Read third-time mum Aldine’s beautiful water birth story below.
I love how her imagined birth story so matched her actual birth story and how her and Adam worked as a team, with him coaching her through her surges.
Also, what Aldine says about hypnobirthing is spot on – ‘Every birth involves hard work and can offer different challenges but we truly believe that hypnobirthing equips parents with the necessary tools to have the best delivery possible. The mind is often said to be the most powerful influence in many situations and if you can start with changing your mindset half your work is already done’
Meeting our beautiful water baby …..
I had been waiting impatiently for Ivy to arrive when I began to have surges one morning.
Having had two early babies (35 and 37 weeks respectively), I was convinced number three would also be early. When the 40 week mark came and went, I begun to wonder just how ‘late’ this baby was going to be. However, we stayed positive and started researching natural induction methods including acupressure (on Deborah’s recommendation).
My previous births had been two totally different experiences. My first birth had involved a lot of medical intervention, so much so that I was convinced there must be another way.
After taking hypnobirthing classes, I achieved a natural delivery with no pain relief and only a little medical intervention to deliver my second baby. As they placed Freddie in my arms, I felt feelings of euphoria, relief and triumph, emotions that were not present with my first birth.
By number three, I was convinced of the merits of hypnobirthing and believed the calming techniques and positive mindset as birthing essentials.
Our little girl decided she would make her appearance on the day of the royal wedding! Deborah had previously asked us to write our birth story out in advance, an exercise to encourage positive thinking around your baby’s birth. At the time, writing it all down seemed a bit odd and overly hopeful but we both worked together to write down our ideal delivery. This story involved a sunny day when the older children were not in the house, delivering during the morning when I have more energy, minimal medical staff in the room and, high on our list, a water birth. We typed up the plan but I have to admit we didn’t revisit it after. We were both shocked to have a birth almost identical to the one we had hoped for…
Surges began at 4am on the day of the Royal Wedding but I left Adam sleeping as I had previously had plenty of Braxton Hicks and didn’t want to raise a false alarm.
I pottered around the house tidying and trying to keep busy. At 6am I woke Adam telling him something may be happening and he ran me a bath, lit some candles and aromatherapy oils and played hypnobirthing tracks through his phone while he went off to get himself and the car ready, all the while I was using the breathing and mindset techniques we had learnt on our course.
It was beginning to become evident that I was having back labour so for the next hour (and the rest of delivery) I chose to work through my surges on my knees. As each surge built up, Adam was there to coach me through the breathing and focus my mind on staying calm.
By 8am we decided that it was time to go in. Upon arrival the midwives were shocked to find that I was already at 9cm dilated! I don’t think they were convinced when we arrived as my demeanour was calmer than what they were used to at that stage.
Although Ivy could have arrived at any moment, we were insistent we got in the water for delivery, so the midwives set up the birth pool which they promptly moved me to. As we had hoped, we only had one midwife and a care assistant present throughout who were truly amazing and listened to our requests the whole way through.
Lorraine and Maria were non intrusive and provided unwavering and constant support throughout, I never felt alone or panicked. Due to my first delivery, I was still categorised as high risk so the Doctors came to assess me and give their input. However, much to our relief, our brilliant Midwife insisted they had everything under control and weren’t needed.
When we reached the pool, Adam set up an aromatherapy burner with lavender oil, the hypnobirthing instrumental and some electric candles to help me stay calm.
Surges continued and intensified as I moved towards the final stage of labour. The water helped enormously to ease any discomfort and enabled me to stay on my knees without it being too tiring.
Throughout I used gas and air during surges and hypnobirthing techniques in between, with Adam using the massage strokes we had learnt in the classes.
At 9:50 they asked me to stand to run the Doppler over my stomach and check Ivy’s heart rate. Once up, I wasn’t able to sit back down as the urge to push was really strong.
Ivy was born 10 minutes later and the midwife caught her as she came out and passed our 7lb 7oz baby to me.
We enjoyed some beautiful time cuddling our new baby girl, the feeling was just amazing and we were instantly in love.
Afterwards, the midwives told us they really enjoyed helping us deliver Ivy and more people could learn from us and the calm and organised approach we took to birth.
We spent the next few hours in the room adjoining the birthing suite and this time round I only needed a few small stitches and we were sent home within 7 hours. A vast improvement on my first baby who, as a premmie, was kept in for 8 days.
Every birth involves hard work and can offer different challenges but we truly believe that hypnobirthing equips parents with the necessary tools to have the best delivery possible. The mind is often said to be the most powerful influence in many situations and if you can start with changing your mindset half your work is already done.