I love it when a dad writes a birth story – it shows how vital the birth partner is and how beneficial hypnobirthing is for birth partner too. I love this birth story, how both Tasha and Chris remained calm and positive despite things not going to plan – totally inspiring

A father’s birth story

We’re so glad we took the time to take our hypnobirthing classes. To study every aspect of what could happen during labour and birth, and to dedicate time each day to relaxation.

As a father, I wanted to be involved at every opportunity, and attend all appointments. And it’s for that reason I asked my partner Tasha if I could be the one to write our birth story.

During pregnancy, we chose to listen to every point of view being offered from friends, family and colleagues, but only absorb the descriptions of positivity and love. Each night we’d fall asleep listening to a different positive mp3 from our hypnobirthing course.

Our baby first drew our attention on the Friday with a scare, choosing not to move for a good 12 hours. A visit to hospital confirmed all was well and unbeknown to us, the monitor was showing strong Braxton hicks had been occurring the entire time we were there.

This was the first time we felt as though something was about to happen , three days from our due date. This was good practice to keep calm.

Returning home and preparing for our home birth, we carried on as normal over the weekend until Sunday evening (the day before our due date) when T’s waters broke. We instantly became excited from that point onwards.

I somehow managed to fall asleep until the early hours of the morning. Then T arose to find mild but clearly obvious surges had begun. I awoke to find her brimming with excitement downstairs bouncing on her birthing ball.

The first 24 hours after her waters broke we stayed at home. By mid morning her mum had arrived to offer moral support and bacon sandwiches!

The surges, increased in length and increased in regularity until we found them lasting 60-90 seconds and happening every 2-3 minutes.

From 1pm onwards that day T found anyway possible to work through each surge and used the birthing pool.

Soon after we had several visits from the home birth team and they explained to us, to our disbelief, that progression was very slow.

A further and final visit by early evening led us to make the decision that we could no longer remain at home, with understandable concerns surrounding discomfort and risk of infection.

We arrived at the Royal Berkshire Hospital delivery suite on Monday evening and T was given diamorphine to help her get more comfortable and get some rest.

T’s surges also slowed down to around 30 minutes apart, giving her time to regain some of her spent energy until the morning.

Early Tuesday morning we met another midwife (It must have been our 6th by this point) but she would be the one to remain with us now until our baby arrived.

T made excellent progress with an Oxytocin drip to encourage dilation, and after an incredible effort and no end of surges, she finally began to push around midday on day three.

T continued to push for over an hour and tried many different positions and tools to help her with the birthing process, but looking around at the nervous faces in the room as T began to falter, we knew then that something wasn’t right.

Moments later the amazing surgical team entered the room and began their operation to prepare us for what happened next. We were so impressed with how concerned they were that we had deviated from our birth plan, and we explained to them that once we left home the path before us had changed.

T, her mum and I all agreed she had done everything she could to achieve the birth she wanted and it was now time to meet our baby via C-Section.

The moment before surgery, as the father, was my most challenging. To leave T’s mum alone in the delivery suite with only my optimism to comfort her, we headed towards a 90 minute venture, which seemed to pass by in seconds.

I was able to reassure a soon to be mum that everything happening was normal, and we both stayed calm and in control. I watched my baby arrive, cut her cord and was the first to hold her in my arms.

Aurora Grace arrived at 2:53pm on the Tuesday (the day after our due date) weighing 7 pounds 13 ounces and surprising us all that she was a girl. While writing this with her sound asleep next to me she is epitome of sleeping beauty.

A picture of a mum and her newborn baby girl, from a fathers birth story

After hearing our story please do not think we see the difficulties we experienced in a negative light, it was to us painstakingly beautiful birth. The best advice we can give you is to hold onto your optimism, ready your birth plan and crib sheet, and be prepared for the unexpected.

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