Birth stories

Alice's story - Lucia's birth

Having a third baby was a very positive decision for us, but we also couldn’t quite believe it when I got pregnant! Despite being horrendously ill in the first weeks and losing 4kg, I was still classed as high risk as my BMI was just over 30, which meant ob-gyn led care. This led the way for stress after stress with the pregnancy and really this is what this story is about – finding the way forward as a pregnant woman and as a family when you are being pushed in directions you don’t want to go.


Luise's story - Matilda's birth

I had the birth I had dreamed of and visualised during my whole pregnancy. A natural birth in our own home.

I felt some surges starting at 11pm on Tuesday 25th July. They were manageable and exciting. I would sometimes go on all fours and other times sort of doze through them and hug my husband Ben.


Ruth's story - an unexpected induction

I wanted to share my birth story as I know induction can be a big fear for lots of people, But it doesn't have to be the end of the road in terms of a positive birth. Our son Sebastian was born weighing 6lb 15oz following a positive induction and it was the most amazing experience. I


Louisa's positive cesarean

I had a c-section with our first child due to placenta previa and he was rushed straight to neonatal which made for a tough start on the feeding front. Pregnancy number 2 (twins!) and I was determined to make the caesarean a more positive experience. We did lots of preparation beforehand, both mentally and practically. Lots of yoga, breathing techniques and discussions re. music, lavender, and even an eyemask (helping me to rest while we were waiting to go into theatre) so that I was able to feel very calm, and in charge. But what also helped was putting some planning into the feeding this time round. l expressed colostrum in advance and that really saved the day for us.


Jenny's story - Max's birth

I have always been a planner and organiser. I like to be in control too. As a teacher I thrive on routine and knowing what is coming and when. So in many respects, pregnancy was unknown territory and therefore a challenge for me.

Consequently I decided to take matters in to my own hands and learn as much as I could about birth as possible. It helped to remove some of the uncertainty. I didn't do it by reading forums and different books. I did it in a more hands-on way, by attending a weekly yoga and birth preparation class where I met friends and my future doula. Feeling my way towards what I needed to know felt a lot more useful and practical than reading and learning facts.


Amy's story - Connie's birth in water

On the day before my due date my Mum and Dad came to London for the day to give me a hand with Grace my two year old. We had a lovely day and walked along the river in Richmond in the sun. It was quite a way and that evening I had some slightly more painful tightenings – I had had these for about 8 weeks but they felt a little different.


Victoria's story - Freya's birth

It was a Thursday and I met with some pregnant friends for lunch. It was hot, and we all felt tired. I decided to get the bus back home, and, as I left, my friend Laura who knew I'd been feeling a bit different said, “I’ve got a funny feeling about you.”

As soon as I got home at about 3.30 pm I got into bed. I felt kind of weak and crampy. I wondered if labour might be starting, but I was wary of thinking this and saying it out loud too soon. My husband Johnny was talking about work, but sensed something was up. As soon as I started needing the toilet to poo every 15 minutes or so I think he knew we were on.


Lucy's story - Oscar's birth

Little man was due to be born on the 25th September, and like any new expectant mummy I spent a good chunk of my pregnancy wondering what labour would be like. I asked endless amounts of people what I should expect when the big day arrives and of course I was told a fair share of horror stories, so I prepared myself for the worst.

I was never very nervous about giving birth, I don't believe there's any point worrying about the inevitable. If you're facing a situation that's going to happen whether you worry about it or not, surely it's best to just go with it!


Melissa's story

When I found out I was pregnant I expected the next 8 months to be filled with joy. I thought I would feel great. After having morning sickness everyday, sciatica, growth scans and prenatal depression, coming up to my due date I was more than ready for this baby to arrive. But that didn't mean I wasn't anxious about it.

Saturday 25th November at 3:15pm I started having what I thought were Braxton Hicks contractions. Cut to 5 hours later I started to realise they weren't just a practice. The maternity unit was over an hour away from my house so I phoned them as soon as I realised. Tthey advised me to wait until my contractions were more regular.


Catherine's birth stories...

My daughter Megan was born really quickly. The midwife, a lovely lady called Sally, transformed the experience from one of anxiety and uncertainty, to one of confidence and calm. What did she do? She trusted my body to do what it needed to do, even when I did not.

She booked me in, made sure I had everything I wanted, then she sat down in the corner of the room and said, "You can do this, I will just observe and help if I am needed." When I felt a new sensation or I was uncertain I would tell her, and each time she reassured me and I carried on.


Charlotte's story - Elliot's birth

I had always envisaged that I would give birth in water, so when I fell pregnant back in April 2017 I started researching the different options of where to give birth.

My sister had successfully had two home water births and this definitely helped influence my decision.

