My Birth Story

My Birth Story

I loved being pregnant.  It was one of the most wonderful, special times of my life.

I was one of those ridiculously happy (& no doubt annoying) pregnant people – over indulging on cake, because I did not realise that baby weight does not magically disappear overnight once the baby is born; taking hypnobirthing classes, because I genuinely believed that I could silently breathe my baby out; enjoying every midwife & clinic visit, because I was enjoying a healthy pregnancy; and boring everyone in a 10-mile radius about how I’d never give my baby a dummy (I did), how I would breastfeed for at least a year (I did not) and how having a baby would not change my life (of course it did).

I was lucky in that my pregnancy was straightforward, so of course I expected that my birth would be too.

I went out for cake on my due date and joked with the waitress “Any day now!”.

Of course, this joke got very old around 14 days later, when my baby still had not been born and the weight of carrying an 8lb baby with his head engaged, was starting to feel very uncomfortable ‘down there’.

After two sweeps had not managed to kick start labour, I was scheduled to be induced.  Typically, the same morning I went in to hospital to be induced, I went into natural labour.

So, they sent me back home to wait it out.

Back home, I listened to my hypnobirthing CD and praticsed my visualing and breathing techniques with the Greek God(zilla), who I suspected was also secretly watching sport on the laptop with his headphones in.

About 8 hours later, my contractions were about 5 minutes apart and I was struggling to remain focused on visualising my womb as a flower opening and closing.

I was starting to feel quite uncomfortable too, so we called a cab and I was back at the hospital just 15 minutes later.

When I arrived at the hospital and was examined by a midwife, she told me that my contractions were not yet strong enough and I was only just 3cms dilated.  After 8 hours!

I really did not want to be sent home to wait it out again, so she suggested they artificially break my waters and see if that sped anything up.

And, that was when I knew that I would no longer be simply breathing my baby out and it was going to take something a bit more powerful to get me through.

The contractions felt so much stronger after my waters had broken, although they did not become more effective.  Progress was slow.  After a further 3 more hours, I was still only 4cm dilated.

“Try some gas and air” suggested the midwife.

So, I did.  And then promptly threw up all over my feet, the floor and the birthing ball in the corner.

The next contraction came a few minutes later and I threw up again.  This time I got half of it in the sink in the other corner, but the midwife still came back in with a mop for the trail I’d left on the floor.

“Would you like me to call the anaesthetist?” she asked as I winced in pain again.

“No” piped up the Greek God(zilla) from the cheap, comfy, pain-free seats at the back “we are hypnobirthing so please don’t offer us any pain relief” exactly as we had rehearsed per the script we’d been given by our hypnobirthing therapist.

“Hold on” I interrupted between contractions “I’d really like an epidural”

I had been breathing through the pain for over 12 hours at this point.  In the book, it said I would be able to comfortably breathe my baby out in less than 8.  Or, at least that was the bit that I thought I remembered.

Once the epidural had been administered, I started to feel much calmer.  But, labour was still not progressing and I was still only 4cms dilated, so the midwife suggested they put me on Oxytocin.

It was after the Oxytocin was starting to do its thing, that I started to regain feeling all down my right leg.  So much so, that it just started shaking uncontrollably and the poor anaesthetist had to be called to come back to top the epidural up again.

The pain of the contractions erased, but I was still vomiting with gusto.

It was a long night but by the time morning had come, I was a full 5cms dilated WOOP WOOP.

Not so much.

A Surgeon came in to visit me with a team of students.  He said that if I failed to progress any more in the next hour, they would need to start thinking about a c-section.  I tried not to take it too personally.

Then, off they all went and left me sitting it out for another hour.  Another Doctor visited later and gave the good news that as I was finally fully dilated, they were going to let me start pushing.

But, not for too long she warned as she’d just discovered meconium in the amniotic fluid.

They needed to let the epidural wear off a bit first so that I could feel when to push.  That was fun.

But push I did, and an hour later I was still pushing but the baby’s head had not moved at all.

The Greek God(zilla) had struck up a conversation with our midwife to pass the time, and it turned out that her father was one of his teachers at school.

“Really?” he said to her, as he rested his elbow on my stirruped leg.

Ermmm, do you mind?

