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Laura and Elodie’s birth – A speedy, empowered birth

Woman lying in hospital bed just given birth. She is smiling to the camera and holding her newborn baby who is wearing a pink hat.

18 Sep, 2023

Birth Story Series – Laura’s speedy empowered birth

Elodie was 12 days past her due date when she arrived.
The hospital were due to call that day to offer me an induction which I had planned to turn down, but as it turned out the contractions had already started at about 2:15pm.  They were quite frequent but stopped again after about an hour.  I remember saying to my husband at the time, ‘It’s quite a nice sort of pain’.  Ah how naive I was.
The hospital called later that afternoon and requested I come in to be monitored and we went in at about 5.30pm.  All was fine, the contractions had started again but we weren’t there yet.
Earlier in the week the community midwife had attempted 2 sweeps but had been unable to do them as my cervix just wasn’t ready.  At the hospital they were able to do a sweep and very soon after, the contractions ramped up a notch. I remember crouching down and holding onto the side of the hospital bed at which point the midwife came in and commented that the sweep seemed to have done the trick very quickly!  I had some light bleeding at this point and was checked over again. I was 1cm dilated and told to go home and have a hot bath.




Trusting your instinct – understanding the process

We left the hospital just before 8pm and on the 10 minute journey home I had at least 4 strong contractions. 
Once home, I asked my husband to call the hospital.  Having just left them, they told me to stay at home as if we went back and I wasn’t any further along they would send me home anyway. 
I started to run a bath, and my husband began to think about his stomach and turned the oven on to cook some kievs!
At this point I was happiest on all fours on the kitchen floor, breathing through the contractions and enjoying the coolness of the tiles. 

Water, or not to water!

I looked at the bath I was running and decided that was pointless as I would just end up on all fours with my face in the water! 
We attempted to attach the TENS machine, but abandoned this fairly swiftly when we realised neither of us had a clue what we were doing.
I remembered 2 things from Jilly’s class at this point.  The first being that when you get the overwhelming urge to get get down on the floor, then it’s time! 
I also remembered that even if you weren’t that near to giving birth, if you were finding the pain too much, you could go into hospital for help coping with the pain. 
I was worried that if I was only in the very early stages of labour then my pain threshold must not be as high as I thought.  As it turns out, I was much further along than anticipated, but who was I to know, this was my first birth. 
I was also bleeding more heavily now.  I insisted my husband call the hospital back and told them we were coming back in.
We got back to the hospital at about 9pm.  I signed in and was asked to do a urine sample.  No such luck but I was bleeding quite heavily by now so was taken to a delivery room and checked over.  Much to everyones surprise I was fully dilated.  My husband and I had fully been expecting to be told to go back home so we had left everything in the car apart from my hospital notes.  My husband hadn’t been allowed in with me and was listening to a podcast (and probably thinking about his uncooked kievs) when a midwife called him in and told him I was in labour.  
I was having a good go on the gas and air when he came in and I remember saying to the midwives ‘It’s too late for the good drugs isn’t it?!’.  This I knew from Jilly’s classes 🙂 

hospital pregnancy monitoring
Woman lying in hospital bed just given birth. She is smiling to the camera and holding her newborn baby who is wearing a pink hat.

Doing it her own way

I recall, as I lay on my back screaming, “This isn’t what Jilly said to do” but I was very happy in that position and even though the midwives invited me to move onto all fours, having the bar at the bottom of the bed to push against was everything to me at that point and I wasn’t moving for anyone.
I remember the sensation of my waters breaking, which was strangely pleasant and for some reason I also became slightly obsessed with asking if I had poo’ed myself!  (I didn’t, or at least that’s what they told me!)
The midwives left Graeme in charge of holding my gas and air and offering me water, the gas and air made my mouth so dry, I was so thirsty. 
I remember moments where I felt so high on the gas and air and Graeme later told me that at times I looked absolutely off my face, in the nicest possible way of course.
Elodie arrived at 10:24pm.  I couldn’t have asked for things to go smoother.
As she lay across my chest I counted her fingers and toes.  For some reason, maybe it was the gas and air, I was paranoid she would have 6 toes on one foot.  (She doesn’t!)

Looking back

My reflections on my birth are nothing but positive.  I had armed myself with all the knowledge I could possibly gather, and even though I didn’t have time or the clarity to put everything into practise, I knew what was happening,
I knew I had choices and I made the ones that were right for me in that moment. 
Yes I screamed my head off in a way I didn’t think I would but was what I needed to do. I do however wish I had made more of the opportunity to ‘moo’!

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