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PROM, Change of Birth Place and an assisted delivery. How Hypnobirthing helped me to remain calm and relaxed during the birth of baby Lilah.

As a Hypnobirthing teacher, my hope is to be able to provide knowledge and support to my parents to be, so that they feel confident with making informed decisions, asking questions and ensuring they have everything they need to have a positive birth experience.


Life likes to throw us curve balls and although we can prepare and plan to have our "ideal" birth, sometimes we are faced with obstacles which are completely out of our control, but preparing yourself for these challenges and being able to have a plan b, c and even d, can help you to feel more at ease and comfortable with making decisions that you may be presented with.


The Birth of Lilah was different to how I had envisioned it, I wasn't able to have the water birth I hoped for and my place of birth changed last minute, but I as able to remain calm and relaxed and worked with my body, with just gas and air and the use of my wave combs.

I wanted to share my story to show how things can happen that you might have not planned for, but with the right mindset and belief in yourself, you can still have a positive birth experience.


So here we are, The Birth of Lilah Edith Rose Wallis.


Ok, let’s start with the week I went into labour, I was heading into week 41 and the midwives had already planted the seed that they would want to discuss induction at my 41 week appointment. I had made it very clear early on that I would only like to discuss induction if there was a medical reason and I asked for the midwife to make that clear in my notes.

My 41 week appointment fell on Thursday 7th December. To my surprise I was greeted by my assigned midwife who I had only met once before. If you followed my pregnancy journey, you know that I never had the same midwife, it was always someone different and so I wasn’t able to build a relationship with one person.

From our previous meeting once before, this midwife knew my feelings on unnecessary induction and that I wanted my body to wait and go into natural labour so when she brought up the topic of induction at 42 weeks, she knew I would put up a bit of a fight.

Over the course of that week, I felt different and I knew something was brewing and so I knew in my mind that I wasn’t going to make it to 42 weeks anyway. My midwife explained that as I didn’t want to be induced and because I had refused 2 sweeps already, that she would need to refer me to a consultant to discuss my options. I of course asked the reasons for this and she explained to me that “their policy” was to induce between 41-42 weeks to avoid complications and that the consultant would be able to discuss a plan to support my decision. I agreed to the appointment for the following Tuesday, knowing in my mind that baby girl would be earth side by the end of the weekend. I just had a feeling.


Hannah Wallis of Little Rosebuds at 41 weeks pregnant

Friday 8th December 11:30pm, I was awoken from a deep sleep by the feeling of water trickling down my legs. This was it, it was our time. It took me a second or so to realise what was happening and when it clicked, I nudged Luke with a gentle elbow and told him to wake up as the curry we had been for that night had worked and that baby girl was ready to meet us!

I got up and out of bed and the feeling of water running down my legs wouldn’t stop. I ran to the bathroom and sat on the toilet where my waters just kept coming and I noticed a reddy/bloody tinge in them. I headed downstairs into the kitchen to grab my notes with the number for triage, all whilst these waters just kept going. It definitely took me by surprise at how much waters were coming, so much so, that whilst I was on the phone to triage, I was stood with a bath towel folded in between my legs to stop it leaking onto the kitchen floor where the dog showed great interest at helping to clean up.

Triage advised us to head to Bassetlaw for them to check everything was ok and so after a quick phone call to my mum to collect Alf, the bags were in the car and off we went.

 

We arrived at Bassetlaw about 12:30am on Saturday morning where 2 lovely midwives met us at the door. We were taken to one of the delivery suites and I was placed on a monitor whilst they checked my waters. Me and Luke were the only ones there and it was so quiet!

At this point my contractions hadn’t started and I knew I just wanted to be back at home, in my own environment so that I could give my body the best chance of my labour starting naturally. After half an hour of monitoring, the midwife was happy for us to go home. She explained to me that I would need to return at 11:30pm that night if my contractions hadn’t started to discuss options as I will still very set that I didn’t want to be induced and she also explained that due to my waters breaking and labour not starting (PROM) that my chances of my waterbirth were probably unlikely due to the increased risk of infection. I was so disheartened to hear these words, but it was time for me to focus on what I could control and to let go of what I couldn’t.

We returned home at around 2am and I got straight into bed for a good nights sleep, ready to take on the day ahead, knowing I needed my body and mind to be fully rested.

I woke up around 8am after a good sleep and had a nice cup of tea in bed. Luke had originally planned a kitchen to fit that day and so I told him to go to work as he was only 10 minutes away if anything progressed and that my plan was to get on my ball and sit and watch Christmas films all day. My mum brought me some breakfast and some tasty snacks and I spent my day working my way through all the festive films on Netflix. I checked my temperature regularly and made note of the times so I could let the midwife know that there was no early signs of any infection and my temperature was normal.


