathed through a few more surges on a massive bean bag. Getting into the pool felt AMAZING, it was like a warm hug, soothing my back pain and relaxing me further. It was a lot better than I was expecting and with the gas and air beside me they helped me get through the pushing stage. It took me about an hour to push Grayson out, I was really listening to my body and pushing only when it told me too and Adjoke was amazing and sat back and let me do my thing. She checked the heartbeat quite often and I felt I was in really good hands. I was totally in my zone and Matt was leaning over the edge of the bath, helping to hold my head up during surges. I sipped Lucozade throughout the pushing stage, this helped keep my energy levels up as I couldn't eat anything.
grayson is born
After pushing for some time on all fours and feeling the head come almost out Adjoke suggested I change position, so I rolled over into a leaning back position and during the next surge I pushed Grayson's head out! Matt had just gone to the loo and missed the head coming out but was back for the next surge where I pushed out the rest of him at 1:25am on the 12th September.
It was an amazing feeling to then have him in my arms, but also so surreal! I was in a euphoric state just lying there with my son. When he finally got weighed Adjoke thought she'd got it wrong and had to double check! He was 10lbs 2 oz!! What a whopper!!
how hypnobirthing helps
The whole experience was absolutely amazing and the hypnobirthing definitely helped me get through it calmly and quickly. The whole process from first surge to Grayson popping out was just 7.5 hours! The hypnobirthing made me believe in my body and trust my body as it knows what to do. It really is amazing and empowering to just listen to your body-the pushing is almost involuntary! I basically sat back and allowed my body to do what it needed to do.
I remembered to stay calm throughout as I didn't want any adrenaline ruining my oxytocin levels! I was lucky enough to have a very straightforward birth and Grayson was in the right position which also helped. The natural oxytocin for pain relief and feeling relaxed was incredible and I honestly felt like I was on cloud 9 for two weeks after the birth! So so amazing.
I would absolutely recommend hypnobirthing even if it just helps you to get in the right state of mind.
Zoe was a brilliant teacher and was on hand to help if we needed any advice before and after the birth. Having been through it herself it was also good to hear about her experience first hand and I really hope my experience helps others too.
Next time I'm going to go for a home birth!