The birth of Zeke, water birth at the Great Western Hospital- White horse Birth Centre.

My birth story of Zeke- my third born baby boy, my second birth using Hypnobirthing. He was a waterbirth at Great Western Hospital, and it was one of the greatest days of my life.

The end of my third pregnancy had not been an easy one, with Covid hitting us when I was 28 weeks and having my 2 older boys home all the time, and no support network. However, I still dedicated time to my Hypnobirthing practise, and with so many unknowns, I needed it more than ever.

I had arranged a good friend in the village to have the boys when the time came, everything was ready, and the waiting game had begun. I knew I would go beyond 40 weeks- I had with my older boys and knew this was when my babies arrived. I was confident baby would arrive when he was ready, but also hoping it would be at a social time so I didn’t have to call my friend in the middle of the night! On the Thursday evening, I started to get some sensations that things were happening. I carried on as usual, made the boys dinner and relaxed as much as I could. When I went to bed everything stopped, so the next day just carried on as usual. I spent a lot of time on my birth ball, played with the boys, and listened to my Hypnobirthing tracks. I went to bed that night, wondering when this little one was going to make his apprearance.

At 12.30am I woke to my surges starting, and they quite quickly became quite frequent and strong. We called the birth centre, who listened to me breathe through a few surges, and after a quick chat about the length of my last labour, and explaining I was Hypnobirthing, they encouraged us to come in. My friend was called who got here in lightning speed, I was gently swaying through my surges when she arrived, already going deep into my labour bubble. The living room was dim, and I felt calm and relaxed.

The drive was not too difficult, the road was clear and The Great Western hospital is only a 25 minute drive from us. I continued my breathing, and focussed my mind on the dark outside. 

great western hospital- labour

When we arrived and parked, Moshe walked me throughout the hospital, stopping every few minutes to breathe and sway through a surge. At the entry to The White Horse Birth Centre he had to leave me- due to covid guidelines. But I was met by my midwife, who showed me through to a room, and looked through my birth preferences. She offered to do a vaginal examination, and I felt comfortable enough to do one. I was open to 3cm, but as they were quiet and as she knew my last labour progressed quickly, we both decided I should stay. I was also grateful that she then called Moshe to come into the birth centre- their official guidelines were birth partners only once in established labour (4cm), but we knew I’d soon be there. Moshe was already at the birth centre door when we called, and was soon there with my bag, and setting the room up. The midwife had already dimmed the lights, and Moshe set us up with my birth music and fairy lights. Naomi, my midwife, popped in to confirm we were sticking with my request on my birth preferences to not offer me any pain relief, and then left us alone. I was happy wondering around the room, swaying through my surges, and allowing gravity to help my body open. 

I was sipping on water, and going to the loo a lot. Naomi would pop in every now and then to listen to baby, and do some observations on me, but mostly left us well alone. 

I felt so calm, listening to Moshe chatter away during the breaks in the surges, and I distinctly remember looking out of the window of The White Horse Birth Centre and watching the rabbits run around the helicopter pad, just as it was beginning to get light. 

I was welcoming each surge, happy to get the next one, knowing they were getting me closer to meeting my baby.

After a couple of hours I let Naomi know that it was time to get in the birth pool, and as soon as I got in I felt the usual emotional wobble of transition. It was the first time I questioned if I could do this. Moshe ramped my music up, I got settled in the birth pool, which at the White horse birth centre are so lovely and large, and the urge to bare down soon overcame me. At this point, I was totally out of my body, breathing through the surges and resting when I could, but they were coming pretty think and fast. I felt my waters go, and the sensations really picked up now. I could feel my baby making his way down, and knew Naomi was talking to me asking me to lift up slightly so she could listen in to the heartbeat- she didn’t realise at this point his head was coming, I guess as I was so calm! Moshe had to tell her!

I totally tuned in to my body, and blocked out anything else around me. The strength in my body was overwhelming, and with one strong surge my babies head was born, shortly after the rest of him followed, born into the water and lifted up by me and Moshe, straight onto my chest. It was the most euphoric, overwhelming, powerful moment of my life, and I just kept repeating “we did it, we did it”.

waterbirth great western hospital

I knew, with every part of me, that this had been a team effort between myself and my baby, and after the months of Covid unknown, I had my baby in my arms. Born calmly, powerfully, and beautifully into the water, 6 hours after my surges started. One of the benefits of Hypnobirthing I experienced with both my births were shortened labour.

I had never felt so strong in all my life, (except at my previous birth!) 

Baby boy was on my chest, and he was the most incredible little thing. We stayed in the water for a while, but Naomi encouraged me to get out as it looked like my blood loss was slightly heavy. I wouldn’t let go of my boy, and was able to get us both out and onto the bed, where we snuggled up under lots of dry towels and blankets. I started having the shivers here, adrenaline was kicking in, but I soon warmed up. The blood loss was normal, and we settled in for our golden hour. After around 20 minutes, I felt a slight urge to bare down, and birthed the placenta with ease. We cut the cord, and I had a good look at the placenta- it really is so amazing! 

The next 2 hours were bliss. Undisturbed skin to skin, he fed within half an hour and I felt on a post birth high. My lovely midwife Naomi said her goodbyes- her shift was over, and introduced us to the day shift team. I had a small tear, and decided to have a couple of stitches. This was pretty uncomfortable, so Zeke went to Moshe for Daddy skin to skin, which is to beneficial for them both, and I used my breathing and visualisation to help. 

birth at white horse birth centre

After that I had an amazing shower, (there really is nothing like that first shower post birth!), and we headed over to the post natal room for the rest of the day, to rest, bond, make sure feeding was going well, and after his newborn checks we headed home, through an eerily empty hospital, back to 2 extraordinarily excited big brothers. 

birth great western hospital

My waterbirth at The Great Western Hospital was everything I had wanted from my birth- calm, in control and empowering. Zeke was born into this world surrounded by love, and I felt more powerful than ever.  

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