Today I’m sharing Henry’s Birth Story in the hopes it helps other mums to be for the future. I know I personally really enjoyed reading birth stories. I mean they’re intensely unique and interesting after all. I’d highly recommend you also read Sophia’s with Willow, and Emily’s with Little Lady.
As you may know from this blog and my social media Henry arrived eight days early on 12th June 2016.
From the start of my pregnancy I knew I wanted as natural a birth as possible and was really interested in giving birth at the New Forest Birth Centre. After visiting the mid wife led unit for our confident birthing antenatal class, the NFBC was cemented as our preferred choice with a water birth.
Henry’s story started officially from Saturday morning when I started getting contractions that were between 3-6 minutes apart. I’d been having irregular contractions for the last day and a half but genuinely thought nothing of them!
By 3pm on Saturday they were pretty regular with three in 10 minutes. I also couldn’t really remember feeling him move since that morning. My midwife had advised if movement reduced to call labour Line so I did. After a quick chat on the phone I was advised to go to the NFBC to get Henry monitored.
After an hour of monitoring we were all happy that Henry was absolutely fine. Sitting upright for a little while made me focus on him rather than the contractions so I could feel him wriggling away as normal.
Due to my contractions I was also given an exam to see how we were progressing. I didn’t think it would be much so you can imagine my shock when the midwife said I was 3cm dilated and full effaced! We went home to wait it out a few hours knowing that Henry was in fact on his way!!
I lasted about anhour at home before the contractions were every three minutes and really distressing, so we called labour line and headed back to the NFBC. We had to wait a few hours after arrival for my contractions to regulate again after an adrenaline spike from going back, so I bounced on a ball and used a tens machine for the England vs Russia football game, and half of Die Hard before being examined again. I was 5cm dilated so offered entonox and we started filling the birthing pool.
My original plan was to have a water birth as I find water really relaxing. And it was really relaxing, combined with the Entonox I felt able to cope.
To cut a long story short (I was in established labour for about 11 hours) I had my waters broken at 9cm dilated which took me straight to 10cm. It also turned out that Henry was positioned back to back so needed to turn 180 degrees in the birth canal. After approximately two and a half of pushing, including a kind of threat from the midwives that if nothing changed in half an hour I’d have to be transferred to hospital for intervention, I managed to turn Henry and he arrived into the world naturally at 10:30am, with no pain relief!
Approximately 26 hours after I really went into labour Dann said we had a son and he was placed on my chest for skin to skin contact.
Honestly it was the most painful and intense experience of my life but so utterly worth it in the end. And I’m so proud of myself that I found the strength to keep going even with pure exhaustion and a maneuver.
And a note about the amazing team at the NFBC. They were seriously brilliant and supportive. Becky and Sarah were both angels and Sarah I genuinely think made it possible at the end for me to have Henry at the NFBC by guiding me through pushing. I’ll never be able to thank the amazing team there enough, and I would highly recommend anyone that can tp go there.
Also their aftercare and breastfeeding support is so so good and I was able to leave a day after Henry was born feeling pretty confident on feeding.
Also a thank you to Dann who was an incredible birth partner. He fed me jelly and isotonic drinks throughout and was so supportive. I couldn’t have done it without him.
It’s just over a year and a half since I gave birth, and I felt like have a look back. I guess because my dear friend Alice has had such a widely different experience to mine, has made me want to look over mine and Henry’s story, and really appreciate that although it wasn’t exactly how I had imagined, it was still very empowering, and my post-natal care was pretty great.
I was a pretty scared and very tired new mother, and I fortunately received great care and had a really thorough team looking after me.
Not everyone gets the support and care from hospital that they need, which is awful, and more needs to be done to bring awareness that good care can have such an amazing effect for new families, and not enough care can have huge negative impacts on mums, dads, and babies.
Thankfully, I was well looked after, but if you weren’t or if you’re not sure if your experience should be looked into further, Your Legal Friend have a really in depth FAQ on medical negligence.
For me, I’ll be forever grateful to the New Forest team, and hope that when we have a second we have the same or even better experience – hopefully with more knowledge and experience, we’ll have the best birth experience possible.
*part of the post is collaborative. All opinions are my own.