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Victoria’s Birth Story – Your Hypnobirth, Your way

December 30, 2022

Our Expert, Victoria is a mother to two young children and a fully qualified hypnobirthing teacher. Victoria experienced a traumatic first birth with her son in 2018. Victoria and her husband always wanted two children but both agreed they didn’t want to experience a birth like their first.

They invested in a “Love Your Birth (LYB)” hypnobirthing course and learnt so much about the natural birthing process and their choices in birth. This training laid the path for a truly magical birth despite it being during the pandemic in April 2020 “The first lockdown”. 

Victoria expressed so much passion towards helping others to have an empowering birth and her husband saw the training they did together work so well, that he invested in her “LYB Teacher Training” as a 30th birthday present! 

The best gift she has ever received and one that literally keeps on giving. 

Here she tells us her two very different birth stories:

Birth Number one:

In March 2018 during the Beast From the East, I gave birth at Leeds General Infirmary, to my little boy. This birth was not positive, it was not full of informed choices because simply put I wasn’t informed!
I was a first-time mummy petrified about giving birth, I had watched every episode of one born every minute and become obsessed with the pain I was about to go through, I didn’t know any better. Due to the weather, my birth was tainted from the beginning. My waters broke at 1 am, so we rang the labour ward as instructed, to be told we had to go in to get my waters checked. At this point, I had no pain… But we looked outside….SNOW and a lot of it. My husband had to scrape the drive and the road in order for us to get the car out and whilst he was doing this my contractions started, every 2 minutes, this was it the real deal.

We travelled very slowly to LGI with a general rule of unless you see a car at a red light don’t stop as the roads were that full of snow, it would have been dangerous to stop. A lovely journey for oxytocin! We laughed through it though.

I got to the ward to be told it was my waters I was 2cm and now would have a sweep – The most painful experience of my life. I cried through the contractions and the pain to be told by the midwife she was known for being a bit rough!

We were then told we would normally be sent home but I couldn’t be because of the snow, but my husband couldn’t stay but the snow was too bad to send him away as well.

At this point all I wanted was to be in the water, my waters were so strong that with every contraction I was filling a pad and my clothes so I just wanted to sit in a bath where I wouldn’t feel so uncomfortable.
This was arranged, a bath was run and I got in. It was a private washroom and we were completely left on our own, my husband slept on the floor for a good few hours. Luckily when the midwife finally came to check on us I was examined and was 5cm and could go to a delivery room.

I was tired it had been many hours and by the time we got to the delivery room I just wanted pain relief. I was told I would get diamorphine and be able to have a sleep.

I clung to that. I remembered seeing the girls in One Born Every Minute, all drugged and sleepy and then just waking for contractions…

We walked into the room where I would give birth, no pool. I asked if I could have one to be told if I wanted one I couldn’t have diamorphine, therefore in my hormonal, tired, and painful state I agreed just to get on the bed ready for this “wonder drug”. After another vagina examination, I was told now that I was 8cm and too far along for a full shot of diamorphine but could have a bit. Great. A bit it did nothing, hours went by and we got to 8 pm nothing was happening, my contractions had almost stopped, and my natural oxytocin had gone!!

Next comes the drip… No choice, we need to get your contractions back up and running. I was spent. I agreed to an epidural and after an hour of coached pushing, nothing. Next comes the forceps. I strongly advised I didn’t want a forceps delivery, 20 years ago my brother was delivered by forceps and it damaged his eye, still to this day he is having corrective surgery. I explained this and said I wanted a c section. A lovely doctor came in and spoke to me and my husband and explained that they would ensure the forceps were in place correctly, this was triple checked by 3 people, 3 more people putting their hands inside me, this time to check the baby’s position.

It was very fast, from the decision being made to the baby arriving was less than 10 minutes. The bed was dropped and a whole swarm of people came in. With one foot on the bed, two forceps on my baby’s head, and an almighty push from me, Ethan arrived into the world.

Birth Number Two:

Wow, where to start?

What a journey… From the start, I knew I wanted a home birth after a traumatic first birth.

I suffer from pregnancy-related tachycardia and this was a battle I had to fight to prove a home birth was the best place for me. I had a birth matters session with the head of midwifery who could completely see the benefits of home birth and was so positive and supportive and signed it off at around 33 weeks.

Then Corona hit! Lockdown!

Home births suspended…

Well, I did what I could and again spoke to another senior midwife who again was pro-home birth and assured me she would do all in her power to help.

Due date week arrived and home births are back on! it was meant to be. I had been having a surge/tightening every evening but by morning they had disappeared.