Hannah Wallis of Little Rosbuds on her Birth Ball eating a sausage sandwich

The hours passed and still no progress, Luke came home, we ordered a Chinese and watched Strictly. I was keeping an eye on the time as it ticked closer to 11:30pm, knowing that the longer I went without my contractions starting, the higher the chances they would want to discuss inducing me.

At around 8:30pm I called the labour ward at Bassetlaw, it was a pleasant surprise to hear a familiar voice on the other end as it was the midwife I had seen the night before. She knew my feelings on induction and asked me if I was happy to come in for monitoring which we agreed to.

 

We arrived at Bassetlaw just after 11pm where we were taken to a ward. It was just me and Luke on the ward and I asked if we could keep the lights off to try and keep my oxytocin flowing and the midwives were great at keeping the environment calm. I was strapped up to the monitor and we sat and chilled and chatted and kept my mind and body as calm and relaxed as possible. At this point I could feel mild contractions and the midwife could see these on the monitor and was happy with both me and baby and had no concerns. I could see the labour ward getting busier and asked if it was possible for us to go home as I knew I had a better chance of my labour progressing there. After a few conversations with the Doctor, they agreed to let me go but had to call at 8am with an update as to how things had progressed.

 

At 1am we arrived home and I got straight into the downstairs bedroom to go to sleep.

At 1:30am I was awoken by an overwhelming feeling that made me jump out of bed. I put my calm breathing into practice and walked around the hallway, taking nice deep breaths in and then even longer deep breathes out. I went to the upstairs bedroom to wake Luke and

Grabbed my my wave combs out of my bag and set my contraction timer going, 2 minutes went and the overwhelming feeling was coming back, I got onto all fours on the living room floor, took deep breathes in and out and focused on the pressure of the combs in my hands. 1 minute passed and my body rested. 2 minutes passed and it started again. Luke was in control of timing and helped me to remember my breathing whilst I swayed side to side on all fours again on the floor.

It was after around 10 minutes, we timed that I had 3 surges in this short period and so called Bassetlaw. The midwife asked me how close together they were and I explained they were 3 in 10 minutes, lasting around 1 minute-1 minute 20. She asked if was able to stay at home for another hour as they had suddenly become extremely busy. I knew things would progress even quicker if I stayed home as I was in my zone, but also wasn’t sure how close we were to having this baby, but we agreed to try and labour at home for another hour. I put on some calm music, got on all fours and continued to labour at home for another hour.

At around 2:45am we called Bassetlaw back to let them know my surges were becoming more intense. She asked if she could call me back as she knew I wanted to birth at Bassetlaw but there were concerns they had no room…

5 minutes later, she called me back and confirmed there were no beds available and that she had called DRI who were expecting me. Of course, my first feeling was of disappointment, I had been to view Bassetlaw and when I practiced visualisation, this was where I was able to see myself. I knew the rooms, I knew where we were going, it was familiar. But again, I had to focus on what I could control and let go of what I couldn’t. I couldn’t control Bassetlaw being full, but I could control how I made my environment when we got to DRI. I took some deep breathes, I calmed myself and we got in the car.

 

We arrived at DRI at about 2:15. I had to keep taking a few steps and stopping to breath through the surges, they were very intense and very frequent but the use of my wave combs was a good distraction.

 

We arrived at level 6 (that lift journey felt like the slowest life journey of my life) and we were taken straight to the central delivery suite and into our own room. Again, the use of my wave combs was a good distraction and gave me something to focus on as well as my breathing.

 

The midwife I had was really nice and calming and said it was nice to see me using my breath to control the pain and also the wave combs and encouraged me to keep breathing through whilst she put me on the monitor to check the baby’s heart rate and the level of my surges and went through some of my preferences with me. This was when I then asked for some gas and air and got myself comfortable after I agreed to a VE(vaginal examination) and much to my surprise, I was 6cm!

 

We were then left alone with the lights turned down with a few little fairy lights round the bed. The environment was calm and peaceful and I asked Luke to put my relaxation music on through my speaker. My surges were very intense and my body wasn’t giving me much of a rest, the midwife actually commented that she could see how intense they were on the monitor and said she was really impressed with how calm I was and how controlled my breathing was.

The only position I felt comfortable was on my side and so I laboured in this position for the next few hours, using my breathing to control my intake of gas and air and holding Luke’s hand. The next few hours were a blur and I just took myself to a happy place and visualised the moment I was going to meet my baby girl.

 

7:15am was the next time point I remember. I felt an intense pressure in my bum and the sudden urge to want to push. The midwife asked if she could check to see how I had progressed and I was elated when she told me I was 10CM. Baby girl was nearly here!

