- Liz Foreman
January 2017: Class Birth Stories
First of all I’d like to say a massive thank you for your pregnancy yoga class. Not only did your class provide me with a calm escape each week that helped me to feel more comfortable, it really helped to prepare me for labour both physically and mentally. I hope everything is going well with you. Sorry, this is so long overdue. I’ve been meaning to write my birth story for a while now but a little someone seems to suck time into a vortex!
The last class I came to I was two days overdue and definitely ready to meet my baby. By some lucky coincidence you started the pregnancy yoga alphabet the week before and we were on ‘b’ for breathing. I can’t tell you how much that was to come in use over the next few days!
On Weds however there was still no sign of baby arriving. However, at half 1 on Thurs morning I started to get early contractions and was so excited and expectant that things would happen I didn’t sleep the rest of the night. How I wish I tried to sleep through those early ones now! My partner, Dave, took the day off work, and then we waited. During the day I tried to rest as much as I could (although it was difficult to relax with my dad fitting carpets on the stairs and landing). By late afternoon the twinges had slowed right down and were hardly there at all. But lo and behold an hour after I went to bed they started getting stronger again. I really tried to sleep through them this time but kept having to jump out of bed, cling to the side and breathe through it before jumping back into bed to shut my eyes before the next one started. I must’ve looked like a Jack-in-a-box gone wrong!
In the morning they started getting more intense and closer together, that’s when the lower back massage started coming into its own. I also found that leaning over or sitting on my gym ball really comfortable in between contractions. However, as the day before they started to slow down in the afternoon but not as much as before. So I suggested going for a bumpy car ride along Herne Bay sea front. We stopped at a car park in Beltinge and I plodded up and down a steep hill hoping gravity would help move the baby lower. It really seemed to get things moving again! I was now getting 2 contractions in 10 mins but the hospital advised that it needed to be 3 in 10 mins and to stay at home.
We finally made the decision to go to the MLU at 9pm when they had finally sped up. I was told that my cervix had moved round and opened but that I was only 1cm dilated, however, things could progress quickly from there and the midwife said I could stay and use the pool. My mum arrived as I was getting into the pool. After a couple of hours of humming whilst breathing through the contractions I was offered gas and air. I heartily accepted and after the first couple of breaths I was giggling away merrily. I remember the student midwife saying that she wonders what I was finding so funny and I longed to tell her that I could hear your voice repeating everything from the last class telling me how to breathe but I found I’d forgotten how to make the words come out my mouth. It made me laugh even more that they couldn’t hear you too. (Note. gas and air is amazing!) It was at this time I was told to start pushing and in my giddy state mistakenly thought that the midwife said she could see the head after the first push. Not even close haha. I had loosely planned on giving birth in the water (all being well) but hadn’t planned on the hot water squirting in my direction every time the it needed reheating and I started finding it really annoying. After about 3 hours in the pool I’d had enough and things started slowing down again. I got out the pool and the midwife found that I wasn’t fully dilated and told me to stop pushing. It felt like a massive step backwards. The next couple of hours found me kneeling over the back of the bed practicing holding notes like I was training for the opera (‘ooo’, ‘hmmm’, ‘ahhh’). I finally had that real, true urge to push that had been missing before and was encouraged by both midwife and student midwife.
Unfortunately the baby had other ideas and got stuck. (Like 6 days late wasn’t enough!) I could feel that try as I might nothing was happening when I pushed. I felt so exhausted and said I wanted help however when they offered pethidin I said no. At around 5am the baby’s heart rate started to slow and the midwives were talking about taking me round to labour ward to get some assistance. At this point I had had to turn to lie on my back. The senior midwife left the room to arrange my arrival in labour ward. I wanted help but also knew I didn’t really want to go there and even though I thought I was in the worst position possible it renewed my efforts to push. Almost instantly I felt something shift and the student midwife gasped saying she could see the head. Things happened relatively quickly after that and I was spurred on by the thought that I was going to beat the preparations being made in labour ward.
