Gemma shares her story "Because you always hear about the negative births and we need more positive birth stories out there even when it doesn't go the way you planned".

Where did you deliver your baby?

Liverpool Women's Hospital

Were you full term?

Induced at 38+3, delivered 38+6

How was your pregnancy?

No complications, heartburn at the end and a little PGP.

Baby was measuring big at the end though

Did you do any special preparation for your delivery?

I did the Positive Birth Company hypnobirthing course, I learnt so much about birth it was eye opening.

I attended a pregnancy relaxation course run by Danielle The Doula in Widnes. Danielle is amazing, she is so knowledgeable and so comforting, she is one of the reasons by birth was amazing even though it didn't go to plan.

I also talked to my friends, we all have children and we all had different births the first time so just chatting to them and listening to their birth stories really helped, I'm very lucky to have them for support.

Did you have a birth plan in place?

Yes, I wanted a water birth on the MLU.

Did you have to change your birth plan?

Yes, I had a meeting with the Head of Midwifery at Liverpool Women's Hospital who discussed all the birth options with me and weighing up the pro's and con's I changed my birth plan to a water birth on the labour ward.

Where/how did you access midwife support during your pregnancy?

I had appointments with the Community Midwife in Halton and also the midwives at Liverpool Women's

Did you have any extra scans?

We had lots of extra scans. The normal 12 & 20 week scan and then scans at 30, 34 & 38 weeks. In between that we had scans to check the blood flow between baby and me. We also had a scan whilst at MLU for reduced movements as the midwives had trouble finding his heartbeat.

We also paid for a private scan at Your Baby Scan at 18 weeks where we found out the gender with his big sister.

Did you have contractions?

Yes I had contractions, I was induced with a Cook's catheter so contractions started after that was inserted, I also had a Syntocinon drip to keep the contractions going.

Did your waters break?

My waters were broken for me, it wasn't painful, the midwife used a tiny hook to break them, I heard a pop and it was like someone had turned a tap on.

If you delivered at hospital or a maternity unit, how did you get there?

I was dropped off by my Father in Law, I dropped my daughter off at their house first and then travelled from theirs to the hospital.

Describe your experience of contractions.

My contractions this time were more bearable then they were with my daughter. I used all my hypnobirthing techniques I learnt & the breathing techniques I learnt with Danielle really helped, I didn't have gas and air for about 5 hours (I had it from the start with my daughter & accepted all the drugs offered), the drip made the contractions very intense from the start so I was so proud I made it 5 hours without any pain relief.

How was your labour?

Labour was so calm, we set the room up with calming lights, music & lavender spray. I forgot I was in a hospital at one point.

I had an amazing midwife to begin with who kept everything so calm and so chilled, she listened to what I wanted and helped me so much.

My husband was amazing, he made sure I kept hydrated, massaged my back during contractions, held a hot water bottle on my back and kept me so positively during labour.

I have no regrets with this labour, the room was just as I wanted it, I made my own decisions and even though I ended up with a C-section it was still an amazing experience.

If you had a C-Section, how did you prep for this?

I didn't prep for a section and I was determined to not have one, unfortunately that wasn't the case.

I had a Cat2 emergency C-section so it wasn't a huge rush to get down to theatre, I walked down chatting to the midwives, my husband was allowed in for the whole time (his comment about the size of the needle in my back wasn't his finest hour though), we had music playing in the background and everyone was so lovely and kept me calm even though it was 1am in the morning.

Recovery was smooth, I tried to take it as slowly as I could (having a toddler made it harder to relax though). I kept on top of my pain meds and I tied a dressing gown belt to the end of the bed to use as an aid to get up so I didn't strain my wound.

My husband was amazing, he helped so much around the house so I could relax as much as possible and he helped keep my wound clean once my Pico dressing was off.

newborn baby swaddled with sister hands holding baby little wonderland photography widnes cheshire

How did you feel when your baby arrived?

Relieved he was out and here safely

What are your top tips for a hospital bag or home birth?

Extra long charging cables, take your own pillow & snacks! Hospital food isn't the greatest & having your favourite snacks really helps

What is the best gadget you've used for your newborn?

An amber light for night feeds, it doesn't wake them up as much as a white light

What advice do you have for mums-to-be and new parents?

Double check you have everything before leaving the house (I ended up at my newborn photoshoot with Becca with no milk for the baby - thank god for my Father in law bringing some over).

Also you don't both need to be awake for night feeds, we take it in turns so we're both not losing sleep each night.

I hope you enjoyed Gemma's story as much as I enjoyed meeting her newest baby at her Maternity and then newborn session wth me.

If you're expecting a baby and would like to know more get in touch here now.