Josh’s Birth Story
9th February 2018
Full circle healing…
Josh is 1 today, so I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to share his wonderful, peaceful and healing birth story.
In case you don’t know in Nov 2014 I gave birth to Alice (naturally) and due to complications and lack of oxygen we had to say goodbye after 5 days.
4 months later I fell pregnant with Casper and was suffering from severe PTSD & anxiety during his pregnancy. I found and turned to Tapping (Emotional Freedom Technique) for help releasing deep grief and birth trauma which changed my life. I used it to mentally prepare for Casper’s birth visualising the elected cesarean section I wanted. It kept me calm during the whole process - even the nurse who checked my BP beforehand remarked how calm I was. (Full blog post about that here).
Exactly a year and a week after Alice was born I had Casper by cesarean section as planned. The experience itself was really great but the recovery was so tough and it was a very emotional time. I felt so vulnerable and I hated it. I struggled to bond with him straight away, and had lots of tears after taking him home, as it was a trigger for what I didn’t get to do with Alice.
Jump to 2 years later and I’m 6/7 months pregnant with my second son Josh. This time around I am feeling much stronger (physically and mentally) and really wanted to try for a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean). I dreaded the same recovery and I also wanted to be able to be present for Casper physically post labour. I decided to enlist my Tapping practitioner Kate again and we had sessions on releasing the disappointment I had carried from Alice’s birth (more about the brith not the outcome) and preparing for Josh’s birth. Part of the process was to visualise how I wanted it to go and almost play it like a movie to Josh showing him what would happen. I wanted to almost test run the technique I knew I wanted to train in to see how it worked.
No joke, the whole thing went exactly as planned!! Josh was due on the 10th (Saturday) so Thursday I had reflexology with my friend Hanna around 4pm, and at 2am I woke with some cramping. I managed to get some sleep on and off and by 6am I knew something was happening, they were starting to progress. We asked my Mother in law to come over and she was with us by 8 to look after Casper.
I stayed in my room trying to stay in my she-cave and we also went for a walk for coffee and cake! I remember holding onto the table standing up in the coffee shop, and pausing every few minutes on the way back for contractions!! When we got back I felt ready to call the hospital.
I switched hospitals this time to Worthing and throughout my pregnancy they were amazing. I was looked after by a desperate separate small team but one particular Midwife Natalie who came to my house for all of my appointments. I qualified for this support based on Alice’s birth. The idea was Natalie would also be my Midwife on the day, but it turned out she was on leave that day 🤣
I called the hospital and asked to come in. When we went in they showed us straight to a delivery suite - so no waiting in triage. We were left alone for a while and told to get comfortable as we would likely stay there the whole day. It was around 12.30 at this point. I was examined and was about 3/4cm.
We were left alone for a while to let things progress but they put me on a monitor first. That was fine with me, I knew I would be monitored based on my history and I didn’t want to get into the pool that was in our room. I knew it was going to be like that. The monitor leads were long so I was able to stand away from the trace. They called in my midwife, who was from Natalie’s team. A lovely woman ( I can’t even remember her name now) who was in her 50s and had delivered thousands of babies, it not more. She was amazing.
Imagine this; I’m stood up in knickers and a vest, Ludovico Einaudi playing on my phone on repeat all day, I’m sniffing my essential oils, holding my clear quartz crystal with a few more on my table, popping homeopathy tablets every now and again, using my hypnobirthing affirmations from The YesMum Birth Project, tapping away when I need it and Dave very kindly pressing specific acupressure points on my back for every contraction. Also eating chocolate brownie 🤣 it was very calm and I felt so safe.
My midwife was intrigued by what I was doing but never made me feel like I was a weirdo! Thank goodness ;)
As I said i was standing up most of the time. I sat down for examinations and the contractions always stopped/slowed. My waters hadn’t broken by about 5 pm so we said we’d give them another hour to see if they would go. By 6 I was happy for her to pop them, I knew that things would progress quickly afterwards and we’d also talked about getting an injection that might help me in the final stages. I’d just been on gas and air and kind of felt like this injection would get me over the final hurdle.
She broke my waters very easily and quickly and the relief from that was unreal - such pressure gone. I was still lying down, knowing the contractions were slowed and I took the opportunity to get some rest while she organised the injection. I knew once I had that, I would stand up and it would be on!
Injection in, time for the hardest bit. I stood up and things kicked in straight away. The trace/monitor were perfect the whole time, and fresh eyes were brought in regularly for second opinions. I loved hearing the words ‘beautiful & perfect’ when they were looking at the trace.
So it was time to start pushing. I had told myself I would do it in 3 pushes. Haha, I was being a bit ambitious. It was probably more like 20 minutes. The midwife had suggested that I stand up as before, and she placed a birthing ball (the cub) under my legs. She would catch Josh and lay him immediately on a towel on the ball between my legs so I could reach down and pick him up and put him to my chest. Writing this is making me all emotional again because it was just the most beautiful and perfect moment in recent years. Suddenly he was there, and I almost hesitated because I was so focused on the pushing I hadn’t realised he was out!! I picked him up and held him to my chest and to say that I felt like a superwoman was an understatement. I have never been happier.
As I was in my total blissful omg bubble with Josh and Dave beside me, still standing, there was a bit of a flurry by the two midwives. There was a lot of blood (I didn’t see it) and I was given the injection to remove the placenta immediately (we had planned on doing it naturally). So quite quickly they had tidied up the carnage and I was lying on the bed with Josh in a blissful unaware state. I seemed to heal quickly and they weren’t worried, so all was good. Josh’s shoulders did give me a bit of a tare though so after a while I was stitched up by a midwife in the room. Josh was with Dave getting skin to skin just beside me. Seeing them together like that was so wonderful. I was on a complete HIGH!!!!
The midwife weighed Josh - she actually weighted him twice because she thought the scales were wrong. He was a whopping 9.4oz - we all couldn’t believe it! I never felt so proud. I think if I’d known he was that big I would have thought I couldn’t do it. So I’m glad that was a mystery!!!
One memory that I think will forever stay with me is the walk back to the ward. After a shower and some clothes and Josh was all set. We put him in a little clear plastic trolley and I (yes me) pushed him out of the delivery suite and down the corridor and into the recovery ward (this was around 11.30). I seriously never felt happier. We arrived late into our ward, there were about 5 of us there. Dave left us to it and we were home by 3pm the next day.
No need to hang around, Josh had aced his first few feeds and slept like a dream that first night (which would change!!) and we were just so excited to take Josh home to meet Casper. Some pics below tell this little story, hope you’ve enjoyed it and feel inspired. The power of the mind is an incredible thing, I do believe a lot of us can have that birth story we always wanted, it might just take a bit or a lot of mental prep to get there.
Josh, thank you for giving me the opportunity to have such a healing birth. Thank you for working with me for a smooth and peaceful entrance into the world, I’m sure its healed us both.
If you’ve any questions about Josh’s birth or how I used Tapping to prepare for it please email me: firstname.lastname@example.org