The STS Babies
Postive Birth Stories
Over the years I've have received some wonderful birth stories, here is where I share .them. They are not all the same, but they are all hypnobirths
It's sounds weird but for a long time, probably from around week 32 of pregnancy, I had a very strong inclination as to when Ella would arrive.
Friday 25th October I 'didn't feel right'. I couldn't put my finger on what was going on but I knew something was different. We sat at the dining table to have a cup of tea and all of a sudden I felt a gush of water in my knickers. I knew I hadn't peed myself and it was something else. As I walked to the bathroom it happened again and when I got to the bathroom there was blood - the bloody show had arrived!!
The next morning, I woke up still not feeling right, but we went about our day normally. We watched the rugby semi final in the morning with me bouncing on my ball, doing my breathing exercises whilst having surges. We went to Waitrose to stock up on food and snacks with me having surges in the food aisles (haha!!). Throughout the day they were slowly getting stronger, for longer, around 40 seconds, and about 6 mins apart. By 2am I was having, what felt to me, as very strong surges that I found a little more uncomfortable laying down so I had absolutely no sleep! Instead I was up on the bed on all fours doing lots of the hip and spine rocking that I learned from pregnancy yoga.
We sat on the loo eating porridge, having surges and chatting at about 4 am and this is when I went into established labour, it’s the strangest most natural deep feeling. Sitting on the loo is the BEST position!! By 6am, things had progressed even more. I was doing all my up breathing learned through hypnobirthing and lots of things from yoga too. I used the tens machine we'd hired when a particularly intense surge came which really helped although I have to say, everything felt completely manageable. Labour 'pain' isn't painful. During a VE my waters broke and I wasn't quite prepared for the jump in intensity that my surges went to after this happened.I was using my breathing and relaxation to cope with them. Thankfully it wasn't long before I got in the pool which felt AMAZING and was the biggest relief. I was then pushing in the pool, lying on my back which was a position I didn't really like. I tried like this for an hour and ten minutes, then the midwife asked me to get out the pool, I got onto the floor where we had cushions and a mattress set up. Once on the floor I start to make much more progress.
Up until now my surges had slowed a little from being so relaxed (and tired) in the pool but magically they started to come faster. And then there she was! Ella slithered out and was placed on my chest. I completely put down my experience and birth being how I'd hoped because of all the practice and preparation I did, with yoga, hypnobirthing and the guidance of our Doula.
Finn's Birth story
I saw my midwife at 41 + 2 days and have to say the support I got from her, as well as the birth choices midwife, at C&W was incredible. I did agree to have a sweep at that point. I felt that this would be my best chance of going into labor and having a natural birth in the birth centre. When the MW did this she said I was 1cm dilated and that night I had the show which all seemed very positive...but two days later nothing was happening besides some minor cramping. Having tried reflexology, walking, clary sage...the whole lot...I decided that I would have another sweep on Thursday and that if it didn't work I was happy to be induced.
My midwife came to my home to do the sweep on Thursday. As she did the sweep she gave me the standard warning that it is possible for my waters to break during the procedure...as soon as the words came out of her mouth she gave a little start and for the first time in her career my waters did indeed break! She simply said ‘well no need for an induction then’! However there was meconium in the waters and whilst it wasn’t an emergency, I needed to get to hospital.
Once my surges started, shortly after my waters broke, they became intense quickly. After a quick stop at the triage I was brought to the labour ward. Sadly due to the meconium a water the birth centre was not an option. Crossing the hall from triage to the labour ward I had to stop and lean against a wall as the surge was so strong. I remember thinking I haven’t prepared for them to be this strong! Once in the room Andrei set about setting it up...low lights, essential oils, and our playlist. I still can’t believe that one of the questions I asked my midwife whilst in labour was ‘what’s the wifi password’?!
