Birth stories

Birth stories

Every birth story is unique. Read some real birth stories from women who have kindly shared their experiences of giving birth at our Trust.

Jessica's birth experience on the Labour Ward

Jessica gave birth to baby boy called Louie on the labour ward at Pinderfields Hospital.

new mum Jessica holding baby boy Louie

Previous birth experiences

My first child was breech which is the reason I had a caesarean. With her, I had planned for a lovely calm water birth, with candles and soft music - so my reality was very different.


My pregnancy was high risk due to gestational diabetes. It wasn’t an easy pregnancy due to bouts of reduced movements and concerns over the baby’s growth. I had additional checks and weekly scans after 36 weeks with induction scheduled at 39 weeks. With this baby I didn’t make any further birth plans due to how different my experience turned out to be with my first baby.

Birth of baby Louie

At 38 weeks pregnant I was induced due to concerns about baby’s movements when placed on the monitor following another bout of reduced movements. The induction process started at lunch time on Saturday and my baby was born Sunday Morning.

I used gas and air for pain relief during the contractions. My midwife Gemma was incredible and egged me on the whole duration of my labour. She had literally just returned from delivering a baby via caesarean. She came with me to the labour ward and the poor woman was probably exhausted but she didn’t let is show at all! She was amazing throughout the whole experience. At one point the baby’s heart rate has dropped and she acted immediately and managed to regulate it.

My children’s father was my birthing partner. He was fab at plumping my pillows or sips of water when I needed, and helping me up to the toilet but it was my midwife who really helped me through the toughest parts.

All of the staff who cared for me were wonderful - so lovely and warm and guided me through the whole induction experience amazingly because even though it was my second child, I’d never laboured before.

I’m forever in debt to Gemma who delivered my baby boy safely. Her quick and prompt action meant baby’s heart rate stabilised which meant I avoided another caesarean, which I was so desperate to do. She encouraged me the entire time and as I said, was probably exhausted but she never showed that. She remained calm and friendly the whole way through, she made me laugh and I couldn’t have done it without her.

I had been so worried about whether I could love another baby as much as my first born but as soon as he was placed on my chest I knew I absolutely could, because I did. I had skin to skin right away which was incredible. He weighed 7lbs 4oz which is the exact same weight as his sister 3 years beforehand!

I’d describe my birthing experience as ‘empowering’. That’s the only word I can think of to truly capture the feeling.


I was really well supported with breastfeeding. The staff on the recovery ward were all incredible, they helped me with different feeding positions and really encouraged me to keep going as I had made it clear how much I wanted to feed him.

Jessica’s message to women who are due to give birth is:

My top tip would be to not hang too tightly on to a birth plan because more often than not, they go out of the window. Giving birth, no matter how you do it or whether you stick to your birth plan, is the most empowering, incredible experience in the world - there is nothing more amazing than seeing a baby you created for the first time. That’s all that you will remember at the end of it all - not your birth plan, but how you felt seeing your baby for the first time.

Jessica's message to people giving birth during the Covid-19 pandemic:

I gave birth during the Covid-19 pandemic and apart from the restrictions on visiting, the experience was amazing. It was actually nice to not worry about lots of visitors in to see my newborn and gave me the time I needed to bond with him before we returned home to the chaos of family life with a toddler and newborn. The staff were just incredible and put me at ease throughout the whole experience and I just couldn’t be any more grateful to them - every single one of them. They are doing amazing things day in, day out. What could be more important than delivering the next generations safely?

Thank you for sharing your experience with us and huge congratulations to Jessica and her family from all of us at the Trust.

Aaliyah's birth experience at Bronte Birth Centre at Dewsbury and District Hospital

Aaliyah gave birth to baby Sanaa in a birthing pool at Bronte Birth Centre at Dewsbury and District Hospital. 

Aaliyah with baby sanaa and midwife Kaitlin

Previous birth experiences

I have a little boy (aged 2) that I had a water birth at Pinderfields Hospital birth centre in the birthing pool. I was really lucky to have a really straightforward birth and had a lovely experience.


I took part in antenatal aerobics and swimming and found this helped me so much. I wanted to keep active and also get ‘labour ready’. Throughout my pregnancy I did a lot of walking to keep fit, it definitely helped having a 2 year old to run after.

