Gemma's Birth Story
17th March 2019
When I found out I was pregnant I was over the moon; my husband Matt was away in Switzerland on
a Scout camp trip. That morning I excitedly called him to tell him we were expecting our first child.
The pregnancy went well with no complications, I enjoyed being pregnant and looked forward to
meeting our little one. I did pregnancy yoga which helped hugely with aches I experience in my hips,
and complimented the hypnobirthing with breathing techniques and positions.
My birthing plan was rather loose and not written down anywhere. I had planned to go to the
Birthing Centre and to use the birthing pool and gas and air. I was prepared that if things didn’t go
to plan that it would be okay if we had to go to the local hospital and Matt knew my birth wishes.
I finished work on the Friday (15 th March) and had a few weeks to get ready before our baby’s due
date 4 th April. I was excited and really couldn’t wait to meet out little one. The last week of work I
remember I could feel a weird pressure in my pelvis and thought baby is moving around and getting
On the Saturday I was having lunch with Matt and I said “I think we’re having a boy” (we didn’t know
the sex of our baby). We finally got around to packing the hospital bag too and yes the midwife told
me off the week before for not being ready sooner!
Saturday evening we were watching a movie, and noticed period like pains which were consistent
about every 10 minutes, and I just brushed these off as Braxton Hicks. Later that evening I visited the
toilet unexpectedly; and I recall in our hypnobirthing course of emptying your bowels in readiness
for birth, I just brushed it off as something else going on.
I went to bed as normal but awoke around midnight again urgently need the toilet and I noticed
some bleeding. I was unsure of this and woke Matt up; after a phone call with triage at the Birthing
Centre they advised to take paracetamol and to get some sleep.
An hour later I woke up jumping out of bed with surges we called triage at the Birthing Centre due to
the bleeding and advised to call the Midwifery team at the local hospital, they advised us to come in
to be checked.
I remember trying to get dressed whilst having the surges which were very frequent by now, I was
holding onto the bed frame, breathing and moving my hips side to side with each surge. What felt
like an age to get downstairs and into the car with everything we needed (Matt tells me it took us an
hour just to get downstairs, let alone into the car!).
I could not sit upright in the car so was in a semi lying down position as the pressure was intense in
my pelvis. I listened to the visualisation’s on my phone which helped to keep me calm during each
surge. I remember parts of the journey to the hospital, looking out of the car window at the clear sky
with the moon shining bright as trees passed us by.
We arrived at the hospital around 3:00am I remember stopping several times on the way up to the
Maternity unit using breathing and movements with each surge. Eventually at the Maternity unit
they asked for a urine sample, I only managed to get to the door way when I turned to Matt and said
“I need to push”.
The midwife asked if it was okay to do an internal examination which I was happy to do but I really
did not want to lie down on my back. The Midwife was very quick and promptly informed I was fully
dilated and waters were intact. I was very surprised at hearing this, thinking I would only be 2 or 3cm
dilated. I got off the bed with some help as standing was more comfortable rocking side to side with
Matt by my side. I remember the midwife saying if you need to push try to be over the matt in case
your waters broke. As soon as the Midwife left the room I felt the urge to push and my waters broke
but completely missed the matt (that was far from my mind at the time!). The Midwife was back in
the room asking if I wanted to use the birthing pool, in which I said “yes!”.
The Midwife transferred me rather swiftly to the delivery room on a porters chair; and I remember
the rushing feeling of cool air on my face it was lovely as I was so hot!
Matt helped me onto the bed, where I birthed on my knees leaning on my arms against the bed and
breathing gas and air with each surge. Some parts of the birthing were hazy due to the gas and air
but I distinctly remember listening to the water filling the birthing pool, the mural on the wall in
front of me with Matt supporting and encouraging me through each surge. The Midwife asked Matt
whether he wanted to witness our son being born; and he did to my surprise following previous
conversations that he was unsure. Our beautiful son was born at 3:59 am Sunday (17th March), he
was placed on my chest which was a beautiful moment that will never be forgotten.
Hypnobirthing was a great help to support me through the birth even though our son was born
quickly and three weeks early. Yes, I didn’t get a chance to use the birthing pool as I had planned but
our beautiful son was born healthy and safely.