So a friend of mine suggested that I do a birthing plan blog. I joked and said that I would call it ‘opposite day’ and thought, “as if I would share my birthing plan”. The more I thought about it, the more I thought, why not! Be warned, this is an honest post so it is quite long.
During pregnancy, it took me a while to actually consider my birth plan; at that point I hadn’t heard many birthing stories so didn’t really have much information to go on. This soon changed though, as once I announced my pregnancy, everyone shared their birthing stories and in soooooo much detail. It all completely scared me.
When I was about 30 weeks pregnant, someone forwarded me a Youtube video of a Hypnobirth. It took me weeks to watch it due to the terror of what I was going to see. In about my 34th week, I finally had the courage to watch it. As cheesy/weird as it sounds, it was amazing. This was when my birthing plan emerged. I started Hypnobirthing lessons and we started writing the birth plan. It was quite simple; water pool, Hypnobirthing and as natural as possible, and we picked a Birth Centre as our preference.
The same friend that suggested I do this blog was also pregnant at the same time with twins; her doctors had booked her in for a C-Section. After most of our long phone calls, I would think how brave I thought she was and how calm she was about having a C-Section. The thought of C-Sections terrified me but all I thought was that it would never happen to me.
So on Wednesday 25th March, very early labour started with my partial waters breaking. I was unaware of this so carried on with my day. I went out for dinner that evening with a few friends and I started having stomach cramps, which wasn’t unusual, as I had been having them for the last 3 weeks on and off.
Just as I went to bed I got a stomach cramp that didn’t go, and my initial thought was “Great, 40 weeks pregnant tomorrow and I have food poising”. I said for Chris to go to sleep, as this isn’t the ‘big day’. I had a bath and tried to get some sleep. 3 hours later, still no sleep, so I woke Chris up, as I didn’t feel right. He made me a cup of tea and ran me another bath while he rang the Birth Centre. They told me that I had to go to the Labour Ward; we still didn’t think that I was in labour but we took our bits with us anyway, just in case.
By 3am we had arrived at the hospital. We talked to the midwife and eventually she checked me and I was in fact in labour and 4 or 5cm dilated… amazing! However, the little pickle was back-to-back. I showed her my birth plan and said ‘can you please run the pool now’ she looked at me with sad eyes and said, “I’m afraid that you wont be able to use the pool due to your waters breaking yesterday”. Great, I thought, this is not going the way I thought it would.
We were taken to the ward, connected to the monitors and introduced to the midwife who would be looking after me. Due to the back-to-back position, I found it so difficult to lie down, so I just bounced on one of the birthing balls while Chris massaged my back. We had the Hypnobirthing music on and the lights turned down low.
During this time I received a text from my friend that was expecting twins to say that she had her two beautiful baby boys a few hours ago, and they were born naturally!!!
After a while, my labour slowed right down. We negotiated lots of times but eventually they put me on a drip to try and speed the labour along, and with this they also gave me an epidural. Well that didn’t work! I stayed at 8/9cm dilated for hours. Later the doctors found out that Jackson was also looking up which is why the labour had slowed down. The doctor suggested a C-Section, to which I automatically said ‘NO’. Then I asked why he was suggesting it and he said that he was slightly concerned about Jackson’s heart rate. Well, at that point, I turned to Chris and said, “that’s it decided then”, and off we raced into theatre. I had to have a spinal block as I could still feel things with the epidural. The curtain went up so I couldn’t see anything that was going on and lots of people were running around the room. There was a lady near my head talking both Chris and I through the whole thing. The C-Section was quite a weird sensation; I could feel tugging but no pain.
Then we heard the most magical thing, Jackson’s cry, and that was it as we both burst into tears of joy!!!
One thing I was worried about was my recovery, as the next day I felt like I had been hit by 10 buses. But each day I felt a bit better and I am lucky that I have a husband who just got stuck in straight away and once he went back to work I also had so many friends and family that helped me out. After 4 weeks, I felt mostly back to normal. I can’t compare my recovery to that of a natural birth but lets be honest, even though our bodies are made to give birth, it was never going to be a walk in the park!
The NHS gets quite a lot of stick sometimes but for me, they were brilliant. Everyone I spoke to made me feel in control and as calm as possible and I have to give a big shout out to everyone at the Stoke Mandeville Hospital who were involved!!!
My one piece of advice for anyone who is pregnant or planning to get pregnant is ‘Hypnobirthing’. Even though I had the complete opposite labour to what I wanted, it helped me through the whole thing, keeping me focussed and relaxed. As for a birthing plan, I would still write one but be aware that it doesn’t always go as you might hope, and that’s OK!
My labour has not put me off having another child in the slightest and I would like to give my birth plan another go but if it ends up happening the same way, then it will be what it will be. All that matters is what you get in the end.
Love Sophia xxx
P.S – Clare from Blissful Birthing was our Hypnobirthing teacher and she was fantastic – www.blissful-birthing .co.uk - 07843055587