Giving birth during the COVID-19 pandemic

Jen from Purely Pregnant
Jen and Cameron
Special thanks to Jen Eastman who has kindly given us permission to share her birth story, we hope that it reassures and inspires you whenever and wherever you give birth, but especially if you are approaching your due date during the Coronavirus pandemic. 
Having had an instrumental delivery under epidural with my first son, we were really excited to put HypnoBirthing and Pregnancy Yoga into practice with this labour. 
I was 40+5 when mild contractions started about 5.30am. I was able to go about my day much as normal, until late afternoon when they intensified and I used my calm/ surge breathing  to help. I also spent time in all fours yoga poses  whilst watching TV! I could eat, shower, etc. as normal throughout the day- I just felt very calm
At about 8.30pm my surges were close together and strong so we headed into hospital. I was 4cm on arrival and the midwife did a little sweep during the examination, which ramped up the surges more. I got to 5cm and headed for the pool. 

It was so lush, I felt really in the zone

The birth pool really complimented the breathing and I felt really in the zone. Annoyingly, I started being pretty sick which caused my waters to go with some vigour about 11.30pm! Baby didn’t enjoy this and his heart rate was dropping during surges, so they took us to central delivery for monitoring. 
I got a bit stressed getting out the pool as the surges got a lot stronger after my waters went, but I managed to get my breathing back under control. The midwife was really great and kept encouraging me to breathe, as everything intensified. 

I accused my husband of having ‘angry eyes’

About 2.30am my husband definitely noticed a shift which was transition. I begged for an epidural and accused him of having ‘angry eyes’, which the midwife reassured me he didn’t! 
I then felt an overwhelming need to open my bowels, which was actually just baby coming on out. Baby’s heart rate was still a bit sketchy so I had to push, but I used the deep J breath (and some gas and air) to help.

He came out in 4 pushes weighing 9lbs and 4oz 

He was immediately put on me and feeding within 20 minutes. We were left for about 3 hours just as a 3 to bond and enjoy some tea and toast. I was able to be up and about and showering within hours, and we got home the very same day

A really empowering and enjoyable experience

It was a really empowering and enjoyable experience. So very different to my first and hypnobirthing definitely played a huge part in that, so thank you! 

To any mums worried about giving birth during this pandemic…

…the hospital and staff were wonderful. Yes, they are in PPE but it’s as normal as possible and the care was second to none. 

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