I was lucky enough to have a straightforward pregnancy and was deemed to be low risk. I attended hypnobirthing classes and went to yoga weekly and had reflexology towards the end of my pregnancy. I wanted to be in tune with my body and my baby, and have an active pregnancy.


Julie's story

I always believed when I gave birth I would need to be induced. My mum had been induced with me and my two siblings and my sister was induced with her three children so I believed it was almost definite that this was the route I would be taking too. However I was very fearful of having an induction as I had heard that being induced results in the contractions coming on very quickly and the pain being more intense than when labour has started naturally.


Cat's story

After my first birth I never thought I'd be able to say that I had a 'good birth story'. It felt like a bit of a myth. Surely these people weren't telling the truth?

My first birth was a induction at 39+5 which went much along the lines of all other bad induction stories I've heard since. I felt like I was going into hospital to be looked after and my baby would brought into the world in the best way possible. The reality was very different. I was scared, alone, uninformed and taken along the conveyor-belt of the labour ward and then, after a forceps delivery in theatre I faced a long and painful recovery. It took me three years to get myself into a place where I could face doing it again. I knew this time we would have to do something differently. I joined a positive birthing yoga class on a recommendation from a friend and hired a doula.


Jacqueline's story

I wanted a home birth originally but my husband was dead set against it. However, he did like the fact that I would have home antenatal appointments with the same midwives, of which two of them would be dedicated to me during my labour. We agreed I would stay at home as long as I was comfortable. Secondly, as loving as my husband is, he was also not willing or ready to be a birth partner for me. This wasn't a big issue for me as I found a doula and immediately connected with her and trusted her as my birth partner.


Kate's story

This is my absolute favourite photo as I slept in the birthing pool. After three years of trying to fall pregnant and 30 weeks of active birth yoga classes, I felt so excited to meet my much longed for baby and to become a Mum.

I went into labour naturally at 42 weeks. My labour was around 14 hours, most of which I laboured at home then went into hospital for the delivery.

I had the water birth I dreamed of, and breathed my baby out with no gas, drugs or intervention at all. I had written in my birth plan that I was not to be touched or spoken to and this was respected and I felt the strongest and most powerful that I have ever done in my life. I was totally in control and was doing this like nature intended. My beautiful little girl was born in her amniotic sac weighing in at 8lb 12oz.


Sally's story

I wasn't necessarily an obvious candidate for a home birth having had a previous caesarean with my first daughter. But, the first experience had taught me that my best chance to have a baby would be somewhere I felt comfortable and I wanted to avoid the whole 'when to go into hospital?' conundrum and the fairly hideous car journey to get there in the midst of contractions.

I did lots of my own reading and research to ensure that I felt confident in my decision to have a home birth. I also discussed it - but only with people whose views I trusted and respected. I valued the excellent support and advice from the clinical team at Kingston Hospital.


Jade's Story

A letter of congratulation to... me.

Dear me,

You may not remember the she-woman that you became in the early hours of 26th October 2017... so let me remind you.

Hmmm. Ok well - it didn’t quite go as “planned”.

Suffice to say that you went against every point made in your everso funny birth plan (we’ll come back to its hilarity later)


Gemma’s story

I have never been someone who always wanted children, and so I was deaf and blind to what pregnancy and birth entailed when all of a sudden, something clicked, and I was ready to think about starting a family. We were lucky enough to become pregnant before I even had chance to do an ovulation test and so it all happened very quickly.


Baz’s story

Empowering, connected and amazing is how I'd describe the experience I had delivering my second born.
Seventeen months ago it was the complete opposite and I was left feeling weak, powerless and out of control. When I found out that I was pregnant again my initial reaction was that I needed to get into hospital at the first sign of a twinge and get as many pain killers as possible . Thankfully I went down a different path.


Gemma’s story - Tommy's birth

At 5am or thereabouts, on a cold morning in December, I woke up with a slight discomfort. My waters broke. I was amazed, terrified, exhilarated and bewildered. I called out to my husband from the toilet ‘Andy, it’s started!’.

I was aware it could still be a very, very long time before we met our baby so reassured Andy we should just get back into bed and sleep.

Within 30 minutes or so mild contractions had started, but I still wanted to stay in bed and was almost in denial about what was happening. I wanted our doula to know that things might be unfolding, so sent her a text and then carried on pretending it was a usual Monday morning.


Claire’s story

As soon as we found out we were expecting baby number 2, we knew that our hypnobirthing materials would be getting a second airing.

Ever since the birth of our daughter in September 2015, we’ve wondered whether things would go a similar way again with another speedy delivery (she was born on our bathroom floor after a super quick labour - 4 hours from the first sign of anything).