This is Emma’s birth story. I don’t know about you but all of these newborn pics are making me so broody! Thank you for sharing with us Emma! …
Where was your birth?
Harper was born at the same hospital I was 30 years ago, the John Radcliffe in Oxford. Also like her Mama, she arrived on her due date!
Did you have a plan about the type of birth you wanted?
I naturally like to plan things, but I had a wonderful hypnobirthing teacher (who also happens to be one of my closest friends) who encouraged me to have a list of wishes rather than an exact plan. This worked really well on the day as although I didn’t have the birth I’d initially wanted, the midwives tried really hard to make sure that it incorporated as many of my ‘wants’ as possible.
I had hoped all throughout my pregnancy to give birth on the midwife-led unit. I was initially deemed a high-risk labour due to other health issues, but at 36 weeks I was given the go-ahead to give birth where I wanted.
The only other thing I was really adamant about was that I didn’t want to know was the sex of the baby; sadly this was let slip during our 36-week scan. I was the only person that heard, so luckily it was still a surprise for my husband.
What type of birth did you have?
I went into labour around midnight, and after progressing really quickly at home, we headed to the hospital around 4.30am. I don’t recall much of the car journey, other than giving instructions about the heating! The Midwives had initially been hesitant about me coming in when I’d spoken to them on the phone, and it felt like they took a while to assess me. It was only when they realised that I was fully dilated that they confessed that they thought I was too calm to be that far along. I was then quickly whisked to one of the rooms with a birthing pool. Unfortunately although the early stages of labour progressed really quickly, I was pushing for around 4 hours. The baby was being monitored closely throughout and she seemed to be coping well, which is why I was allowed to continue for so long. Eventually I was moved onto the delivery suite, where I had an episiotomy. When Harper entered the world, it soon became clear why it had taken a while; she was a whole 9lb 6oz, and had turned during labour so was back-to-back.
I’d hoped for a natural labour and aside from gas and air for the last hour, and some local anaesthetic, I managed to do it without pain relief.
During labour, two things stood out. I remember arriving at the hospital and it feeling so calm. Usually travelling to the hospital was stressful, it’s known for it’s traffic issues and there are people everywhere. On the morning Harper was born, it was still dark when we arrived and there was nobody about, I recall just stopping and appreciating how quiet it was. I also remember being in the birthing pool as the sun was coming up and having an amazing view of the Oxford skyline. Not a bad view as you’re bringing another human into the world!
After the birth was a bit of a blur if I’m honest, but I just remember this amazing feeling of love, and also relief that my little girl had arrived safely.
Best thing you packed in your hospital bag (or used if you were at home)?
Bendy straws (super handy for when you want to drink in the birthing pool), and biscuits! I seemed to miss all of the meal times, so aside from the post-birth tea and toast, I didn’t really eat all day, they also helped fuel me through a sleepless night on the ward.
Anything else you would like to share?
There is so much negativity around birth, do your own research particularly around pain relief options. I was sure that I’d always want an epidural, but when I read more about it, I chose to go down the natural route.
As I’ve mentioned, the staff really tried to put me off coming into hospital as they didn’t believe that my labour was that far along (I appeared to be coping too well), trusset your instincts and go when it feels right for you.
If you are interested in sharing your birth story, contact me, Keira at info @ mamadesigns.co.uk (no spaces) xx