Beth Nicklinson's Birth Story | Silver Cross UK
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5
Minutes read

Beth Nicklinson: My birth story

“I'm pleased I got the water birth I wanted, even if it was a long, slow start!”

Author Beth Nicklinson
Categories   Pregnancy

My partner and I were happily surprised when I found out I was pregnant in January 2021. After the stress and sadness of lockdown, it was lovely to have some good news. My pregnancy was an easy one - I was fortunate to have very little sickness and enjoyed the feeling of carrying Mila.

We found out at the earliest opportunity the baby’s gender and were delighted to be told we were having a girl! I took an online hypnobirthing course and put lots of thought into the birth that I wanted – natural, in water, with as little intervention as possible.

Labour started 11 days after my due date. I have no idea why Mila was so chilled as she is quite a whirlwind now! I had a labour of two halves – the first half was long and slow, but when active labour started, Mila didn’t waste any time!

I started slow and steady. Contractions began at 7am on Thursday and it took me a while to realise what was happening as they were so soft, but as they built in speed and strength it became apparent that I was, in fact, going to be giving birth soon. They were ten minutes apart from the start so were a constant presence which meant sleep was almost impossible. She was back-to-back which meant sitting or lying down wasn’t an option, so although the pain was bearable, I was uncomfortable and ended up standing for hours on end.

By 6pm that evening, the contractions were starting to get really painful, so we checked in with the hospital delivery suite. Unfortunately they weren’t coming thick and fast enough for me to go in, so it was a case of waiting it out at home. By 2am I was in considerable pain, so we went to the hospital to be checked over. They gave me the once over and checked Mila’s heartbeat and confirmed all was OK, but I was only 2cm dilated so was sent home. It felt quite scary as I was already in a lot of pain, and I was wondering how much more I would have to take considering I had another 8cm to go!

I tried to sleep but I couldn’t – the pain in my lower back was excruciating and I couldn’t lie down. My partner tried to help me relax and I attempted a warm bath, but the contractions and pain were building. Another 12 hours later we called the hospital and we were told to come back for another check-up. I was told I was 4cm dilated and could stay in.

I was shown into a lovely room in the midwife-led unit with a pool – just as I wanted! I was offered liquid Oramorph, which I accepted, as by this point I desperately needed some rest if I was going to push my baby out as I wanted. It eased the pain although not enough to sleep, but I did relax for the few hours the relief lasted.

A short while later I had another check-up and a different midwife established I was only 3cm gone and said I might have to go back home. I was already settled in the room and focusing on my breathing and getting in the zone, so this news really threw me off. My other half stood his ground and explained I had been in labour for almost 36 hours, with minimal pain relief, no food or sleep, and that I needed the support of the midwives if I was going to safely deliver our baby. We were allowed to stay.

Over the course of the next 10 hours, I was slowly but surely dilating. I had Paracetamol and Codeine and spent a lot of time leaning over the bath, trying to encourage Mila to turn so we were no longer back-to-back. This was by far the most painful element of the two-day labour.

When it came to delivering her, I went into the birthing pool. I was hoping to labour in the water but I wasn’t able to in case I relaxed and the contractions and dilation slowed down. When it became clear I was fully dilated and the urge to push was upon me, I got into the warm water. The feeling was beyond wonderful. The rest happened so naturally, and 21 minutes of active labour later, at 6.41am on the Saturday, I had my beautiful Mila in my arms. I was able to scoop her up out of the water myself and put her on my chest for skin to skin.

I had to get out of the water quite quickly as I had a fair amount of blood loss and I had a second-degree tear that was bleeding quite heavily. With Mila in my arms, I got out of the pool and climbed onto the bed so I could birth the placenta and the midwife could examine me. She was a little concerned so wanted a doctor to take a look, and they administered a few stitches. I had to stay in hospital for a further 24 hours due to the blood loss – I had lost 1 ½ pints – to make sure I was resting and recovering.

Mila latched onto the breast easily and hasn’t stopped eating since! The midwives were wonderful and so caring, helping me find the most comfortable feeding positions and making sure I was eating and drinking plenty. We both took to breastfeeding easily and I am proud that I am still feeding Mila to this day. I am pleased I got the birth I wanted, even if it was a long and slow start!

Author Beth Nicklinson

Beth is an Account Executive and mum to baby Mila. She shares her positive birth story and life as a new mother with The Edit.

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