The Birth Story of My Daughter
My daughter's birth story.
To be completely honest, it took me a long time to write down my daughter's birth story and I only managed to write it all down as I was attending a course with Michel Odent & Liliana Lammers this past summer. Now I'm sharing it here to show that any birth can be positive despite a few negatives during it.
My pregnancy with my daughter was quite easy and straightforward apart from a few minor things such as quite severe morning sickness (caused by fear) and some back pain.
I was really happy that the first trimester passed while we were still in lockdown (was probably the last lockdown of the Covid period) and I could cope with the morning sickness in private in the comfort of my own home instead of being at work. The morning sickness was no joke for me as it had gotten to the point where I couldn't even keep a single sip of water down and made a decision to go the the early pregnancy unit and then to the A&E (I think it was related to the fear of how my previous pregnancy ended which was missed miscarriage found at the 12 week scan). I had the most amazing doctors & nurses taking care of me and experienced probably one of the best feelings in the world - being able to eat properly without throwing up.
For the remainder of the pregnancy I had the most amazing midwives looking after me. I didn't feel any pressure from them to (not)do something and supported me every step of the way. I am beyond grateful to them. My pregnancy progressed well and went to even 41+ weeks, so at the 41-week appointment I was offered an induction which I had declined as we kind of have a family history of babies being born later than the guessed birth date (I was born 8 days later and my sister 16). The midwife was very understanding and noted it down. Though she did have to schedule an appointment for "induction" as she had to follow the hospital protocol, but informed me that I can tell them on the day that I do not want it and instead I will be offered extra monitoring to make sure that everything is ok. However, we didn't even get to that day.
The evening before everything started, I went to my for her to stroke my head and my back (she had come over to help us during the first week after the birth). It took me back to my childhood and I felt so relaxed. At one point my mom said to my bump "you know, maybe you want to come out now?" and she's convinced that her words got the whole birth process started later that night.
The waves (contractions) started around 1:30 am mildly and I could still sleep through them, but they started picking up and getting stronger in the next few hours, so around 5:15 am we arrived at the UCLH Birth Centre. After the vaginal examination (VE), the midwife said that I was 3 cm dilated and left me and my husband be. I was coping with the waves pretty well using hypnobirthing. The next check that I agreed to was around 9:30 am and I was at 6 cm, so the midwives (there were 2 and one of them was a student) prepared the pool for me for pain relief as I’m allergic to some medications and don’t do well with needles (gas & air didn’t work for me either) and the water felt very good. My waves continued as they were. My husband and one of the midwives took turns applying pressure on my lower back whilst I was in the pool as warm water wasn’t enough. The midwives wanted to do another VE, but I said no as the waves were too close apart. The next thing I remember was I was in the transition thinking I can’t do it anymore. Later one midwife wanted to check the baby’s HR with a doppler and afterwards started coaching me to push as she said that the baby was “in distress”.
My daughter was born at 14:44 (4.120 kg & 54 cm) quite quickly and I felt a pull of the umbilical cord. I probably got to hold her for about 5-10 min when I started to feel something what I thought were the waves for placenta (we were still in the pool) and I handed my daughter to my husband.
The midwives wanted me to give birth to the placenta on the dry land, but I got lightheaded the first time I got up, so I asked them to give me a few moments. The second time I attempted to get out, the placenta just fell out and the haemorrhage started (there was no more water in the pool by that time and the midwives had blocked the bathtub drain once the bleeding started). The next thing I remember, was a button being pushed and a lot of people running into the room. They got me out of the pool, gave even 2 injections to try to stop the bleeding and put in an IV, then took me to the labour ward as I had also sustained a 2nd degree tear and could not avoid the stitches.
The doctors said that I had lost around 1.2 litres of blood. I had to take prescription iron tablets for a few months afterwards.
I was debating a lot between a home birth and birth centre, but decided to go with the birth centre for the continuity of care and my daughter’s and mine Rh factors (she’s Rh+ & I’m Rh-). I also wanted to have a doula with me at the birth centre, but they allowed only one person as we were still in the pandemic (October 2021).
Even though the end of the birth was unforeseen & wasn't particularly positive, I am happy with the choices I had made and that now my daughter and I are both alive and well. Though now I know even better what I would or wouldn't want and what I would do differently the next time.