Maximilian’s birth – Cherry’s story
It was early August, we were in the middle of a heatwave and I was 5 days overdue. I had absolutely loved my pregnancy and whilst I wasn’t completely fed up yet, I was definitely ready to get things moving! So on a hot and sunny Tuesday afternoon I went for a long, laboured waddle around Audley End park.
Later that evening I was sitting on my birthing ball (the only comfortable spot in the house), eating spaghetti bolognese and I felt a twinge. I wondered if this was really it, or just a false alarm. As this was my first pregnancy I had no idea what to expect and I was excited and scared at the same time. About 10 minutes later I felt another twinge and I excitedly opened my newly downloaded contraction timing app and logged it. As I bounced away on my ball I had a twinge every 10 to 15 minutes but they didn’t get any stronger or any closer together. So at about 11pm I decided to head to bed and get some sleep.
At 4am I woke up with what can only be described as a strong period pain. This definitely is it, I thought and tried to resist the urge to wake up my partner in excitement. By 6am my partner woke up and I told him the good news. We decided he would go to work as he works down the road and we didn’t know how long it would all take. I phoned my mum who came over at 7am, and we drank tea whilst I bounced on my ball and watched old episodes of Bottom to get the oxytocin flowing!
By 11am the surges were getting stronger and closer together. My partner came home from work and we phoned the birth centre to let them know we would be coming in. At midday we left the house and began the drive to the hospital.
When we arrived at the birth centre I was taken to our private room and the midwife came in to take the baby’s heart rate and assess me. She told me that they baby was slightly back to back so I needed to lie on my side for an hour or so to get him to turn. After just over an hour she was confident he had turned and I was allowed to get into the pool.
I got into the water at around 4pm and as the surges got stronger, and I could no longer use my tens machine, I started on the gas and air around 5pm.
Having initially been a bit scared of the gas and air, it quickly became my best friend. I gripped the mouth piece as if my life depended on it.
My labour progressed steadily for the next few hours and at about 8pm I started to get a strong urge to push. However, I felt distinctly that my baby wasn’t moving down properly. I called over the midwife and explained the way I was feeling. She asked me to get out of the pool to be examined and she confirmed that I was fully dilated but my birth canal was blocked. I would need to be moved up to the delivery unit upstairs for further examination.
This was where my hypnobirthing really came into its own. I used my breathing techniques to keep me calm as my precious gas and air was taken away and I was put in a wheelchair and wheeled into the lift. Upstairs they discovered that my bladder was full, which was blocking the baby from moving down properly. I was catheterised and my bladder was drained, then I was ready to push.
The pushing was more “one born every minute” than I had hoped, but I summoned every ounce of strength I had and focused hard.
At 10.18 pm my little boy Maximilian entered the world, quietly and perfectly. He was placed on my chest, looked straight into my eyes and I felt the greatest rush of love and sheer relief.
Just after Max was born in was told that I had suffered a 3rd degree tear and had hemorrhaged. I had no idea this had happened; the endorphins racing around my body were stopping me feeling anything other than joy! I was taken over to theatre, where my hypnobirthing breathing helped me stay in a completely calm state for the next 45 minutes until I was taken back to my baby.
Despite the little hiccup at the end, I most definitely had the right birth on the day. If anything, the adversity I faced only made the actual birth feel so much more of a relief! My greatest recommendation was the Wise Hippo hypnobirthing course I took. Without those coping tools I would not have handled everything as calmly and confidently as I did.