I love how first-time mum Kate’s birth story begins in her relaxing place! And how calm, relaxed and in control she was throughout – using her breathing techniques to breathe through every surge.

A calm and natural first birth

I  had a great last day at work on Friday 22nd June, was given lots of lovely gifts and many good wishes. I left looking forward to having 3 weeks annual leave to rest up and get things sorted, before maternity leave kicked in…

On the Monday I went down to the coast with my parents and my auntie and uncle for a nice relaxing first day off work, as the weather was so nice. We go to the coast a few times a year. I used to go on holiday there as a child and it was also my happy place when using the hypnobirthing techniques.

My mum, auntie and myself even got into the sea which was pretty cold, as it was the beginning of our heatwave. We ate at the cafe we always eat at, I had strangely fancied and enjoyed a cup of green tea, which I had gone off during my pregnancy but for some reason just fancied it again…

We were about to head home after all having an ice cream, when I suggested we have a short walk along the cliff top. During this walk I began to feel just a little heavy and uncomfortable, which had not been normal for me as I had been pretty active throughout the pregnancy. I didn’t want to make a fuss so carried on until, thankfully, my Auntie said we should go back to the car.

On the car journey home I started feeling very very mild ‘period pains’ and didn’t think much of it, although I had noticed they were coming every 10 minutes. After 30 minutes I decided to mention it so I said ‘I don’t want to alarm anyone but….’ Everyone kept calm, but my uncle did put his foot down a little (he had been joking about having towels and hot water ready on the way down).

The mild pains then seemed to stop, or at least were much less frequent, so I was sure it was just Braxton Hicks and went to meet a few friends for dinner. During dinner I just had to keep standing up from my chair, as I was a little uncomfortable, but thought nothing of it.

I drove home at approximately 10pm and stopped to get some petrol on the way home. I got out at the petrol station and  thought ‘oh crikey I think my waters have broken’. I got my petrol then drove home where I was then pretty sure my waters had broken,

Paul was on nights at work and I had even called him earlier in the day to tell him about the Braxton Hicks. I rang my mum for advice and then rang the hospital, at this point I was in no pain and was told to call back in an hour. This was the time the surges began, they were mild at first but gaining in intensity and frequency pretty quickly.

I then called Paul and said ‘I think you should come home even it is a false alarm, he left immediately and by the time he got home 20mins later the surges were about 2 mins apart. When he asked if we should call the hospital back I said ‘I think we should just go!’

ln the car I was focusing on my surge breathing and visualisation and counting down the breaths of each surge. We arrived at hospital and were told the delivery suites were very busy and to wait in the waiting room.

As we walked in Paul’s colleague from work was also waiting as his girlfriend’s waters had also broken, or so they thought. She was in no discomfort, which made me feel like a complete wimp but we found out afterwards that hers was a false alarm and she went on to have a little boy 2 weeks later.

By this time the surges felt pretty constant but I just kept my eyes closed, kept focused and concentrated on my surge breathing.

Eventually we were taken through to the assessment room and we were told I was 5-6cm dilated (at least they are not sending me home I thought).

We then stayed in this room for a while longer as they were cleaning the deliver suite for us. By this time I was getting pretty strong urges to push and told Paul  I needed some gas and air.

The midwife then came in and we were taken to the delivery suite. The midwife asked Paul what we wanted in terms of pain relief and I answered (unbeknown to me) just gas and air. I had thought I would take pain relief if I needed it, but I guess deep down I had decided I could cope with my breathing techniques.

We had been in the delivery suite for approximately one hour, when at 3:41am our gorgeous baby Bodhi Edward Mortimer arrived, he was 6lb 6oz and everything we could ever ask for.

 A picture of a beautiful newborn baby boy from a natural first birth story

We would like to thank you Deborah for all your your help and guidance, during our group hypnobirthing classes. due to Bodhi making his appearance 3 weeks early and me being very unorganised we didn’t have as much time to practice the techniques as much as we would have liked or to get our birth plan finalised. But I believe the breathing and relaxation techniques (the surge breathing in particular) played a vital role throughout the whole day, even making me believe it was just Braxton Hicks!!

Also I love the fact my labour story begins at my relaxing place!

Many thanks once again.

Kate and Paul

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