My Back to Back Birth Story – Water Birth, Ventouse, Forceps, C-Section

Pollyanna, Born 16th February 2018 at 10:08




















From the beginning I knew I wanted a water birth. I love the water and the idea of it just seemed so relaxing in comparison to laying on a bed.

My pregnancy had been simply the best, with no symptoms apart from slight heartburn towards the end. I had no morning sickness, gained no weight (other than on my belly) and had ended with no stretch marks. It was honestly perfect and therefore low risk which meant a water birth was possible. Read about my first and second trimester here.

Pollyanna was nine days late, after having ten days of contractions leading up to her arrival due to her being in the back to back position which I only found out the day before delivering. There are lots of things you can do to help the baby turn if you are back to back.

I had opted for only gas and air if needed and was very strong about not wanting an epidural due to the possible side effects and the thought of having a catheter bag. I also felt very strongly about not wanting a C-Section unless there was no other option. I really wanted to do it as naturally as possible.


Pollyanna was nine days late, after seven days I had to have a sweep to hopefully help speed up the delivery. I really was dreading it, however it lasted only a few seconds and we found out I was already 2-3cm, but was sent back home as you cannot be kept in until you are at least 4cm.


We went back home on Valentine’s Day after having the sweep, Adam booked me in for a pregnancy massage which I lay through having contractions every 3-4 minutes.
After a few hours the contractions were the worst they had been so we decided to head to day care.
Unfortunately after a few hours of being in the hospital the contractions died down again which they had been doing for the previous nine days. This was all because of the back to back position.
We were sent back home to wait it out.


The following day (15th Feb) contractions started again from 4am, they continued all throughout the day. Stronger than before but continuing to be 4-5minuets apart.
I had no idea you could have contractions on and off. I thought once they began that was it, you would be in labour soon after.
Having a back to back labour means the baby is pressing on your back causing you to have contractions for days.


Midwifes recommend you to be having contractions at least 3 minutes apart before you head to the hospital.
After several cups of jasmine tea, massaging pressure points and bouncing on my birthing ball, the contractions were taking my breath away. At this point Adam took control and decided it was time.

We arrived to the hospital around 3pm and I was in the birthing pool by 4pm.


Another myth that the movies teach you is that when you go into labour your waters will break and your baby will be with you soon after – thats not the case.

I was taken out of the pool every four hours to be examined to see how dilated I was. After the first four hours (and a KFC in the pool later) my waters had not broken but I was at least 6cm. The midwife decided to break my waters for me. Another process I was completely dreading that turned out to not be as bad as I imagined.

I got back into the pool at 9pm ready for the next examination at midnight.


I was in the pool for a total of ten hours without any other form of pain relief other than the water.
I honestly had no idea just how much relief the water gave me until I had to step out of the pool and onto the bed for my checks.
By 10pm and 8cm dilated, the pain from leaving the pool to laying on the bed was almost unbearable.
At no point did I scream and yell, I was very calm and when in the water in no real pain.

My last check from the pool was at midnight when the midwife told me I had to be taken onto the ward as the baby was still back to back and not turning.
I had to leave this calming setting with artificial candles surrounding me, to head into a four by four room with doctors coming in and out.




I had gone from being in no pain to not knowing what to do with myself. I was now 8cm and contractions were every two minuets.
I decided to go for an epidural. The doctor ran through the side effects from having one, and although none affect the baby, if I was to move whilst the needle went into my back I could be left paralysed and since I was having contractions so regularly, not moving was not an option.
It was the hardest part of my delivery. But I am so glad I went for it.

I was able to have four hours sleep whilst I was put on a hormone drip to help me reach 10cm. During these four hours the baby heart rate kept dropping and I gained a fever, both of which started worrying the doctors and midwife.

Once I reached 10cm I was able to start pushing but unfortunately the baby was not turning.

Adam was then asked to get into scrubs and through my tears we were taken to theatre where the doctors tried Ventouse and Forceps. Adam was able to witness all the pulling and tugging as they tried to get the baby out. After a few more tries of pushes the doctors went ahead with a C-Section.




16 hours of birth, a doctor fainting on my legs later, my baby was taken from my stomach and passed to Adam.
Adam held her beside my head where I could hear her crying but at no point could I see her.

I had to wait 45 minuets to be stitched back up as Adam waited in recovery with her till I joined them. I was then able to see and hold our little girl for the first time.

Everything I was worried about did not come close to what I had worked it up to be in my head.
In the moment I didn’t care how they got her out as long as she was safe and well.

My biggest tip for expectant Mums and Dads is to know your options even if there options you really don’t want. Its best to know the pros and cons.




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