When I had my little boy all my pregnancy notes were handed to me in a folder. This time however, I was made aware that everything would be done online through Badgernet. This was so beneficial because it meant not worrying about having to carry lots of notes around and having a chunky folder.

My pregnancy this time was absolutely fine at the beginning. I didn’t get the dreaded sickness which meant I could stay active unlike last time. However I experienced skeletal damage which meant my legs and vagina would be really painful especially on a night I wouldn’t be able to turn in bed without the feeling of excruciating pain. My husband got me a pregnancy belt which helped (at first) because my bump sat really low so it helped to support it. Later on in the pregnancy it was harder to cope with but the walking really helped.  My birthing plan was to give birth in the birthing pool again. I was really worried that the skeletal damage would restrict me from giving birth in the pool. Kaitlin (my lovely midwife) reassured me it would be fine because I could support myself to get in and out of the birthing pool.

Birth of baby Sanaa.

I was full term and due on the 30th May 2020. I will never forget the morning of 29th May when my contractions started at 3am and were coming 20 - 30 minutes apart. As the morning went on and got to 9am my contractions got stronger each time. I hadn’t slept and felt super tired however, my husband insisted on keeping active and how it would help progress my labour. At 2pm we went on a power walk to our local park. I still remember getting angry with him because he made me walk really fast and I was really tired.

My contractions at this point were roughly five minutes apart so walking through this park was torture for me. He insisted we do one more round but I couldn’t walk anymore so we headed to the car. As soon as I got home I had to lie down and I was hoping for a five minute nap, however my waters decided to go! My pain gets really intense when my waters go and I know it’s not long before I get the urge to push. We rang the hospital and Kaitlin was on shift and told me to come in when I’d got my things in the car. I had a really sharp contractions from home until we reached the hospital and I knew it wouldn’t be long before I had to push. I made my way inside (just about) and Kaitlin went to go and get some pads for me. I remember screaming for her as my pain was excruciating and I had the urge to push. Laura (student midwife) came straight away to check I was ok and she stayed with me, reassuring me and making me feel calm. They were filling the birthing pool for me and I laid on the couch next to it. Kaitlin was sat with me and knew I was ready to push however, I insisted I wait for the pool to fill up because I really wanted a water birth after such a positive experience last time. It was so calm, the lights were really low and the pool had a lovely purple coloured spotlight inside.  I managed to get in and had to push right away, I didn’t have any pain relief at all (I didn’t get time to). I chose my husband to be my birthing partner and he was amazing. He rubbed my back, giving me something to drink, held my hands and kept telling me how strong I was. As soppy as it sounds I couldn’t have done it without him. I was worried with the whole pandemic situation but he was allowed to be beside me the whole time which I was so thankful for.

Of course this whole experience wouldn’t have been the same without my amazing midwife (Kaitlin) and the student midwife (Laura). I saw Kaitlin for the 9 months throughout my pregnancy for my antenatal appointments. I felt really nervous with the pandemic but Kaitlin was really good at making me feel at ease and reassuring me that my partner would be fine to stay with me throughout my labour. I was definitely looked after really well and felt safe the whole time. I had really been wishing that Kaitlin would be there to deliver my baby and was so thankful she was on shift. She also stayed back after she’d finished her shift to make sure we were okay and settled before she left.  Laura was also amazing. I’d never met her before but she kept telling me how amazing I was doing and just staying so calm and positive. If I could pass on a message to them it would be this ‘thank you for everything you did for me. For not only delivering my beautiful girl but for caring for me, looking after me and making me feel so calm and relaxed. It’s an experience I’ll never ever forget and I could never thank you all enough. Even the lovely midwifes that looked after us when we made the decision to stay overnight’.

My little girl weighed 7lb 4oz and we named her Sanaa. Meeting her for the first time was indescribable. I fell in love with her instantly and the tears wouldn’t stop rolling down my face. I did skin to skin straight away which helped so much with my decision to breastfeed.

If I had any tips on mums to be, it would be to stay active - especially when your contractions start. Also, it’s important to still eat something so you have energy, and keep drinking because it’s so easy to get dehydrated.