At approx 3pm, three hours after my waters had broken, a doctor came in to the room he indicated that they would like to induce me within the next hour if things hadn’t progressed enough. We talked about options and agreed to that plan. The next hour felt quite long! The surges were very intense. I was utilising all my hypnobirthing tools and getting through it, Andrei’s voice was my anchor and I remember saying to him please just keep talking. I’m not going to lie though, a part of me was thinking epidural and induction sound pretty appealing! When I was examined at 4pm by my midwife she said I was 4cm and no induction was required. I was pleased and disappointed in equal measure!
I returned to the rhythm of gas & air, and sniffing clary sage in between surges. After a few minutes I was feeling things were progressing a lot quicker than the midwife might have realised. I said to the midwife at 4.20pm can you check me again, I’m definitely in the down stage of labour. She did say it’s only been 20 minutes but checked again and to her surprise I was now 9cm. I recall her being a bit shocked and saying ‘you’ve broken all the rules in the book’.
The next hour is a total blur. I had been on my knees over a pile of pillows on the bed the entire time. On one occasion having to lie on my back for an examination I nearly jumped through the roof with the discomfort. Things were progressing, it was all quite powerful but under control. The clary sage, visualisations, gas & air, breathing, Andrei’s voice and a supportive but not overpowering MW were all doing their job. The lights were low, the music was playing and all was well. Sadly all of a sudden the MW explained that the baby’s heartbeat had dropped, it was an emergency and there were about to be ten people in the room. I felt quite calm, and as people rushed in Andrei & I just stared at each other and he kept telling me everything would be fine. It was just quite a shock to go from one very calm scenario to the opposite end of the spectrum. It even felt quite strange to have our playlist going whilst all this activity was going on. In the space of a few minutes I’d had a catheter, episiotomy, forceps and my baby was born.
They took him to check him under the lamp but before they did literally dropped him on my chest and he was back on my chest again within what felt like seconds. The doctor was clearly aware and very respectful of the fact that what had ended up happening was not part of our birth preference. I found visualisations hugely helpful and they ultimately made me feel so incredibly safe. It was the most incredible and powerful experience and although it was different to our preference, but at the finish it was definitely a positive experience because I still felt in control and calm throughout.
Baby Elsta - Having an epidural is still hypnobirhting
A far smoother and easier birth than the first time and Jeremy and I were definitely able to implement a lot of the techniques and breathing tips you gave us. Started having contractions at 9pm on Saturday evening, I stayed in bed and tried to get some sleep and stay calm which I managed to do, focussing on the breathing. Then my waters broke at 3am - unfortunately there was a significant amount of meconium in them so I had to go straight into hospital (this weirdly actually made me less anxious as didn’t have to worry about driving through rush hour, the right time to go in and being sent home etc). Then they said I couldn’t use the birth centre/pool as the baby had to be monitored due to the meconium - so we were on the labour ward. At that point I decided to have an epidural as without the relief of the water I wanted everything to be as controlled and calm as possible. 2cm dilated on arrival and fully dilated when they next checked 4 hours later. Baby arrived at 11.12am, 7 pounds 2 ounces.
Having had a more positive experience this time round has made a massive difference in my attitude and overall mood in bringing Baby home. I feel so much more calm, happy and relaxed and it’s all such a relief!
Olivers Birth - Arrival in Water
I was up a lot of Friday night with what I thought was just pelvic pain (I’ve been suffering for weeks, but that night it felt like I was up every 10 mins or so to try and ease it). Then at 8am while in the bath, it occurred to me that the pain was coming regularly so thought I’d start timing it. I really wasn’t convinced I was in labour as it was so low down in my pelvis and I assumed I’d feel it higher up in my bump. Then my waters broke. We headed into Kingston at 12pm and I was 4cm dilated. He was born at 1.56pm in the birthing pool with gas and air and a whole lot of down breathing! I groaned him all the way out! It was amazing, bloody painful but incredible and I have you to thank for that. I really wouldn’t have had the confidence to do it without all your advise. We did delayed cord clamping and he fed for an hour after birth. Perfect in every way. Thanks again for empowering me to have the birth I always wanted but never thought I could achieve.
