Baby No.3: My Birth Story


Hey my loves,

This week, I'm bringing to you my birth story for baby number three. I gave birth to Lana Rose on Tuesday 15th October at 12.15am, weighing 7 pounds 5 ounces. The birth probably didn't go as well as I had imagined it would due to how quickly she came, but honestly, when I take everything into consideration, it could have been a lot worse. I thought I would also share what I used to help get me there.

Monday, which was one week before my due date, started with me visiting the hospital, as I felt like Lana's movements had reduced. Everything was absolutely fine but the doctor also wanted to examine me and at this point the doctor informed me that I was already 3cm dilated, so she could simply pop my waters to induce my labour. This was a bit scary to me, as I had never been induced before and I much preferred for things to happen naturally. So I asked if I could have a sweep instead (where the cervix is swept with two fingers to help stimulate the onset of labour), the doctor agreed and booked me in for an induction a few days later. They then scanned me just to check everything was ok with baby and off I went home.

Pretty soon after, I started to get period-type cramping pains however I had been having Braxton Hicks for the past 5 days so didn't think much of it. I had also booked to go and watch Joker in the cinema, so was looking forward to it. My sister said she would drive me there and drop me off just incase anything happened, so at around 6 o'clock, off we went. Once the film started, I think my contractions got a little stronger but I used the film as a distraction and just breathed through them. I was getting them around every 15 minutes at this point. Once the film finished, I called my mum and told her to get to mine as she was going to look after my girls, who were already tucked up in bed at this point. I got home around 9 pm and as soon as I stepped foot into the house they started to progress pretty quickly, so I got my birthing ball and put my TENS machine on.

The Babycare Tens Machine* is a device whereby you apply four sticker pads to your back and it sends electrical impulses to stimulate muscles while you are contracting. This is all controlled with a remote that is attached to the stickers by wires. The remote on this particular TENS allows you to control each side independently but to be honest, I didn't really use this feature. However, it could be useful if you are lying down or baby is in an awkward position and you are feeling more pain on one side. It also has different settings, so in between contractions you could have it on the pulse option and when you are having a contraction you select the boost option for it to be constant, this also times the contractions for you which I found really handy. These settings also have different intensities within themselves, so as you progress through labour, you can increase the sensation of the tens.

I find the Tens machine really does just take the edge off the pain and it almost feels like a distraction. This is my first labour where I used it while pushing and it was fantastic, although towards the end I think I just had it on constant and I was no longer using the remote to control it, it was just on. I felt no need for gas and air or any other type of pain relief. I personally don't like the sensation that gas and air gives me, so I opted to go without. I have used a TENS machine in all three of my labours and would really recommend it!

Unfortunately, because I had been in with reduced movements it meant that the baby had to be monitored throughout the labour. This meant it was a little harder for me to get comfortable as the midwife was constantly having to move with me and the monitor on my belly. I managed to try and zone out from this by focusing on my techniques I had learnt from Mindful Hypnobirthing by Sophie Fletcher. This was another essential for me in my labour journey. I had found myself getting a little anxious doing my pregnancy and I was given this book by my lovely friend Annemieke @_beautyonreview. ) It was a game changer. It changes the way you think about labour and I would say it is especially fantastic for first time pregnancies/labours. I wish I had read it with my first. It teaches you mindfulness and relaxation techniques and also comes with hypnosis and positive affirmation tracks which I had playing throughout the labour. I had been listening to these daily throughout my last trimester while practicing my breathing techniques and hearing it throughout labour aswell as having the lights dimmed took me to that relaxed place and really helped me focus on the end goal amongst the chaos.