I managed to turn myself onto all fours on the bed and continued to use the gas and air, breathing calmly and letting my body do what it needed to do.

I was still needing to be monitored at this point as there was a slight concern that her heart rate was dropping and it wasn’t coming back up as quickly as they wanted it to and so moving around was tricky.

Unfortunately, I found myself at 10cm dilated and ready to push at 7:30am when it was time for a shift swap and 2 new midwives took over my care. In all honesty, these 2 new midwives were incredible and they were just what I needed at that moment. They were really encouraging of my breathing; they were using calm and reassuring voices and they told me how calm I was and that my labour had probably progressed so quickly because I was so relaxed and that they could tell I had been practicing Hypnobirthing! That was very nice to hear!

They explained to me that they had some concerns for baby’s heart rate and that they could see my surges were very strong, intense and long...

 

At around 8am the pressure in my bum was getting stronger and as much as I had hoped to be on all fours to birth my baby, they explained there was a concern for her well-being and so and they had to get a doctor to come in who asked me if was happy to turn onto my back so they could assess the situation. The doctor came into the room followed by a paediatrician who was there just in case they needed him and she asked if she could examine me. I agreed to the examination and we waited until my next surge had been and gone. The doctor explained to me that baby had got herself into a position where her chin was stuck and that she was becoming distressed and they needed to discuss my options with me. A ventouse delivery with episiotomy or caesarean birth. The head midwife, who was also called Hannah, was a huge advocate for me and told me how amazing my breathing had been and she knew with just a little help and a few pushes that theatre could be avoided and that she would be out!

In that moment, it’s a lot to take in and I obviously wanted to make a decision that was best for us both. Me and Luke had already discussed that if we were presented with a decision like this then we wanted to try for an assisted delivery and avoid a caesarean birth where possible. In that short time, I was able to use my BRAIN tools and made the decision to have an assisted birth.

 

The doctor gave me a local anaesthetic and made a cut and within 3 surges, 3 pushes, one loud roar and the use of ventouse, Lilah Edith Rose was born at 8:48am weighing 7lb5oz at 41+2. She was immediately placed on me, her eyes wide open and I was in love.


Newborn baby 2 minutes old

The doctor then explained to me that she was aware that I wanted a natural third stage but recommended active management to avoid heavy bleeding. This is something I had researched beforehand and so agreed to a managed third stage and also requested we still had delayed cord clamping.

I required stitches due to my episiotomy and so I asked for Lilah to have skin to skin with Luke. The stitches took no longer than 10 minutes and we were then left to have some bonding time and I had an opportunity to feed Lilah.

We had a beautiful 40 minutes of feeding and it was just magical. 9 months of growing this tiny human and she is now here.


Newborn baby being weighed

 

After about an hour and half My wonderful midwife Kelsey asked if I wanted to try and get in the shower which was absolutely welcomed. She helped Luke get my stuff from my bag and helped me into the shower. It was so nice to stand under the hot water and have a minute to myself. Taking in all the emotions and feelings of the last 6 hours.

I put on my brand new Primark PJ’s and immediately felt so much better.

 

What happened next, was the next best thing to happen after the birth of Lilah.

The tea and toast. It’s true what people say when they tell you it’s the best tea and toast you will ever have. I inhaled 3 slices of toast and my cup of tea in about 1 minute. Heaven.


Newborn baby with fresh white toast

 

We then spent the next 4 hours in our own room as the ward wasn’t ready (I had to stay in 24 hours due to risk of infection due to PROM), Luke dressed Lilah and we had beautiful new born bubble cuddles until it was time to be moved.


Hannah Wallis of Little Rosebuds with her newborn baby

Even though I didn’t get my waterbirth, I had to change birth places and opt for an assisted delivery. I feel very positive about my whole experience. I was happy that I was able to voice my preferences when it came to induction and that I was able to labour mostly at home, listening to my body and using my breathe to control each surge.

All decisions were mine, I was able to use the BRAIN questioning to ensure the safe delivery of my baby girl.

 

I am glad that I had many different “plans” and that my preferences were clear because I know without them, my experience could have been very different.


Newborn baby 5 ours old

I now feel more empowered and motivated to support expectant mums to have the positive birth experience they deserve and to be able to feel confident to make informed choices and decisions that are their own!


"Building a woman's confidence and trust in her body's ability to birth, allows her to be able to step gracefully out of the way and allow her body and her baby to do that they know how to do."

Thank you for reading my birth story and how Hypnobirthing helped me to relax and feel calm and confident when things didn't pan out how I had hoped. Please be sure to leave some love.


Hannah x


2 Comments


Guest
Mar 12

So lovely to read Hannah, and made me emotional. Beautiful 🥰💕

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Guest
Feb 29

The most beautiful story of strength, sense of self and love 🤍

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