So there I was at 38 weeks and 4 days pregnant sleeping very peacefully in bed at night when suddenly I felt a sensation. I woke up feeling rather confused. I looked at the date on the calendar and thought, “oh this must be what Braxton Hicks feel like!” They then subsided and I drifted back to sleep. Then, 10 minutes later I felt the same thing again, and then again and this pattern continued until early morning…
My partner Yuri was so excited and was waiting with bags packed, ready to take me to the hospital. However, I knew from what I had learnt during our Hypnobirthing course with Karianne that we had plenty of time and felt completed chilled. I decided to wait until 10 am until we called triage.
We happened to be staying with friends in Chichester who had kindly taken us in whilst we waited for our house on the Kent coast to become ready to move in to. This meant that Kingston hospital, where we had had all of our antenatal care so far was over an hour away!
I had a feeling (mother’s intuition perhaps) that this baby would be coming a bit sooner than expected! So we decided to head to The Swan Inn (my old workplace) where we could stay in the hotel until we were ready to go to the hospital. By the time we arrived, it was around 4:30 pm and the waves (or contractions) had started becoming more intense and regular. One hour later, I felt a popping sensation, like a balloon pop – my waters had broken! After calling triage they told me to stay home for another four hours; the first hour to observe the colour of the waters and a further three for my surges to get more frequent.
After just one hour we were in the car to the hospital. My gut was telling me that this little man one wasn’t a regular case and would be coming soon!
When we arrived I was seen by a midwife who examined me and said I was 2cm dilated and most likely it would be another 24 hours before the baby would arrive. I remember thinking to myself, “24 hours! No way Jose, this baby it’s on his way now!!”
She advised me to have a little walk which at which point it was impossible as the waves were coming very close to each other. Yuri went to the midwife and asked if we could go into the room. It was around 9 pm at this point.
The room was fantastic. It felt really calm with dimmed lights, lots of different props for me to use during my surges, and soft music playing in the background. Yuri used some counter-pressure massage on my back to help release the tensions. Then suddenly one big wave came, and I screamed “Mi Amor! The baby’s head is between my legs! Go and grab a midwife!”
So my “24-hour labour” suddenly turned into 2-hour labour and before I know it I was in the birth pool. I was amazed at how much the warm water helped with the sensations and what a relief I felt when the waves subsided.
I was offered gas and air, but to be honest, I completely forgot to use them. I was too focused on using my Up Breathing and visualising my baby’s head coming down through the birth canal.
Yuri and the midwives were fantastic. Yuri was cheering, “Vamos Gabriel! Vamos!” like he was at some sort of football match. Each time he said “Vamos” our son was closer and closer to coming out.
He finally made his appearance at 00:45. Looking so peaceful and quite confused at the same time. His facial expression saying “where am I? What just happened? “I laid his tiny body on my chest and I couldn’t believe that I did it! That he was nowhere with us. So tiny and perfect.
After the midwife finished examining me, it turned out I didn’t need any stitches, didn’t need pain relief as I genuinely wasn’t in any pain. To be honest I felt ready to go home after 3 hours!
We were transferred to a different room, where we could rest.
The midwives and everyone at Kingston hospital continued to be wonderful. The routine tests all came back fine, and we were told that we could go home later that afternoon.
The whole birth experience was very positive. I won’t lie by saying it was completely pain-free. Giving birth is a challenge but if you mentally prepare yourself you can overcome the fear of pain. Everything we learnt on our hypnobirthing course along with lots of practice with relaxation, meditation made a huge difference. Even just focusing on my breathing really helped to manage the waves. It just goes to show that the more you concentrate the faster and more positive the delivery is going to be.
It’s incredibly rewarding knowing that all the hard work we put in during my pregnancy paid off and meant we were blessed with the birth we wanted.