It was my to be my fourth birth. My previous three births had all been in hospital, all induced due to being ‘late’ which started a cascade of interventions and pretty much, I felt, mental torture. In all three births I handed myself over to the idea that drugs would make it better, when in fact all they did was made me lose even more control of my body and most importantly, the birth.

When I fell pregnant again I went into panic mode and decided the only way I would get through another birth was to make it as different from the last three as possible! The biggest difference had to be environment, I was so scared at the thought of going into hospital and handing myself over to the healthcare providers, I had decided that even if I gave birth alone in a bush it would be preferable to going into a hospital! So, my journey began, planning the birth became a full-time job, I had HypnoBirthing, and had to spend a considerable amount of time practicing to just ‘relax’, I searched and found a Doula who I knew would keep me grounded and positive before/during and after the birth, I watched birth story after birth story after birth story, the HypnoBirths on youtube are amazing!! I had Rehki throughout my pregnancy to make sure that I stayed centred and strong both mentally and physically, I was so adamant that I wouldn’t be induced again and so started Reflexology a week before I was due!

And here’s the fun part!! I went into labour spontaneously a day before I was due, for the first time ever at around 3am, my surges were always 4-5 minutes apart from the first one to the last one, I called Amanda (my Doula) at around 4.30am, as I had never gone into labour naturally I wasn’t sure what to expect, so was a bit nervous at this point. Gem (my husband) had filled the pool and put the lid on it to keep warm, we were ready to go! I laboured on until the kids started to get up at around 7, it all stopped quite suddenly, Amanda assured me that this could be due the fact that the kids being around had put me off and my brain had flipped into practical mum mode instead of birthing mum mode! Also, during my HB when I visualised the birth it was at night time, I remember saying to Amanda when I was having the surges “but it’s not dark yet?” Another reason why things may have stopped, the mind is a very powerful tool!

I arranged for the kids to be collected, Amanda went home, I had a shower and went back to bed. It was only an hour after I’d fallen asleep that the surges started again, I felt really positive that this was it, it was going to happen this time. I was right, I started to have a my show and was just chilling around the house staying relaxed and calm, taking each surge as they came. By 4.30pm I felt that I needed Amanda’s support once more, Gem called her and she was back within the hour. On seeing her face I started to feel desperate, like when a poorly child see’s their mum, Amanda took me into a dark room set me down on the floor and just spoke to me, this was enough to give me the strength to carry on and the confidence that I could do this! We wandered around just chatting, listening to music only pausing for each surge the atmosphere was amazing so chilled and comfortable, the lights were on dim and life was just going on. The surges were getting stronger but staying only 4-5 minutes apart so Amanda had to watch my body language to be able to see when we felt the MW would be necessary, this was at about 7.30pm. The MW was a very young (23) girl who came in with a calm that complemented the atmosphere that we had already created. In my birth plan I had requested NO internals unless absolutely essential, I wanted my birth to be all about having faith in my body and that it would birth my baby the best way that would suit both me and baby, I also requested that I was not to offered any drugs at any stage. The MW was so respectful of this and I didn’t have one internal throughout the entire labour! By 8.30 I felt that the pool was calling, and it was bliss, I just sunk in and wallowed around managing to rest between surges….I kept telling myself the worst was yet to come and that I needed to hold off the drugs until that point came, although I found using the mouthpiece from the Gas and Air highly effective in using as a distraction!

I had two checks of the babies heartbeat throughout the whole labour, it was the most natural experience ever and a complete contrast to my previous birthing experiences. I felt the baby drop down further and at this point got quite emotional, I was crying saying “but I love my other children so much, why am I making them share me again” It was quite a powerful emotion and I really felt sad, Amanda spoke quietly to me reminding me that the kids were all so excited that they were getting a new sibling and that they already love this baby, and as soon as it comes out I will find the extra love! Of course she was right! This gave me the last bit of strength I needed and at 9.30pm I breathed my baby out in one surge, with the waters, our baby floated into the pool laying flat on his back arms outstretched. The MW swept him through my legs (I was on all fours) and Amanda said “here’s your baby, you can pick him up” I was the first person to hold my baby!!
Ace arrived weighing 8lb 5oz, my birth was intervention free, drug free, almost pain free and as perfect as I had spent months hoping it would be, it was beautiful and having watched it back (we filmed it) I saw how birth should be! Ace is defiantly our last baby, so I can safely say that I went out on a high!!

Having had a doula attend my birth gave me so much confidence in myself and my body, she was a constant source of love and support……I felt nurtured and blessed. This experience really was life changing for me as since the birth I have trained as a doula and have now been privileged enough to have experienced the wonders of birth from both sides, as a birthing mother and as a doula.

Written by Lauren Derrett –