Anna shares her story of the cathartic birth of Maya at Crowborough Birth Centre this weekend …
“Having had a wobbly few days as the end of pregnancy drew near I felt a refreshed calm and stillness descending. Was relieved to identify unmistakable ‘show’ while in the toilets at a toddler distraction activity (trampoline park – his heaven) on Friday morning. Cramps were evident and increasing. So excited! After a trip to the birth centre confirmed my waters were in tact I was advised to crack on as normal until either waters went or contractions 3 in 10 mins. So crack on I did! Monty (toddler) and I got a bus to the Pantiles and wandered to the park. By 5pm a lady in the park enquired as to my wellbeing – I must have been pulling faces as the contractions ramped up! Should I go home potentially – she gently suggested. Toby came to pick us up in the car and I was getting a bit sore now. We put Monty to bed together and I felt quite emotional as I knew he wasn’t going to be my only baby for much longer. After a typically protracted bedtime and some deep breathing through increasingly intense contractions, shit started to get real once Monty was asleep. I focussed on breathing and we rang my parents. Soon realised we needed immediate respite in order to get to the birth centre as the contractions were coming thick and fast. By the time my sister in law arrived to babysit while my parents drove over I was ‘cracking on’ and having to focus fully. The drive to Crowborough was somewhat intense with every pothole and turn causing gasps and my poor husband coped well!
On arrival at Crowborough I practically fell on all fours through the doors, met by a midwife who didn’t leave me from that point on. Having initially directed me gently through to the assessment room, they diverted me straight to delivery as I was contracting so frequently. On inspection (with some gas and air – what a relief!) I was overjoyed to be told I was 7cm.
The midwife spotted my birth plan in with my notes and asked for it, I loved her instantly. She was a careful mix of hands off but gently guided me. I asked to get in the water and Toby set up our laptop with the labour affirmations track. We were in business!
The water was a blessed relief. Some gas and air plus another hour of contractions – pretty full on but not insurmountable, I felt a different sort of urge. I turned over in the pool so my back could arch under me – the midwife said my waters were bulging but they hadn’t broken
still. A strong visual image of my uterus contracting helped me as my body took over. One enormous sensation like doing a massive involuntary poo and her head came down followed by her body in one big whoosh! And there she was! In her membranes which burst as she came up. I was so so shocked in a very good way. It was done! Incredible out of body feeling and I felt strong! The music kept my mind anchored to the practise and rhythm we had rehearsed over and over.
A few stitches (more gas and air – a fun Friday night high) and the placenta, I had a shower and the best tea and toast EVER. Totally ecstatic and she is beautiful.
So many cathartic feelings following a much more difficult and traumatic delivery of my son nearly 3 years ago. This time I stayed fitter physically with help from Sam Rathmell at TWPT my awesome PT and I focussed on my mental fitness in equal measure with Louise Daniels – Hypnobirthing Tunbridge Wells. Team effort that helped Toby and I smash it, so grateful. The birth centre was the right choice for me too. All came together. Win! “