The birth experience was epic, it didn't go exactly to plan but it was still incredible, so glad I did hypnobirthing!
My waters broke on Sunday morning at 3.30am, it wasn't just a trickle it really gushed and there was a fair bit of blood which shocked me a little. I started immediately having powerful surges every 3 mins, I only waited an hour before going in to the birth centre because I was worried I wouldn't actually make it there otherwise!
The pain was really intense in my back and hips, I was sick a couple of times even though I was breathing through it, I was just not getting much of a break at all in between. In my mind I'd been preparing for a long slow build up and planning how I'd use my ball, my tens machine etc but there wasn't time for any of that, we just had to go - we didn't even have the bag packed really, we had stuff for the baby but nothing much for ourselves, I was going to do it after the weekend, doh!
So when we got to triage about an hour and a half after my waters broke I was 7cm, so they got me straight into the birth pool. It felt really nice straight away, I'd got to the point that I was unable to stand or bear weight during a surge because of the pressure in my back. In the pool I was able to rest a bit and conserve and just focus on breathing.
My partner did what he could but I found that I just wanted to be left alone mainly, I needed silence so I didn't want him reading out the visualisations or anything, it was easier to focus just on my own.
We had one midwife in the room, she was very unobtrusive. I found everyone was very respectful of my plan, they did what we'd asked for and didn't need to ask me any questions really.
It was going very well, I was fully dilated by about 9.30, I think the pool slowed things down a bit but to be honest I needed that, it was all really intense!
The midwives changed shift just as I reached 10 cm, I heard them discussing whether to get me out of the pool because I'd been in for hours at that point but they thought the baby would arrive soon so decided to leave me in.
I started trying to breathe her out using the down breathing, I felt like I needed to push so I went with it, but nothing was happening. I tried for a couple of hours, but it wasn't working. The baby's heartbeat was still fine so the midwife suggested getting out and trying different things like the birth stool to see if gravity would help, but it didn't.
She asked to examine me, apparently the lip of my cervix had got caught (not quite sure exactly on this bit) but anyway she sorted it out, we also realised that I hadn't emptied my bladder for hours so she did it with a catheter (I actually lost control of the pain at this point, it was agony and I was screaming but I knew she had to do it). I'd had no pain relief until then, I tried using gas and air but it just made me woozy as I was already pretty exhausted by then.
After an hour of trying different positions, we all agreed that something wasn't right and I said I was happy to go to the labour ward to be check by the doctor. Up to this point my plan had gone almost to the letter and I was really proud of getting there just using breathing and the birth pool, so I was happy to then discuss my options.
The doctor thought it would be a good idea to put me on syntocin to increase the effectiveness of the surges, however they wanted to give me an epidural to prepare in case further intervention was needed. I agreed because at this point I was getting a bit stressed, I was very tired and began to think the worst so I wanted to be ready in case of having to have a c section.
The doctors were great, again very respectful of my plan and said I could have a gentle c section if needed but we all wanted to avoid that if possible.
I then did some coached pushing when the syntocinon kicked in, it was difficult though because I couldn't feel what I was doing through the epidural. I was still mobile enough to try squatting so at least I wasn't on my back. It was working, they could see the head (they even showed my partner) but then they realised she was facing the wrong way and no amount of pushing was going to get her out.
I suddenly felt very upset because I knew I now wasn't going to be able to deliver unassisted.
But still, they were great and said they would try first with forceps to get in, turn her and pull whilst I pushed. I agreed to this, I had been there almost 12 hours and was just desperate to meet my baby so we went to theatre.
It was slightly scary and not the setting I had visualised meeting my baby in, but the doctors were all so good at talking us through everything as they were doing it. I had to have an episiotomy but I accepted that it would be far better than any other course of action. I then had to push again once they had turned her, it was incredibly hard at that point because I had no feeling whatsoever but they said I was doing it perfectly and the head was out, and in another couple of pushes she was finally born!
I couldn't have delayed cord clamping or immediate skin to skin because she was a little bit floppy but I heard her start crying as they examined her, I was so happy and relieved, I was just holding my partner's hand and couldn't stop crying. It was so amazing. I can't describe how happy I felt at that moment, I couldn't wait to hold her, it was a shame I had to wait for them to do the sutures etc but then they took us all through to recovery and I had uninterrupted skin to skin which was lovely.
We had to stay in hospital for 2 nights, which was the worst bit really because we just wanted to go home but I was still having bladder problems and in a fair bit of pain but anyway we got home yesterday afternoon, exhausted but really happy.
I wanted to let you know how it all went and I'm 100% convinced that it would have been a very quick and straightforward birth if my baby had turned to face the right way; I would have definitely managed using hypnobirthing techniques, it was just one of those things that can happen. I'm still really glad I had my plan, I think all the staff found it helpful too and were better able to help, they knew what we wanted and didn't have to ask a lot of questions.
I can honestly say it was the best day of my life,