The beautiful birth of Harvey

The beautiful birth of Harvey

This was my third baby, my first had been a calm experience in the Portland. I had a mobile epidural which I refused my second dose of as I didn’t enjoy the feeling of the medicine, I felt itchy and spaced out. The nurse encouraged me to have half my dose and I agreed, I was 25 at the time. I had a boy 7lbs 3oz I felt no tummy contractions but all of the down below area. I was stitched with no pain relief as my doctor forgot!

My second labour was a planned C-section due to baby being upside down and being told horror stories of what might happen if I didn’t have the operation I was 28, and impatient. After the birth I suffered with post natal depression, I believe heart and souly that this was due to mechanical process of the C-section and how no hormones were released, I then struggled to breast feed and felt like a failure.

Ten years later I was having baby number three. I was determined that, this was going to go just how I wanted it to. I told my midwife Alan firmly that I would not be going to hospital, and that I would not be using medication or have myself strapped up to any machines or be examined during labour. He was totally understanding and 100% behind me. I came across Babies in Waiting by pure fate and booked the course. I loved it and I felt it gave my partner, who was not the father of my 10 and 13 year old and so inexperienced in the labour department a wealth of information and knowledge. He felt like he had an important role, and for the first time heading towards labour so did I.
With everything in place at home, the pool spent five weeks in our lounge in preparation for the moment, as this was my third it could happen quickly!
Each week I bought snacks and treats for the midwives to sit in the kitchen with, and I wrote them a letter thanking them for their time and patience with what could be a very different experience for them, with no examining, no meds, no patting, no rubbing, no anything...
Everything was perfectly in place.

Nine days over my expected due date at 1pm my waters broke ‘finally’ our little one was coming and we could not have been more excited.
Daniel was on his way home, my friend who is a trainee nurse was with me and we decided she should stay to support me as my partner wasn’t comfortable with doing it alone.
Nothing happened until 12am then surges started. I felt totally ready for it, infact I was welcoming it all.
The surges grew stronger and stronger, I concentrated on my breathing and being in my calm and happy zone, everything was just as planned. The midwives arrived and Dan took them straight into the kitchen and handed them the plan to read first. They popped into me and introduced themselves. They reassured me that they were there if I needed them.
My surges were in full swing and my friend was great. She was timing them, had identified a pattern with one being a full on surge then a smaller one that followed 60 seconds after. I was getting a minute in between them. The midwives had only come in a few times to check my temperature and oxygen levels but at 7am they’d begged for me to be examined as they were beginning to worry about my progress. Due to my waters breaking 19 hours ago and 7 hours of surges, I was feeling ready to see where I was. I was at 7cm, the pain I felt getting out of the water was unbelievable and the examination was unbearable! I got myself back into the pool pronto and felt the pain dissipate. The midwives brought me some gas and air convinced me that it would help. Feeling tired of the constant surges, I tried the gas and air but it fell to the floor not long after once I realised that all it did was make me feel whoozy and gave me less focus to concentrate on my breathing and staying relaxed. The new set of midwives arrived and settled in but it didn’t take long before they were “concerned” as to the amount of hours I’d been surging with no sign of wanting to push. At 8.30am it had been twenty and a half hours since my waters broke and nothing was progressing. Daniel kept them at bay until 10am, three hours after my last examination and I was at 8cm!! Things were slowing down. They told Dan that mine and the babies heart rates were hard to tell apart and my ketone levels were non existent. At this point I felt like I was on another planet! I had no concept of time or even of who was in the room and when. I was fully in the zone but I was also so tired.

Before I knew it, I was being dressed and an ambulance was outside. Without the warm water supporting me I was in so much pain and I desperately wanted this all to be over. They were struggling to find the babies heart beat and I was off to hospital where things unravelled quicker than a pair of seventy year old undies. I wasn’t examined by a doctor until 1pm, 24 hours after my waters broke and I was 10cm but there was no sign of the babies head. He instructed the midwife to leave me for an hour to see if the head came down. At this point I was talking to no one and was using the gas and air a lot. They’d asked me if I could stand or kneel but I had be up on my knees the entire time I could no longer hold myself up. So I lay on my side, in my zone praying it would happen soon.
At 2 pm, I still had no urges to push, but was instructed to push. I pushed for one hour and twenty minutes. The midwife told the doctor my pushing was effective but this baby was not budging. My surges, were practically non existent not even every 7 minutes everything had stopped. Within minutes my legs were in the stirrups. The doctor looked at me apologetically then fitted a suction cup onto the baby’s head. He told me on the next surge that he was going to pull as I pushed. Then suddenly he changed his mind and said ‘I’m just going to pull now’. I have never felt something so indescribable! The babies head finally appeared, I felt it and Dan looked. There were eight people in the room now, doctors, consultants, midwives, HCAs! All looked like they seen an alien emerge from me.
All along I’d been told my baby was average 7.5lbs or there about. “Wow its a big one, no wonder this one wasn’t coming out”.
The doctor pulled again, I reached down and pulled baby onto me. I swatted away the towel rubbing and said “no, stop no rubbing no hatting” I was clinging onto any part of my plan that I could.
We looked down and see our baby was a boy, a nice big boy.
The doctor was patient and waited for my placenta to deliver itself, and the midwife told everyone to leave and not to touch or take baby as he was breathing and doing well on me.
Twenty five minutes later the placenta arrived and it was put into the bag and container ready to be whisked off for my tablets.

Once I was more comfortable, I was happy to hand over my baby to be weighed. He was 9lbs 11oz, he looked so chubby and big I just kept staring at him and laughing. He was beautiful. Dan was amazed by this beautiful baby who he already adored.

My plan might not have gone to plan, and everything that I didn’t want to happen, happened.
But I am so very sure that through it all the thing that kept me ok in myself, during and after was all the practicing. The mediation and getting myself in a place of calm and relaxation. I didn’t cry, I didn’t get angry, frustrated or scream. I stayed calm and took each moment and action that came with it. Before I did the hypnobirthing course I was so worried that I’d suffer with depression again I knew I had to try everything I could.

I didn’t get the natural experience I had hoped for, and even presumed I would but thankfully everything was good in the end. And I honestly felt on top of the world! Not one ounce of baby blues at all. I took my placenta tablets and found they gave me some well needed energy.
But ultimately I feel that because I was able to hold on to myself through my experience I didn’t ever feel out of control thanks to all the focus I had for getting into my zone.
I may not have got the experience that I wanted but ultimately thanks to the course I got what I wanted overall.
I was happy and calm and so was my baby. He was so calm and peaceful.
It was bliss.