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"Towards the end of my pregnancy I became quite anxious. This was mainly due to the Corona Virus . As my anxiety around the virus grew and my 'due date' came and went. I even began to doubt in my ability to go into labour! Why would a body relax enough to release a baby into a virus ridden world?

Having done the hypnobirthing course I was really aware of how important the environment was to the birth process. I was also really keen for a water birth and had done lots of my hypnobirthing meditations in the bath with candles, so this is how I envisaged giving birth.

At 41+4 weeks I was booked for an outpatient induction. I knew that by 42 weeks I would really have to stand my ground not to have any form of induction and as I was doubting my body, I wasn't prepared to add that extra level of stress.
My biggest concern with induction was having to spend a long time on an induction ward with either nothing happening, or in full on labour with others around me. I was given an outpatient induction appointment. The pessary would be applied and then we would be sent home for the latent phases, to come back when in active labour, so a good way to avoid the senerio I was dreading.

When we arrived at the labour ward everyone was so welcoming and friendly. I was put on a two bedded bay but alone as no-one was in the other bay. The midwives explained everything fully and listened as I explained my concerns around induction.

The midwife checked me in and examined me. She then applied the pessary and said she would return after 20 mins to send me home or for a hospital walk.

I sat on the bed waiting from something to happen. It didn't seem to at first. Then gradually strong surges started to build and it was decided I wasn't going anywhere- not that I wanted too! The midwife and her student popped in and out. Checking how I was doing and offering cups of tea.

They popped back in once they had read my birth plan in detail, to check everything through with me. They were keen to know more about hypnobirthing and also keen to make sure that my needs were being met which was really reassuring. There were some parts of my birth plan that they felt like the needed to explore with me. I has stated I preferred a c section to medical intervention (forceps and vontuse) due to previous tear. The midwife explained they would do this where possible but sometimes delivery is far too progressed and we discussed some different senerios. This reassured me but this definitely made me feel like they understood me, heard and took me seriously.

After a little while they got me a ball I could get off the bed and have a bounce. This is where I stayed for most of my labour.

My surges were coming thick and fast. The midwife asked, in several roundabout ways, if I needed pain relief but I was content enough breathing through each one. Although I knew they were strong and close together I thought I'd save any pain meds for later on.

My husband kept offering my birthing tracks but again I wanted to save them for later. Lots of the positive affirmations were going round in my head which, with the up breathing kept me focused.

As I bounced on my ball I felt myself retreat inwards. My husband kept trying to make conversation about baby names and the midwife asked about hynobirthing but I just couldn't hold a conversation.

The midwife then came and told us they were getting us a delivery suite with a pool! I was over joyed - Yes! Confirmation I was in actual labour AND was going to a suite by myself and I would get the waterbirth I desperately wanted!

The walk to the room was tricky. I had to stop every few steps to breathe through intense surges which had really ramped up!
The delivery suite was beautiful with candles, lights, a bath and personlised message! Again I felt really understood - they knew this was important to me!

The midwife and her student were trying to make me as comfortable as possible fetching birthing balls and aromatherapy oils! The midwife popped off to get some oils and I nipped to the loo and I began to feel like I wanted to bear down. Once out from the loo I started mooing and rocking on all fours.

The midwife suggested pain relief and I said I wanted to get in the pool. She started trying to get the wireless/ waterproof monitoring belt on me but this was proving tricky with my mooing and swaying!

The midwife suggested an examination and to get the pessary out. She took the pessary out and I was 6cm. As I stood up from the examination my waters broke and with the next surge in was on all fours again! I think at this point the midwife realised a baby was possibly on her way as she handed me the gas and air and started shouting for a blue pack! This was a relief to me as I knew from listening to my body this is where we were at.

I perched on the end of the bed and baby started to move down. My body took over but I was in amazing control. My husband kept reminding me to blow the candles out (downwards breathing). It was calm, peaceful, quick and it wasn't at all painful. With 3 surges my baby was here after a very quick 3 and a half hour labour! ( I had done the fear and confidence meditation in the KG book which asks you at the end in to decide, in your mind, how long your labour is going to be - I chose 4 hrs!) I hadn't even had time to get undressed never-mind get into the pool!

Baby was placed on my chest. I got skin to skin. I delivered my placenta. After a while Chris cut the cord. It was everything you could imagine for a perfect golden hour and everything we had requested!

I had a second degree tear this time and opted to have it stitched before they left us to get to know our bundle.

We were then left, in what felt like a 5 star hotel room, to enjoy dimly lit golden hour(s). Midwives brought us tea and toast and a dinner and we relaxed for the rest of the afternoon.

We were discharged 8 hours after birth following new born checks and were home same day! Snuggling down with my baby in my bed was amazing!

I read somewhere that a woman should feel like a princess giving birth! I certainly did and put this day on par with my wedding day- it was so magical!

My recovery since has been like nothing I would have believed and I put it down to the hypnobirthing. I feel amazing, I did a 2 mile walk a week after giving birth and after thinking we were two babies and done - I now want to do it all again!"

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