Luna arrived safely on 24th April weighing 7lb 11. I was so glad she came when she was ready (41+1) so I didn’t need to think about any kind of induction, even stretch and sweep.
The birth was quite far removed from what we had planned, but it was still a really positive experience, mainly due to the hypno birthing and preparation we had done with you, we felt very informed and in control. We didn’t get the planned home birth unfortunately. I went into labour around 10pm on the Thursday night and we called the birth centre around 12 as I had some bleeding. They recommended that we go the maternity assessment centre to get checked due to the bleeding, but said that we should then be able to return home for the planned home birth. So we travelled there, whilst using the up breathing and visualisations. The assessment was fine but whilst we were there, another homebirth was called in, and they explained that they only had capacity for one homebirth at a time. I then had more bleeding so they recommended that we didn’t return home, as it was likely we would need to come back, and they couldn’t guarantee that the home birth team would be available when we needed them. So we discussed (we used brains all the way through the labour) and agreed. They offered an examination which I agreed to and she confirmed i was in active labour and 4cm (I think she was a bit surprised as I was coping so well). They then said both the pool rooms in the birth centre were in use, but that they had a pool room on the labour ward. The midwife (Amy Oliver) was so amazing and said she would go down and make it all nice and relaxing for us with low lights and tea lights etc. So we were rapidly going off plan (I didn’t really want to be on the labour ward) but we remained positive.
So we went to the pool room in the labour ward and I got in the pool. I felt really safe and we had a lovely midwife there (Amy Earnshaw) who was trained in hypno birthing so was very hands off and let us get on with it. Oliver was amazing reading out relaxation scripts (which really helped me) and making sure I was eating and drinking etc. Despite me feeling safe and relaxed etc, things did progress very slowly from there. I asked for gas and air after around 6 hours but I was in the pool for around 18 hours and was then only 6-7cm! After this time they got concerned about her heart rate and spoke to Oliver about further options as she was just taking a bit too long. The doctor discussed with Oliver about the Oxytocin drip and we agreed. I did have a wobble at this point and was upset because I would have to get out of the pool with the drip and I realised she wouldn’t be born in the water. I was also exhausted so as I couldn’t be in the pool any longer anyway, I asked for the Opiate so I could have a bit of a rest.
We were transferred to another room in the labour ward and were then cared for by Amy Oliver (who had returned for her next shift!!). We maintained dimmed lights and the Freya app music all the way through and did our best to keep to the hypno birthing through another 10 hours of labour. They were quite concerned about her heart rate during this stage (although only Oliver knew this at the time) but they understood that we were trying to avoid too much intervention. It got to to the point where they were considering forceps or a c section but then the senior midwife (Dawn) came and helped us to get her out naturally (apparently the doctor was outside the door with her apron on ready to to deliver by forceps when she was born!).
So although it differed a lot from our original birth plan, we still look back on it as a really positive experience. The hypnobirthing techniques were invaluable and Oliver was amazing at being ‘Keeper of the Cave’ 🙂 I think it was a combination of bad timing (with the homebirth team already out) and the circumstance of the bleeding (we always said that safety would come first) that made it differ so much from what we had planned. But as I mentioned, we felt so informed and in control. Every intervention that was offered, Oliver considered brains and asked multiple times for more time to see if things could progress on their own. And I really believe that if we hadn’t had the preparation and knowledge from you, we would have ended up with much more intervention (forceps or c section) and it would not have been as much of a positive experience for us.