A wonderful second water birth

Jess came to my group course for her first pregnancy and went onto have a wonderful water birth – she came back for a refresher class and shares her wonderful second water birth story here.

A photo of a second time mum in a pool after just delivering her baby, from A wonderful second water-birth

One thing I really had to focus on this time round was not letting people’s comments in…

Some of you may have read my first birth story. And not that long ago. There’s 16 months between my two boys.  Can you believe it?! We decided to go in for round two and have two babies under the age of 2!

‘I’ll have my work cut out’, they said.
‘You’ve been busy. Was it planned?!’
‘Are you going to keep the dog?’
‘Better you than me’, they said.

So keeping in my own bubble was a major focus of this 9 months of pregnancy. And to be honest I had to work hard at it. It made me not enjoy my pregnancy as much as the first time, Having to justify our choices.

During this pregnancy myself and Chris had a Hypno refresher with Deborah. I had an amazing birth first time round but I had more nerves this time. Mainly because I had such a good first birth – a natural water delivery, that I was anxious that this may not happen again.

Once I’d had my refresher I came out of it feeling excited to give birth again, and not anxious if it wasn’t to go the way I planned. Any way would be the right way on the day.

As it happens I was extremely fortunate to have another amazing birth experience and our baby arrived 4 days early! A relief! As Orin, our first son was induced two weeks late.

So let’s rewind back to Wednesday the 17th of October… the day before I became a mum of boys!

I’d woken up, usual day, dropped Orin at nursery and decided to go and do a food shop. I guess looking back at what was in my trolley, you could say I’d stocked up with a big shop!

After picking Orin up from nursery we headed to my aunty’s house. Little did I know later that evening she had said to my mum to keep her phone close as she’d be getting a call in the night. I was apparently restless and my Aunty knew that night I’d go into labour.

We had a friend for dinner later that evening and we’d really laughed. I remember feeling really refreshed, like we hadn’t laughed like that for a while. It was nice.

I woke around 3am to a few cramps and wondered if this was anything, two rushed trips to the toilet and thought I’d better start timing… As I proceeded to time them, Chris was already up, putting his clothes on, excited for the hours ahead.

As expected my surges were timing quite close together and thought we’d give my mum a call to head over to stay at ours with Orin.

4:30am, bags in the car, phoned the hospital, oh shit, haven’t shaved my armpits! Back upstairs!

It was such a nice drive to the RBH in the early hours. The sun was slowly coming up, no cars on the road. We were chatting, laughing with excitement, reminiscing over Orin’s birth, singing along to Dire Straits on the radio.

We arrived and went up to midwife led unit, but not without a selfie in the lift to let our families know what was going down.

By this point I was surging every 3 or so minutes but I was only 1cm dilated. I made the midwives aware that I will probably dilate quite quickly once I start, as I did previously.

They seemed happy for me to just do as I please with no intervention unless necessary. They had commented on how calm we both were and Chris was chatting to the midwives about how we’ve done Hypno and how it’s kept us both on a really calm and positive road with birthing.

We set up camp in what seemed to be a waiting area that they blocked off for just us along side a bathroom, pregnancy ball and a sofa bed.

A midwife came in just every so often to listen to the heart beat and check all was ok with us. She communicated with Chris as by this point, as I was in my own zone, lights down, breathing with a damp flannel over my eyes. Complete darkness for my concentration was all I needed.

Chris just sat back and relaxed, both checking in with one another to see if either one of us were ok. He knew not to stroke me or pander to me as I’m best left.

I must admit I was less focused on this birth than my first. This is not saying I didn’t enjoy the challenge, I’m competitive, but I did have to keep checking in with myself to keep my focus, telling myself I can do this again, just relax your body.

As expected I knew I had dilated and told Chris to let the midwife know I was ready for the water. They’d trusted my judgement and walked me through to the pool. Still with my trusted flannel over my eyes I took this lady’s hand and she walked me to the birthing pool suit. I remember thinking she smelt so nice, her hands and voice were comforting and she introduced herself as Harriet (my sister’s name) that was it, she made me feel so ready to do this!

Getting into the pool I felt super excited, to obviously meet our new baby but also to give birth again! The water made me so relaxed. I felt Chris kneel down beside me and it was the first time I’d spoken for some time. I asked him if he was alright and told him he should take his hoodie off. In response he told me he was fine, and ‘don’t worry about me Jess!’ I then went on to say again ‘Chris take your hoodie off, you’ll get hot and be more comfortable’ The hoodie was off!

As like before the midwives just left us to it in the pool. Coming over just to check the heart beat after every surge. I went onto learn Bob-our midwife was in her final year of training. And she just asked her colleague to come in when baby was on it’s way.

Chris kept dampening my flannel with cold water and I made myself keep moving left, right and centre in the water, knowing movement will help move my baby down.

When I say I didn’t push, take that lightly. Naturally your body wants to push but what I mean by this is I got my body into such a relaxed state this time that I could feel our baby working his way out and my muscles working with him. Truly amazing!

I was in the pool for about 30minutes before our little Mari Hornby made an arrival. 7:46am, Weighing in at 9lbs 9oz! I delivered him myself. Something I always wanted to do. I felt him between my legs and with my last surge I pulled him out and onto my chest. An incredible experience!  And now I’m outnumbered in my house!

Hearing Chris laugh with emotion is a sound I enjoy.

A photo of a happy father and his newborn son, from A wonderful second water-birth

Being able to put faces to the voices I could hear whilst birthing. Bob, our amazing midwife, in her final year of training who kept thanking us for her experience. And to top it off it was her birthday!
We all just casually chatted whilst we waited for the cord to stop and then I naturally gave birth to my placenta.

A wonderful second water-birth

Im extremely lucky to have two amazing experiences with giving birth. I encourage anyone to look into hypnobirthing. And I will always tell people of the positive experiences I’ve had both times. Thank you Debs for helping us along our way and Thank you NHS!

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