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Birth Story of the Month - Mandy & Rosie

Every month I will be sharing a birth story with you, to inform and inspire. No two births are the same, and hopefully with the stories from clients and friends, you will see you can achieve positive outcomes, despite your birthing journey.

This story is from Mandy Goodbody, a client of mine who gave birth to sweet little Rosie at the end of August...

Facts: Homebirth, second baby, 7 hours

Proud new parents with Little Rosie

My first birth story is far from a positive one. I was10 days overdue when labour started. The minute we got in the car to go to the hospital everything slowed down resulting in 3 days of stop and start 'latent labour' (oh how I HATE that term!) 

I had a very medicalised birth, with an induction and epidural. And even though I got a beautiful healthy little girl at the end, I still felt pretty traumatised by the whole experience.

Second time round, I wanted to take as much control over the birth as possible. To me the best way to do this was to book a Hypnobirthing course with Birth Easy With Georgia. After analysing my last experience we decided the hospital environment was where it all went wrong for me and decided a homebirth was the way to go. My husband, Chris, was a little apprehensive at first but after some research and finding out that statistically it is safe, he was on board!

A week before Rosie was born, I'd lost my mucus plug, and my mind instantly started expecting labour to start that night, to say I was excited is putting it mildly! Fast forward to the following Thursday, almost a week later and no baby, I was feeling disappointed. I had been feeling uncomfortable with a lot of pelvic pressure all week, and what I think were Braxton Hicks (but still not totally sure!), every evening I'd gone to bed thinking this will this be the night, just to wake up the next morning, still pregnant and no sign of baby. My due date had just been and gone and I was beginning to think I might have been a little premature and needed to lower my expectations! Having completed the Hypnobirthing course I knew how important it was to keep calm and relaxed so I tried to stay chilled and look at the positives, I was only one day over and I'd not had all these niggles and signs at this stage first time round. 

I literally whipped my clothes off and jumped in the pool and said "I need to push!".

At 3.30am Friday I stirred to a surge, I knew it could be a one off or a false alarm, and if it was the real thing I wanted to try and sleep as long as possible to stay rested. They continued every half hour but I managed to doze in between them. Around 6.30am my 3-year-old daughter woke up so we all went downstairs for breakfast. Once I was up they started to get closer together pretty quickly - approximately every 4 minutes. I'll be truthful, they did hurt! But armed with my Hypnobirthing breathing techniques they were totally manageable.

Chris started to set up the pool, at 7.20am I decided it was time to call the midwife! Unfortunately she was out for the day so we got in touch with the midwife on call, Sara. On speaking to her she said I sounded like I was handling it well, and that she'd be over in about an hour. I think speaking on the phone slowed the surges down a little, once I got off the phone, I messaged my sister, and sent my daughter off for the day at her cousins telling her that when she came back she would get to meet her little brother or sister! The minute she left I must have relaxed because the surges started to get stronger, by now they were around every 3 and a half minutes and lasting about a minute each. It was around this time I decided to stop timing them, it was distracting me from my breathing exercises and I didn't really think it mattered at this point.

The midwife arrived about 8.30am, she wanted to listen to the baby's heart and feel my tummy to check position. She said she thought this was probably still the 'latent phase' (oh no she didn't!!) and we might have a while. I found this disheartening and started to worry that I wasn't handling it well because I didn't think I could deal with the surges for all that much longer. We decided I should keep doing what I was doing, Sara had some phone calls to make and said she may pop out and do some local visits depending on how things progress, so she sat in our lounge next door to where the birthing pool was, to get some work done and left me to it which we both agreed was the best plan.

There are no words to describe the relief I felt the minute I got in that water, it was a dream and the pain just melted away. 

About half an hour later she popped her head round to see how I was doing, and said she will stay for another half hour and, depending on progression, may pop out and stay local. She reminded me that my birth preferences said that I wanted to try and stay active during labour so suggested I have a walk around, maybe go upstairs or do some chores (I thought are you bloody joking!!?). By now the pool was sitting there ready and waiting I asked when I should get in and she warned me if I'm not at the active labour stage yet it might slow things down. I pushed myself to go upstairs and actually did manage to put some washing away, I was feeling a little out of my depth but carrying on with my breathing techniques, around this time I had some paracetamol. 

While I was upstairs (around 10am) Chris put on the playlist I had made for my first labour. It was full of songs I love and special meaningful ones like the ones from our wedding, so I thought I'd go downstairs and sit on the ball for a bit and concentrate on breathing through the surges whilst listening to that. He then suggested putting on a video montage we had made of our daughters first year. Five minutes into that my surges got more intense, the midwife came in and as she was leaving the room, my breathing changed, and I made a pushing noise on my exhale, I literally whipped my clothes off and jumped in the pool and said "I need to push!". There are no words to describe the relief I felt the minute I got in that water, it was a dream and the pain just melted away. 

From here things went so quickly my next few surges were my body pushing and I could feel the babies head coming out. Sara talked me through it as she was watching with the mirror, at the point the head was at its largest she told me to pant to stop it coming too quickly, at 10.24am the head was born, then a hand, quickly followed by the body, which Sara helped to pass through my legs. She prompted me to take baby up to my body, a beautiful baby girl, who we named Rosie.

The Golden Hour - Mandy & Rosie

Because it was such a rush to get in the pool Chris hadn't had time to top the temperature up so it had got a little too cold for Rosie, and to be honest, by then I was keen to get out too. We decided to do skin-to-skin in the lounge while I fed her. Just as I got out of the pool I had a surge and the placenta started to come out. I ended up delivering the placenta there, which is just aswell, it was quick and saved our new lounge carpet, so I was happy! I was very lucky and got away with just a few grazes and no stitches. We spent ages on the sofa, doing skin-to-skin and feeding while Chris had a clean up and Sara wrote up the notes. By 2pm Sara had gone home, the house was back to normal, and Nelly (big sis) was home, meeting her little sister. Everything was just perfect!

The only thing I would change about my birth and my advice to any first time Hypnobirthing mum is this: Believe in yourself! I doubted myself all the way through labour, I kept telling myself I was failing at Hypnobirthing, because the surges still hurt a lot, and when the midwife said she thought I was in the latent phase of labour still  (a trigger of anxiety for me because of my first birth) I took her word for it and thought "If I can only just deal with this pain then how the hell am I going to deal with the active stage? Have I made a huge mistake doing this at home!!??" What I didn't realise is I was well in to the active stage and dealing with it like a boss. Instead of losing control and panicking when she said that, I carried on. I had the most amazing birth I could've imagined which I genuinely believe I have Georgia and her course to thank for!

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