Hector's abdominal birth
I have a confession to make- I have been absolutely terrified of giving birth for as long as I can remember. When I found out we were expecting I was super excited but the thought of the birth filled me with dread. We spoke to the midwives at the hospital who referred us to a mental health midwife to help with my fears & she recommended that I should sign up to a hypnobirthing course. This is where I came across Stilettos to strollers. Rodney & I came to the sessions with an open mind but still terrified & secretly wanting a cesarean. The opposite thing that most people want, but a natural birth seemed very scary. In the end the midwives decided that it would be best if I had a cesarean as there was also concern that my placenta was low so might block the natural birth process. Having said this, the techniques that we learnt via hypnobirthing were invaluable. Having never had an operation before- walking into surgery was terrifying. I was so nervous but I practiced my breathing techniques & let go of the fear. Rodney was doing soft massage on my arm whilst I was having the baby which was very calming & helped to distract from what was happening! All in all I think back very fondly & had a lovely experience. Hector had a safe and happy birth & Rodney and I decided that the route we took worked for us. Although it was a very different approach, we felt that hypnobirthing empowered us to believe in a safe & happy birth whatever your route & we found that the techniques definitely kept me calm.
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Anoushka's birth story - A speedy arrival
I'd had a few false starts but at 4:45am the day after my due date I woke to a really strong contraction and knew it was really happening this time. After a while I started timing my contractions whilst bouncing on my ball & calmly breathing through them. I got to the stage when I had exactly 4 in 10 minutes that were each just over a minute. But I decided we should wait another ten minutes before going to hospital. Following Jemma’s advice when we left the house I put on headphones & pulled my hood over my head as we got into the taxi. At the hospital a midwife did an internal examination & told me I was 4cm dilated. Initially when I had spoken to her on the phone at home I told her that I didn’t want to have any internal examinations but once I got to hospital I thought why not. By now my contractions had started to get more intense & I asked for the gas and air. Each time I had a contraction I inhaled & exhaled the gas, using that together with my hypnobirthing techniques I managed to stay completely in the zone & calm. Hypnobirthing doesn’t block out the pain – I was very aware that I was in a lot of pain. But it teaches you to deal with it – I kept telling myself that I am going to meet my baby soon & I would count down the contractions whilst using my breathing techniques which really worked. At around 6:55am I had another examination and was 6cm. Only 15 minutes later I felt this INSANE pressure like I needed to push. It is such an intense feeling – I wouldn’t describe it as pain but just an incredibly strong pressure and it's quite overwhelming. I don’t think anyone in the room could believe our baby was already on her way. But I knew that she was. So the midwife checked again & I was 9.5cm, in that moment my waters broke, the I dilated to 10cm & everyone started to help me push the baby out. As crazy as it sounds there were also moments in between contractions of calmness. My little girl was born at 7:30am and I have been in heaven since..
Ben's birth - Not going to plan doesn't have to be traumatic
Last Wednesday Benjamin decided to make an appearance. My waters broke on Tuesday morning and as I was GBS positive I had to go straight to the hospital. After being monitored for six hours and having no contractions I was induced and laboured for 13 hours without dilating more than 1cm so finally had a c-section. Even though nothing went as planned (typical!) and I wasn’t able to be in the birthing centre, I used all the hypnobirthing techniques and they were AMAZING! I was extremely nervous about being induced so asked for some time to do the relaxation meditation and then I simply breathed through all the contractions with gas and air until they took me into surgery. My mother is still blown away at how I coped and how in control I was and Ross my was absolute rock throughout the whole process! As we were getting ready for surgery I told Ross that I was a bit disappointed because I knew I would have been able to get through the whole delivery with just the breathing techniques and the gas and air and he fully agreed with me. There was no doubt in either of our minds. So, even though nothing went to plan, I wanted to say thank you for teaching us the hypnobirthing because I truly couldn’t have managed the labour without the techniques you taught us and should I be able to attempt a natural delivery with number 2 I will definitely be using hypnobirthing.
