Reading positive birth stories can help you create a confident mindset about your birth.
We have curated a diverse range of birth stories for you to read. Whilst some of them may be considered 'straight forward', many of them are not. However, all of these parents felt their birth was a hugely confident & empowering experience. Enjoy..
My contractions started around 9pm Sunday evening and were coming pretty fast around every 5 mins for about a minute, this carried on for 2 days. It took 11 hours to go from 2-3cm, then 24 hours later I went in again and was finally 5cm and my waters broke during examination. This was around 2am. Things then went pretty fast, I was lucky enough to use the Spires midwife unit at the John Radcliffe and was using gas and air whilst waiting for the pool to be ready. I got to 8cm pretty fast and wanted to push, but was told I needed to try not to (this was the hardest part). I was on the floor on my hands and knees at this point, getting to 8cm I remember thinking 'wow, im nearly there!' The water was finally ready and wow, what a sense of relief. This experience was incredible, so calming and relaxing, the room was dim and they had used essential oils to create a fragrance for the room. Within a few more hours (6:55am) she made her appearance straight into the water. I highly recommend a water birth if you can, as it really was incredible. I'd do it over and over again if I could.
I have two beautiful daughters- now aged 3 and 2 (14 month age gap!) My eldest was breech so I chose an elective c section- I had completed Vicky’s Daisy birthing classes and although slightly disappointed not to give birth vaginally I used a lot of her breathing techniques to remain calm whilst they gave me the spinal block. Music was playing and I remember it being an exciting, buzzing environment and I felt like the star of the show! Surprisingly to me, I had deferred pain in my shoulders (which I didn’t know could happen!) so was given gas & air and I remember laughing because I did not imagine needing it during a c-section! Lily definitely didn’t want to come out and they were pulling at her for what seemed like an eternity! The joy I felt when Paul told me we had a little girl was unlike anything I’ve ever felt, I remember it so clearly like a snapshot in time.
Lily was only 5 months old when I found out I was pregnant again. It was the day of the first ‘official’ lockdown and despite being excited, I was absolutely petrified. ‘But we already have a baby!’ I exclaimed whilst looking at Lily in her little bumbo seat.
I chose to have a second elective c- section with Isla. I suffer from PTSD and although I knew the recovery from a section, alongside a toddler, would be gruelling, at least I knew what to expect and felt I would have a little more control. I was also worried about giving birth vaginally so soon after Lily. I had a very measured conversation with the consultant and felt listened to and respected.
I felt sad saying goodbye to my one year old knowing it would be the last time of just her but the butterflies I had in my tummy were even more fluttery this time round as I knew exactly what was coming! Isla was born extremely quickly, with no drama or issues, to ‘sweet child of mine’ and began feeding before we had even left the operating theatre. I was up and on my feet within 5 hours of the operation and I believe this is why I healed so much quicker, and easier that time round.
I don’t regret having two sections, all births are magical, and all Mamas are super hero’s!
I had such a positive pregnancy, and even more positive labour and birth.
It was Tuesday 28th June I was 40+3 and had my midwife appointment. I decided to go ahead with a stretch and sweep, I was told my cervix was closed. I got home and within 20 minutes I started to lose my plug, this continued over the course of that day and the following two days.
Around 7pm on Wednesday 29th June I had some pain start in my back, the pain had moved to my stomach. I started timing, my contractions were every 12-13 minutes and lasting 30 seconds. I knew I was quite a way off. My contractions stopped around 10pm that night, I managed to get a good nights sleep. Waking up the following morning on Thursday 30th June, me and my husband had breakfast and my contractions started again around 10:30am. They were lasting around 50 seconds and were every 7 minutes. They stayed like this for a little while. I had a lovely relaxing bath, after that we went to curry’s to buy a new tv all whilst having contractions so they were bearable. Once we got home I ran myself my second bath of the day, and read more of my hypnobirthing book.
Around 6:30pm that evening I called the Spires Midwife Led Unit in Oxford as my contractions were now 3 in 11-12 minutes. When we arrived they monitored me for 30 minutes and told me to go home, relax and come back when they’re 3 in 10 minutes.
On the way home we stopped and collected Katsu Chicken (something I ate ALOT through my pregnancy).
Once we arrived home, my husband ran my third bath of the day. I didn’t even eat my Katsu, wasn’t feeling it once we got home.