Another half an hour passed and the surgeon came back in.  My baby’s heart rate had started to drop and he was in distress so they wheeled me straight down to theatre, as a nurse threw a pair of scrubs at the Greek God(zilla) to put on.

15 minutes later (& 36-hours), my baby boy was born through the sunroof via emergency c-section.  He let out a loud cry in protest at being disturbed from his slumber.

The relief swept over me.  He was beautiful and safe and weighed a healthy 8lb 3oz.

“I don’t think I can ever go through that again” cried the Greek God(zilla) as they placed our baby on my chest.

But, I was not listening.  I was holding my baby in my arms and everything in my world had changed.


This blog post was written for Save the Children’s BlogitforBabies campaign.  Every hour of every day, 11 newborn babies die in Bangladesh. That’s about one every six minutes.  1 in 19 children do not live to see their fifth birthday in Bangladesh because access to basic services such as healthcare is very limited, particularly in rural areas.  For every 10 births in Bangladesh, 8 mothers have to give birth in their home without a skilled health worker present, putting the life of their baby at risk.

Please help Save the Children to raise money to build 7 new clinics in Bangladesh.  

The new clinics in Baniachong and Ajmiriganj will reach 21,500 women of child-bearing age with family planning services; 3,000 pregnant women with antenatal care; 2,190 newborn babies with postnatal care, breastfeeding support for their mothers and antibiotics when they become ill; 2,218 infants aged up to one year, by helping their mothers to breastfeed and wean them safely and reducing the chance of life-threatening diseases such as diarrhoea and the risk of malnutrition and 43,600 people in the area with information on how to stay healthy and where to get help if they do become ill.


Ways you can help:

  • Donate £5 to the Build it for Babies Campaign (the cost of one brick that will make up a clinic’s walls)
    Text BRICK to 70008
  • Donate £1 to the Blog It for Babies Just Giving Fund.
    Text the following code: XVRL71 £1 tothis number: 70070
    (Text donations are brought to you by JustGiving’s partnership with Vodafone. Thanks to Vodafone, there is no fee and 100% of text donations goes to your charity. You can find out more about JustTextGiving here.)
  • If you are a blogger, write a post telling the story of your birth and link it up
  • Donate a tweet or a facebook status, including a link to the campaign: using the #builditforbabies hashtag


You can also find me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter @Smudgerella.

I am thrilled to have been shortlisted for a BritMums Brilliance in Blogging award in the Fresh Voices category.
If you would like to vote for me to win, then please click here 



  1. Sarah Derrig
    April 24, 2012 / 6:52 AM

    I LOVE hearing about birth stories! Love them!!! We had very similary birth stories. I was going to do every au natural – went very hippy chick during my pregnancy, no drugs, no screaming or shouting, everything quite and peaceful..cut to 26 hours of labor later, Sadie pooed herself, my heart rate dropped, her heart rate plummeted and 20 minutes later she too was pulled out of the sunroof!!! I remember clearly my Dr telling me when I was first pregnant “the only birthplan you shoudl have is no birthplan, it will NEVER go the way you want, babies are unpredictable” and he was 100% right!

    • Grenglish
      April 24, 2012 / 2:11 PM

      It is amazing how common this is! You are right though, birth plans are great to write… but you’ll never use it!

  2. April 24, 2012 / 9:39 AM

    Gosh. Such a similar story. I read a book called Birthing From Within and that was what I was going to do. I visualised my cervix opening and riding the wave of pain like a surfer. In fact I didn’t even look at the c-section bit in books because I wasn’t doing it, right?

    What I hadn’t banked on was being Strep B positive, having my waters break at the start of proceedings, being on an oxytocin drip for hours and then having my baby go into distress. Emergency C section here we come.

    • Grenglish
      April 24, 2012 / 2:15 PM

      Haha Ellen, I did not look at the c-section chapters either! It is definitely much harder when they artificially break your waters because the buffer and padding of the fluid is gone. I felt EVERY muscle times 1,000 after that. Such similar stories, it is comforting to know others understand what we went through

  3. April 24, 2012 / 10:40 AM

    Very similar thing happened to me too. I had done hypnobirthing aswell and which worked when contractions weren’t too strong, then I was induced further and then it all kicked in. Didnt help that my baby was positioned babck to back – that hurt! Cervix never dilated and I ended up on the epidural, oxytocinon and the finale was an emergency c-section.

