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The birth of Daniel

I woke up at 7am on Saturday 24th October feeling a bit achy, when I felt and heard a ‘pop’.   I sat on my birthing ball in what I thought was a vain attempt to get things going, at which point my waters started to break. Contractions started off at 10 minutes apart but were very mild. 
I went to the Bracken birth centre at approx 10am when contractions had increased to every 5 minutes apart.   I was sure that I was going to be told to go home and come back when the contractions were closer together, but I was certain that I was going to give birth very soon and I concentrated on remaining focussed and calm.
I was left in the observation room for quite some time, with the midwife telling me that my contractions would “Get a lot stronger” and I relaxed and breathed through them although I felt rather frustrated at being treated so casually as I knew that my birth was imminent. I had some increasingly strong contractions and the midwife checked how dilated I was. She was amazed to find that I was 9cms, and quickly helped me to the delivery room, on the way telling someone in a very surprised tone how dilated I was. I took some entonox whilst the pool was filled and the contractions started to get really strong. I shuffled into the pool which felt wonderful, but unfortunately, I was only in the pool for about 5 contractions as the midwife informed me that the baby’s heart rate was fluctuating and my baby was possibly becoming distressed. She said that the pool was slowing things down and that I needed to get out of the pool (quite tricky whilst you’re having a contraction!!) and back to the bed where I was told to lie on my back. I quite forcefully said “No, I don’t want to be on my back” so the midwife helped me to lie on my side. I remember at this point saying “I can’t do this anymore” and realising that this was probably transition stage.
The midwife then told me that I had 15 minutes to deliver my baby otherwise I was going to be taken up to the obstetrics ward. Knowing that I would probably end up on my back in stirrups, which was one of my worst fears, I found some strength from somewhere and really started to push. Until this point I hadn’t really felt like pushing and I’d been ignoring a feeling like I needed to go to the toilet. I started to push at the next contraction but due to the short time frame I’d been given they couldn’t afford to allow the baby’s head to come out slowly. Every time I took entonox I relaxed, which meant that the baby’s head would slip back up.   I needed each full contraction to work effectively, so for the last 15 minutes I had no entonox and the baby quickly arrived. 
Daniel was born at 1.50pm after 5½ hours labour and was put straight on my tummy.
Mike told me that the baby was a boy which was a huge surprise to me as I was convinced I was carrying a girl, and Mike then cut the cord.  
 
Mike, my husband, was fantastic, and I really couldn’t have done it without his support, encouragement and protection.
The next day whilst being shown how to bathe Daniel, my midwife came into the room. When she saw me, she said to the attendant “this woman was amazing”. I was rather surprised to hear her say this and told her that Id seen a hypnobirthing midwife and done active birth yoga.   She said that she knew I’d done something because Id been so calm.
I had always been terrified about giving birth, but I only had a few contractions which I felt were unbearable and the birth itself was not as bad as I thought it was going to be, although I was shocked at the extraordinary noises I was making!!!   
Giving birth was the most surreal, amazing experience of my life and I had no perception of time, or awareness of what was going on around me at all. It seemed that I was watching and hearing everything from down a long tunnel.  
Our beautiful son Daniel was alert, pink and healthy when he was born, which may not have been the case if I’d had to resort to medication. I’m absolutely certain that active birth yoga and hypnobirthing gave me the knowledge and the confidence to know what I wanted. Thank you!