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  • Writer's pictureTomoko Holloway

Your Birth Story 2 - The Day I Took Over The World!

Your Birth Story in & around Ceredigion, West Wales

Where did you plan to have your birth, and why was it your chosen place?

I planned to have Bobbi at home in water due to wanting to have a natural birth where I am in control of what happens, aware of my choices, and wanting no interventions.

I looked into natural childbirth and best ways to achieve a smooth transition. I realized that hospitals do not provide the perfect environment, they support a scenario where the chances of intervention are a much higher risk- being monitored for dilation, heart rate, being on a time scale, bright lights, various nurses coming and going, unsettling by traveling to the hospital, early cord cutting, told when to push.. etc.

I’d experienced the effects of these aspects during my first birth in hospital and they all contributed towards my contractions slowing down and not progressing, my body not feeling safe to deliver and my baby not being ready to birth which then led to being made to feel there was no options other than many interventions.

I was in a position in the hospital where I was fighting my corner.. not a good position to be in whilst in childbirth.

How did you prepare yourself for the birth?

I decided to dedicate my pregnancy time to educating myself on natural childbirth and dissolving the fear, rather than focusing on clothes, names and baby products!

I realized that it was my fears that were standing in my way of having an amazing birth experience and due to my first birth not turning out how I’d liked.. as I hadn’t given the place of birth much thought at the time, my fears were not only of the unknown- how long, how much pain, how will it fit.. but also the lack of choice and freedom of experience.

I read about positive birth stories and learned about how the state of the woman’s mind and body has the ultimate effect on how the birth takes place. I learned that a woman’s body needs to feel safe and the importance of privacy.

The best book I’d not have done without, to gain confidence and deepen my understanding of what is actually taking place, was ‘Ina May’s guide to childbirth’.

On reading this book I was able to begin to change how my mind saw birth, change the narrative around fears, work on staying connected to my baby, and gain knowledge of how amazing the body is at giving birth naturally and instinctively, given the right environment to do so.

I also read up and got to understand how hospital protocols actually do the opposite of what is needed for a safe and natural childbirth. 

I also decided to start listening to a hypnobirthing CD during pregnancy to help me get into a relaxed frame of mind. 

Where did you actually have your birth? Tell us the details of your birth.

I’d ordered a Chinese when my contractions started super time around 6.30pm. The food arrived and I ate, it was comforting knowing I didn’t have to pack a bag and start thinking about what I needed to take to a hospital, I was focused more on relaxing in my home.

Taking a bath, looking for my hypnobirthing cd.. which I couldn’t find.. so I eventually decided it wasn’t supposed to be part of my birth and used my own visualization while laying on the sofa.

By around 10pm my toddler wanted to be cuddled in bed. So I went to snuggle with him. Being in a darkened room cuddling and releasing the love hormone definitely turned my contractions up a gear very smoothly.

But as I was comfortable I hadn’t really noticed how much it had progressed. I wasn’t expecting the pace to be picking up as intensely as it did as I was partly expecting a very long drawn out birth like my first one.

So my husband had only started filling the pool in the living room around midnight, then took over the cuddling as he heard my breathing getting heavier through the baby monitor, also an excuse to go and sleep himself.

So I was alone for the most part, managing fine, then I decided to call my mother by 3.30am as I felt I needed a woman around.

When she arrived I was getting hot and waving my arms to create space and flow. I was saying yesssssss, yessssss through my contractions willing them on… I think my mother must have wondered if I’d lost the plot.

As my birth intensified I remember all of the things I had read about started happening- the thing about natural painkiller I didn’t believe not until I was experiencing it.

My contractions were not painful, they were an intense sensation! I wasn’t restricting them or going against them.

My body started pushing without me realizing, only due to my voice going deep like cow noises and remembering reading about this stage where the womb is using it’s pushing force and everything goes low.

I then decided to call the midwives, who were tucked up in bed nearly an hours drive away. A lady answered and said that I’d need to check my mucus because if it was coloured I’d need to go to hospital. I said I’m not going anywhere if you want to come then come soon, as I think my body is pushing.. and I put the phone down.

I was standing up and I remember putting my hand down between my legs and feeling his head- although I didn’t believe it initially and thinking WOW IM THERE!

I couldn’t believe how smoothly I’d sailed to this part each few hours my body adjusting gradually and naturally.!

I then remembered how in the book it explains the head will come down and ease back up 3 times before crowning fully on the 3rd contraction.

I was just amazed I’d gotten this far so soon.. the pool wasn’t even half full. My mum started panicking and said ‘shall we call the paramedics’ I said no mum get ready to catch him.

I was absolutely buzzing! She walked past my front and looked at me and said ‘how have you got such a big grin on your face! I’ve never seen anyone have a baby like this and I’ve had 4!’ I couldn’t stop smiling.

My husband came down the stairs as he must have heard my contractions getting more intense, so I used him to lean on by anchoring my arms around his neck, I was standing up put one leg up on the sofa and asked mum to catch him from behind.

His little face appeared and mum said hello first and caught him for me. His body followed on the next contraction and mum placed him on my lap as I sat on the sofa.

The midwife arrived about 10minutes later. She couldn’t believe how calm the room was as she walked in and of course was very surprised to see I was holding my baby in my arms :)

How did your birth experience impact your life afterward?

I consider the birth experience in reflection a very liberating awakening.

Due to the natural process and my whole womb and being opening and releasing so many hormones I was left feeling I could take on the world. Nothing phased me.

It was a turning point. I hadn’t realized at the time but it was the beginning of a whole new path. One where I didn’t know the directions but had no fear in just taking the steps.

I decided to part from my husband but I didn’t have a painful separation, I made a decision very swiftly, stepped out of my marriage with no bitterness or arguments which sounds crazy but I believe the birth was the reason I had such courage and lack of fear.

This was also the beginning of not following the status quo, questioning societal norms as I realized how much of our own power we give away by just agreeing to what is expected of us. Realizing it wasn’t always in our best interest and everyone is different with different needs so one glove never fits all.

Message for mothers/parents currently expecting and those aspiring to have a baby.

As Ina May would say- let your monkey do it!

Knowledge is power, get to understand what your body is capable of and how it’s innate knowing has all the tools to birth without you having to do anything.. other than releasing fear from the mind.

What you believe will ultimately lead your experience, equip yourself with an understanding of your own autonomy and what you’d like in place so that you are not in a position to have to make decisions and fight your corner whilst in labour.

Have someone you trust to help keep your peace and relaxation as a priority wherever you decide to birth.

Spend sometime learning to trust your body and baby and quiet the outside noise of what society says birth is.

Jomarie  2014


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