This was my first birth. I was very excited to meeting my first baby.

As the birth was approaching, I pictured being in a dimly lit, warm room, with relaxing music in the background, the fresh smell of Lavender, whilst gently bobbing along in a pool of warm water. All in the comfort of my own home.

As it had been detected early on in my pregnancy, I had tested positive for Group B Strep (GBS). This meant a home birth was not possible and it was out of the question to use the birthing suit next door to the maternity ward. The Consultant recommended intravenous antibiotics when labour starts and for after the baby has been delivered.

I did lots of research into whether to go ahead with the home birth (which my Community Midwife fully supported my preferences) and not go into hospital, meaning no intravenous antibiotics for neither me nor the baby. I decided to go into hospital and follow the Consultants advice.

I had reached 40+5 days, it was 3am and my waters had broke, well more of a trickle. I had no contractions. I phoned the labour ward and they advised to slowly make my way over to the hospital so they could administer the antibiotics. I quickly vacuumed the house, painted my toenails (as best as I could) and my husband and I set off to the hospital.

The journey took an hour and I remember feeling very excited and happy, whilst singing to a George Michael song on the radio.

Shortly after arriving at the hospital, after being examined, it was confirmed my waters had broken and I was 2cm dilated, still no contractions. By 10am I got myself settled on the anti-natal ward and started listening to my Hypnobirthing tracks. I had handed over my birthing plan and the Midwifes were very welcoming and excited to see a Hypnobirth.

As time went by and my contractions had not started, it was decided I was to be induced. I felt very calm and my thoughts were, let’s just go with it. Eventually by midnight I was moved to the delivery ward and both the intravenous antibiotics and Oxytocin drip were administered.

I remained deep within my safe, calm, and happy place listening to my Hypnobirthing tacks. My husband was sat in the corner of the room playing on his phone.

The Midwifes were so caring and loving, I felt totally safe. They respected my Hypnobirthing, kept noise and interruptions to a minimum, well almost, there was a student midwife, and you could tell she felt the need to keep talking to me. My husband gently reminded her a couple of times that I was Hypnobirthing, and it would be best not to talk to me.

Quite soon I could feel the contractions and over the next few hours there was no set pattern to their frequency. I was lay on the bed with straps across my tummy so the midwife was able to monitor the baby’s heartbeat. I was not able to move around as this moved the straps and the baby’s heartbeat could not be detected.

By 7:30am my waters still hadn’t been fully released and I was dilated by 3cm. The Doctor and Midwife weren’t happy with speed of progress and the baby’s heartbeat dropped at each contraction. The Doctor broke my waters and attempted to take a blood sample from the baby’s head to investigate his heartbeat rhythm, however this was proving difficult as my waters kept washing the blood sample away.

Whilst all of this was happening, I remained deep within my safe, calm, and happy place still listening to my Hypnobirthing tracks. I felt calm, in control and strong (even though the Doctor was flapping and was suggesting we would need and emergency C-Section if things did not take a turn). The medical team couldn’t believe how calm and quiet I was.

It had reached 9:20am and suddenly, my body was ready to birth my baby. My body involuntary pushed (twice) my baby out into the world.

Hartley was placed onto my chest and the overwhelming surge of love and the first touch of his warm skin against mine, I will never forget.

Hartley was born safely at 9:30am.