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.


Nisha's story

My experience while birthing my first baby boy was a difficult one. Normally we tend to follow the doctor’s advice, thinking that they know it all. So, instead of following my natural instincts, I simply followed my doctor’s directions, as was expected of me. Because of this, I felt like I couldn’t tune into my body’s natural process of birth. For example, I ended up pushing at the wrong times, trying to follow the doctor instead of my body, which left me exhausted and with no energy for the final push. This made birthing difficult and created memories of fear. My husband, helped me throughout my second pregnancy to get over that fear, but I felt I could only resolve half of it.


Rosy's story

I come from a family and a culture where medicalised birth is the norm and yet, when I got pregnant with my first child I immediately knew I wanted to go for a natural/non-medicalised option in the same way that some of my friends and colleagues (together we advocate for women’s reproductive rights and children’s rights to healthcare) had done both in Mexico and the UK. Being surrounded by these women and their positive birth experiences really made me wish to go for ‘the whole thing’, I wanted to feel it all, I wanted to follow my intuition at all times, to take my time and I wanted to be left alone with my partner and minimise the possibility of having unnecessary interventions. I was also convinced this was the best start in life I could give to my child, being born in a relaxed environment, having uninterrupted cuddling/breastfeeding time after birth, taking our time to get to know each other and make our own decisions as parents.


Klara's story

I woke up with Braxton hicks contractions. That's what they felt like. It was 7am. We had a lovely last breakfast as a family of three. I
had lots of energy, so I cleaned the kitchen and then at 10am, I went to a yoga class, and my husband took our three year old daughter to soft play.


Jenny's story

I am so incredibly grateful to Tell Me A Good Birth Story and the three wonderful ladies who shared their experiences with me in the build up to my second daughter's birth.

I think it's safe to say my first daughter's birth was quite a difficult experience. I'd had to be induced because I had gestational diabetes; a lot of things went wrong and we ended up requiring pretty much every intervention in the book. Thankfully, my daughter and I were both okay in the end but when it came to facing giving birth again, I was gripped by real fear. I knew it wasn't rational but I simply couldn’t imagine the second labour playing out differently to the first - and yet I also knew that this fear was potentially the biggest block to achieving the more positive birth I longed for.


Soonita's story

During my pregnancy with my first daughter, Serena, I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes, which I now understand was a mistake, as the third blood test for the GTT was taken almost half an hour early causing that result to be high.


Othilie's story

Just a week ago our little Penelope was born in our home and here is an account of our experience as a family...


Gail's story - Heather's birth

My first child was breech and born by planned caesarean section. It wasn’t the birth I had hoped for so second time around I was excited at the prospect of experiencing contractions and going into labour.


Natalie's story - Trudy's birth

I’d been very uncomfortable and having waves a few days before with some pinky mucus when going to the toilet. 1am Tuesday morning I felt a wave that was painful and woke me up.


Zoe's story - Levi's birth

A horrendous first birth experience left me really down and doubtful of my abilities as a mother (continuous foetal monitoring, stuck on my back, failed epidural, ventouse, forceps and ending in postpartum hemmorhage). 3 years on I knew my second birth would have to be different....


Suzanne's story - giving birth to twins at home

Georgie's story

I had had period-like cramps on and off in the weeks running up to the birth. I didn’t have those with my first son, and felt number 2 was on his way earlier than scheduled.


Madeleine's birth stories - Tom and Rachel's births

I had my son Tom in the Midwife led unit at Queen Charlotte's. While my early phase labour was long the birth itself was hugely positive.


Jemma's story - Everley's birth at home

I'm never quite sure whether it's my birth story or Everley's as she really was the one who was born. On the day my 8lb 1oz baby girl came into the world she took us (well most people) by surprise.


Jemma's story - Rory's birth at home

One thing I have learnt through my work is how strong a Mother’s intuition is.


Jenny's story - Nell's birth in water and a great 'birth wishes' letter for midwives

Monday evening 10.30pm I felt a pop in my groin. With my first birth I can’t remember my waters breaking so didn’t know the I you do! I had had lots of Braxton Hicks for two weeks so I thought she’d be early.


Rosie's story - Amelie Daisy May's birth

This was my third pregnancy as my daughter Katie was (still)born by elective section at 28 weeks +3 days on 12th December 2000.

She had Perlman Syndrome and Wilms Tumour, which is a childhood leukaemia kidney cancer. I had since met and married Richard in 2005. Genetically the chances of the same problem occurring with a different partner were between 1 in 500,000 and 1 in a million.


Rosie's story - Autumn's birth

We found out I was pregnant quite early on this time (February 2015) and by 8 weeks we had met and hired our independent midwife (IM) Annie. She came highly recommended through our school community and had 35 years of midwifery experience to offer. Amelie was seven at this point and had been asking for a sibling for at least two years!


A father's story and a doula's tale - Amelie's birth

(Richard is Rosie's husband) The build up to the day of the birth was getting more stressful as each day “overdue” passed. For every “any news yet” text or message Rosie had, I had the same questions every day in work! It felt like we were getting pressured from every direction. I am so proud of Rosie for persevering and sitting it out.


Rebekah's VBAC story

I delivered my daughter Hannah by emergency c-section in 2016 and although I don’t consider her birth a negative experience (I dilated quickly and felt completely calm and at peace in theatre), it did leave me feeling slightly apprehensive when I fell pregnant again in 2017 as I worried I was unable to give birth naturally.


Marie's story

When I first got pregnant I was totally convinced I'd either have a c section or at the very least an epidural. I went to my first birth class on the wonderful NHS when I was about 8 weeks. I found out a few of my options in terms of where I could give birth and the type of medication available.


Katie's story - Noah's birth

As the proud owner of 'childbearing hips', I'd never considered the possibility of an assisted birth...surely my baby would just glide out, right?


Saffron's births

My first birth was a water birth at the birth centre and my second was an induction on the labour ward for gestational diabetes. Both experiences were very different but both positive.


Jemma's story - getting ready for a straightforward birth

I'm 35 years old, I recently had my second daughter Imogen three weeks ago, my first daughter Olivia was born just over two years ago.


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).