I had the pleasure of working with Laura on the preparation for her second child, after an average first birth experience and a reaction to her epidural she was very keen to try and have a calm and natural birth the second time around. We talked through hypnobirthing and how your body works at some length and even with a toddler running around both Laura and her husband were great at grabbing a minute or two when they could to practice what they had been taught. Her beautiful birth story is below, enjoy.
I believe that sometimes you have to trust the timing of your life and I will always remember our hypnobirthing teacher (@stilettostostrollers on Instagram if someone wants to get in touch with her – she was great) telling me that basically the moment you sort of breathe out and think ok I am ready for this baby then your baby will decide she is ready too and labour will start. Of course this isn’t always the case and babies can show up early or decide they are a little bit too comfortable in your tummy and you end up having to be induced. In the weeks leading up to the birth I kept asking Anoushka to stay put a little longer because I wanted Mila to be 100% well when I went into labour. But a week before my due date I started to feel so heavy that I finally felt ready and thats when I asked you all about ways to naturally induce my labour (still not sure if anything actually works but I was willing to try so I would sit on my birthing ball drinking raspberry leaf tea and eating pineapple, run up and down stairs, take huge lunges everywhere we walked, had hot lavender baths and everything else you can possibly think of!) but it wasn’t really until the day of my due date that I breathed a proper sigh of relief and sure enough she decided she was ready too. So today I am going to share my second birth story with you and I will try to keep it as short as possible!
I didn’t have the easiest of pregnancies – I had morning sickness right up until the day before I gave birth – but I just loved being pregnant. Having your baby with you is of course even more amazing but there is something so magical about having your baby in your tummy and feeling their every kick and wondering what they will be like. My husband and I would love 4 or 5 children so I hope we are lucky enough to one day fulfil that dream!
Now for the actual birth story. Let me just start off by saying that I really had the most amazing labour. Labour never really goes to plan and mine was so quick that I didn’t get to go into a birthing pool which I would have loved to do but I did have a labour which I felt like I was in control of and I got to have the drug free labour I had wanted.I honestly didn’t know if hypnobirthing would work for me. In the lead up to the birth I was worried that I just hadn’t done enough preparation. I listened to some relaxation recordings most evenings and each day I would say out loud a few simple affirmations but your body can obviously go into fight or flight mode when you experience pain and I didn’t know how I would react. Its pretty difficult to find the time to do everything when you have a toddler to run around after and by the end I just thought well I have done all I can and there is no point stressing about whether or not it is enough. But when it came to it I think I had done a lot more preparation than I realised and I am still surprised at how calm the labour was given it was such a quick one. I truly think that not having the epidural helped with me having such a quick recovery – I took painkillers the day of my labour and that’s it. I remember after Mila was born walking from my hospital bed to the toilet was such a challenge and it was around 10 steps but this time we walked home from hospital the day after I gave birth. We decided to stay in hospital for one night – we even had the same room that we had when Mila was born which brought back so many amazing memories – because we just wanted a moment to enjoy Anoushka just like how we did with Mila when she was born. I will share more about how it has been adapting from a family of 3 to 4 another time (I was adamant about not having a night nurse this time and its the best decision I ever made!) but today I wanted to share my birth story because I found it such an empowering experience and I wanted to show that birth stories aren’t always scary. I can’t say there was zero pain I don’t think anyone gives birth with no pain but what I can say is that I never felt scared or like the birth was out of my control.
SO. The Thursday before my due date (I was due on the 26th Nov) I started having really quite intense contractions in the morning. I bounced on my ball for hours (whilst doing a bit of cyber shopping obviously!) and kept having contractions at quite irregular intervals every 3 to 7 minutes. They were pretty intense though and I thought ok this is the start of it. I called my obstetrician and told her what was going on but when she asked if I wanted to go to hospital I told her I would rather be at home with M