GentleBirth in an Ambulance

After having a difficult first birth, full of interventions; episiotomy, forceps, very roughly done stitches & a very slow recovery, I was eager to have a calmer birthing experience this time around. My baby arrived at 40 + 1 but she certainly did not want to arrive calmly! 

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At about 6 am I woke feeling crampy but it wasn't unbearable so I went back to bed for about half an hour. I woke again with a pain but still wasn't sure, as the pain was very much on my front whereas my first labour mainly consisted of back pain. However, we called our sitter for our toddler as they are 30 minutes away. In the 30 mins it took them to arrived things had progressed significantly, the contractions were coming in fast. We went to the car to leave for Cumh, approx 50 mins away & by the time I got to the car I needed to push!! The pressure was unreal!! My partner was on the phone to the midwife in CUMH & they told us we had 2 options, get me into the car & get a Garda escort to Cork or call an ambulance! There was no way I could sit so he called an ambulance. A rapid response arrived approx 20mins later & the ambulance followed shortly after, they decided, with advice from Dr Jason to try take us as close to Cork as possible. 

...I definitely feel GentleBirth helped keep me grounded & calm amidst the madness

We set off in the ambulance, I was up on all fours in the back and the contractions were getting stronger & stronger. I concentrated on my breathing & the affirmations. I was given gas & air but didn't have the patience for it & the mouthpiece kept falling off, so it was just annoying. We only made it about 20minutes over the road, when we had to pull in & my little girl arrived. All of this was in the space of 3hours. It was stressful & it wasn't ideal but I never once doubted my body or my baby. 

The paramedics were amazing, they took the time to check my birth plan, most of which had to be disregarded, except the delayed cord clamping & skin-to-skin. The cord was around her neck & I had a significant bleed in the ambulance so I was so grateful they were there. My partner did skin-to-skin after she was born & while the team got my bleed under control. We headed for the hospital, I needed stitches, as I did after my first (due to episiotomy) but I definitely feel that the tear was far less painful having naturally occurred! I was very sensitive when getting the stitches & in shock, (given the speed of her birth), but the staff were so fantastic & respectful given my previous negative experience! She was weighed when we arrived at the hospital, 8 pounds 7 ounces. I was home the next day & have found the recovery a lot easier this time. While I didn't get the gentle birth I had hoped for, I definitely feel GentleBirth helped keep me grounded & calm amidst the madness.

Speedy GentleBirth for First Time Mum in CUMH

First time Mum Deirdre and her partner Brian did a Gentlebirth workshop with me a few months ago. They kindly shared their very speedy birth story with me a few days ago. 

“I had a really great experience and GentleBirth was definitely a huge part of that.”

Ferdia arrived in rather a rush on Thursday morning at 6.26am. I woke around 3.20am with what felt like period pain, felt a trickle, woke my husband and told him what was happening. Because I'm a first timer and we expected it to take a while, we just made sure the bag was ready, made tea, and settled in for the anticipated slow early labour.

I had my tracks, my essential oils, tens machine etc packed and was rather looking forward to the pool. At 4am my waters broke properly and I felt surges coming as close as 3 minutes together, by the time we reached the hospital 20 minutes away, they were closer still and as the emergency room midwife was examining me for admission I began to push.

Although I didn't get to use *any* of the physical tools I found out about through GentleBirth, I found the whole 'trust your instinct' mindset was so incredibly useful - I told the midwife when the baby had crowned as it all happened so suddenly, she had just examined me and thought it would take a lot more time. The mantras really helped as my body completely took over and thinking about the surges as just productive in helping Ferdia to get where he was going with a minimum of complications was so beneficial. I had a really great experience and GentleBirth was definitely a huge part of that.

Fantastic second GentleBirth for Mum in CUMH

Had the most amazing GentleBirth this morning that surpassed all my wildest expectations. Full story to follow but basically I was due to present at CUMH for induction at term+14 this morn, but Katherine Rose had other ideas. Surges started at 6pm yesterday evening, we got to labour ward at 3am and she was born at 4:02 with tens machine and gas and air and the support of my amazing husband and a beautiful GentleBirth supportive midwife who held me and reassured me when I wavered.

Having waited so long for baby to arrive and having a very long back labour the last time, I was in complete denial that baby was coming. When midwife rang my consultant to come in, I gave out to her saying not to bother waking her I would be ages yet. She was telling me baby was on the way, but I was saying no, I just needed to go to the toilet. But baby was here ten mins before my GentleBirth supportive consultant! Couldn't believe it when she said the head was out, as I barely felt it! Another birth without a scratch to me!

“Couldn’t believe it when she said the head was out, as I barely felt it! Another birth without a scratch to me!”

Katherine is breastfeeding like a pro and is so far super chilled like her older brother. Interestingly same weight as her brother, 7lb9oz, both labours started on day 13. Had Fish Pies on both days so forget the curries ladies go for fish pie!

I feel so freaking amazing and cannot believe I did what I did.

Thanks so much to Mary Tighe for being available to give me pep talks during the week and being a fantastic support. And to my wonderful GentleBirth mummy cheerleaders and supporters.