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You can read Sophie's full birth story in issue 7 of Manner Magazine, or read online here (page 54-57)

"We had heard of Hypnobirthing and were quite open to trying it, anything to make the birth easier seemed like a good idea at this point. May and Jan, who run the classes, taught us how to induce deep relaxation using breathing techniques, visualisation and reading scripts to help have an easier, quicker labour. 

I had been experiencing mild period-like cramping pains for about a week, so every day was a guessing game ‘am I/ aren’t I in labour?’ At 8:30pm on Sunday 20th January, I felt a sudden wave of nausea and needed to run to the bathroom, nothing new. I went to bed shortly after but woke at 10pm with cramping pains, I was certain this time, early labour had begun. I slept on and o until about 2am when the contractions were too strong to sleep through. I woke Mark, had a shower, washed my hair and shaved my legs and excitedly made my way to the living room to begin our birthing plan. I listened to a relaxing playlist and bounced on the birthing ball, breathing through every contraction. At about 4am we rang the maternity unit to let them know my contractions were now every 3 to 5 minutes apart and lasting for just over a minute each. I was advised to take a bath and wait it out a little longer – that was frustrating as I was sure they were going to tell me to head in!

At 5:30 I had a bout of diarrhoea, followed quickly by vomiting – this continued every few minutes for about half an hour. At 6:08, I messaged my mum (our designated driver) to let her know things were progressing – the message read:

‘Today is the day for sure. After I was sick last night the contractions and pain started very strong, slept on and o until 2am but been up since then. Very strong contractions, very painful and sickness and diarrhoea every few minutes. Spoke to midwife she said ring back when contractions are every 3 minutes, it’s heading that way.’

We arrived at the hospital at 7:30am, where I was given Entonox (gas and air) to help manage the pain, but as I didn’t know what was wrong, I started to panic. Once the midwife had checked me over, she reassured me that I was probably in labour and I would most likely give birth that day. My membranes were bulging out of my cervix making it hard to see how far into labour I was, so when my waters did eventually break, I think we were all shocked to learn I was actually 8.5cm dilated!

‘It’s breech!’ said the midwife. With the press of the panic button, I was suddenly surrounded by 10 other people – doctors, nurses, and midwives. I could feel the fright in the room, it suddenly felt very intense. e bottom half of the bed was released, and my legs put in stirrups. With no time for a C-section or pain relief, I was going to have to push this baby out.

I was given an episiotomy where the doctors then realised the baby was footling breech. At just before 8:30am, with a mighty scream and big push, her left leg came out, shortly followed by her right leg. A couple more big pushes and she was here.

Beatrice Matilda Wilkinson was born at 8:40am on 21st January 2019, weighing a healthy 7lb15oz. After everything we had been through... It took a little while for everything to sink in, but when it did, my heart just filled with pride and joy – I now know what true love is."

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