Hi Mamamates 👋🏻
We asked our community on Instagram if they felt comfortable sharing their birth stories with Mamamade on our social platforms - and the response was amazing! At Mamamade our mission is to help as many new mums and mums-to-be feel prepared, seen and ready for their journey, so what better way than to open our blog up for amazing women to share their positive birth stories. I remember searching for birth stories when I was pregnant with my son and I honestly didn't know what to expect, but reading blogs like these helped me calm my nerves and feel a little more prepared for the journey. Plus, I don’t know about you, but I enjoy reading birth stories as I find them so interesting!
This birth story was sent in by Sinead Porter - @sineadrothrie83
Firstly a huge Congratulations on having your second baby Sinead! 🥳 Through this blog, we talk about her labour and delivery experience with her second child. Sinead's experience was based around having a home birth during the COVID-19 pandemic. Keep reading for all the details ✨
Q. Could you tell me a little bit about your first labour with your son?
My first labour was pretty quick, and I only got to the hospital 15min before he was born. I think the worst bit was the drive there, which I realise in hindsight was because he was almost with me! 👀 I had stayed at home all day breathing through the contractions and can honestly say I felt much more relaxed there. I had done some hypnobirthing techniques and truly trusted my body's ability to do what it needed to. The course helped me understand that whatever birth I have would be the right one because I could trust my instincts, and I knew that I could ask questions of the team around me. I did have a significant tear following the birth but recovered fully with the help of an excellent woman's health physio on the ward and religiously doing my exercising.
Q. What did you initially want your labour and delivery experience to look like?
I knew I wanted a home birth with my second, and when the midwives asked if I was interested (because I was a low-risk second-time mum), I was very pleased. It almost didn't happen because of COVID, but a few weeks before my due date, the hospital policy changed, and home births became an option again. The whole time through my pregnancy, I had been under the home birth team, so I knew the team of midwives who might be there at my second baby's birth which was lovely.
Q. Could you talk me through the final days of being pregnant leading to the delivery?
I was about five days over my given due date (my first was nine days over, so I wasn't really surprised), and when I woke up that morning, I felt some twinges which made me think he might be arriving sometime over the weekend. 🎉 That day, I went for a walk with my mum and pretty much saw my sister all the time. I always felt what I would describe as a period crap like pain, so I thought things were on the move. By the time I got home around four, my contractions had properly started and were coming in every ten minutes or so, but I felt completely in control. Once one had passed, I could chat with my husband about plans for our first son to stay overnight at my parents and what I wanted in the food shop. I still thought it would be a while but called the midwife to let her know things had started.
Q. When you were in early labour what got you through the pain?
By the time my husband had come back from shopping, things were ramping up, but I could still use all my hypnobirthing breathing techniques to good effect. I really remember visualising a wave and that the height of the contraction was like reaching the wave's crest. Once this was over, I knew I was coming back down the other side. It really helped me, as It made me feel like I could be in control at this point. When the contractions became very few minutes, I still wasn't sure how close my baby's arrival was but had asked my husband to start filling the pool. I called the midwife and, after initially faffing about with the idea of whether I wanted the midwife to come, said that I would. She took about 25 minutes, and as she arrived, I remember suddenly feeling a switch in the contractions and an overwhelming urge to push. It was like some other force had taken over my body, and I am so glad she was there. She basically came into the room and said, "right there's the head". I remember her telling me, "try not to push", but my body took over completely.
Q. How was your experience of active labour and the water birth?
He was out within two minutes! There was no time for the water birth (much to my husband's distress given he had spent two hours filling it, ah well!! 😅). The midwife passed him up to me as I moved from the floor onto our sofa. I only had a few towels on! I then layed with him in my arms. My husband got the secret stash of fruit gums I had hidden out from the cupboard, and he made me a cup of tea. Honestly, being at home in my own surroundings, knowing I didn't have to be moving anywhere, was amazing. A few hours later, getting up the stairs was a mission, but once I did, I was in my own bed and not leaving! I did have a tear again, but I didn't need stitches because of its position, and it healed really well.
Q. What would you say are your final words for the Mamamade community?
I know home births won't be an option for everyone. But I really do believe that however, you birth your baby, you are a superwoman 🥰 but if home birthing is an option for you, please talk to your team and discuss it. It really was the most empowering and amazing experience. Perhaps next time, I'll even make it into the water!! 😂
Thank you so much to Sinead for sending in her story and helping Mamamade create a community that inspires women through their stories and experiences. I enjoyed reading it, and I hope you did too!
As some of you might already know, we've previously worked with The Positive Birth Company on a blog all about Hypnobirthing. The Positive Birth Company was Founded in 2016 by Siobhan Miller, and they are on a mission to support women and birthing people on their journey to parenthood. They are committed to empowering women, birthing people, and birth partners worldwide to create positive experiences from conception through to birth and the postpartum period with their unique, accessible, and fully comprehensive approach to antenatal and postnatal education. Click to read the full blog "The Positive Birth Company: What Is Hypnobirthing?"
Lots of love,