I am so sorry this has taken me so long to send. I have wanted to for so long! Firstly, I wanted to say an almighty thank you for our course with you and let you know how it helped us.
We had Bertie (Albert) on 15th December (a Saturday night and 10 days late).
The birth was long but good and managed to have a water birth in the woodland suite at King’s which was amazing! When he swam through my legs up to us – I will remember the moment forever.
I had an acupuncture induction on the Tuesday (11th December) and contractions started at about 11pm on my birthday the following day. I tried the acupuncture induction as I really didn’t want to have to be induced at the hospital and you can’t use the midwife suite if you are over 2 weeks late. Thought I’d try anything – who knows what will work and what won’t!
I managed to sleep Wednesday night but Thursday the contractions picked up and I didn’t sleep Thursday night. On Friday morning we went to King’s. I’d been using the breathing and keeping calm from Hypnobirthing and it was invaluable. We got to the hospital and I was only 2cm dilated, so we decided to go home. A few hours later the contractions had picked back up and in we went. Still 2cm dilated so we stayed in overnight. Pete enjoyed the bed as I couldn’t sleep. 2pm on Saturday I finally reached 4cms and into the birthing suite we went. Pete did his thing with the battery candles and music and I was made the best hot chocolate I’ve ever had by a midwife. Everything sped up when they broke my waters at 4pm. The breathing kept me going and the gas and air was very helpful! At one point the midwife said he was on his way and I asked again for the pool which I am so glad I did. Bertie was born at 7.50pm (a full 70 hours from the first contractions) in the water. A quiet and magical experience.
Pete really did become my advocate in the room and I can’t stress how important he was after I was about 4cm dilated - that’s when the turning point was and it should be so empowering for the Dad’s to know their role is so vital during that time. Even if the early stages before that are a bit long and there are only so many times you can offer to make tea - look concerned etc.
Also the hospital staff are amazing – the midwives are so kind and want the best for you and baby - but you are right - you should still keep saying what your preferences are and they will work with you to give you what you want. And the help they give you on breastfeeding is so supportive - so no one should be worried about that. There is someone to help with just about anything!
It’s awesome to work as a team when labour is so tiring. Pete was obviously tired but not as tired as I was. Normally I can be quite a control freak but just letting go and trusting to work it out as we go along has been great. And being tired helps give over the reins a bit more, something those first few days taught me!
Most importantly, Bertie is an absolute ray of sunshine. He was such a calm and content newborn and I believe his entry into the world played a huge part (it might just be his personality but he is always all smiles – we are so lucky).
Hypnobirthing also gave me the courage to trust my instincts with my new baby. Every mum and baby is different and you really made me feel confident to trust my own intuition. It was invaluable in building a strong bond.
All in all it’s been an amazing six months.
Huge, huge thanks again!
Rachel, Pete & Bertie!