Hayley's Story - baby arrived before mum's elective C-section date!
"I wanted to share my birth story as it was one of the most amazing and empowering experiences I have ever had! Please bear in mind I never thought I would write such a line to describe the birth of my beautiful baby boy. He is my third child and I had two traumatic births prior to this little man. My first born was born at 31 weeks and I had previously spent a month on bed rest as my waters went at 27 weeks - she was born naturally but the placenta wouldn't come so I had to have an epidural and a manual removal (not at all pleasant). My next labour was excruciating as baby was back to back and in a bad position - 19 hours later this resulted in an emergency c-section and an epidural that hit my nerve sheath and caused my left leg to have foot drop (couldn’t lift my foot and had to drag my leg for 6 months after the birth - have about 80% feeling back now and feel fine - I was lucky).
So as you can imagine with those birth experiences behind me I was nervous to say the least about the delivery of my little boy. I had some tough decisions ahead.
I decided I needed to do an antenatal class to help calm me down, teach me some techniques to use whilst in labour and to meet some mums in my area (I have recently moved to West Yorkshire from Hertfordshire so meeting Mum’s was high on my list of things to do). I started Amanda’s classes (MummyNatal) and after the first session felt instantly relaxed and more in tune with my own body, as the weeks went by I felt empowered and strong - her mantra of being strong, confident and calm struck a cord with me and became my personal mantra. I practiced the breathing techniques in my everyday life - especially when the girls were being hard to handle, I even introduced them to the MummyNatal soundtrack from the class (that was to become my birth music) it has a calming effect on them too.
I made the decision to schedule in a C-section for Thursday 30th April - secretly hoping that baby would have other plans and come before that but also airing on the side of caution that if he didn't I would have a plan in place to avoid an emergency situation like before.
Turns out the little man did have other plans and on the Tuesday I started to contract whilst eating my breakfast. I sorted the girls out with friends and my husband and I went to the local hospital where they put me on the monitors at 10.30am. Turns out my contractions stopped when the monitors went on and following an examination at 12pm I was told I wasn't in labour! I knew otherwise, my contractions with all three have been erratic and things can progress fast so I stayed put - by 4pm that day things were getting rather uncomfortable and on examination I was 6cm dilated and they were rushing for a delivery room. By the time I got there an hour later I was 8cm. I can honestly say that I dealt with each contraction in the most positive way, I acknowledged that the pain was good in that it was helping bring my little man into the world and I closed my eyes through each one, got on the birthing ball and used my breathing technique to breathe through each one, yes some were big and painful but I never felt out of control like I had in previous labours, as each one passed I said to myself “you’ve got this, just stay calm”.
When I went into the delivery room I literally got comfortable - for me that was standing leaning over the bed and I closed my eyes and completely focussed on my breathing (with the help of some gas and air at this point!). I listened to my body and kept calm with my birthing music on in the background - I was swaying when I needed to, screamed when it got intense - just completely let go and went with it. By 6.58pm I birthed my beautiful baby boy into the arms of the midwife. Everything went so well and I feel so proud of myself that I did it!
I’m sharing my story to let other nervous Mothers know that no matter how bad the previous experience, every baby and labour is different. When you have more trust in your body, techniques to help you manage through the pain, and have a positive outlook on labour, great things can happen. Even if things do take a turn for the worse and other things have to happen to deliver your baby, the ability to stay calm and in control can still make it a positive experience. Thank you Amanda for all you have taught me. xxx"