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Emma

I had an incredible birth that I am so proud to share. It was the most amazing natural hypnobirth in the early hours of the morning on 17th March 2020. Meet Eden Isabella Higgins. She’s a dream. After labouring for 5 hours on my own, my boyfriend made it over from the children’s ward where our toddler was, and welcomed our baby girl into the world sat by my side on the floor. What an amazing experience 


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The coronavirus pandemic had just ramped up a level in the UK. People were being advised to self isolate and the rates of diagnosis and fatalities was starting to increase noticeably. My 21 month old son was admitted to the children’s hospital with pneumonia, requiring oxygen and IV antibiotics. He was tested for Covid-19 as per hospital protocol, as he was admitted with a respiratory illness.


With the pandemic ramping up on a daily basis, my boyfriend and I agreed we needed this baby to come sooner rather than later. I connected in with baby and asked her to come, told her that I was ready. Even though things felt far from ready, with my son being poorly and the world in a global crisis, things were only going to feel less certain as the days went by. 


On my due date, I came home from the children’s hospital at 6pm to try and get things going. I listened to music, had some dinner, a bath, and watched some Netflix while doing nipple stimulation and drinking raspberry leaf tea. I chatted to my sister on the phone, as being home on my own felt quite lonely, then took myself to bed while listening to some hypnobirthing tracks. 


Half an hour later, at 11pm, I woke up to cramps that were regular and hard to ignore. I timed them and after an hour realised things may be happening. I called labour ward and they invited me in as the surges were regular and I was needing to stop and breathe through them. I explained my son was awaiting test results for Covid-19; I was to be in isolation as a suspected case of Covid-19 myself despite being asymptomatic. 


I called my boyfriend to let him know I was heading to hospital and he reminded me I was strong, that I could do this, and to stay relaxed. I took a taxi into hospital and slowly made my way up to labour ward at about 1am. 


The midwife met me and asked me to settle into the room as she wanted me to get back into the zone after coming in from home. She was wearing the hospital protective equipment. I got my fairy lights out, unpacked my bag, sprayed my room spray and got comfortable. 


I took 2 paracetamol and she made me honey toast and some peppermint tea. I was left alone to continue labouring, the mp3s playing continuously through my headphones. I was breathing and swaying, finding positions that felt comfortable as the surges came and went. 


Come 3am my lovely midwife had encouraged me to rest on a bean bag on the floor while she went on her break. She reminded me to call for someone if things started to change and feel more intense atall. I dozed on the floor between surges for half an hour, then things suddenly felt considerably more powerful. 


I called for a midwife, and started to feel baby may soon be on her way. I was sick and spent time clearing out on the loo. I was asked to be examined to see how dilated I was, which I declined; they were happy to follow my signs and could see I was getting closer to meeting my baby. I sensed from general activity from the midwife that baby was coming. I started to feel out of my depth, thinking about our circumstances and saying I wasn’t ready to look after a new baby on my own. 


I phoned my boyfriend for some reassurance and the midwife spoke to the children’s ward to ask if a nurse could sit with our son so my boyfriend could join us. I had some gas and air, and 10 minutes later, my boyfriend walked into the room and I felt a sudden need to be on the floor and get ready to have this baby. 


I went to the corner of the room where the beanbag was and on all fours I felt the involuntary urge to bear down. I visualised my baby making her way through the birth canal to help me and, with each surge breathed my baby down. 


My waters went, which felt like a relief. There was meconium in the water, and general activity and monitoring, with my consent, increased around me. I remember feeling entirely in control of how I chose to react to this, and focused on staying relaxed and calm and trusting in myself and those around me. 


At 05:12 my baby girl came into this world. She was passed promptly to a doctor due to the meconium, and after a lovely cry was passed down to me for skin to skin. I was startled; completely in awe of myself and how the birth had gone. 


I delivered the placenta soon after having the injection and she latched onto my breast within minutes. It was such a precious moment soaking up my baby’s presence, and my boyfriend and the midwife told me how amazing I’d been. 


My boyfriend had to return to our son, and I was left with the midwife and student for tea and toast, and was made comfortable on a bed to rest and had stitches for a second degree tear. The sunrise during the golden hour was so beautiful. 


I couldn’t believe I’d had the hypnobirth I so longingly dreamt of that I didn’t quite manage with my first birth. I found an inner strength to labour mostly on my own while my partner was looking after our son. I remember the whole thing. I was present, grounded and in control. I was never examined. My body did it’s job and following its cues was all we needed to do. 


I stayed in the hospital a night as baby needed monitoring due to meconium in the water. We went home the following day, and my son was also discharged the following day too. By early evening we were all home together. 


We’ve had no visitors and have only ventured out the house once, as the country is now in lockdown and the world seems a bit scary. Our daughter is a ray of sunshine in the middle of this global crisis, and I feel so grateful to have her here carrying us through these difficult times. 


More and more women may be going through this experience without the full involvement of birth partners or family, and if that’s you, you CAN do this, you will be AMAZING