Welcoming Finley-a surprise at 35 weeks

In mama’s own words…

So where do we begin with the birth of our gorgeous little boy?

The day itself started out as a nice relaxing Saturday outside doing some gardening. It was a bank holiday weekend and my husband Simon and I looked forward to three nice days together. I was 35 weeks pregnant and over the weekend we intended to write our birth plan, to order a birthing pool and to pack a hospital bag should it be needed. We never quite made it.

In the week up to this day, I felt like I had lost my plug but in hindsight I believe I was wrongly convinced by the midwife unit that this was not the case. On the Friday, I was cutting a clients hair in the morning and experienced what I thought was heartburn at the top of my bump. I ended work early and went home to rest. I messaged Simon to tell him this and said that I wished he was at home to give me some light touch relaxation. By the evening, everything seemed normal again.

Around 3pm on the day of Finley’s birth, we headed out to a friends birthday bbq. I felt a trickle and thought nothing of it. Not long after getting in the car, I then experienced some mild back ache and again assumed it was just the symptoms of being heavily pregnant.

Around 15 minutes later and having just arrived at our friends house, I wanted to return home. We decided to go inside and see if the feelings would ease up, but they never quite did.

Suddenly it felt very overwhelming and I could barely say hello or focus on anything. I felt very thirsty and asked Simon to get me a drink. I begun to feel very emotional and started to cry.

My friend Rachel, suggested I should go upstairs in her room to get away and for Simon to call the midwife unit. Since there was dampness the midwifes suggested monitoring it over the next hour and to call back if it continued.

I was feeling period type cramps by this point and was on my knees doing circular movements in my hips which I learnt from pregnancy yoga. Not too long after arriving we decided to set off back home.

As soon as we got back in the car, my breathing become more of a rapid pant and I felt the need to get the light out of my eyes and put on my sunglasses.

Simon tried to keep me calm and encouraged me to slow my breathing down by using the up breathing techniques. However, in hindsight I was more likely bearing down. At one point I just wanted to be left alone and asked for Simon to basically keep quiet for a minute.

We arrived home and Simon decided to run a bath with some lavender oil, to close the curtains in the bedroom, to grab the birthing ball and to put on our hypnobirthing playlist.

I checked my pad and noticed some more dampness but with a hint of blood, and so Simon called up the midwife unit again. They asked us to come in however Simon was reluctant and asked if we would be forced onto the consultants unit, which we would be, and if there would be a birthing pool, which there wouldn’t of been.

So at this point unfortunately it was not going to our preferred plan, however as I was 5 weeks early we felt that we didn’t have a choice and possibly it was the safest thing also.

By the time Simon came off of the phone, I had stripped down in the bathroom and was still breathing very heavily. Simon encouraged me to get in the bath and then sponged water over my back to help me relax.

Simon went to pack the bags but within no time I was calling him back and shouted something, or more likely someone, is coming out of me. His head didnt look like we expected and even though he had some hair, it took a few moments to be sure.

This is truly when we realised that our baby was actually on his way. It might sound crazy and very obvious that I was in labour, but there was no screaming or agonising surges (contractions to non-hypnobirthers), and very little warning that he was coming, it all happened very quickly and after all it was only the 28th May and he was not due until the 1st July.

At this point, it was hard not to panic, but nonetheless there was an underriding calmness because of what we learnt through hypnobirthing.

I did ask for an ambulance however and Simon called 999. It was one of the most emotional calls he told me he ever had to make and he said he almost broke down in tears but wanted to stay calm for me. They asked Simon to keep one hand underneath the baby’s head while the other hand was on his phone, while the paramedics were dispatched. There felt like there was a very real chance and quite a scary thought that we would be delivering our baby ourselves.

I didn’t know this as the time but the call operator was telling Simon it was important that he asked me to push, but this didn’t feel right to him, and to the call operators frustration Simon refused and simply said push if you feel like you need to push.

The scary moment happened when the paramedics arrived at the door and Simon had to leave me alone. He rushed downstairs to open the door and then bolted back upstairs to the bathroom. It was a male paramedic and within a few minutes two other female paramedics arrived also.

At first there was relief that help had arrived but then it became frustration as they treated the birth like some accident and emergency rather than the calm and peaceful experience we were hoping for.

Simon informed them we had being doing hypnobirthing and asked if they could keep their voices down but this didn’t go down well with them and they were adamant they needed to be heard. The female paramedics in particular were trying to engage in needless conversation with me and asking all sorts of questions, with Simon trying to intervene and answer.

Thankfully I was able to zone out and didn’t even remember them even speaking to me. I was listening to my body and then felt a huge urge to push, at which point Finley flew out into the male paramedics hands at 17:28.

Around this point the two midwifes had also arrived and took over for the cord clamping and cutting. Simon made sure that this was delayed as long as possible for as much blood to return back from the placenta to Finley.

Simon wanted me to have instant skin to skin contact which unfortunately didn’t last long. The midwifes weren’t the most reassuring or experienced and I felt their panic in delivering the placenta and agreed to the syntocin. Unfortunately it didn’t work, and it didn’t help having two paramedics needlessly staring which felt extremely uncomfortable and like I lost my dignity.

All this while, Simon had Finley and one of the midwifes checked him over and he was perfectly healthy and weighed 5lb 6oz.

We ended up in hospital where unfortunately I had to have a manual removal of the placenta and wasn’t able to hold Finley again until the anesthetic had worn off hours later.

Overall, although it didn’t go to plan, the birth itself was a wonderful experience and Simon did an amazing job of being my birth partner and I couldn’t have done it without him. We would highly recommend Keri to teach hypnobirthing as the knowledge she gave us made our birth a truly special one xxx