Pregnancy Guest blogger – My Positive Birth Story
Positive Birth Story
I am so pleased I can document the birth of my second baby as it was such a magical, positive experience. I’m sad I didn’t get any photographs as it happened very quickly. I hope my story will encourage and inspire others who might be anxious about a second birth (after a challenging first birth) or anyone who has been “told” they can’t have a natural / midwife-led birth due to being classed as a high-risk pregnancy. It is ENTIRELY possible to have a positive birth experience AND to learn to trust your own body!
I can’t remember much about the birth of my first baby. I was ‘consultant-led’ due to a medical condition (ulcerative colitis) which meant additional monitoring and frequent growth scans. At 28 weeks my consultant suggested being induced at 40 weeks and because I had not fully informed myself of the wonderful process of birth and how amazing our bodies are (and what we are capable of) I readily accepted induction as I thought it meant meeting my baby sooner.
I won’t dwell much on my first birth, but I feel that because I had only ever watched “one born every minute” and hadn’t really educated myself on the different types of birth available, I simply accepted that the doctors knew best and I would merrily be on my way once the baby “popped out”. (I didn’t even know about Lochia!). My first birth will always be amazing as i was born again as a mother, but the induction, subsequent epidural and episiotomy I experienced definitely wasn’t something I was preparing for.
When I fell pregnant with my second baby I was determined to have a different birth. I had heard so many of my friends talk about how wonderful their birth experiences were. Lots of my friends had suggested hypnobirthing but I wasn’t sure what was involved. I read about Hypnobirthing online and bought a couple of positive birthing books and signed up to an online course. Hypnobirthing is a method that uses relaxation techniques, mindfulness and breathing techniques for a better birth. It’s helps a woman feel physically, mentally and spiritually prepared and reduce her awareness of fear, anxiety and pain during childbirth.
pregnancy blog Norfolk
Hypnobirthing for me, essentially focused on the positives and most importantly gave me the tools to put myself back in control my birth experience. I spent hours watching positive birth videos when Eden went to bed, I listened to my positive affirmation MP3’s daily, made my own affirmation cards and looked at 100s of beautiful birth photographers work and birth photos. I also watched positive birth stories on YouTube and read Ina May Gaskins “Guide to childbirth” book. I was actually EXCITED about giving birth. I had learned so much about how the body works, I felt proud to be a ‘wombman’ and blessed to have another chance at experiencing birth.
Due to my ulcerative colitis, I was consultant led again. I felt disappointed when my consultants suggested inducing me 2 weeks before my due date, but I remembered B.R.A.I.N (Benefits, Risk, Alternative, Instinct and Necessity) and questioned the necessity. This was hard for me as i don’t usually speak up for myself – but my research and preparation had given me the courage to consider all options and have faith in my own body (and my baby).
All seemed to be going well, at my appointment the consultants agreed to let me go until my due date intervention/induction free and give birth on the midwife-led ward! I was ecstatic because I had visions of a water birth, surrounded by my candles and listening to my birth playlist. I was absolutely sure my baby would come early and I started drinking red raspberry leaf tea, eating pineapple and bouncing around on my pregnancy ball around 36 weeks! I also went for walks, kept my positive birth playlist playing in my ears whilst walking and tried to avoid all negative vibes, only inviting positive vibes into my life. I was also enjoying pregnancy so much and liked spending my last few weeks bonding with my toddler who’s world would soon change. Each night I visualised the birth experience I wanted, manifesting those visualisations – In the hope my dreams would come true.
On my due date (Saturday 2nd November) my partner suggested going shopping to stock up. I lost my mucus plug before leaving the house and I felt excited that I might meet my baby soon! I trusted that my baby knew when he should come….
The weekend passed and we went for walks, bounced on my ball and ate curry but nothing happened. I still had faith in my body and my baby… but I was concerned that I had an extra scan on Monday 4th November and a meeting with my consultants (who I was sure would want to discuss induction).
On Monday morning (4th November) my waters broke and I was slowly trickling fluid. I felt some mild surges, but when I used the Freya app (Positive Birth Company) they were irregular and didn’t feel strong. I went for my scan and everything appeared well, the baby was a good size and my fluid (despite leaking) was “normal”. However, because my waters had broken 12hrs ago I was sent to the delivery suite to have a check and confirm my waters has gone.