From arriving at the hospital around 10pm and 6cm dilated, I then progressed very quickly and gave birth at 12.15 am. So I was only at the hospital for around 2 hours before birth, where the contractions were really strong. Some people might think this is amazing, but I actually found it a little hard to get into the zone with my breathing. Everything was progressing so quickly, it didn't really allow me to get into a rhythm and I did feel a little panicked as my mindfulness wasn't as focused as I would have liked. But I used the techniques to help calm me down and really tried to focus on positive affirmations. Because the labour was so quick, it has also effected my recovery. My muscles and pelvis didn't have time to gradually expand, so I genuinely felt bruised and achy for weeks after. It has taken me a little longer to recover compared to my previous labours but this may also be because I'm five years older too.

I think a necessity in labour is having a great birth partner. I couldn't do it without my husband. He makes me feel so safe, comfortable and valued during labour and that is so important. The environment you are surrounded by can really have an effect on how things progress. He talked to me about the positives, he helped me visualise the end result. I took massage oils in with me during this labour and he massaged my shoulders and back during contractions using the Neal's Yard Remedies massage oil  and this gave me so much comfort. I would say having a birth partner or doula who can really say everything you need to hear during labour is essential. Don't feel under pressure to have more than what you need. The most important thing is you feel safe and comfortable as this will help the labour along.

Like I said earlier, within two hours of being in the hospital, my beautiful baby girl had arrived. In all my labours, my waters had to be broken and I never seem to dilate more than nine centimetres. I know my body and I think it's really important to communicate this to the midwife. It got to a point where my contractions were very sharp in the pain I was feeling and I kept reiterating this to the midwife. I was pleading with her to break my waters as I couldn't take the sharpness anymore. She kept saying no, but then when she examined me she 'accidentally' popped them and as soon as she did that, it was such a relief as I literally felt the urge to push and I could concentrate on the feeling of the contraction. Like I said, I don't seem to contract past 9 cm so she helped stretch that extra cm and then I think I may have pushed maybe 4/5 times and Lana was here. This makes it seem so easy but pushing can be really hard, the best thing I find is to really internalise all my energy, push downwards and have your legs open as wide as possible as the wider your pelvis is, the better!

I have found with all my labours that the ease of the pushing stage really does depend on how much energy I have left, based on what time of day it is and how long the labour is. This may be why I found my second labour the easiest, as I had a full night's sleep, and was in labour for around 4 hours, having her at 9 am, so had loads of energy to push.  But with this labour, it being so late didn't help as I was just exhausted from it being a long day.

When the baby arrives there is no other feeling than that of when your baby is put on you, skin to skin, for the first time. It is an overwhelming sense of relief and love and just absolute bliss. It really is indescribable. For me unfortunately, this was a little short lived as I had a second degree tear and needed to be stitched up. I had an awful experience with my episiotomy from my first labour and reiterated this to the midwife however the stitches were horrible. Maybe just as bad as the labour. I feel as though there was not enough anaesthetic, which is exactly what happened the first time, but unfortunately the midwife wasn't very accommodating. So it was just something I had to put up with. The sensation of a sharp pinch into your skin and the thread dragging through the skin with a tug at the end is one of the most traumatising feelings ever and that's all I can say on that matter. With my second labour the midwives were so lovely, they asked for a doctor to do the stitches and I was given extra anaesthetic until I was comfortable. I couldn't feel anything, so I was hoping it would be the same this time, but it just wasn't.

Anyway, I've learnt by now that dwelling and thinking about these things doesn't get you anywhere, so once the stitches were complete, I had a shower and was then discharged from the delivery suite up onto the ward. At this point, it was around 3 am. So for about half an hour it was lovely, as there were only two beds on the ward and we were the only ones in there. But soon enough, another family arrived and their baby was a crier. Poor thing. So we didn't really get any sleep that night.

As soon as it hit 6 am, Aaron went home to wake the girls up and bring them to see the baby. And it was exactly what I needed. The girls woke up to their Grandma and they knew what that meant, but they couldn't believe it. The moment they entered the room and saw Lana was everything I had imagined and wished for, for a long time. They were so sweet, introducing themselves, telling her how much they love her, and how they had been waiting for so long to meet her. It was perfection and something I will never forget. I am complete. My family is complete.

Amina xx

*PR sample. All opinions are my own.

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