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Helen's Story

I had planned to have a water birth at home. I had previously given birth in a hospital and also in a pool at St Mary's Birth centre in Melton and while my first birth was less than ideal (induction at 42 week) my second birth was much calmer. I was due on the 15th of May but I had done my own calculations and I marked the 24th of May on the calendar as the day our child would be born.

On the Monday morning (23rd) I had woken up having tightening's once every hour. We had had a few false starts the week before so I didn't pay too much attention to them. As the day went on they came every 40 minutes, then every half an hour and by the time we had reached 5 pm they were coming one every 10-15 minutes but they only felt like period pains and were really mild. I decided to have an early night and got into bed at 8:30 pm after putting my eldest daughter to bed. My son had had a late nap and so was still up with my husband! I put some clary sage oil in my diffuser and tried to relax and rest. As soon as I laid down the tightenings began to get stronger. I decided to give it half an hour to see how they progressed. They were becoming more and more intense and so I went downstairs to let my husband know that we should probably contact the doula and the community midwife. At this point I wasn't sure whether I was actually in labour and was worried I would be wasting the midwives time if they came out to us. We called and thy were having a shift change and reassured us that they would send a midwife as soon as they could.

The midwives turned up at 10:30 pm and shortly after our doula also arrived and my husband took our son to bed. I had requested not to have any interventions or internal examinations but because I wasn't sure whether I was in labour i agreed to an examination. My contractions had started to come every 2 minutes and it took me about half an hour to be able to lie down to have the examination!

She confirmed that I was only 3 cms dilated and that because of that they couldn't class me in active labour and advised not to go in the pool as that could slow labour down. They gave us some space so me and my husband could discuss what we then wanted to do about carrying on as the contractions had become incredibly intense and I had started to struggle. knowing that I still had a long way to go to get to 10 cms ! Little did I know, at this point, I had actually reached transition which was where my anxieties were coming from. I was leaning over the yoga ball, rocking side to side and humming through the contractions. My doula had brought frozen flannels with her and was using them on my lower back. She suggested a change of position and so I got up and leaned over the back of the sofa. My husband decided to start filling the pool to see whether the water would help my anxiety and disappeared off to the kitchen. All of a sudden I had the overwhelming urge to push! My doula shouted to the midwives who all came rushing in with towels, waterproof sheets and started unpacking their tools. My husband started screaming in the kitchen because the hose had come away from the tap and was spraying him and our kitchen with water and my eldest daughter appeared at the living room door having woken up! Our doula took her upstairs and came back and forth between me and her upstairs to make sure she was ok. My body took over at this point and was pushing for me. I was able to birth my sons head in a very controlled way (I had torn in both of my previous labours) by very small pushes and a lot of breathing. One last big push and he was out! His sack was still intact until his legs came out at this point they burst. Unfortunately, at this point I suffered a tear and he wasn't breathing and so I wasn't able to delay clamping his cord and I did have to go to the LRI to have my tear repaired but the whole experience was so calm and controlled and with the breathing and humming I was able to get through each contraction confidently. My husband was the first person to hold him and told us that we had a boy and my eldest daughter (who stayed awake throughout the whole thing!) got to be the 2nd person to hold him.

Mylo Alexander was born at 12:27am on the 24th May weighing 7lbs 9oz.

Thank you, Nerissa, for helping bring all 3 of my babies into the world with yoga!

Love, Helen X