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!
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.
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.