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  • Writer's pictureTomoko Holloway

Your Birth Story 3 - Two Different Hospital Births

Your Birth Story in & around Ceredigion, West Wales

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

With my first baby back in 2016, my first choice for giving birth was at the local Hospital in Aberystwyth, despite being a good half an hour drive away. This was my first choice as I believed it to be my only sensible choice. I was a new mother and did not know what to expect, it is what other family members had advised and it was what I felt comfortable with should anything go wrong. 

With my second baby however I first place of choice to give birth was at home. I had no problems birthing my first and it was very quick for a first baby, however I had not enjoyed the hospital experience.

The experience and care before birth was excellent, however after giving birth, having visitors, and having family members and my husband go home at night, I felt extremely alone and vulnerable with my newborn baby.

I did not like calling for help, and so I got on with it, but I know I would have felt much better at home, being able to cuddle my baby or hand him to my husband if I wanted to go to the toilet or have a shower.

There was also an incident where I woke up during the night at the hospital to find my baby was not by my side, (the midwives had obviously taken him to check on him) but this left me feeling extremely uncomfortable and did not want the same thing happening again. 

How did you prepare yourself for the birth?

With both my babies I prepared much the same with great excitement. I spent time reading books and forums about pregnancy and birth.

With my first baby both myself and my husband were able to attend antenatal classes in the third trimester which was a great way to meet new parents, talk about different concerns, learn about different birthing positions, breast feeding, different options.

We learned about hypnobirthing and they encouraged plenty of movement during the last trimester and labour. I spent time making sure I had everything I needed to pack a hospital bag.

With my second baby I had been preparing with home birth in mind. It was during the coronavirus pandemic and so I knew a few mothers who had a successful homebirth. I spent my time discussing with them their experiences, even getting as far as arranging to pick up the birthing pool etc.

However, my preparations for a home birth came to a stand still when my baby was found to have too much amniotic fluid surrounding her, she was transverse lie (lying sideways) and measuring to be a big baby.

All these factors lead to my consultant strongly advising against a home birth as well as encouraging me to stay in the hospital for the last 4 weeks of pregnancy and opting for a c-section!

I did feel pressured and upset towards the end of my pregnancy, however I was lucky to have a supportive midwife who advised that I could safely stay home for the last 4 weeks and babies size and her position would be monitored.

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

With my first I gave birth at the hospital as planned. However, I had hoped for a completely natural birth but my waters broke with no contractions. I was given no advice on how to bring on the contractions naturally and therefore had to be induced.

Induction was not pleasant; it was extremely painful and fast. I was not sure what was happening and had a baby in my arms before I felt like I had the time to process anything!

I felt my bond with my baby was impacted by this somewhat, in addition to having no family support during the night at the hospital and feeling very very lonely. I remember thinking that I did not ever want to feel like that again.

With my second baby despite the consultant suggesting a C-section, we managed a compromise that I would have a hospital birth instead of home birth.

I worked hard in the last few weeks of pregnancy reading books and seeking advice from my midwife about the best ways to ensure that she was in the best position for birth, I attended scans which showed that the amniotic fluid levels were back to normal, however they were still insisting that baby would be very big. 

I attended reiki sessions and self – empowering sessions and focused in believing what my body could do.

Thankfully I went into labour naturally and it was a great experience, I managed to stay in the comfort of my own home for the majority of it, going back and forth from the bath/ shower, until we finally travelled up to the hospital.

Here they allowed me to go back and forth to the shower and managed with no pain relief right until it was time to push where I was offered gas and air.

My baby was born a normal size 7lbs 15oz and everything went very well. I was able to breastfeed comfortably and return home the same day, with my husband. It was all in all a very positive and pleasant experience and I feel I had a much better initial bond with my second because of it.

How did your birth experience impact your life afterward?

With my second baby the birth experience was very pleasant. I was able to go home the same day and felt much better taken care of, much stronger and much happier because of this. My recovery time was much quicker with my second.

My first baby impacted on the choices I made for my second birth.

I felt strongly that I wanted to spend as little time as possible in the hospital if at all. I wanted to avoid being induced as it had not been a pleasant experience, it felt forced and I was not prepared.

Staying in the hospital over night also left me with some intrusive thoughts for a fair while after the birth, waking up in the middle of the night and not having your baby next to you was scary! I would have rather a midwife wake me up and inform me.

However this experience meant that I was more empowered and ready to trust in my body more and my own ability for any future pregnancies. 

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

Trust your own body and trust your own instinct. Take on board all medical advice from midwives and consultants, they know what they are talking about, but trusting yourself and knowing what you and your body is capable of is so so important. 



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