Sarah and George

Hospital Water Birth

At my 41-week midwife appointment, I had a stretch and sweep after a false alarm the day before. I went to bed at 10 to wake up at midnight feeling regular surges. 

After a while of bouncing on my ball and watching lots of ‘Friends’ to keep up the endorphins, I got in the back of the car and I plugged in my hypnobirthing mantras and relaxed… literally, it was 1 am I was getting tired now. I found myself dozing between surges, yes, dozing… I had practised all of my hypnobirthing affirmations and mp3’s at night time (normally falling asleep to them), so I guess my brain just went into relax/sleep mode! 

When we arrived at the hospital I was examined by a midwife who appeared to take one look at me and think I was wasting her time. “You’re only 2 cm, you can go home or I can find somewhere for you to wait.” I was in the labour ward of the hospital as the birthing centres and MWLU’s were all closed or understaffed. The midwife who was attending me didn’t look at my birth notes and had clearly not worked with many women using hypnobirthing techniques. She continually offered me pain relief and told me that it was “Going to get a lot worse”. I was denied a re-examination until 4 hours had passed at the risk of infection and an observation that I was not showing to be in enough pain. At this point though, I really felt like I was progressing and insisted that I was examined despite all this.

I was right! Which was an amazing turning point in my labour, I realised that I had total control over my birth and I was using my hypnobirthing techniques so well that I even had the midwife fooled! It was very empowering. I was relaxed, in control and feeling like a goddess! When the bath was ready I got in, it was a very old suite with a leaky shower head and plug that constantly let the water out. The bath was an old one with no support shelves so it was difficult to find a position to breathe the baby out, but eventually, with floats, I made it work. I felt very relaxed, in fact, I had to keep waking my husband up as the room was so quiet and calm. I noticed that I could take just three very long, very slow breaths to complete each contraction. When my waters broke I was advised to get out of the bath as my baby’s heart rate had become erratic. Although it was not where I wanted to be, I got out of the bath and walked across to the adjoining room. I leant over the back of the bed, straddling the mattress after just 15 minutes of established labour I breathed out my beautiful baby. We had a little girl.