My name is Lynda Duke, I have done the Hypnobirthing course with Nicky Langley. The Hypnobirthing really helped to calm my fears. I was really looking forward to the birth of my baby. I wanted a natural water birth and to try with as little pain relief as possible but I always kept an open mind knowing that things may not always go as I wanted.
Two days before my due date after a relaxing evening in watching a film with my husband my waters broke 10:30 PM. My initial reaction was sheer excitement. I just couldn’t believe that my waters had broken as I know it’s unusual and doesn’t happen every birth. Me and Andrew quickly packed our things my suitcase was with mainly packed already. I said goodbye to our dog Daisy. Then we were off to City hospital. Whilst in the car, I called my mum and my mother-in-law and my sister absolutely thrilled and excited. We got to the hospital just after 11pm when I left the car. My waters broke again thankfully I was wearing a pad. Andrew thought he left his mobile in the car so I made my way up by myself to the maternity ward. At this stage my waters broke yet again. Andrew came and joined me. The midwife Linda examined me and said I was 1 cm dilated and no contractions. I was asked if I wanted to be induced. I said no and asked if I could wait till the morning. I also made it really clear that I wanted to waterbirth if it was possible. The midwife called my doctor and they were fine with that but I would have to wait until I was having regular contractions. As my waters had broken I had to stay in hospital. Me and my husband went to our room. At first I was too excited to sleep but then I realised I might not get much rest the next day so I tried to sleep. At 3:30am I was woken up by a contraction. I was so excited I ran out to tell the midwife. She told me to wait until they are closer together. I went back to bed but just could not sleep it almost felt like Christmas morning when I was a child. However it was 40 minutes until I felt my next contraction. At that stage I’d given up on sleeping and took a shower instead. By 530am I had showered washed my hair and put my make-up on. At 6am my husband woke and Linda came in to check me. I had not dilated any further and her examination lead to yet more amniotic fluid leaking. Linda then told me after discussing with the doctor that my contractions were not progressing as fast as they needed to considering my waters had broken. I needed to put on oxytocin to encourage my contractions.She told me unfortunately a waterbirth will not be possible due to having to be monitored. I questioned this further and then understood this better. By this stage it was 7am Linda tried to do the IV but it didn’t work. She ended up getting a nurse in to insert the IV. Linda’s shift had ended and another midwife called Alia came in. She was lovely Italian but of Albanian origins. The Oxytocin started to work and my contractions were about 5/6 minutes apart. This was my favourite time as I was so excited. I breathed through my contractions and found them to be fine and manageable. The times in between I listened to my playlist, I watched some comedy (the IT crowd) and just generally relaxed. I stayed on the bouncing ball that helped too. I was really relaxed and calm. Then they upped the oxytocin to about 18 that’s when it got a little bit harder. Had less time between contractions about 3-4minutes but with the waves of relaxation and breathing, it was manageable. I then tried gas and air which worked nicely during this period of time.
Then they put the oxytocin up to 24. That’s when It became really challenging. Mainly because I had no time between contractions. I went into the bathroom and used the ball in the shower with water spraying on my belly but unfortunately I could not stay there as I need to be monitored due to the level of oxytocin I was on. I understood this but wished I could have stayed there as it was the only thing providing real relief at that point. The gas and air was no good as the contractions were just too close together. At this stage I started thinking about the epidural but knew I’d hold on until 1pm when they would check me and see how far I was At 1pm they checked me to see how far I was dilated, I was only 4cm. This was a little disappointing but I had anticipated it. From a combination of a lack of sleep and the unrelenting contractions, I then requested the epidural. I was happy to do so as i had given it a lot of time (6 hours) and tried everything else.
The epidural went really smoothly I was of course scared but I had to keep still. Easier said than done when the contractions are coming wave after wave.
I felt instant relief and slept for two hours as I really needed that. I woke up at 3pm feeling great again. They checked and I’d gone from 4 to 5 cm. The type of epidural it was I was able to still move my legs and the midwife and for me that I would still be able to have a birth sitting upwards and not on my back as I’d not wanted. That was really positive and I was in good spirits. I continued with waves of relaxation and watching the IT crowd again. At 4pm I was 6 cm dilated. I was so excited and delighted that things seem to be going the right way.
At 5pm I was measured again and still only 6 cm I did not let this bother me. I continued doing what I was doing. Then at 6pm Dr Johanna came in and checked I was still 6 cm and the midwife confirmed this. They said they would check again at 8pm I continued doing what I was doing but I was starting to suspect that something drastic may have to happen as I knew that babies cannot stay long inside the womb without water. However, I didn’t think about that, there was no point in worrying or stressing about it. Yet again I went back to the IT crowd and enjoyed watching my comedy show. Then at 8pm Johanna I examined me again. I was still 6 cm. She calmly explained to me that it was now 22 hours that my baby had been without water, that the risk of infection was increasing. Also baby’s head was nowhere near engaged and she diagnosed me with CPD (one to look up on Google some day). She said they’d tried everything and now a c-section would be necessary. Looking back, I’m amazed at how calm I was. I suspected this might be the case but all I cared about was holding my baby in my arms. I kept the mantra ‘I will remain calm and relaxed whatever turn my birthing takes’. However my poor husband was not quite so calm and burst into tears. He had been so amazing but I think he just didn’t see it coming. He’d refused to discuss or even entertain the idea that a csection might be necessary. Thankfully I continued to remain calm and focused on my baby’s arrival. I’d made my preferences should c-section occur clear. I confirmed with my doctor about the skin to skin and delayed cord clamping. I was wheeled into surgery. I was given the medication. I was numbed from the ribs down. I shook from the medication but still felt calm and happy, my baby was coming after all! My husband came in and I had to reassure him that the shaking was because of the medication and I was actually fine. It all went by so fast. Staff were relaxed and chatty, it was out of hours so I think they’d been on standby. Me and my husband held hands and waited. I felt nothing, other than a light pressing near my ribs. Then we heard a little cry, I felt my heart jump into my mouth. The wait to see my baby felt like an eternity. The finally our baby boy was held out in front of us. He was so perfect we immediately burst into tears. He was never out of my sight after that as per my wishes, we had immediate skin to skin and once I was wheeled out of surgery we commenced breastfeeding.
Overall, I can look back at my baby’s birth with great happiness and contentment knowing I did everything I could for him to arrive safely. I am still amazed at how calm I remained even through the c-section. The recovery was hard but I used the calming techniques to breathe through the uterine contractions, they were surprisingly painful. I also used the techniques to help me get myself out of bed too. I would highly recommend hypnobirthing classes to anyone. Nicky was marvellous and very understanding. I knew a lot of things that I would never have known before and knowledge really is power. That said, you can have preferences but you never know what kind of birth you’ll actually get until the day. I’ve got my healthy baby boy Alexander and that is the only thing that really matters at the end of the day. I even feel a burst of happiness every time I pass City hospital knowing it’s where I first saw my baby.