Updated: Mar 23
I’m going to tell the story of the birth of Angus. It was a really positive experience and I have multiple professionals to thank for that. I was more prepared than for my first, I read hypnobirthing books, added in weekly Yogabellies classes, a couples daisy class and an online birth and baby course and did more practice of breathing and relaxation. The biggest difference between my first and second births was my mindset and my breath. These are the two most important things to practice for your birth and they made a huge difference to me and ultimately led to me becoming a pregnancy yoga teacher. I felt more prepared on my options and what I needed to have a good birth and how to use my B.R.A.I.N. (Benefits, Risks, Alternatives, Instinct, Nothing) to be involved in decisions, and ultimately to feel empowered.
I got a sweep on Tuesday morning at 9am as I was 8 days over and anxious about a big baby/being induced at hospital. I had a bloody show and went for a long walk. That evening I noticed I had slightly stronger braxton hicks and they were every 5 minutes at 9pm. I decided to get into bed at 9:30 but ending up laughing so much I got the hiccups because my husband was like, "Louisa, you’re in labour, you can’t go to sleep". My first birth was 7 hours, so I was prepared for this one to potentially be quicker. I called my mum to look after Adam and put on nice music that calmed me. We drove to the birth centre at about 10:30pm, with the help of my tens machine, my breathing techniques and guided relaxations. The midwife I got was amazing and exactly what I needed. She was happy to be completely hands off and leave us to it unless I asked for something. I tried lots of positions but the only one I was happy in was child’s pose with the hips high (you'll find out why shortly).
When I got to the stage of feeling out of control (likely transition into the second stage of labour), I got into the pool and took gas and air. The midwife was amazing and told me to go with my body, not to push if I didn't feel ready but don't fight it if it comes. I started really inhaling the gas and air like a mad woman and rocking my body forwards and backwards through surges as I leant on the edge of the birth pool. I then thought my husband had changed the relaxing yoga music to a Rihanna/Jay-Z style dance song and was imagining myself at a spin class with every surge doing a sprint on the bike. When I really focused and listened, I realised the music had not changed and it was all in my head, thank you gas and air for the party! My husband was providing counterpressure on my lower back as this was where I felt most of the sensations (it later turned out this was because he was back to back, but it didn’t matter).
My waters then broke just before his head came out and I caught him in the water at 2:40am. I was so surprised he was only 7lb8 after being so worried about him being a big baby – he was absolutely tiny to me. My husband says I hardly made a peep my whole labour.
They helped me out of the water and I had skin to skin. We decide to leave the cord for a while if there was no immediate rush. The midwife suggested I push if I feel a surge coming to get the placenta out, but I couldn't feel one, so she got me to stand up and squat and it just fell out, with Angus still attached by the cord, (held by my husband). He breastfed straight away whilst I had a few stitches. I was so engrossed with him I hardly noticed and was happily chatting to the midwife. We spent a relaxing morning in the birth centre, before being discharged at midday. I felt so empowered and happy to have experienced this. Hypnobirthing doesn't necessarily mean a pain free birth, but it goes a long way to educate and prepare you for birth. It was hard work but preparation meant I knew how to calm my mind and body and let my body do what it is designed to do.