Kirsty's Birth Story
Updated: Mar 10, 2021
I was lucky enough to sail through my pregnancy without any complications. As a first time Mum I was grateful to have regular appointments with a lovely midwife and my partner was able to attend all of our scans. My partner didn’t want to take part in a group pre-natal course, but we were both keen to know more about the birth journey and what we needed to do when the time came. Anna’s course was just that! Anna has this aura about her which makes you feel instantly relaxed and safe, and the course was just long enough to keep my partners attention whilst leaving us feeling fully informed. She covered the birthing process in a way that didn’t freak my partner out, pain relief options without any bias, and what he could do to support me.
In the last few weeks of my pregnancy there were a couple of occasions where I didn’t think I had felt my baby move, so we went to the Maternity Assessment Centre for a check-up. Typically, the baby was full of beans when I was hooked up to the monitor, but the staff never made us feel silly or like we had wasted their time; they always were full of reassurance that everything was fine and we had done the right thing by going in.
Covid-19 hit the country towards the end of my pregnancy and it became apparent that my birth journey wasn’t going to be as I had imagined.
The thought of being in hospital during a global pandemic and being on my own during labour was so daunting.
My due date came and there was no sign of my baby. During my midwife appointment she gave me a stretch and sweep but, as it was around Easter Bank Holiday, she wasn’t able to book any further sweeps. She said if my baby hadn’t arrived, the next step would be induction, which filled me with fear. In sheer desperation I contacted Anna for some advice and she went above and beyond to arrange for me to be seen at the MAC where I was given another stretch and sweep and loads of reassurance regarding what would happen if I did have to be induced. I left thinking whatever happens it will all be ok.
The next day I took Anna’s advice and relaxed, had a bath, and went for some walks in the sunshine. To our surprise my waters broke just after 6pm that night. There was some blood in my waters so we were told to make our way to the hospital to be assessed. I was quickly given a bed on the assessment ward and was examined not long after. All was well and I was a couple of centimetres dilated. As I stood up to get ready to leave my waters gushed everywhere! By the time the midwife returned with my notes and two paracetamol, my contractions were in full swing. I think I actually found it easier to focus on my breathing and feel in control being on my own, without my partner there to distract me.
My labour progressed really quickly and within three hours I was 8cm dilated and felt ready to push. The midwife rang my partner who grabbed the bags and raced up to the ward, bumping into us as they wheeled me down to the delivery suite in true dramatic TV drama style! We went straight into a private room and were greeted by two lovely midwives.
Gas and air in one hand and my partner’s hand in the other, my midwives gently guided me through my contractions and my baby boy was born just after midnight. My midwives were so reassuring throughout and I felt so calm and safe. It was like we were in our own little bubble with no thought of the madness of Covid going on around us.
Knowing how keen I was to be at home with my little family, my midwives tried all the techniques in the book but my placenta was stuck and I needed surgery. Mine and my partner’s fear must have been all over our faces as my lovely midwife held my hand and said ‘it’s ok, I’ll come with you’ and the other ‘and I’ll stay here and look after these two’. I returned from surgery to find my baby cleaned, dressed, and being cuddled by my partner who was tucking into a brew and round of toast! In recovery my partner was allowed to stay to make sure we were both ok. He left when he was ready, feeling confident we were in safe hands and would be looked after.
Thinking about my birth experience I feel absolutely empowered and proud, and totally in awe of Anna, Renae (my midwife) and their colleagues who get to support women through this journey every day. They made it such a special experience for us.