Pregnancy was a 9 month lesson in relinquishing control

Where was the birth?
St Mary’s hospital, Manchester

Can you describe where the birth was? 
I gave birth to my daughter at the delivery unit at St Mary’s Hospital, Manchester.

I hadn’t planned to give birth here, but Wythenshawe’s midwife unit – where I was booked in – had to close as it was full to capacity, so we were sent to St Mary’s. I had a private room with a sofa, birthing ball and ensuite bathroom – apart from the absence of a birthing pool and the addition of a lot more medical monitoring equipment it was practically the same as the rooms in the midwife unit at Wythenshawe.

Who was present at the birth?
My husband and my mum were present at the birth along with two midwives and a student midwife.

Can you describe the experience of the birth?
My labour was longer and more traumatic than I had expected – pregnancy was a 9 month lesson in relinquishing control which definitely reached it’s peak during labour when my birth plan totally went out of the window. I arrived at the hospital scared and in tears, was met by lovely, warm midwives who along with my husband and mum, attempted to calm me down and reassure me as they got me into a delivery room. My stress and anxiety levels were still pretty high at this point as I was attached to monitoring equipment and fitted with a canula ready for an oxytocin drip and induction – none of which was part of my carefully planned birth experience. However, once we got my birth playlist on, labour got properly underway and my daughter arrived 5 hours later, un-induced and with only gas and air for pain relief. Although it hadn’t been part of my plan, I’m really glad my mum was there as well as my husband to support me and see her granddaughter being born. My mother’s presence during my first experience of childbirth has strengthened and deepened our relationship, and I know we both feel privileged to have shared that.

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