Emma's story - Rosa's birth

In our area pregnant women don’t get a scan until 14 weeks. Too excited to wait, we booked a private early scan at 6 weeks. We then had a subsequent scan at 9 weeks due to me having a cyst. The date of my last period, that month’s ovulation test and both scans all confirmed the date of 15th October. 

However when we had our 14 week NHS scan, where your due date is set for your pregnancy, we were told our baby was due a week earlier. We didn’t think anything of it, but then at the 20 week scan we were told that our baby was small and the we would need monitoring throughout the pregnancy. On reflection this date was impossible as I was away on business the week we should have conceived. If our baby was due 15th October then our baby would be within the tolerances. Despite us saying this, it wasn’t really taken into consideration. Each scan was so stressful, we were constantly worrying if everything would be ok. After monthly scans we arrived at the 36 week scan and were advised by the consultant that we should be induced the following week as the baby was small.

At this time I reached out to  tell me a good birth story following a recommendation from our hypnobirthing tutor, to hear some positive stories of induction and those that had small babies.

The stories were so reassuring to hear and I felt confident that if I did need an induction everything would be ok. I did however still try to focus on the outcome we hoped for - a natural brith. However a natural birth at this point seemed a dream. When we asked for the reason behind this advice, we were told that the baby would develop better outside the womb and that we were increasing our risk of having a still born baby if we continued the pregnancy. I took the time to read a long BMJ article on induction vs expected management. The difference in outcomes between the two options was less than 0.5%. Given that we knew our baby was really due a week later this would have meant our baby was only 36 weeks and therefore its lungs would not have been developed. We trusted our instincts and the facts that we knew, and chose expected management rather than induction.
On the 15th October, I attended a yoga class in the morning. During the class I felt some leaking. At the time I wasn’t sure if it was urine or my waters, so after the class we went for lunch as planned. During lunch I could still feel the leaking, so we headed home, where I went upstairs to bed to chill and watch some TV.

Despite all the classes we took (NCT & Hypnobirthing) I still didn't know what a contraction felt like. However when I started to get period pains regularly, I timed them just out of interest at 3pm. They were 6 mins apart and 45 seconds long.

By 5.30pm, they were every two mins and a minute long. Whilst at home I used all my hypnobirthing breathing techniques. We made it to hospital in rush hour without calling ahead and were so lucky to find the birthing pool on the labour ward available. I tested positive for strepB so the midwives gave me one dose of antibiotics before I got into the pool, which took 30 mins to fill ! Whilst waiting for this to get into my system we tried using a tens machine but I was too far gone by this stage for it to really have any impact.

When I got into the pool, the pain reduced by half and felt amazing. I used gas and air and breathed in lavender oil on a tissue. The lavender was as powerful, if not better than the gas! We asked the midwives for no intervention so my body guided me when to push. Two hours after arriving in hospital our beautiful baby girl Rosa was born in the pool. It was everything we ever could have hoped for.

As I was in hospital such a short time before she was born the midwives didnt have enough time to administer the second dose of antibiotics for Strep B, so Rosa and I stayed over night and my husband had to go home. Despite the initial upset of this thought, it was perfect. Rosa and I had some initial bonding time on our own and the next day my husband and I had a day to ourselves with her until we were all discharged - precious time before the visitors arrive. My advice would be to trust your instincts always and no matter what happens, it is your story.