I had never been one for a birthing plan but I’m so glad my midwife encouraged me to have one!
I had a consultant led pregnancy which already meant I was unable to birth in the birthing centre (which is what I wanted) so I was a little disappointed but knew we had to do what was best for myself and babies health.
As my pregnancy progressed and my appointments continued to go better then expected we had a discussion with our consultant about birthing options and he advised that he was more than happy for me to go into the birthing centre for delivery and he would sign me off to the midwifes. We was over the moon with this because it was a wish of ours to birth in the pool.
Weeks passed with this plan firmly in place and everything was going great until I had a bleed and premature labour starting at 36 weeks. This was a scary time for us but the hospital were amazing, I had an over night stay to monitor the condition and luckily both me and baby were fine and labour stopped. We was visited by the consultant whilst in hospital to advise us that due to the complications I had previously had (miscarrying) and also this bleed and scare of premature birth he wanted me to be placed back under his care and I was to be induced a week early. This was my worst nightmare! Not only did I not want an induction I was told I was unable to have a water birth. I was gutted! I had heard such terrible stories about inductions and how it makes the labour more painful and a lot of women then opt for pain relief which is something I had always wanted to avoid if possible.
What seemed the longest 3 weeks ever passed and it was induction day, I was so nervous!!
They started off my my induction and I had to wait 24 hours to see how my cervix reacted and at that point they would decide if they could break my waters and start off my labour. After a little while I started to contract naturally myself which was a great start. I was then visited by one of the duty midwifes who came to check me over and she was amazing! We got talking and she sat with me for a while whilst we discussed a little about my pregnancy and myself, when I mentioned to her my disappointment around not be able to have a water birth she told me that it wasn’t strictly true and not set in stone! She went on to tell me that I have a choice in the matter and that i could choose to not have the hormonal drip if the consultant agrees to let me progress naturally with no intervention (the drip is the reason I couldn’t be in the water). She told me that she would pass my wishes onto the next duty midwife as her shift was ending, I will forever be grateful to that midwife for taking the time to sit wit me and put me at ease about everything, she was so lovely, understanding and reassuring.
24hrs passed and I was able to have my waters broken at which point I expressed my wishes of not going on the hormonal drip, I was advised at that point that they would give me 2 hours to progress naturally to 4cm and if I managed this they would review my options. I bounced on my ball and walked and walked for 2 hours to be told I had managed 3cm myself. They was happy with my progression and agreed to leave me a further hour before a decision would be made. An hour passed and I had made it to 4cm and was allowed to get into the pool, I was overjoyed and couldn’t believe it.
Up until this point I used a tens machine to help cope with the contractions but was starting to find it very painful and I was starting to question if i was I going to be able to carry on without pain relief, I entered the pool and was given gas and air. Gas and air is incredible! Coupled with the warm water I knew I could it. I was able to get onto very comfortable positions in the water were I felt weightless and I could really open my pelvis. I went from 4cm to 10cm in an hour and an hour later my baby boy was born. My husband was in the water with me and it was the most beautiful experience of my life.