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Amanda and Leo's Birth Story

My second labour, after a miscarriage in 2017, I was due 10 January 2019 and feeling very excited. I'd had a good pregnancy but during the end was getting tired and struggled with very stiff hips. Lots of bouncing on my ball and use of gentle yoga learnt at Rebecca's pregnancy yoga classes thoroughly helped me. Newly learnt breathing techniques honed my thoughts to my baby and the mental preparation for his birth. I had previously given birth through use of hypnobirthing techniques in the water at a birthing centre and was desperate for this experience again. Some concerns over my baby being too small led to many growth scans at the end of my pregnancy. At 38 weeks I was told I couldn't give birth at Samuel Johnson's birthing unit and the consultant advised induction through breaking my waters at 40 weeks. I refused and asked for an answer to why, but they could not provide me with a sufficient answer. I seeked a second opinion with another consultant at Samuel Johnson who gave me the green light to give birth in water at the birthing centre.

My contractions started at 2am on the 11 January, but I managed to rest and lightly sleep through until 6am when I got up, had a shower and dressed my oldest son for school. My contractipns stopped when I got up, so feeling excited and wanting to speed them back up, I went for a long walk. They started again at about 12 noon, but I didn't think anything of them and went out for lunch with family. Over lunch they were getting stronger and faster so I decided to go home to bounce on my birth ball. By this time I was using my breathing techniques (breathing in for 4 counts through nose and blow softly out for 7 counts through mouth). At home my husband rang Samuel Johnson and timed my contractions. Within the hour they were lasting 45 seconds and were four minutes apart so we made our move to the birthing unit. By the time we arrived I was in active labour and the 2 midwifes on duty rushed to wheelchair me from the car to our private room - I couldn't function or walk as I was concentrating so hard on managing my contractions. In our room there was no time for any checks, I climbed immediately into the birth pool, found comfort in a lunge position and focused on the 'out' breath to birth my baby. I found this breathing technique most helpful to birth my baby who was born just 45 minutes later. I pulled my new baby (Leo) through my legs and out of the water. He latched onto my breast straight away in the water. The environment was very calm with dim lighting and very little monitoring. I had delayed cord clamping waiting for the cord to turn white. I then cut the cord myself. The Midwifes at Samuel Johnson were fantastic, they coached me through my birth at points when needed. My contractions were still going so after a moment to take in baby Leo and give him a feed I stood up to birth the placenta again using the 'out' breath. My labour and birth experience happened very quickly so there was no need for any stitches this time - a big relief as I teared my vaginal wall during labour with my first born! This time I just needed to care for brui

sing. Weighing in at 7lb, 5oz Leo had his checks and we spent the next few hours feeding and having lots of skin to skin contact before going home that same evening. My birth experience was very positive which is undoubtedly all thanks to the knowledge learnt in Rebecca's pregnancy yoga classes. With this knowledge I was able to write and ensure the birth plan I wanted.

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