Hayley & James' super speedy and empowering birth

First time parents Hayley and James’ amazing account of their baby’s quick and empowering entrance into the world at Royal Berks, but very almost in the car on the way there!

James and I had finally finished Game of Thrones in the evening of Saturday 10th August, and our supposed “due date” was coming to an end. Or was it…

Climbing the stairs to use the loo, I heard this almighty pop sound mid-way. I made a quick dash to the bathroom to find that my waters had broken! Excited but slightly nervous about the unknown I went to find James. Just after 11pm James made a call to triage, who advised us to come into hospital to be checked.

Really quickly, my contractions had started to kick in. Out went the nerves and in came “as I breath in calm, my mind and body relax down”.

At the hospital we were greeted by a lovely midwife who checked me over. At this point I was contracting for about 30 seconds, and was around 2cm dilated. She advised we go home have a nice warm bath and naturally dilate in our own environment

As we arrived home the intensity of my surges really ramped up a notch. James very kindly ran me a bath and helped lower me in. The bath felt so nice on my back and it felt good to be home. But we started timing my contractions and noticed we were hitting around 50-55 seconds! We were thinking ‘these timings can’t be right’ as we had only just left the hospital.

James could see the slight panic on my face and before long I totally lost it. Luckily James pulled me back onto the right path, and talked me through my breathing with every breath. All I can say is, at this point, he was a life saver! 

James decided it was best we headed back into hospital. I was dreading getting back in the car - I just wanted to be on my feet, not to be strapped down in a confined space. I can’t tell you too much about the journey into hospital as I kept my eyes closed and fully concentrated on my breathing.

Less than 5 minutes into the journey, I mentioned to James how I really needed a poo, and all I was then worried about was pooing in his new car! Remembering what we had learnt on the course, (and subsequent chats with my mum!) James was fully aware that this sensation was a sign that baby is very nearly here. With this in mind he put his foot down and got us to hospital as safely and quickly as possible (and no mess made on the car seats!).

Only an hour after first meeting our lovely midwife, I’m apologising massively for being back in hospital so soon. I managed to get on the couch to be examined, 9cm dilated already!!

My back was really sore at this point (due to baby being back-to-back) but being in the birthing room was just amazing, the lights were low, gas and air on tap, and a warm birthing pool that I was about to get into…

Once in the pool all the back pain went, I felt weightless and felt more in control. My focus was fully on my breathing now.

With each surge I used the hypnobirthing breathing techniques alongside the gas and air – this worked a treat!

The only way I can describe labour is like a HIIT session, it’s super intense when your surges are happening, but your body will always give you a break where you can sort your breathing out, have a drink and have a chat.

At 3.47am on Sunday 11th August our daughter Skylar made a swift arrival into the world. James and I couldn’t be happier.

It was the most beautiful experience and I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.

Skylar is now two weeks old and I have never felt love like this; she is perfect in every way.

We just want to say a massive thank you to Sarah, what you had taught us on the hypnobirthing course left us as fully prepared as you can ever be.

James was able to understand what he needed to do to help me through the difficult moments, and I was aware of what was coming so there were not too many surprises.

In our case, we were maybe too prepared in the end! For all of our packed bags in the car ready to go, because everything happened so quickly, my notes and bottle of water was all that made it to the birthing room!

The breathing techniques learnt in the classes were a huge factor in helping us through the birthing process and they worked beautifully throughout labour. Without them, I’m not sure how the two of us could have got through! Thank you Sarah!!