The check reminded me of my first birth, the ward was bright and anything but “relaxing”. I was also disappointed to learn that I was not dilated (at all). I felt so sad. Perhaps my body didn’t know what to do after all? The consultants booked me for an induction at 12pm on the 5th November and I cried because I felt all of the hard work I had done had been wasted.
That evening my partner suggested putting my toddler to bed early and getting an early night.. to save our energy.
Around 5 am on the 5th November I felt a strong desire to get in the shower. I cried, but it felt really positive.. almost cathartic. After that, I had a word with myself. BIRTH IS BEAUTIFUL! No matter the type or how the baby makes his way earthside… I just felt really happy that he would join us today no matter what. I read some positive induction birth stories online and felt instantly positive. I felt a really strange “pop” sensation in my back whilst showering and had the urge to sit on the toilet. From that moment I started to feel REALLY powerful surges, I timed them on the Freya app and they were coming every 2-3minutes!
I rushed to call my mother who would be coming from over 30minutes away to sit with my toddler.
I called the midwife-led ward who said that unfortunately because my waters had broken over 24hrs ago I would need to give birth in the delivery ward. I didn’t mind… I was so happy that my body knew what to do.. I wished I had trusted my body sooner.
positive birth story
On the drive to the hospital, my surges were so strong – I kept doing my up-breathing technique (breathe in for 4 seconds out for 8 seconds) and soon we were pulling up in the hospital carpark. It was 07:30am and my partner said he would get the bags once we were checked in.
We JUST made it to the delivery suite where I was met by my midwife and quickly taken into our room. I asked my partner to go back and get my bags so he could set up my candles and essential oils, affirmations and photos… (I had been preparing them for months) but the midwife said if he left the room the baby could be born any moment! I couldn’t believe I was doing it! My body was in labour! The consultants visited me mid surge (I wanted to swear but I remained calm and polite). They suggested if the baby hadn’t been born within a few hours they would speed things up with the hormone drip. The midwife checked my cervix to see how dilated I was and I felt a little disappointed when she said I was 4cm… but because she knew I was doing hypnobirthing for a positive birth she said she had met mothers who had gone from 4cm-10cm within 30mins. This was the encouragement I needed. I went with my body, feeling every surge, feeling incredibly powerful. Feeling primal and instinctive and connected to the millions of other women giving birth in the world at this very moment!
Within 30mins I had gone from 4cm- 10cm and had an overwhelming feeling that I might wet myself. It was the downstage of labour! I also felt slightly panicky at this point and started to doubt I could do it. The midwife reminded me of this, she asked me to remember everything I had learnt and trust my body. It was time to meet my baby. All I could think was I haven’t even brought my bags in yet! How can I remember my positive affirmations and what to do? But I did! I had already prepared enough and my body and mind were ready!
After a quick 20min labour and 3-4 strong pushes I gave birth to my beautiful, big baby boy. I felt everything. I saw his head coming out of me and the feeling was amazing… I felt powerful, instinctive and primal. I wish I could feel it all over again.
I had done this! He was here… we did it together. My partner was brilliant and kept reminding me to breathe. He encouraged me the whole time.
Norfolk newborn photographer
Baby Theo Jack joined us at 09:14am on the 5th November like a little firework! Labour was so quick, beautiful and empowering (and drug and intervention-free as I had wished). I couldn’t have done it without all the preparation and positive energy that I feel is largely down to hypnobirthing (and indeed educating myself on “how the female body” gives birth).
Women are incredible, our bodies are truly amazing and I am so thankful to all the positive birth accounts and hypnobirthing companies in Norfolk who kindly offered advice, help and support through my pregnancy. I am pleased I trusted my body, despite my illness, I surrendered to nature – trusting myself, my mind, my body and my baby. All were connected and worked beautifully together. It was an amazing experience and I have replayed it over and over in my mind every day since.

Cristi – follow her on Instagram


you can read other blogs here. 

newborn baby photographer Norwich
baby photographer Norwich