At 12.22am on 15 March Megan Skye arrived safely into the big wide world! My birth experience was truly amazing and one which I will remember for the rest of my life. My partner Adam was the best birthing partner I could have wished for and without his constant support, encouragement, excellent massage technique and strong shoulders, I would not have been able to deliver Megan without tearing, stitches or an epidural.
Also before launching into the detail of my birth story, I would personally like to thank you for your excellent tuition; I truly believe my birth experience would have been very different if I had not attended your classes.
My contractions started 14 March at 2am. Initially they were every 10 mins, I sat on my birthing ball rotating my hips to help move things along. I breathed through every contraction but by 10 am they still had not become regular but the pain was becoming more intense. At this stage, I moved to my next form of pain relief – the tens machine. This, however, seems to slow my contractions down and so at 2pm I stop using it and started walking up and down the stairs – the last thing I wanted was a marathon birth!
By 6.30pm the contractions became more regular but not every 5 mins. At this point I was becoming tired and my body started shaking. By 7pm we decided that they were regular enough to go to hospital plus I had some irregular bleeding and so the hospital was concerned and asked me to come in regardless.
On arrival at Chelsea and Westminster I was seen immediately by a highly experience midwife and student. They got to work straight away and at 8pm they told me I was 3cms dilated but the baby was posterior and would need help in turning. When the contractions came she turned the baby but unfortunately she broke my waters. She apologised but said this was good as the baby would come this evening. The relief brought tears to my eyes.
It was as if the midwife had attended some of your classes Nadia, because after refitting my tens machine she asked me to rotate my hips, whilst leaning towards a window, and doing the ‘aarh’ sound. Every time the contractions came I pushed my boost button and sounded the truly amazing ‘aarh’ sound – it worked a treat. Adam had his instructions to give me water at each contraction – which was a great distraction from the pain.
My arms started hurting and so in true John Wayne style I waddled over to the toilet for a rest. I, eventually, moved back to my window ledge and the midwife announced I was 8cms but the baby still was in the posterior position. The contractions at this stage were starting to come thick and fast. In order to turn the baby I was moved to the bed and at this stage I moved to my next stage of pain relief – gas and air.
As each contraction came, leaning over to my left side, I held Adam close to me (he is still recovering from the scars!) as the midwife helped me turn the baby. The contractions were now quick and fast and all I remember was telling Adam and the midwife how ‘crap the gas and air’ was – I guess I was in the transition stage!
Adam and the midwife offered me great encouragement which seemed to work better than the gas and air. After a short while I was ready to pushing.
At this stage the student midwife played a vital role and told me how to use the gas and air effectively when the contractions came. With a midwife on either side of me, my legs pressed against their shoulders, holding Adam tight to my chest (still) I started pushing. This required all my effort and concentration and after Megan teasing us with her presence – her head eventually appeared. The midwife determined for me not to tear or require stitches asked me to relax through the contractions and only push when she said.
One or two pushes later Megan was raised into the air and on to my chest. Adam and I had a beautiful baby daughter and an experience which neither of us will ever forget.
It is probably the hardest thing I have ever done in my life (even after running the New York marathon 8 weeks after appendicitis) but was the most rewarding of all my achievements but one which I would not have been able to achieve without the support of my partner Adam, yoga lessons and a good midwife.
I only have a few pieces of advice:
Invest in an EpiNod.
Take evening primrose tablets (2000mg from week 39)
Rotate those hips, sing ‘aarh’ as loud as you can.
AND ENJOY !