Around 36 weeks I started experiencing Braxton Hicks at night and one night they were so strong I got excited thinking I’d be going into labour and I’d have my baby soon; I was so excited I didn’t sleep and got up the next day exhausted and with no baby in sight! So when I was 38+2 and I had BH again, I assumed it was more of the same and tried to get to sleep. My waters broke that night at 1am, having not managed to get to sleep.
I called Triage at the hospital and was advised that they’d get me to come in, check me over and send me home again. I turned this offer down and chose to stay at home for a few hours to see how I felt. Within an hour, my contractions had kicked in and were every three minutes. After two hours we decided to head to the hospital to get checked over where we were told that I was 1cm dilated and to go home. We decided that a drive to the Borders would “take my mind off it” and drove the 30-odd miles to drop our dog off at my granny’s house.
Within an hour of arriving there, my contractions were coming hard and fast every minute and lasting a minute each. I wanted to get back to the hospital so we made our way back again and were told that I still wasn’t “established enough”. This was where my body and gut instincts came in. I refused to go home. I wanted to stay in the birth centre and ideally try to get in the birthing pool as soon as possible. Two midwives suggested I go home but I stood firm and refused (had it not been for my pregnancy yoga class I would not have had the courage or conviction to do this) and so rested for an hour trying to gain some energy in between contractions.
I went in the birth pool, as was my birth plan, and settled into my contractions. This time can only be described as primal – I was concentrating only on every contraction and couldn’t verbalise anything. I remember the midwife getting the gas and air machine ready for me and I couldn’t even say to her that I didn’t want it. My midwives (one of which was a student) were great and observed all of my preferences made in my birth plan, including that I didn’t want them to announce the sex of the baby – that I wanted to find out for myself.
My intuition with my own body informed my decisions and choices
13 hours after my waters broke, our baby was born in the birth pool (just 5 hours after I’d been told to go home again!). My intuition with my own body informed my decisions and choices and allowed me to have a positive birth and ensured the safe and happy arrival of our baby boy.
A massive thank you to Kim for sharing her story. There’s so many elements about this story that I really want to highlight:
- Staying at home after waters had broken – if you’re feeling well there’s often no need to go to hospital – this is the time to nest build and reserve your energy
- Trusting her instincts that she was in the right place – often it’s that going backwards and forwards to hospital that disrupts labour as it causes so much stress and anxiety – why a homebirth often has much better outcomes as this transfer has gone
- Going into her body – you absolutely do not need to talk in labour – you need to turn off the thinking brain and go into your body – it’s absolutely fine to put in your birth plan that you want minimal/no talking
- Respectful care from the midwives in terms of following birth plans and choices
You can follow Kim over on her insta feed, @the_wee_food_blogger, where she entertains us with all the places she’s been to in and around Edinburgh and loads of lush recipes and food highlights on her insta stories.
Much love, Tricia xxx