Caspian's birth story - A calm homebirth
On 28th May at 37 weeks, I woke at 2.30 with a need to go to the toilet, I popped to the loo & noticed a cramping feeling, which I assumed was Braxton Hicks. I went back to bed but found the cramps were getting quite intense (though not too uncomfortable). I needed to wee again & when I stood up from the loo a trickle of water ran down my leg. Realising that my waters had broken I woke Dan to tell him it was happening. I stayed in the ensuite in the dark & lent against the heater to work through the surges, Dan set my relaxations to play & brought me an ice lolly, then went back to bed, as I wanted to be on my own. I did up breathing with visualisations & I was encouraged to find that it made the surges very manageable. Every time I had a moment of doubt I would use affirmations to remind myself I was ready for this. At about 3.00 Dan woke to check on me & started timing surges which were roughly 2 mins 40 seconds apart. We then called the midwife & I decided to move into the living room, so Dan prepped the it by opening the doors, closing the curtains, lighting candles & putting lavender oil in the diffuser. By 6am my surges were every 90 seconds & the feeling became much more intense with cramping at the bottom of my spine. I found myself making deep mooing sounds as I breathed out. The midwife arrived at 7am & she discreetly listened to the baby which was reassuring, then offered an internal examination which I declined. As the surges progressed I could feel the need to start pushing. The midwife asked me to get into different positions to push. I tried this approach with one leg up on a chair, then swapped legs & lying back with my legs up. I didn’t feel comfortable being on my back, so I changed to lying on my left-hand side on the sofa with my feet pushing against her & Dan’s hands. By 9.40am, after a few more pushes, my baby came in the excitement of the moment Dan forgot he was announcing the sex, he finally composed himself & said we had a baby boy
Indigo's induced arrival
This birth story couldn’t have be any further away from the birth plan if it tried! On a routine midwife appt, I was diagnosed with Pre-Eclampsia, told to go home, get my bags and then to hospital to be induced. After 6hrs of having the 1st pessary I started contracting very regularly, too regularly in the midwives eyes & was told I was experiencing Uterine Hyperstimulation. Indigos heart rate kept dipping down to around 70bpm as a result of this and twice that night, the emergency buzzers were pushed. Thanks to the skills from studying Hypnobirthing, I managed to breathe through any pains and didn’t have a melt down during the panic of the doctors running in. Twice more over the next days we attempted induction but my uterus kept squishing Indigo too much. We were offered to try one more pessary which we declined after using BRAINS & running through our options. After 4 days in hospital attempting to get bubs out, I never made it past 0.5cm & my waters couldn’t be broken! On our 5th day in hospital, we were told to head to theatre. Our amazing son was born at 12.26pm and I can only describe his birth as beautiful. The doctors tried to make his birth as calm and natural as it could be and they even let us watch.
Katie's race to get here - A second birth
On 28th May at 37 weeks, I woke at 2.30 with a need to go to the toilet, I popped to the loo & noticed a cramping feeling, which I assumed was Braxton Hicks. I went back to bed but found the cramps were getting quite intense (though not too uncomfortable). I needed to wee again & when I stood up from the loo a trickle of water ran down my leg. Realising that my waters had broken I woke Dan to tell him it was happening. I stayed in the ensuite in the dark & lent against the heater to work through the surges, Dan set my relaxations to play & brought me an ice lolly, then went back to bed, as I wanted to be on my own. I did up breathing with visualisations & I was encouraged to find that it made the surges very manageable. Every time I had a moment of doubt I would use affirmations to remind myself I was ready for this. At about 3.00 Dan woke to check on me & started timing surges which were roughly 2 mins 40 seconds apart. We then called the midwife & I decided to move into the living room, so Dan prepped the it by opening the doors, closing the curtains, lighting candles & putting lavender oil in the diffuser. By 6am my surges were every 90 seconds & the feeling became much