After that we got into bed and watched Love Island. I was getting a little agitated at this point so I started walking around the bedroom and bouncing on my birthing ball. After Love Island finished at 10pm my husband asked me how I was doing, I said they’re 3 in just over 9 minutes. He jumped out of bed and said we need to go. We drove back to Spires where I was checked at 11:15pm and told I was 5cm dilated. I cried happy tears as I knew we were meeting our baby soon. My pool was in the process of being filled and by 12:15am I was in the pool with gas and air. We had a wonderful Spotify playlist on in the background along with mood lighting, that made it such a relaxing environment.
It got to 3:15am where the midwife checked me again when at this point I was 9cm, almost there! But my waters still hadn’t broke.
A little while longer I started to feeling a lot of pressure and I was feeling the need to push. I knew this was it, it’s like a switch had been flipped and my body knew it was time to push. I was 10cm and pushing when my waters finally broke.
We asked the midwives if my husband could tell me the gender of our baby as we decided not to find out in our scans. I was pushing and pushing with all that I could and at 6:47am I lifted our beautiful little baby out of the water in which my husband told me we had a baby GIRL! The most perfect little girl was born, 6 days over due.
On the morning he came, I had a bleed at home. I had to be taken in by ambulance, but they were calm which helped. We were taken to the John Radcliffe. I was internally examined to check the blood & hooked up to a monitor. However they were struggling to pick up a good rhythm from the baby so they did a scan and then acted quickly to get me in for a c section but not once did I feel panicked because they never showed it. Everyone was so calm and kept me updated with what was coming next so I knew what to expect. The treatment both me & my baby received was amazing! I was looked after both as a patient and as a new mother which really helped. He was in intensive care and then moved to the low dependency unit, he had 24hr care which meant that although it wasn’t the start I expected, I was able to take it in my stride and not panic. They very much made me feel like they had mine and Lucas’ best interests at heart and the team worked with love rather than us just being another patient to them.
From our experience, the team have learned that our baby had a unique rhythm and it is being compared to 150,000 cases and they are updating software and staff training so that it will help babies in the future. So our experience is changing the future and improving the system even though from a patient point of view I could NOT fault any of my experience!
I woke up at about 4.30-5pm, waking up my husband saying that I don’t feel very well, I’ve got stomach pains. The pains kept happening.“Is it constant pain or does it come and go?” he asked & I said“Every 5 minutes.”
We decided to ring the birth centre and the lady on the phone said, “we don’t normally let you come in, till you’re 3 minutes apart, so you might get sent home.” At this point, I said to my husband we’re going in. So we called my parents to come and collect our dog and we headed straight to hospital.
We got to the hospital about 6.45 and parked up. I had 2 contractions between the car and the front door of the hospital, during which we were met by a midwife just coming onto shift.
We went into triage but my waters half broke before I got on the bed, about 7am, then once on the bed the other half went. They stripped me down and my husband was very concerned at the amount of blood I had lost but the midwives assured him that was normal. They gave me paracetamol and codeine at this point, as the contractions were near constant. When they checked me at 7.10am I was fully dilated and involuntarily pushing, so they took us to a delivery room. They gave me gas and air but I quickly forgot about this and just pushed. I was pushing for just over an hour with good progress, but the said they wanted to give me a small episiotomy, but after giving me the anaesthetic I must have relaxed a little as my baby came out before they could snip me, at 10.06am. I needed some stitches as had a few minor tears, but it was all worth it to get our little baby girl ❤️
Being a first time Mum, who was actually dreading giving birth I can honestly hand on heart say I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. Yes I absolutely loved being in labour and I loved giving birth to my little boy.
I had a bit of a rough pregnancy, but I just had to focus on the end goal. Being new to it all my husband and I attended the antenatal classes that Vicki teaches and I am honestly so glad we did. My husband used quite a few techniques that Vicki discussed in the classes, but he also said that if he hadn’t been to those classes he wouldn’t of known how to cope in labour. Quite frankly as well he was amazing!
I also attended the birthing classes which had yoga and breathing techniques and again I used all of what I learnt in these classes in labour ward.
I had an induction two days before my due date, the doctors did not want me to go overdue. As a normal first time mum the week leading up to my induction I was Googling, asking people on social media and no one had a positive induction story. So as you can imagine I was panicking!
My induction started on the Friday evening, I was on the ward on my own and I really started to panic. I had the pessary on the Friday evening, and then it was a waiting game. I had the next pessary on the Saturday morning. I had no sleep as the ward was very noisy so I was shattered. My husband was allowed back on the ward by 8am and I was so happy to see him. The doctors examined me and said there was no progress so I was to just try relax, walk around and wait for progress. After about 30 minutes my waters broke, and the midwives examined me again and I was still 1cm dilated. All I kept thinking was how long left.
