Christina shares her two amazing (and incredibly different) birth stories, from an induction to a home birth, Christina explores how building a positive mindset had a huge role to play in preparing for her births.
'I find it so fascinating to explore the differences in the pregnancies and births of my two sons, who are 14 months apart – but who’s birth stories could not be more different.
With my first son, Logan, who is now 2 and a half, we lived in London initially and then moved to Windsor – this caused insane issues with the NHS’s filing system apparently, so nothing from my first three months of my pregnancy seemed to make it to my Windsor consultants. However – incompetence aside – I had a lovely pregnancy journey with Logan – and it was with Logan that I first came across hypnobirthing during the pregnancy yoga course I took. I have always been a big believer that mindset is the difference between success and failure, and this rang true when learning about hypnobirthing and how it would support me through my birth. I think there are much better courses around now which would also help you create a solid birth plan and understand your choices but mine was more around how to physically prepare for birth.
I had kept a loose birth plan in my head, but I had been diagnosed with Low PAPP-A at my 12-week scan which meant I had less choice than usual when it came to birthing. For example – I was told it was unlikely I would be allowed a home birth, and I had to give birth on my due date which meant I was booked in for an induction without given much choice. I did push this when it came to the due date, as despite multiple sweeps nothing was moving, and I was a big believer that due dates don’t mean anything, and I would like this to happen as naturally as possible.
However, despite my protestations, I was induced the day after my due date, which also meant I had to stay in hospital overnight while we waited for things to start moving – which they did very abruptly at 6am the following morning when my waters broke.
This was pre-COVID times, so I rang my partner (who had to wait at home) and he joined us at the hospital. Again, I had desperately wanted a water birth but as I was induced it meant I had to be in the labour ward…
I think I found Logan’s birth more stressful as I felt my choices were taken away from me a lot – or not properly explained at least. For example, they kept me on a monitor lying on my back in my hospital bed for 2 hours – which for anyone who has been in intense labour will know – is incredibly difficult when all you want to do is move around to ease the contractions. This is where a proper hypnobirthing course would have benefitted me, I believe.
I was not given any pain relief really until the nurse finally checked me and realised, I was 9cm dilated and needed to be whisked out of the ward and into a birthing suite rather quickly – when I was finally given gas and air! Logan came into the world at 10am and we were released that afternoon with no complications.
Having had a relatively easy birth my first time, I knew I wanted a home birth with my second, Cash, who was born in August last year – peak COVID times.
We lived in Warwickshire by this point, and I must say, the care provided at Warwickshire hospital was great. You get less appointments anyway your second time around, and obviously partners couldn’t join at that point – which was a shame when it came to scans but being able to plan a home birth and being given such great support from the midwife team to help us make it perfect, was nice. Again, hypnobirthing played a great role in preparing me – a big thing that always stuck with me was that trusting my body to do what it was made to do – meant that I was able to relax and trust the process. Cash was born a week early – and I went into labour completely naturally. I was worried I wouldn’t know if it was starting as I’d been induced the first time, and that we wouldn’t be prepared enough in time to get Logan off to the grandparents and get the home birth room all set up.
However, they say you shouldn’t start filling up your birthing pool until you are in established labour. I knew easily that birth was imminent when I started getting mild contractions in the morning, so we got Logan whisked off and carried on as normal until the evening when things started getting slightly more intense. My waters broke at 9pm – which is when my partner got straight to setting everything up. The midwifes arrived about an hour after and Cash was born in the birthing pool at 11:45pm. Another speedy entrance!
As you can see from the pictures – it was a very relaxing atmosphere, the midwives were so amazing, and it was so lovely having the birth at home, so relaxing, no stress, and it really felt like the most perfect day of my life. I would do it all over again!! (Not anytime soon though thanks – having 2 under 2 was hard ;))
I would highly recommend doing a proper hypnobirthing course because it helps you understand your choices more, gets your physically prepared but also ensures you feel empowered ahead of giving birth – which is an incredible mindset to be in. And even if it is your first birth, a home birth is really the most magical experience and one I would advocate for everyone where possible. '
A huge thank you to Christina for her stories & beautiful photographs!
Aside from being a rockstar birther and mama, Christina is the Founder & Director of Formation Marketing!
Christina has also started The Lifestyle CEO an amazing resource for budding entrepreneurs as well as a fantastic podcast The Corporate Dropouts. If you have your own business, I highly recommend you tune in!