At 5.51 on Sat 3rd December the midwife placed a bundle with arms and legs flailing all over the place on my chest. It was so overwhelming that for the first few minutes I forgot that I didn’t know what sex the baby was, after months of speculation and guessing it just didn’t matter. The midwife asked if we knew and when we said no she told us that it was a boy. His name is Finley Quinn Jenner and he weighed 7lb 13oz.
We were given the option to go home or stay overnight later that day. I thought it best to stay in so as to have help with breastfeeding when needed whilst Dave went home to get some sleep. The following day we got to take him home and he has been amazing us ever since.
Thank you again. I think it would’ve been a very different story without your support and guidance. Your class was the highlight of my week and I know it had a huge, positive influence on my journey through labour. I hope to see you soon at the postnatal class.
Here's my birth story for you!!
After a few weeks of braxton hicks and two false labour starts I was well and truly fed up!! However on Wednesday 11th January I was sent by the midwife up to Ashford hospital to see the consultant as my blood pressure was too high. So off I went I asked my sister to meet me there as I didn't think for one min I would be having a baby!! Sitting in the waiting room I was having contractions but didn't say anything as I was unsure if they were real or not!!! As my last labour was in my back which was a completely different feeling! So 6 o'clock came and the consultant took me through and scanned me as they was unsure if the position of the baby due to the weird shape bump I had!! During that time she gave me a sweep at which point she said well you are already 4 cm!! She asked me to stay at the hospital just in case, and good job I did as after that my contraction where coming thick and fast every couple of minutes. Up came my husband at 8.00 o'clock and we went round to labour ward. I was then 6 cm and the contraction were getting stronger and stronger. I went off for a walk as I couldn’t stand the monitors on me and being stuck on a bed. Well after the walk we had to rush back to labour ward as the pressure and the feeling of needing to push was so strong. I looked at the clock and it was 12.00 am Thursday morning and then pushing started I then gave birth to a baby boy called Luca at 1.22am Thursday 12th January weighing 8lb 60z. I used all the breathing techniques which really helped therefore not needing any pain relief.
My Christmas was a little different than I had imagined it would be, baby Heidi was born four days before her due date, on Christmas Day 2016!
I woke up at around 2am on Christmas morning, not because I was excited that Santa may have been but because I was having what I thought were most likely Braxton hicks. I stayed in bed thinking they would go away, at around 3.30am I decided they were probably contractions although still hoped they would go as I did not want my baby on Christmas Day. I decided to time them and realised they were 15 minutes apart, I took a couple of paracetamol and managed to get back to sleep for a while. By 8am they were about 10 minutes apart and my yoga breathing was coming in handy, I decided it was now an acceptable time of day to wake my partner and tell him I thought I was in labour. His words were “you are joking aren’t you? It’s Christmas Day”. Sadly I wasn’t joking.
Being that this was my first baby I thought things would probably take forever to progress and I wouldn’t have the baby for ages, I decided to try and carry on as much as I could having breakfast, a shower and then having my partner stick the tens machine to my back. I found the tens machine very good. I then rang the midwife led unit who advised I stay at home as long as I could although stay in touch and let them know when I planned to come in. Being that it was Christmas Day I sent my partner to his parents, we had both planned to go but I didn’t think I could if the contractions were to progress. My Mum then popped round at about 10:30am telling me off for sending Jay to his parents, she spent time timing my contractions, they were now 5 minutes apart lasting over a minute. By now I was spending the contractions leaning over my ball and using the breathing, so helpful to have practiced this during the yoga sessions as it was the only comfortable position to be in.
By 11:30am I called my partner to come back from his parents and had rung the midwife led unit as I was now feeling in need of some gas and air! We then drove to the QEQM, an uncomfortable journey while having contractions! We arrived at the midwife led unit at around 12pm the midwife seemed to spend ages asking me questions and going through my notes, although thankfully foud me a ball to lean over. The midwife then measured my bump and decided it was small and her measurements were not the same as my community midwife, she advised that she would discuss this but they may want to monitor the baby meaning I would have to go to the labour ward. She then asked if I would like her to examine me or to see how things progressed for a couple of hours. I asked that if she examined me could I then have some gas and air, she agreed to this so I was examined; I was 5cm dilated. I was pleased that things were happening although thought it would be several more hours before the baby would be born.
