Roxanne's story

Updated: Aug 9, 2019

Roxanne Stanger

Many of you will remember that Roxanne contacted us towards the end of her second pregnancy. She had a traumatic birth with her first child, and wanted to hear some reassuring stories.

We were so delighted to hear that Roxanne went on to have a very positive, healing experience! Here she tells her birth story:

"I was 10 days late when I went into labour, probably the longest 10 days of my life!

I really feel they should give you a due fortnight rather than a due date, it really messed with my head!

I used the hypnobirthing techniques I’d learnt and was trying to stay positive.

That morning felt like every other, so I got our toddler, Matthew, up and dressed had a shower myself. It was 9am when I got another contraction, but it didn’t phase me as I’d been having them on and off all week.

But then another one came, and another. Luckily for me, my husband, Luke, bought us a hot tub last summer, so I jumped in! Due to the heatwave this summer it was set to a cool temperature. I text Luke and told him to come home from work, and got my MIL over to look after Matthew.

I called the hospital as the contractions were very close together and lasting around the minute mark. They told us to make our way to them as the journey can vary between 25 and 50 minutes. Naturally I was hoping the shorter time frame for this journey!

I was breathing through the pain and telling myself that each contraction was a step closer to meeting my baby.

We got stuck behind what felt like every tractor, moped, and cyclist on our way to the hospital. Luke was very stressed and I told him it would be fine! All that positive thinking...

I then had a contraction that made me push. I said aloud to my stomach “baby, wait for me to get there, we’ve waited a long time so a few more minutes won’t hurt.”

We dumped the car in a disabled bay as I refused to let Luke look for anywhere else, I knew I had to get in there!!

I hobbled up to the maternity ward, and they admitted me to the examination room. We all laughed that it was fairly pointless, but turned out I was 8cm dilated. I felt positive and that I could definitely do it! They rushed us round to the delivery ward and I managed to introduce myself... it was something I really wanted to do based on my first birth.

I wanted to tell the midwives about it but I was focusing on the pain and my breathing so Luke did it for me - he was fantastic at explaining what happened.

For my birth with Matthew it was very long and painful. He was back to back and I couldn’t get him out. I was full of adrenaline and fear through own naivety about birth and being uninformed. I had to have an episiotomy and then suffered a major haemorrhage and lost 2 litres of blood. It was such a blur, but my baby was taken and given to Luke who was crying. I went to surgery thinking I was going to die. Before I was wheeled away I told Luke to name our baby Matthew as I didn’t want to die not knowing his name.

The contractions were strong and I was pushing. My waters broke and with just 5 pushes our baby boy was here!

Noah was born at 1pm on the dot weighing 8lb1oz. Luke and I joked that we didn’t get to eat the snacks we’d packed! (The first time round we left the bags in the car!)

The midwives were keen for us to go home, but I insisted on staying the night. I was still fearful of haemorrhaging again and wanted to be in their care if it did happen. We were discharged the next morning and heading home with a baby less than 24hrs old!

The hypnobirthing techniques definitely made this birth much more manageable and it was a very healing process.

This birth was much more positive than my last because I felt more prepared. In my first birth I was dead against an epidural and any intervention, but ended up needed an episiotomy and ventouse delivery. I felt like I’d let myself down and that I was less of a mother because I couldn’t handle the birth.

But from the help of my health visitor and from hypnobirthing tracks (by Katharine Graves) I listened to in preparation for this birth I felt like I could let go of that trauma and deal with this new birth.

Learning that the muscles of the uterus need to contract and relax simultaneously (like all muscles) made so much sense to me! And that the oxytocin helps this to occur with less pain, rather than fighting the contraction I learnt to let it come and to ease it through.

I made it very clear to all health professionals I spoke to about what happened first time around and how I wanted to avoid a repeat of that trauma. I accepted that if the pain was too much then to ask for an epidural. And that it was OK. I’d still give birth and still be a great mother. After all, I’d grown this baby for 9 months, does it really matter how he comes out? As long as we are both happy and healthy, isn’t that the main aim?

To anyone worried about their next birth, just talk to someone. Your partner, your friend, someone at work, a stranger on Instagram - just air your fears and you’ll feel better. Then you can be proactive in your own next steps.

After having Matthew, my husband said to me “I don’t think I can see you go through this again”. We’d always wanted more than 1 child, and I wholeheartedly agreed with him. But after the initial shock left us, and we fell in love with our boy, why wouldn’t we want to have more?

Roxanne is now proud mum to two lovely boys.

© Make Birth Better CIC 2019

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