My birth story wasn’t the one that I wanted to be writing or would it be anyone’s plan A birth, but it was still a positive one. However, without Jenie’s help, hypnobirthing course and relaxation classes, I don’t think that would have been the case.
I had spent four days in the two weeks run up to Oscar’s birth having 8 hours stints of surges which involved lots of rolling on my ball, soaking in the bath and listening to Jenie’s relaxations. Unfortunately they didn’t turn into active labour so I decided to be induced at 40+12 on 26th August 2020.
We arrived at hospital at 6am after a quick stop at McDonalds for breakfast (another tip from Jenie) and in the car I listened to more relaxations to get my head in the zone. After being checked over my waters were broken not once but twice after the first attempt failed and I had quite a comical rush of waters hitting the floor which seemed to set the laid back tone for the day. At this point we watch a few episodes of Brooklyn 99 to keep the mood up and make us laugh.
At about 10am I started the hormone drip to kick start things a little further, I took some time out to practise some relaxations before the surges got stronger. I spent the next couple of hours focusing on my breathing with my tens machine and used gas and air for pain relief. Jonny was on hand with my birth board, water, snacks, playlists and oils, he was effectively my labour concierge and he felt he head a real role in the day after he’d learnt he didn’t need to be a spare part on our course. After a couple of hours I decided that I needed some more pain relief and after weighing up the benefits and risks of all options opted for a shot of pethidine (I had 2 in total).
The room at the hospital was brilliant with dim lighting and a birthing ball with a rope I could pull on during a surge jand this is how I spent my time until I’d dilated to 8cm at 4pm. Jonny said it was like I was in a trance like state throughout and he was shocked how calm I was. After another four hours I had another examination by the consultant and I’d only progressed a further 1cm and Oscar hadn’t moved down the birth canal as he should. At this point I could either continue for another four hours or opt for a c-section, I had a gut feeling he wouldn’t move further in the next four hours so after a conversation I made the decision with Jonny that a c-section was the best choice for us. As I had thought about this outcome in my birth preferences I didn’t feel overwhelmed by it.
I was taken into theatre and after I’d had my spinal the consultant did a further examination and I’d dilated to a full 10cm but Oscar had moved into a different position so we decided to try to move him with forceps to see if I’d then be able to start to push. Throughout this time in theatre I continued to practise breathing techniques, including square breathing and one that involved using my hand to physically show I was using a technique, Jenie taught me both of these. When it came to pushing I asked Jonny to put our upbeat playlist on which had everyone in theatre singing along to the Spice Girls which gave me a huge surge of energy to push.
At this point Oscar still didn’t fancy making his way down the canal so we then progressed with the c-section. Throughout the operation I stayed calm and excited (even through a 2 litre blood loss). I held Jonny’s hand as the consultant worked his magic and I used golden thread breathing to breath through the process. We could hear Oscar behind the sheet before we saw him and shared a magical moment where we looked at each other before we were introduced to our gorgeous boy who was born at 21.29 on 26th August.