On the morning of Saturday the 25th my lovely home birth midwife came to see me, I was 40 weeks and 4 days. We discussed how everything will work, she told me the days she was on call and that Saturday as in tonight was one of them. I explained that every night I thought it was happening but by morning they had fizzled out and she recommended doing something to increase the oxytocin when they started, so I planned to have a nice candle-lit bath that night, especially as it was my midwife on call that evening.

So we went for a walk to one of our favourite places and played hide and seek in the woods and chased our 2-year-old around in the fields! We had one last Selfie as a family of 3!

The evening came and we put our son to bed. Normally this is a 2 hour battle of going in to tell him to lay down or give him this and that. Not this time… He took his 2 dinosaurs to bed. Played for an hour and fell asleep.

I got a bath and my surges began! It was 9.30 pm and I was having surges that lasted 50 secs every 3 mins… My husband suggested we got the pool going at 10 pm as we have terrible water pressure worst case we could just empty it again tomorrow. Everything was good until I sat down. My surges stopped, an 8 or 10 min gap! But then the next time I stood up I’d have the biggest surge!

We decided at midnight-ish to try sleep and if it was the real deal then surely the surges would continue.

I managed about 45 mins of rest and in that time I had 3 strong and noticeably painful surges. With the last one, I decided to get up. I checked the pool to see it was really full! Our room was roasting too… I went outside to turn the hosepipe off, this was a great moment in my labour – I was stood in my underwear outside breathing in the fresh spring air, having regular surges, and was sooo happy about it. The freedom that being at home offered, the ability to walk outside to cool down, was very different from my first birth.

From the first surge I experienced, I zoned into my breathing using the hypnobirthing techniques I had learned and the Freya app to guide me with my breathing. At 2.40 pm I rang the labour ward to ask for advice as although the surges were strong they were irregular and spaced out, plus if I sat down they disappeared.

After facing a difficult conversation with triage over if I was allowed a home birth and her needing to read my notes she agreed to call my midwife. I was really angry about this but my husband encouraged me to let it go so as to not affect my zone. At 3 am my midwife rang and said she would come out. She arrived at 3.30 am and just sat and observed. She rang for another midwife around 4 am and she turned up around 5 am.

I breathed through my surges with the help of my husband rubbing and applying pressure to the bottom of my back. I really didn’t feel as if I was in labour, it didn’t feel painful. We laughed and joked. I overheard my midwife say to the community midwife that Victoria is not “established yet” she is talking too much… I remember her saying, your smiling so much – I was! I was so happy about how the situation was going, it was everything I had wanted.

I was classed as in established labour at 5.15 am when I asked for the tens machine putting on. I lasted for 30mins with tens machine before deciding at 5.45 am to get into the pool.

I went to the toilet one last time before deciding to get into the pool and I said I wanted to know how far dilated I was but I also didn’t want to know either… My midwife was perfect, she explained that she didn’t feel it was necessary, the plan wasn’t going to change and if I wasn’t established and we felt the water was having a slowing effect then I could just get out. This made complete sense and I got in… Wow the relief!

I had a surge that felt so much better in the water, it made me regret not getting in sooner but then no more than a minute later another came. But it hurt! Something clicked and she dropped right into my pelvis, I transitioned. I said I couldn’t do it and I knew straight away what was happening. This is when I asked for the gas which my husband presented to me at 6.10 am.. It was heaven, the surges were coming strong, and breathing the gas and air helped regulate my breaths in and out further.

I then had the most amazing experience, I felt everything, I felt my baby in the space of a 1 or 2 surges move through my birth canal, I have to admit, I did say after this movement “that better be her head out!” it was a painful sensation that felt like my whole body was opening up, however, the pain was an amazing feeling… Indescribable. The midwife replied to say she could in fact see the head. The next surge my body pushed her head out, the relief… My waters also went. The next minute I spent feeling my little baby turn, I felt every little bit.

The next minute at 6.30 am my baby entered the world!

It was so perfect. I leaned back and picked up a very little slimy body all 6lb 1 oz of it. The cord felt short and I felt I couldn’t lift the baby up enough to see what gender the baby was so we just rested.

Eventually, I gained the courage to reposition the baby’s little body and revealed we had a beautiful baby girl! Brooke Erin McAleese. 

We had lots of skin on skin whilst waiting for the cord to go white. Once that had happened my husband tied the cord tie and cut it.

All was cleaned up and put away, and I got some pj’s on just in time for my son to come down. Never in his life has he slept past 7.30 am. The day he became a big brother he got up at 8.30 am and didn’t come down until 9 am to meet his baby sister! It was as if he knew.

Both my home birth midwife and the community on-call midwife were perfect! I have to give special credit to my HB midwife/photographer! She captured the whole thing, I have images I will treasure forever!

I had an amazing golden hour with Brooke and she wasn’t weighed or checked over for almost 2 hours which was just perfect. We declined vitamin K as the birth was completely perfect and uncomplicated.


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