Baby Ruby – positive birth experience

Dear Katherine,

Thought I’d let you know how the birth of our baby daughter Ruby went, which was on the 26th of June earlier this year.

We had a very positive birth experience, much helped by hypnobirthing. This is our story:

I started to feel early contractions at about 3:00am in the morning, and mostly could sleep through them. I got out of bed at about 6:00am and just relaxed on the couch for most of the morning, listening to soft music, breathing through the contractions and timing them every so often. I did feel nauseous if I ate or drank anything so I stopped doing that.

At about 2:00pm, we went in to the hospital because the contractions were 4-5 minutes apart, but were told I was 2cm dilated and not yet in established labour. We were advised that I would be better off at home especially as I’d made a birth plan saying I wished to have an intervention-free birth.

At home I had a 2-hour bath and then listened to a hypnobirthing CD, not feeling that much different. I tried to walk around for a while, thinking this may make things progress faster, still breathing through the contractions.

Walking seemed to make me feel a bit more uncomfortable and after a while I needed my partner to massage my back during the contractions, which really helped. At about 7:30pm I felt we shouldn’t wait any longer and asked my husband to drive me to the hospital.

My waters broke just as I was about to get in the car, and I was feeling the urge to push during contractions, however we both remained calm and just as well because we were trapped in traffic for half an hour.

This time when we arrived at the hospital I needed to stop walking to breathe through contractions on the way in. We were shown directly to a delivery suite, and told by the midwife that there had been meconium in the waters and the baby was about to be born, I was fully dilated.

We had no time to wait for my obstetrician to arrive, and I gave birth lying on my side about 15 minutes after we arrived at the hospital. Ruby was small (2.7kg) though very healthy and alert scoring 9 and 9 on the apgar test.

Knowing to remain calm and relaxed really helped the birthing process, and though my birth wasn’t pain-free I would describe the contractions as feeling like intense period pain, only not as bad because they only last a minute or so at the very longest.

At no time during the labour did I feel the need for any kind of pain relief. When I speak to other mothers in my mothers group about their birth stories, I realise how fortunate I was with my experience. I’m sure it helped that I was looking forward to my birth and focused on a smooth easy labour rather than dreading it as most women do.

Ruby is almost 4 months old now and is a very calm and relaxed baby, she sleeps well at night and always has. I have attached a picture of her taken at one day old.

Kind regards
Kate and Adam

Katherine’s response

Hi Kate,

Thank you for sharing the birth story, and what a great photo of Ruby. I am not surprised to hear that Ruby was a small baby because I remember you were fit and slim while you were pregnant. It is great to hear that Ruby is sleeping well through the night, I am sure many women would love to have such a great content baby. The midwives must have been very amazed to see you handling the advanced stage of your labour so calmly. I would love to know what sort of breathing you found helped the best during the time you were in the car while you were already feeling the urge to push. It was very fortunate that you were calm, even though you were stuck in traffic. You certainly sounded very calm and in control of your labour. Well done…

Thanks for being a great role model for other women, I am sure many will look at you and think if you say you had a positive birth experience maybe they can as well. You can now confidently tell pregnant women that natural birth is very achievable. I am looking forward to putting your story up on our website, if that is OK with you. Because the more positive stories we can offer, the more it becomes a wonderful confidence builder for fearful women.

Just recently, I was contacted by Cosmo Magazine. They read many of the birth stories on our website and asked permission to publish one of them, for the upcoming issue, coming out mid November. The bigger magazines are also helping to spread the news that birth doesn’t have to be all bad, there are ways of giving birth fear free.

I would love to send you a CD called Mothers Devotion and Love as a gift, please send me your address so that I can post if out to you. In the meantime take care and I hope you are enjoying being a mum.

Warm wishes,

More from Kate

No problem, thanks Katherine,

During the car journey, when I felt the urge to push I wasn’t able to do the breathing exercises we were shown by you, they were difficult under the circumstances. I found that once I had the urge to push there was no stopping me pushing, so I was pushing during the contractions in the car but trying not to do it too hard because I didn’t want to deliver the baby without a midwife. I found that when I pushed the pain went away.

The breathing during the contractions did help, and relaxing did help. The midwife was very impressed, she told me I was amazing and she wished more births could be like that.

When I think now of Ruby’s birth I think of it as the most amazing and memorable day of my life, a surreal experience that is a very happy memory, I don’t associate it with pain at all.

It is lovely having such a contented beautiful girl, she self settles when I put her to bed at night, and if she wakes up for a feed during the night she doesn’t cry but rather makes little cooing sounds, louder and louder until I get up for her. As a newborn she did cry a bit at night but only when we first put her down, not throughout the night.

You’re welcome to put my story on your web site.