Hi Kat,

Hope you are well! I thought I’d appropriately enough share our birth story with you on what would have been our due date. We now have a son, whom we’ve named Leo, who turns the astonishing 9 days old today! He decided to come early, and did an entrance to this world which we’ll never forget. 

It started on Thursday 14th of September with my waters breaking at 10.20pm just after going to bed. I lost my mucus plug that same morning, but did not think much of it as it can still take days/weeks and no contractions. Within a minute of the waters breaking contractions started, strong and regular. 1 min long and every 3-4 min from the start.

We called the hospital to let them know – they asked us to come in so they could confirm the waters had broke. Being confident that it was the waters that did indeed break, I said we would rather be home as we have a 45 min drive to UCLH, unless there are other reasons they would like to see us this soon. Said and done, we hung up thinking this would be the start of a long night and I thought I’d better pour a bath. We agreed with hospital we would come in the next morning. 

Contractions increased in intensity but breathing and staying focused and with Matthew next to me I could handle them. Once in the bath I started to throw up shortly after because of the intensity. After this contractions came even more intensely, and I had a hard time visualising, but by breathing and the knowledge of birth and labour we gained from hypnobirthing we both stayed calm. 

We called the hospital again to check as we now had contractions over 1 min long and every 2.5-3.5 min, who said that we should take a paracetamol and get some sleep, maybe a bath, as we’re first time parents it will probably be quiet a few more hours of this. At this point I just could not beilive that this was only the beginning of labour and started to doubt myself and that I could handle the intensity – just the thought of it being midnight and I would have to deal with them for many more hours, almost threw me over the edge.

Shortly after this call I told Matthew I needed to poo but could not face leaving our bathtub – at this point I did not care. Seconds later this new noise came out of me rather than poo – like from another world – not sure if it sounded more like a cow on steroids or a lion calling for his pride – but I could not control it. I had heard about this sound and immediately put my fingers up down below and could feel the babys head approaching with each contraction. I told Matthew the baby is coming and I need to push so call the hospital/ambulance. He did not beilive me at first and told me not to push (like I had any control over it) as we’ve been told minutes before we had hours to go. But said and done he was on the phone to the hospital who heard my sounds in the background and told him that this baby is coming NOW so he better hang up and call the ambulance for assistance. 

Matthew prepared to deliver the baby himself on our bathroom floor – as the ambulance personal was still minutes away. He made me get out of the bath and lie down on my back – not very comfortable at all (!!!) but the ambulance said on the phone it is essential to buy them time to arrive but also to stop me from tearing completely as he was coming ‘too quickly’. Matthew even put his hand to stop the head from coming out.

With 2 minutes to spare a paramedic showed up (before the ambulance) and helped catch the baby while Matthew focused on myself and my breathing and getting me through the last minute of Leo being inside me instead of out. Kneeling in front of bathtub and Matthew.

At 1.08am – 2 hours and 48 min after waters breaking – Leo came out in one contraction. In total shock and relief I heard him cry (fairly calmly if I remember right) and soon after he latched on and all I could feel was the most overwhelming feeling. I could not beilive it. We had a son. In our bathroom! And what I had felt thinking it was the early stages of labour was him paving his way through my pelvis for a rocket entrance! 

I told the ambulance not to cut the cord and not to clean him. We stayed on our bathroom floor for skin to skin for 30 min before they had to take us to hospital as there was no free midwife to come and check on us + I still had to deliver the placenta, and apparently ambulances don’t like doing that. 

In hospital (ended up going to the closest one – Whipps Cross rather than UCLH) they wanted to give me induction for placenta as it had been over an hour and no natural contractions – no way I thought, not a single more contraction today, so I started to push having no idea if it would work, and out it came! PHEW.

Some stitches later (my breathing here was essential to take me through it, more painful than the birth – birth was more intense and out of this world powerful) we were left to it, to hang out with our baby boy, and get over the shock and let the love take over. 

Leo was born at 3.1kg and 53 cm long – tall and lanky like his dad. We got to go home at lunch. 

We could not have dealt with that labour, we would have panicked, would it not have been for coming to your hypnobirthing class. Our birth preferences went out the window, but the mindset and the focus we were taught was all we needed to get through the most intense bodily experience (and amazing, and cool and out of this world) 2 hours and 48 min of my life. The course also helped Matthew to keep calm, not once did I feel him panic, which reassured me and focused us both. 

Thanks again Kat,

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