So when I found myself pregnant with my 2nd baby, I didn’t want to do my refresher with her, and a friend of mine told me about a great home-study course that she had used. I bought the home-study course, and was delighted that I would have 7 mp3s to listen to as I am much better being guided in hypnosis and meditations. So with my knowledge from the previous course and the home study, I felt really ready for labour by the time my baby was ready to come out, and I knew that if it was fast again I would be much better prepared.
About 6 months after my super-fast labour with my son, I bumped into my hypnobirthing instructor. She asked me how labour went and I told her it had been really fast, and hadn’t been quite what I expected. Her response surprised me and made me a little bit cross. ‘Oh yes, short and sharp – it doesn’t work for short and sharp’. I was surprised because I had still been raving about my ‘hypnobirth’ and I was cross, because I felt that if she knew that why did she let me believe my labour would be at least 8 hours and I would have plenty of time to get into my ‘zone’.I awoke on the day of my EDD – (how many times do I say to people ignore your EDD – it’s your due month!) to know that I was in labour. I had some mild, but regular surges as I was lying in bed. When Rob woke I told him that I was pretty sure I was in labour and went downstairs to call the midwife.
My mum, who this time had come over from her home in Kenya in plenty of time, happened to be staying with us that night, so she took charge of getting out little boy ready to go off to his other Granny’s house for the day (I had put together a rota with my best friends and the two grannies on to make sure he was looked after).
The midwife I called suggested that I should call back in an hour. They were just about to do a shift change, and so I would be better calling then, and I didn’t sound like I was very far on. I pointed out that I had had a few surges during our conversation, I was hypnobirthing and that my previous labour had been less than 3 hours. However, I think that fell on deaf ears and I politely agreed.
So I went upstairs to get in the bath for a nice wallow (at 6ft 1 it’s quite hard to wallow in a standard bath, but I tried). The next thing mum walked in to tell me she was off, just as I was having a huge surge – panic set in as I really had it in my head that Reuben, and mum should be out of the house when I birth (hindsight is a wonderful thing – I wish I hadn’t set this need in my mind as it really didn’t matter if they were still there). As the panic arose the surge became painful – I’d had a release of adrenaline through fear that he was still there. I needed to refocus. Which I was able to do as soon as I knew Reuben was safely on his way to his Granny and Grandpa’s.
I asked Rob to call the midwives back as things were happening fast. The next thing I remember is swaying side to side in the bedroom Rob popped his head in the door and told me the midwives had said they would be 30 – 40 minutes, cue another panic from me – I was pretty sure I was moving from the first stage of labour into birthing my baby. This baby was not hanging about. Rob thankfully was already blowing up and filling the birthing pool – but I wasn’t allowed to get in until the midwives arrived.
I went into the bathroom and ended up on the bathroom floor trying desperately not to have my baby on the floor, without a midwife around. I could feel my baby moving down the birth canal and I was breathing through each surge to keep her in. The relief I felt was incredible when the midwife, the lovely Tina Till from the Northampton Home birth team, poked her head through the door and said ‘Hello, can you make it downstairs?’.
Yes! I absolutely could, there was no way I was going to miss out on a water birth for the 2nd time! So she gave me a little puff of gas and air, and I rushed downstairs (yes I actually did rush), and got into the pool. Something wasn’t quite right, what was that noise? ‘Umm, there’s a hole in the pool’ said Rob. ‘Oh, OK, came my response’. The midwife said it was OK to be in it for now and we would keep an eye on it. Rob turned off the pump, so I no longer felt like I was in a Jacuzzi, and calm ensued. I was given a Doppler check to make sure little one’s heartbeat was OK and Tina, said ‘I’ll just go and get my other bag’. ‘The head’s out!’ came my response and much to everyone’s surprise but mine, our little girl Indi was born, just 2 hours and 15 minutes after I woke up in labour and with the 2nd stage of labour being only a minute long.
It was another amazing experience for me. Again, not quite the birth that we had planned (who would plan for a hole to be in the birth pool), but except for the two moments of panic, I felt totally in control. Even with a hole in the pool, I wasn’t fazed. I am pretty sure using hypnobirthing had enabled me to breathe through my natural urges to bear down and birth my baby until we had a midwife with us and I was in the pool. I am not sure I could have held on much longer, but I didn’t need to and it turned out just perfectly.
I got out of the pool to birth the placenta and cuddle my beautiful little girl, whilst all around me there was a great hurry to empty the pool before it emptied itself onto the floor, thankfully Sally O’connell, our 2nd midwife had arrived by this time too. I was in a total blissful bubble.
After a few hours of Rob and I spending some precious time with our new baby, mum arrived with our excited little boy. I couldn’t wait to see him and have our family of four together for the first time. It will always be one of the most precious moments of my life.
Shortly after that, Rob’s mum and dad arrived with a bottle of champagne, and we all sat in the living room with the newest member of our family, celebrating her birth. It was magical and I found out that even with an even shorter labour, with the right tools and techniques, they worked.
Read Reuben's birth story here