I ended up having an epidural for pain relief and our son was eventually pulled out by ventouse delivery.  His birth definitely didn’t go to plan and although I tried to look back on the event as a positive one – after all it brought our gorgeous son into the world – it did leave me completely petrified to have another baby and give birth again.

 I eventually came around and we got pregnant again, and again we planned for a natural birth.  When I was about 32 weeks pregnant my husband went away on business for a few days and while he was away he met Tracey and found out about what she did.  There was a real connection there and a feeling like we should take her course so a few weeks later we did.

 The course was amazing and it gave me a real sense and great confidence that I could have the birth that I wanted despite the previous experience I had with our son’s birth.

 We did the practices most nights which all helped to cement what we had learned in the course and get us in a good space for the upcoming birth.  I was actually excited about it and looking forward to it, which I never thought I would ever feel!

 Unfortunately, at a midwife check up at 34 weeks things started to turn a tad sour.  The baby had stopped growing and although she was not under any stress I needed to be monitored every few days with visits to the hospital, scans and foetal monitoring. It was an intense time filled with worry and stress about the health of our baby and what was happening, but the course really helped us to cope during this time of uncertainty.

After 3 weeks with the baby hardly growing at all I was booked in for an induction for 1 week later (the day before my due date).  The baby didn’t appear to be under any stress and they wanted me to go into labour naturally, but if didn’t happen in the next week then they had to induce to get the baby out.

 So we tried everything to induce the baby naturally but after a few false alarms labour hadn’t kicked off properly so I had to go in to be induced which was quite disappointing as it felt like our perfect birth was disappearing again and all would go badly like my first birth.  We tried to stayed positive as much as we could in the belief that we could still have the best birth possible for this baby.

 We arrived at the hospital early to be induced and after a few hours of waiting and further monitoring of the baby they put the gel on my cervix to soften it and induce labour.  We then went for a walk around the hospital to encourage things to get started.  Contractions were again on and off, getting stronger then weaker for many hours, and with not much happening still after 6 hours after the gel had been applied my midwife needed to break my waters to try to further induce labour.  Thankfully the breaking of the waters sent me into full labour immediately.  Strong contractions started and I tried to walk around as much as possible to keep things moving forward.  The contractions got too intense after about 20 minutes and I moved to sitting on a birth ball with my upper body leaning on the bed.  This was the most comfortable position for me and I stayed there for most of the labour.  It also allowed Andrew easy access to the pressure points on my lower back that we used for pain relief.

 After about 40 minutes after my waters had been broken the contractions were extremely intense with only about a 5 second break between the end of one contraction and the start of the next.  Needless to say the whole experience was very intense but I managed to get into the breathing techniques and visualisations and work through each of the contractions.  I had to be on the monitor for a while to make sure the baby was coping since all of the concerns around her size, but I found this fine since I was comfortable just sitting on the birth ball anyway and it actually meant Andrew could see when the contractions were at the strongest and needed his help with the pressure points.

 My midwife couldn’t believe how calm and quiet I was considering the strength and length of the contractions she was seeing on the monitor.  After 2 hours my midwife did an internal to check progress, and this was the most painful part of the whole birth!  It really got me out of the zone and I lost concentration on the techniques while she was doing it.  It made me so aware of how all the stuff from the course was helping me, it was amazing.  I was a good 6cm’s dilated by this point.  I was starting to find things tough so jumped in the shower to try to ease the pain.  After about 30 more minutes I was starting to doubt myself and was thinking that I couldn’t do it, the contractions were getting so intense and were non-stop, it was just like one continuous contraction that kept going.  Everything was getting overwhelming and I just wanted it to be over.  My midwife started to talk about having gas, which I didn’t want but thought it was still going to be another few hours before I was fully dilated since I still had the long birth of our son in my head and did not think the birth would be over anytime soon, so I was thinking about having some gas.

Andrew got me to focus again on the techniques and sure enough I felt strong enough to keep going without the drugs. As it turned out I was just going through transition and when I stood up I felt the baby was starting to descend.  So it was a waddled rush to the bed where I kneeled and leaned over the top of the bed which was upright.  My body did exactly what it needed to do and our baby quite literally slid down the birth canal to the opening.  I had to do just one push right at the end, but our baby was born very fast in less than 5 minutes!

The midwife had to do some quick checks as the cord had been around the baby’s neck, and then the midwife held the baby in front of Andrew for him to announce that we had a Girl!

The labour was a quick 3 hours and my body just knew exactly what it needed to do and all I had to do was not get in its way!

I held our little girl in my arms and just started crying tears of joy, it was so overwhelming the feelings that were rushing through me, it was the most amazing experience I have ever had in my life, it was true pure bliss.  I was so proud of myself for getting through the labour without the drugs and despite having to change many of the birth plans due to being induced it was just such a perfect birth with a perfect outcome – a very happy and healthy baby.

The course didn’t just affect the birth but also our life with our new girl.  Zara is the most calm and content baby I have ever known, people are always commenting on how chilled out and happy she is.  She was a great sleeper from day 1, and that has continued.  She rarely cries and is just so happy and calm, even with her older brother running around and being a bit rough with her, nothing unsettles her, it has just been so amazing, and I give so much credit to the course for that.

Thank you so much Tracey, you really have changed our lives, we so appreciate everything that this has given us.  For anybody that is looking at doing this, then I highly recommend it from the bottom of my heart, it really can have a massive impact on the birth of your baby.

Kim Baird

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