    • Grenglish
      April 24, 2012 / 2:19 PM

      I loved the hypnobirthing classes and I had friends who had given birth relatively pain free using the techniques but any complications at all and hypnobirthing alone just won’t be enough. I could not get my cervix to dilate more efficiently no matter how many times I visualised it! Emergency c-sections are more common than I realised. I have heard how painful back to back baby’s are to deliver and I just can’t imagine how it must have been for you. All worth it in the end though x

  4. April 24, 2012 / 1:24 PM

    Goodness that was so moving – and the even the comments are too! I learned more about you in 5 mins reading that than in I ever would in a normal conversation! So glad you are all safe and well. Poor hubby eh? Yeah right! XX

    • Grenglish
      April 24, 2012 / 2:21 PM

      Haha yeah right indeed! Thanks Anya. It certainly wasn’t the birth I planned but it was the birth I got and as soon as I held my baby for the first time, I didn’t care how I had got there x

  5. April 24, 2012 / 2:42 PM

    Oh, so similar to my story! It took me two days(of on and off pain) to get started and another 36 hours to give birth…I didn’t get a C-section but I got everything else! Well, so the fairy tales about giving birth easy die :-)…Enjoy your treasure!

    • Grenglish
      April 24, 2012 / 2:46 PM

      It is the most natural thing in the world but so hard! I do have friends who talk of 3-hour drugfree labours and I am so envious! All bodies are built differently I guess. Anyway, does not matter now. As you say, enjoy our treasures! Thanks so much for commenting 🙂

  6. April 25, 2012 / 8:06 AM

    Sodding hypnobirthing. Other than the wonderful stories I heard whilst doing the hypnobirthing course, I am yet to know of anyone other than my teacher who actually had a successful hypnobirthing experience. Glad to hear your bundle arrived safely in the end. After a four day induction and a very messy end to it all, I might well brave the natural birth brigade’s shock and awe and opt for an elective C-section if we have a next time!!

    Still, all this aside, it makes you realise how lucky we are to be in the UK and to have such choices and ultimately much better care than other pregnant women in this world.

    Here’s to a great #BlogItForBabies campaign.

    • Grenglish
      April 25, 2012 / 9:36 AM

      Hi – sodding hypnobirthing indeed! Although, he was quite a chilled out baby and I like to think hypnobirthing played a part in that (maybe just trying to find some reason for not wasting £400!).
      I’ve said the same thing about opting for a c-section if there is a next time. Not sure I could go through all that again if there was a chance the end result would be the same.
      I can’t even think about what would have become of us had we been in Bangladesh. I really do just feel lucky now that I had access to such great care and all the facilities to keep us safe and well.

  7. Clare from Belfast Mummy
    April 25, 2012 / 11:44 AM

    Hi, I’ve only just come across your fabulous blog, absolutely love it. Your birth story is wonderful and as a new blogger I am now inspired to write my own for #BlogItForBabies (the first time it will ever be committed to paper!) . Again a similar story to yours, I read my Ina May books and had my birthing ball at the ready, no pain relief for me, what I got was the opposite. It didn’t end in c-section but when number 2 came along 14 months later I had an elective c section which was a brilliant experience, so calm and relaxed in comparison. xx

    • Grenglish
      April 25, 2012 / 12:19 PM

      Hi Clare, thank you for popping by and taking the time to comment!
      I read Ina May too! Brilliant book and such inspiring stories although some of it was a bit too hippy chick for me 😉
      If we ever have another, I’d be tempted for elective c-section too.
      Please do write your own story up and link it to the blogitforbabies site and let me know when you have so I can come back, read and comment on yours xx

      right, off to check out your blog now too!

      • Clare from Belfast Mummy
        April 28, 2012 / 2:32 PM

        Thank you so much for your lovely comment on my blog, I get so excited when I receive comments, it’s still such a novelty! Now just need to write small boy’s story. x

  8. May 6, 2012 / 3:00 PM

    So beautiful! I’ve never heard of hypnobirthing. Ah, you do have a funny way of telling a story, I love it.

    I also wrote a #blogitforbabies post here 🙂

    • Grenglish
      May 11, 2012 / 1:56 PM

      Thank you so much, I will go and check yours out too 🙂

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