The contractions started and they were coming thick and fast, I was moving my hips in a circle motion and felt that this was the best way to deal with the pain. I was walking around the ward and just kept my breathing going. Contractions are tough YES but to be honest not as bad as I ever thought they would be. I just kept saying to myself I can do this. I went to have a shower and had the warm water on my back and this was lovely.
I’d been contracting for about 4 hours now so I was getting tired, and the midwife asked if I would like the pethadin injection so I could try and rest as there was no movement. I was still not dilating as the midwife checked so I thought let’s try get some rest and save my energy. The midwife injected me and within about 5 minutes I said to my husband I want to push. I started to feel very faint, and I went extremely pale. My husband alerted the midwives and she lifted the covers and she said we need to get you to labour ward now. All I remember was shear panic, alarms were going and by this point I was exhausted and had no clue what was happening. I was wheeled down the corridor whilst my husband was running behind with our bags.
I got to labour ward and instantly wanted to push, the midwife offered me gas and air which I started to use. I birthed in a seated position on the end of the bed, and within about 1 hour our gorgeous little boy was here.
It was hardwork and because it was so quick it was all quite a shock. But it was honestly the best thing I have ever done.
If I can give anyone any advice it is to not listen to the horror stories, do not listen to other friends birthing stories as everyone’s is different, go into the hospital with an open mind, be prepared with breathing techniques and ensure that your birthing partner is fully prepared also!I
I was in early labour from 37+5 weeks triaged and sent home 4 times because we was both healthy. I went back into hospital at 41+1 for high blood pressure after a midwife appointment, when they said I need to stay in and have the baby. I then proceeded to stay in for the next week having my blood pressure monitored, being told I’m next for induction but as others were coming in already in active labour and there was a baby boom, they did not have enough staff to do it. I did everything to get labour going!
Finally went down to labour ward at 42+1 to be told there still wasn't any midwives available. Next morning at 4:30am they were able to start my induction. However once the induction started I experienced the worst pain in my back, which came on so quickly. I bounced on a ball and had gas & air, whilst my partner pushed on the pressure points on my back. I knew I was not going to last for hours with the pain in my back, so I pretty much shouted for them to give me something else. They offered me an epidural which I didn’t care about as just wanted the pain to stop. There were two failed attempts of siting the epidural but they finally got it in and I had the smallest amount of the epidural possible. The pain went and I slept for 6 hours.
When I woke my midwife asked to check my progress and I was 10 centimetres. The lead midwife came to check and agreed, so it time to push. However this was when we learnt I had a narrowed pelvis and was going to be very difficult. After a few more hours of trying different positions and pushing we had a little rest.
This is when everything changed. I was told to lay on my left and my partner was instructed to press the red button if she asked, which very soon afterwards she did. After about 30 seconds I looked around and saw about 20 people in our room. Two doctors explained to me that my blood pressure was very high and baby needed to come out, which I agreed to. They said they would try forceps first & if that didn't work they would need to perform a c section. I signed a bit of paper and we was rushed off to theatre with a man speaking to me the whole way down. I felt so sick but struggled to actual be sick. My partner got scrubs on and met us in there. I had my legs put in big boots and lifted up, all the people in there were lovely! The midwife said when to push (I think I did as my epidural was on full). After second push baby came out and we found out he was a boy. Once he was on me I cried, the first time in the whole of my labour. He had to have a little bit of oxygen but considering he was 42+2 he only weighed 7lb 9oz however came out very healthy.
I had to have stitches as they performed an episiotomy (I didn’t feel it) before using the forceps and then went into recovery. In recovery I asked what happened and they told me my blood pressure went to 216 which placed me in danger of a stroke or worse, so they had to get him out very quickly. They were happy that my blood pressure came down pretty quickly so I was transfer to the ward. I had to stay in for the next two nights so they could check and monitor my blood pressure & went home with 4 different tablets and needles to inject myself to stop any clots for the next 10 days.
At 36 weeks pregnant our baby was still in a breech presentation so we had a procedure called an External Cephalic Version to turn her. This is a specialist procedure where direct abdominal pressure encourages the foetus to turn. This was not a comfortable procedure but I got through it thanks to using the Centred Breath, learnt at Vicki’s antenatal classes. Crucially, from then on our baby stayed head down!