I was told that they did want to monitor the baby so I would have to go through to the labour ward. I wanted to have a pool birth and was lucky that the pool room on the labour ward was free. Once here I finally got some gas and air, I found it hilarious and was leaning over the ball laughing, feeling drunk and like I would fall off the ball, I also found that it made people sound very far away and the music playing sounded very warped which made me laugh even more. After having the monitors strapped on and the pool being filled I was able to get in (with the monitors on, something I didn’t know was possible, they are waterproof). Getting into the pool felt amazing, I felt much more relaxed although the gas and air was probably helping too. After what seemed like no time at all my waters broke, probably the strangest experience of all. I was then being told by the midwife that I needed to get out of the pool, I couldn’t understand why and told her I couldn’t and wouldn’t as I was quite happy in the pool. The midwife and my partner then had to half drag me out of the pool, I still didn’t know why at this time.
I was then told to get on the bed, I had my eyes closed and didn’t really know what was going on. I was told that the baby seemed to want to come quickly and her heart rate had dropped. There were then a lot of people in the room, I wasn’t really aware of what was going on although I was being told to push, the gas and air had been taken away from me and when I asked for it I was told I wasn’t allowed it as I needed to push, I wasn’t happy! I did then push and ventouse was also used to pull / suck so that baby could be born quickly. Baby Heidi Julie Latham was born at 14:06 on Christmas day weighing 6lbs 15 oz’s she was absolutely fine and started sneezing and looking around at everything.
Although things did not go as I would have ideally liked I found the experience very positive and I was pleased that I did not panic when having the contractions as my biggest fear had been that I would be unable to cope with the pain. I found the breathing and leaning over the ball very helpful.
Hi Liz, So sorry for this late birth story from me just put little miss Holly down for sleep so I have a minute to write the saga 🙄 please feel free to use what you like of the story as it is a bit long winded as it didn't go according to plan. As you know I was due on the 31/12 but as I am a type 1 diabetic they were always going to just bring me to 38 weeks, which was the 17th of Dec. My last yoga class with you on the 29th of November I really struggled as my hands and legs had swollen so much getting up a and down was very difficult. The Thursday after that class it was confirmed I had preeclampsia and I was put on blood pressure medication. The Friday was my final scan and at that the baby was still beached and weighing a whopping 9lbs 13oz so it was decided that the baby needed to be born the following week. As it was before 38 weeks I had to be given steroid injections to bring on the baby's lungs and monitored hourly in hospital until they got me on an emergency c-section list. Holly was born on the 7th of December at 10.02am weighing slightly lighter than the scan at 8lbs 9oz by c- section. Considering she was born at 36 weeks still a pretty good size and very healthy. Unfortunately the same could not be said for mum as I haemorrhaged in theatre and then again in recovery loosing 2 litres of blood. Whilst doctors were buzzing around me trying to find veins to stick cannulas in I kept doing my yoga breathing and visualisation of the waves on a beach. After 5 days in hospital I was eventually discharged with Holly to return home only to return again after another haemorrhage at home. (Another 2litres) During that visit I was put on gas and air for the pain and again the deep breathing you thought is came in very handy as I was getting contractions whilst I was passing blood clots😊 Now nearly 8 weeks on both mum and baby doing very well and looking forward to joining mum & baby yoga in the coming weeks. She knows how to do the relaxation already ... see pic below 😂 I suppose this is not the most positive birth story but I feel it is still one that is a reality for some so may be worth sharing, as I wasn't aware that 10 days after a section you could hemorrhage 😬. I think it is just good to be informed of complications of child birth but the positive spin is that once you know your own body and know what is right and wrong for you then you can make sure you speak up and ensure the doctors give you the right level of care. Hope to see you soon Linda Hyde