Monica's Birth Story:
During my first stages of pregnancy, the first and second trimester ran smoothly. During my third trimester, I was having growth scans as my baby was slightly on the bigger size. The scans showed that my baby was average size and weight but due to my frame (as I’m petite), my baby was big for my body. During my last scan at 36 weeks, my baby was in an oblique position. I was also given a glucose test, which I needed to monitor for a week by testing my sugar levels an hour after meals.
During these times, I referred to hypnobirthing, which Joanna taught us. Joanna sent me a link to encourage my baby to position itself correctly without having any interventions from doctors. I did these regularly whilst also visualising my baby turning and engaged in the correct position. Two days later, I had an appointment at the hospital to be assessed. The doctor felt my baby and after just two days, baby was engaged and in position. The doctor suggested an induction due to the growth of the baby and said I may struggle to push the baby out if the baby continued to grow as the shoulders would be difficult for me push. Under pressure and not having my husband (birth partner) with me due to Covid, I agreed and had an induction booked in. I also wanted a water birth in the birth centre but I was told I wasn’t able to do so.
My initial response and my gut feeling was to say no. I came home, referred back to the hypnobirthing book, my notes from Joanna and I listened to the hypnobirthing tracks. I referred back to ‘My baby will come when my baby is ready.’ I called the hospital to cancel my induction only to be told that I needed to be reassessed before cancelling. I made my way to the hospital, the doctor assessed me once again and I cancelled my induction. They once again suggested that I should not go beyond 41 weeks due to the growth and book in an induction. I was so happy that I listened to myself and my instinct (BRAINS from hypnobirthing) as I was able to cancel my 39 week induction.
At 39 weeks, my waters had broken and I made my way to the hospital with my husband. At the hospital, I was seen to by the doctor who monitored the baby’s heartrate, my blood pressure etc. My baby was still in position and although I was getting surges, I was not in an established labour. The doctor told me I was no longer classed as ‘high risk’ and as long as my surges grew stronger and more frequent, I would be able to use the birth centre and have the water birth I had always wanted. If not, they would place the oxytocin drip on me to start labour. They gave my husband a bed and throughout the night, I was walking up and down the room that I was in, bounced on the pregnancy ball and drank lots of water.
At 5.30a.m, the doctors assessed me but unfortunately, I wasn’t in an established labour. I was having surges but the surges were not close or strong enough. They placed the oxytocin drip in me and we waited patiently. During this time, I closed my eyes, listened to my hypnobirthing tracks and started my breathing techniques, which Joanna has taught us. I was getting surges but manageable. After a couple hours, the doctors checked me and I was still not in an established labour. The doctors increased the dosage of the oxytocin drip and told me if I wasn’t in an established labour soon, they would need to talk to me about other options.
At about 11a.m. the surges began to draw close together and I was given gas and air as my birth plan stated. After reading my birth plan, my midwife was incredibly supportive and said she would not offer me pain relief but to wait for me to request any if needed. I continued to visualise, breathe and use the gas and air by using the hypnobirthing techniques. The surges were getting stronger and stronger but I continued to use the techniques Joanna taught us. When I was ready to push, my midwife reminded me to use the ‘down breathing’ and I remembered practising this with Joanna. I breathed downwards twice and my baby’s head emerged. Another ‘down breath’ and my beautiful baby boy was born at 1.27p.m.