This week’s story comes from Helen, from Natural Beauty with Baby. Helen is from the UK and loves blogging about natural skincare and her journey through motherhood with her little man, Jonah. Here is her story …
Mini Mummi was encouraging mums to share their positive birth stories. I’d recently posted Jonah’s birth story on my own blog, so I was very happy to share my story with Mini Mummi! It’s encouraging and healthy for first time mums-to-be to hear positive stories rather than the overly dramatic accounts that often appear on television.
I feel so positive about Jonah’s birth, and I want other ladies to know that even if your birth doesn’t go according to plan, you can still have the most amazing birth experience.
My pregnancy filled me with joy! I read absolutely everything I could find, followed many pregnancy related blogs, and had all the pregnancy apps on my phone. We did a hypnobirthing course at our local hospital, which was the best thing we could’ve done to prepare ourselves for labour and birth.
Hypnobirthing changed my mindset from one that expected pain and anticipated a lack of control, to one of focus, calm, and trust in the powerful mama who could totally do this!
I was 40+5 when I went into labour. My waters broke at home, and I’d had no signs that labour was imminent. My husband came home from work, as we had a midwife appointment that day, which we eagerly attended. I’d noticed some meconium staining in the waters, but my midwife told me this was normal.
We went home and my surges came – very mild at first, but becoming more intense as the afternoon progressed into evening. I stayed active with my birth ball and stair climbing. We had food and my lovely husband gave me massages while we listened to my labour playlist.
By the late evening, I had really gone into myself. The feelings were intense, and I knew I was ready to go to hospital.
We called the hospital, who assessed me over the telephone. The midwife advised me to take paracetamol and call back later. Oh no! I’d been so sure! Disappointment set in – my certainty questioned. I felt so ready and had reached the point I could no longer stand the intensity.
Ten minutes later, I had the incredible overwhelming urge to push. I was right about being ready! My husband called the hospital who told him to call an ambulance.
What a sight, me waddling into an ambulance at midnight in my maternity nightie and slippers!
We’d planned a water birth, but since our midwife couldn’t get a trace on our baby’s heart, a water birth would be risky. She’d also found meconium staining in the waters.
On the positive side, at 10cm dilated, my labour was well on its way!
My midwife told me that pushing lying down was now my only option. I’d wanted to avoid lying down to push, since I’d hoped I could birth Jonah with the help of gravity, avoiding strenuous pushing.
It was hard to feel disappointed in the heat of the moment, as our baby’s health was the most important thing.
Unfortunately, in this lying down position, my pushes were ineffective, and baby wasn’t coming fast enough. I agreed to an episiotomy to hurry Jonah’s arrival.
Pushing Jonah out was the most strenuous but rewarding thing I’ve ever done!
Jonah Samuel Little arrived at 2:40am on 21 June 2016 – the summer solstice. He wasn’t crying, and he cuddled up so peacefully on my chest for his first breastfeed. He weighed 9lbs 4oz and was 91st centile for length.
We enjoyed an hour of skin to skin with the cord left intact.
As I held my mysterious newborn bundle, I felt absolutely overjoyed to finally have him with us. He seemed so big and healthy, but like all newborns, fragile and vulnerable, and so loveable!
My labour lasted twelve hours. I attribute my short labour to being active and staying calm. My preparations during pregnancy helped too – I drank red raspberry leaf tea, devoured lots of dates, observed correct posture (no leg crossing!), and exercised daily.
After Jonah’s birth, my episiotomy went around in my head. The more I dwelled on it, the worse I felt, since I believed I could breathe my baby out but wasn’t able to. Now I know it’s not possible to control every outcome of labour. We make the best choices we can for our little one. My episiotomy helped Jonah be with us sooner. I’m so proud of myself for bringing Jonah into the world!
Now we’re planning baby number 2, and can’t wait to welcome another family member and a sibling for Jonah!
I would urge all expecting parents to look into hypnobirthing. It helps you to deal with whatever might happen, and be confident and happy in your choices. You can do this!
Visit my blog for Jonah’s full birth story and more details on the hypnobirthing course I took.
Next week, we’ll hear from Jess, from Nora & Co.! If you have a positive birth story you’d like to share, please email email@example.com for more info.
Helen lives in the UK and is first time mummy to Jonah. Through her blog, Helen helps parents find healthy alternatives to mainstream beauty and baby products, and documents her life with 15-month-old Jonah.
Mini Mummi Blogger is a first time mummy to a beautiful baby boy. Currently on maternity leave, she is looking to put her writing/publishing experience to good use through her blog, helping other mummies navigate through the wealth of often conflicting (and, sometimes, even discouraging) information out there about pregnancy and motherhood. She believes that every mummy knows what’s best for her own baby – even first time mums!