My labour started at 4am right on my due date, New Year’s Eve. I woke thinking that my waters might have broken but it was nothing dramatic like on the tv. Feeling mainly excited, I tried to go back to sleep and was then aware of the start of my contractions. Again, they didn’t feel like I expected them, but more like a very gentle pressure I’d never felt before. Unable to sleep, I ran a bath, had breakfast and bounced on my birthing ball until about 8am, when I woke my partner with a cup of tea before declaring I was in labour!
We stayed at home for as long as we could but the hospital were keen to check so we arrived at the JR MAU just before midday. The midwife confirmed my waters had broken but because of this she didn’t want to measure how dilated I was for fear of introducing infection (if examined they would have wanted to induce me if Iabour hadn’t progressed within 4 hours) so they examined with a speculum, with which the midwife said she couldn’t see anything. As my contractions were not quite lasting long enough, although now quite regular, I was sent for a walk around the car park (in the pouring rain!).
Before long, I found I couldn’t walk more than a few steps without doubling over as the contractions had really intensified so after nearly an hour, went back in to the hospital. Again, re-examined with the speculum and the midwife still couldn’t see anything. I was given a side room and a birthing ball (as I said I just wanted to bounce). The contractions were now every couple of minutes and intense, but still just under a minute in duration, so I wasn’t ready to go to the Spires (midwife-led unit). I tried bouncing on the ball and heat packs on my back but just couldn’t find relief in anything. I was examined properly at about 3:30pm and I was at least 6cm dilated and from here progressed very quickly. Looking back, up until this point had been the worst part of the labour as I didn’t know how bad it was still going to get. It was such a huge relief to then be told labour was progressing as I’d got this far using breathing techniques alone. I was however suddenly feeling the urge to push before they’d moved me!
Once up in the Spires, all suddenly felt calm. I was given gas and air which felt like a breath of heaven! I was then able to concentrate on my breathing again and regain control of the situation. When the pool was ready I climbed in and the support of the water provided the best relief. The midwife was brilliant; she had a very supportive yet hands off approach and everything was progressing nicely. My partner felt very involved. After a couple of pushes my midwife noticed the water in the pool was emptying and wasn’t refilling. I stayed in as long as I could but had to get out and stagger across the room between contractions and positioned myself standing, bent over the bed. At 6:08pm Baby Alice was born, within less than 10 minutes in this position. She was passed straight up to me, between my legs, and I couldn’t have felt more primitive and protective at this moment. I have a vivid memory of scrambling onto the bed, clinging onto her.
The time after her birth felt very golden and was everything we wanted; delayed cord clamping, skin to skin with both myself and my partner and some calm, relaxed space to bond with our new, precious little person.
We feel very lucky to have had the experience we had; the delivery itself felt calm, not at all clinical, and enabled my body to do what it needed to do!
It all kicked off on Saturday 18th February. We were just getting into bed at 10pm when I felt a little leak! As I stood up my mucus plug fell out. A short while later my waters broke. I called the maternity unit at Northampton Hospital and they advised we headed in to be checked over. It was the most exciting journey knowing our baby would be arriving soon! We arrived at the Northampton maternity unit around 11pm. It was confirmed my waters had broken but it was clear labour hadn’t established as I wasn’t getting any contractions. The midwife booked us in for an induction for the following day incase nothing established in the meantime.
We were sent back home, but on the journey I started to get slight period like pains, by the time we were home they were regular tightenings. I couldn’t believe how quickly everything was happening! Within half an hour of being home I could no longer speak through the contractions, they were happening every 3-5 minutes.
We headed back to the hospital for the second time. I was seen by the same midwife who checked to see how dilated I was- 4cm but things were ramping up quick! We were offered a room with a bathtub rather than going home. I was sick as soon as I entered the room, I got in the bathtub but could not get comfortable, the contractions were so regular it felt like there was no break in between. I was wheelchaired into a delivery room and given gas and air, and I got onto all four. I focused on my breathing using the techniques Vicki taught me and before I knew it it was time to push.
Pushing felt so productive! At 5:35am on Sunday 19th February the head was born and at 5:37am the rest of the body followed, baby was lifted through my legs for our first chance to meet. We hadn’t known what we were having so when we heard “it’s a girl” it was the biggest and best reward. I had skin to skin before she was weighed -8lbs11oz!! I had a small graze and tear which were stitched after the placenta was delivered. We got transferred over to the Barrett Birthing Centre after our tea and toast where they helped us establish breastfeeding and supported us with the first nappy change!! We were discharged the same day and came home to start our new lives as a family. It honestly was the most exciting, empowering, memorable day ever.