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Welcome Hypno Bub Archie

I received this beautiful birth story from gorgeous Gemma and Ben and with their permission am able to share with you. Even though their birth didn't go to plan, Gemma and Ben were able to have a beautiful positive hypnobirth. Enjoy. -N

Archie’s Birth story 21/08/20 17.57pm

Labour started for me at 8pm on Thursday 20th August after a very relaxed day of coffee with a friend, acupuncture, catching up with my midwife, a dog walk and a chiro adjustment. What amazes me about the day I went into labour was how great I felt. I had come down with tonsillitis and a head cold just 2 days before and had needed an urgent COVID swab to rule that out incase I went into labour. I woke up the day I went into labour with no sore throat and no head cold symptoms!

We had a friend stop by for a quick beer in the evening on his way home and I was sat next to him eating a burrito commenting on how active baby was. You could see Archie pushing my belly out and wriggling around. I felt a bubble like feeling in my tummy and walked around the kitchen to grab some water when I felt a second bubble feeling and then a big splat all over the kitchen floor as my waters broke! Our friend thought I was joking and continued chatting until my partner assured him my waters were pouring out! He ran off pretty quickly after that!

Because I had tested positive for group B strep (which later tested negative) this meant we’d have to go straight to the hospital which wasn’t how I’d imagined things would happen. I felt very calm though and started thinking about my hypnobirthing techniques. I told my partner to have some dinner and a shower and I hopped in the shower myself. We contacted my midwife and got ready to head into the hospital a short while after. As we left the house my contractions had just started. We listened to our birth affirmations in the car on the way to the hospital.

We were admitted to delivery suite initially for monitoring and our first dose of antibiotics. During this time I asked to be able to go down to the birth centre as this was our preference. We were told this should be possible once I was in established labour if my midwife was available. The next few hours involved a long shower (very steamy on delivery suite!) and using the tens machine with my breathing techniques. I envisioned my bubble of comfort during some of the contractions to help get through them. My partner put some relaxing oils in my diffuser although by this stage I had lost all concept of what was happening around me.

By around 12.30-1am my contractions were strong and regular and my midwife was called in so that we could go down to the birth centre. I was unable to sit or lay during my whole labour so I walked down from delivery suite which intensified the contractions.

Once at the birth centre I spent the next few hours leaning over the bed or in the birthing pool and shower using my breathing again to get me through. I tried gas and air for a while but found it had little effect and by 4am tried sterile water injections and morphine as the contractions didn’t seem to have much of a break between them and were lasting around 3-4 minutes. By 8am I walked back up to delivery suite for an epidural as the contractions weren’t giving me much break in between and I was only 5cm dilated. This was not something we planned but by this stage we knew Archie was posterior and I was experiencing strong back labour with little relief.

The epidural worked well and gave me time to rest and relax.

The next 7 hours involved going on and off oxytocin and resting with the epidural turning from side to side to try and turn Archie (whilst my partner slept in the corner). The oxytocin was started and stopped a few times as the contractions were coupling and not giving Archie enough recovery time in between. Luckily throughout the whole labour Archie never showed any signs of distress. His heart rate was monitored with a scalp monitor and multiple attempts were made by the obstetricians to turn him as he was now direct OP and had engaged with his forehead first!

I was given 3 litres of IV fluid during this time as I had become very dehydrated and stopped making any urine.

By 2pm I was fully dilated. The obstetrician wanted us to start pushing by 3pm after an hour of letting him come down passively.

3pm came and I started pushing. During this time I didn’t use my epidural as it was recommended I would be able to push better if I could feel more. Although his head was coming down he was getting stuck and at 4.15pm I was reviewed and the decision was made to do an emergency Caesarian.

Still, I felt calm, informed and not concerned about having a c section. I was still using my breathing techniques as now the epidural had completely worn off and back labour was back in full force with strong long contractions with little break!

Once in theatre my anaesthetist made the decision to do a spinal and remove the epidural and then an attempt was made to push Archie back up with a Fetal pillow out of the birth canal but he was stuck! I was given GTN to relax my uterus and shortly after Archie was born feet first after a bit of tugging!

Little Archie came out into the world at 6pm a bit stunned but was soon screaming after a good rub by the paediatricians and the midwives.

Shortly after we got to do skin to skin and dad got to do the first bottle feed in recovery.

Although our birth story went very differently to how I would have liked it to, I felt calm the entire time and felt in control. The hypnobirthing was so useful in helping me cope throughout the contractions and during most of the labour I was in a trance like state doing my own thing quietly with no idea what was happening around me. I can’t believe how quickly the time passed too!

Thank you Nicole for all of your wisdom and support.

Love Gemma, Ben and Archie xxx


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