Charlotte Neill

Our Hypno/water birth….

March 22, 2019

Where do I even start with sharing with you how unbelievable the birth of our beautiful baby boy was. Being our first baby I had No idea what to expect and whether my birth plan would even happen or not. But what I did know was that we couldn’t wait to meet him and I would do everything in my power to make it a positive experience.

Having thought all along that I was going to go well over my due date, due to everyone telling me that  the baby looked like he was was still very high, I was not prepared for what was about to happen, a week early!!

I remember feeling a strong period pain around 2am on the morning of the 24th October 2018. I wasn’t sure at this point whether it was the start of something or weather it was braxton Hicks. But the pains continued to come in waves to the point where I needed to go downstairs and sit on the sofa. I didn’t wake my husband until around 7am, when I told him I thought my surges had started. He was so excited. I phone my parents and some of my best friends to tell them and also phoned the MLU to let the midwives know that they had started. They told me to phone them again when they were between 3 and 4 minutes apart. However, they then stopped completely around 8am. My chiropractor Rachel who was also going to be one of my birthing partners came over and said we needed to go for a walk to get things moving again. So off we went on a 3 and a half mile walk around the village, and the baby felt so low by this point that I was happy to get back to the house. Surges started again and became a lot more powerful. I found being on all fours, leaning over my gym ball was the most comfortable position for me, using my hypnobirthing techniques and breathing through each surge. I had two of my best friends at the house with me, trying to get me to eat and drink and keep an eye on me while my husband got things ready to go to the hospital.
I phone the midwives again when they were a few minutes apart. They asked me to come in but warned me that they may send me home again if I’m in the latent stages.

Bags packed, we got into the car to go to the hospital. I think I went through all emotions on that journey. Scared, excited, nervous, all while trying to keep calm and  breathe through each surge in the car.

We arrived at the hospital around 5pm. The surges were coming thick and fast and the midwife was trying to take my Blood pressure in between surges, obviously leading to it being very high. I was told that it was so high that I would have to go to Glangwili Hospital. This news broke me, I was so emotional and cried. This wasn’t in my birth plan, I didn’t want to go. I asked the midwife if everything else was okay and she said yes, so after she saw how upset I was she decided to run me a bath to calm me down and said she would re take my blood pressure once I had relaxed a little.
I was on all fours leaning over a gym ball, rocking back and forth through each surge while the midwife ran a bath. Then I felt an all mighty powerful surge and my waters broke all over the floor, It was a crazy sensation, what I can only describe as a huge water balloon filled with warm water popping inside you. My husband shouted to the midwife who then checked me and I we 5cm dilated at this point. She said we would skip the bath and I was able to go straight into the water pool. My husband called Rachel and told her what stage I was at, so she made her way to the hospital.
Rachel arrived and helped set up the birth room like she knew I wanted it. She brought her diffuser and lavender oil and put some Calming music on and dimmed the lights to a nice relaxing purple shade. I got into the pool at around 6.10pm and at this point the surges were so so powerful, the feeling is just indescribable. I went straight onto all fours ensuring my pelvis was as wide and low as possible, leaning my arms over the side of the pool. My husband was in front of me, comforting me and passing me the lavender oil to sniff on while Rachel was behind me putting pressure on my back in the correct places to help me through each surge. The midwives left the room and told us to let them know when things were moving more.
Then there were a few insanely powerful surges and I hit a point where I wasn’t even sure I could continue, but with my husband by my side and Rachel ensuring I was continuing to breathe properly through each surge and keep my back low and my pelvis wide, I kept telling myself that each surge was bringing our baby boy closer to meeting us. It was so empowering. I remember this next part like it was yesterday, the crowing of the babies head; the surge was so powerful that my whole body quivered and I struggled to make a full breath out, I knew I had to stop myself from pushing, but just needed to breathe through it and let the babies head emerge on its own, then I felt it. The most insane feeling. I said, “that’s the babies head”. My husband thought I had lost it and was almost certain that it wouldn’t be true. He looked at Rachel who checked and replied, “yes that’s the head. You are doing amazing charl. Nearly there.”
My husband went to get a midwife who was even more shocked than he was. They came rushing in but I didn’t know what was going on and who was actually in the room at this point. I just knew that I was so so close to holding our baby. The next couple of surges were another level again and then it happened. I heard the midwife say, “Charlotte you can reach down now and grab your baby,” so I reached down and felt my babies body for the first time under water and pulled him out of the water and onto my chest. I’m getting emotional just writing this now. I will cherish that moment for the rest of my life. I turned around and sat in the pool with him on my chest. Tears ran down my face, my husband put his arms around us and kissed us both. Tears ran down his face and we just looked at each other in amazement for a few seconds. This was our little boy.

I remember looking over at Rachel and the two midwives in the room, they were all congratulating us and saying how amazing I was for doing it. If I could bottle that feeling and take it with me everyday I would.

Archie Roach Neill was born at 6.58pm on the 24th October 2018.

Having skin to skin and getting him to latch on to receive the “golden…..” – the colostrum was my main priority so we stayed in the pool together for a little while and as I wanted optimal cord clamping we waited until the umbilical cord went white and I knew the baby has received all of the goodness from His blood first. My husband then cut the cord which was another amazing memorable moment. I got out of the pool with some help and midwife reminded me that I still needed to deliver the placenta. This could take up to 50 minutes after the birth so I sat up on the bed with Archie on my chest and  I remember feeling another surge coming on. I had no idea what to expect I just rememeber thinking, oh god not another one. I passed Archie to my Husband who also then enjoyed some skin to skin while I went on all fours on the bed. The placenta was delivered with no issues, again another crazy sensation, not painful at all but I couldn’t believe the size of it. I was fascinated by it all.
We spent the next hour just the 3 of us in the room, having all the skin to skin and just taking in this incredible experience together.

I will never be as proud of myself and the incredible female body as I was that day. And I will always be eternally greatful for having such an amazing husband and father to our baby boy. I also owe a huge thank you to Rachel who I couldn’t have done it without and to all the midwives at Withybush MLU who helped with the birth and the couple of days following the birth, allowing us to stay in hospital until I felt comfortable and ready to go home. We were made to feel like royalty and they couldnt do enough for us. We are extremely lucky to have such an amazing facility here in Pembrokeshire.

To all the mummies who have brought a baby into this world, I salute you, and to all the mummies to be, you’ve got this mumma!!

Thank you for taking the time to read the most precious story I will ever share.

Charlotte xoxo

Charlotte Neill
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