I consider myself to be a nervous patient in normal times so found the prospect of giving birth during the coronavirus lock-down to be particularly concerning, with my biggest worry that my husband may not be able to attend the birth or stay for long afterwards. A couple of weeks ahead of my due date I found out the midwife led unit had been closed which made me think that my plan for a hypnobirthing based birth (having completed a video call with Katie) would be much more challenging in a more hospitalised environment. Further adding to my nerves was that scans had suggested that I was due to have a large baby so I was booked in for an induction.
The day before I thought I had started to feel some signs of early labour so I phoned the hospital to see if I could push back the induction and felt really supported that I should listen to my body. However, things stalled so I headed to hospital the following day for my induction, only to go into labour whilst waiting in the maternity reception! This meant that I was in hospital for the entirety of my labour but the midwives made the environment as homely as possible with battery candles, fairy lights and an aromatherapy diffuser. Having seen that I was in labour Katie popped in to see me first thing to offer some much appreciated words of encouragement. My labour progressed quickly (my cervix went from 1cm to 9cm in 2 hours!) and I was told that I was too late for most pain relief options which initially made me panic but then Katie returned saying it was time for my baby to be born and she was so calming, thoughtful and capable that I was able to stop worrying and just listen to my body.
My son was born in his membrane sac which I think is a reflection of how gentle the birth was with Katie's guidance, and I look back with very positive memories. The care I received from all the staff was excellent and I was surprised by how little difference coronavirus meant from a patient perspective other than staff wearing PPE. Helen