Emma’s birth story - Positive Induction & Epidural
Emma is a first time mum who gave birth in the hospital at 40+5, making the informed choice to take full advantage of an epidural.
In Emma’s words -
I remember vividly the first time I had heard of about hypnobirthing and specifically a birth plan, it was in my first NCT class (I was 7 months pregnant at the time). I instantly panicked, expecting to have to fill in a 10 page form, answering questions about how my baby would be born, that I had no way of knowing the answers to. So I did what a normal hormonal pregnant woman would do, in the car on the way home (it’s only a 10 minute drive) started looking into Hypnobirthing and ordered a few books (recommended by every other mum in the session….. never have I felt more like I forgot to do my homework). I was determined to understand more about this mystical birth method and how to plan before the next time I had to talk about it.
With help from my new bedtime bibles, discussions with other mums and a few more NCT sessions I slowly started to understand. Hypnobirthing wasn’t floaty nonsense and a birth plan wasn’t a detailed document that was graded or assessed. It’s a way of understanding and documenting your thoughts and feelings towards different aspects of the birth of your baby. It empowered me to think about my attitude to pain relief, lighting, sound and how I wanted to bring my baby into the world. The process of making educated and informed decisions gave me control over one of the biggest experiences of my life.
At 18:03 on Friday 8th February 2019 I gave birth to my little girl and my birth plan had never left my hospital bag. Not because I didn’t value it, or gave up on it, but because I knew it inside out. I did not have the calm water birth I had imagined as after a 29 hour latent phase of labour, I was dilated 5cms. I was exhausted. I decided to be induced and have an epidural for pain relief. As I was wheeled out of the dark calm room I had spent so long in, to go up to the bright lights of consultant lead unit of the hospital, I was focussed and calm. I would meet my baby soon and I was doing the right thing for me, my baby and my body. I understood the process, the risks (although no one had fully explained the advantage of being able to have a rest for the first time in what had felt like forever) and I felt in control.
I had not failed because my birth did not ‘go to plan’, I had calmly, and with the support of my midwife and partner, adjusted my plan to reflect what was happening. I felt like superwoman!
I recognise that I am lucky and for many people this process of adjustment is not easy. Where further support and intervention is necessary, it is difficult and challenges you when you are at your most vulnerable. But don’t we all deserve to feel like superwoman, our bodies are incredible, we are incredible and at the end of that journey we finally get to meet our babies.