Aaliyah's message to people who are due to give birth during the Covid-19 pandemic

I gave birth in the Covid-19 pandemic and it was absolutely fine. Apart from the fact you can’t have any visitors, there weren’t many changes. Your partner can be there throughout so you still have the support you may need. Please don’t panic ladies, we will get past this horrible time but the birthing centre is amazing I wouldn’t even worry. I recommend the water birth to anybody who can do it. It’s the most relaxing experience and very good for natural pain relief too.

Lastly - thank you to the whole team at the birthing centre. I appreciate you all so much: Stacey, Mandy, Laura, Kaitlin and the rest of the team. You were all amazing and really made me and my husband feel comfortable. Staying over was the best decision for me and I’m ever so thankful. Kaitlin - I hope you know how grateful I am for everything you did for us.

The midwife team that were on shift that night were incredible. Constantly checking up and making sure we were okay overnight and bringing us the best made toast!

I'd 100% recommend the Bronte Birthing Centre (especially the water birth) and would encourage every woman to go there. Thank you so much midwives for everything you did for us.

Midwives Kaitlin and student midwife Laura were present during Aaliyah's labour, they said:

We cared for the lovely Aaliyah during her pregnancy and we were so pleased to be there to help Aaliyah have a relaxed, calm environment for her pool birth during this special time. We look forward to supporting Aaliyah and baby Sanaa during the postnatal period.

Thank you for sharing your experience with us and huge congratulations to Aaliyah and her family from all of us at the Trust.

Rachel’s elective Caesarean birth at Pinderfields Hospital

Rachel gave birth to baby Lucy Amelia Bell at Pinderfields Hospital by planned Caesarean birth.

New mum Rachel with baby Lucy and student midwife Laura

Previous birth experiences

Previous natural birth where I experienced a 3rd degree tear and episiotomy at Pinderfields birth centre.


I had an uncomplicated pregnancy for the most part. I had moderate sickness which I needed to take medication for to stop be getting dehydrated and I also had a small bleed around 23 weeks which turned out to be fine.

I was undecided at first whether to have a natural birth again like my first however in the end I decided to have a planned caesarean-section (C-section) due to the complications I had previously. The consultant I saw at Dewsbury was happy with my decision and promptly booked me in!

Birth of baby Lucy

I gave birth via planned C-section at Pinderfields Hospital, ward 18b on the 14th May 2020 at exactly 39 weeks pregnant. I was originally booked for the afternoon list however in the morning I had some bleeding which was checked at triage and thankfully it was all fine. I then received a phone call around 9am to come in earlier so I could be on the morning list which put my mind at rest. Staff on the ward were very cheerful and supportive all the way through. I had my husband with me up until about two hours after the birth of my daughter which I was very glad of.

I was able to have skin to skin after she was cleaned and weighed which I was surprised about given that I had a C-section, I honestly thought that would have to wait till I got back to the ward but they gave me lots of options.

After the birth I was given painkillers regularly and I was given help with getting up and walking, getting dressed, washing etc. I was also offered plenty of biscuits!

They made sure I could pass urine and all mine and baby’s observations were what they should be. My catheter was removed shortly after I could mobilise. I spent less than 24 hours on the ward before I was discharged.

The staff were very helpful and I had a lovely experience.

I can't remember the names of all those that looked after me but I can remember a lovely student midwife named Laura who was so lovely and friendly. She talked about her own experiences to help me through it all. There were others that I wish I could remember the name of that were very kind and supportive. They all made me plenty of tea and made sure I was well fed! My surgeon did a fantastic job: you can barely even see my scar now only 5 weeks post-partum! I chose to bottle feed. They made up bottles for me whenever I asked them to.

My top tips for labour from my experience first time around would be remembering to eat in labour and keep moving even if you don't want to! It really gets things moving!

Rachel sends a message to women who are due to give birth during the Covid-19 pandemic and says:

Honestly it wasn't much different to normal other than I couldn't have visitors but actually it was quite nice having that time to bond with your baby!

Thank you for sharing your experience with us and huge congratulations to Rachel and her family from all of us at the Trust.

Victoria's home birth experience

Victoria gave birth to baby Brooke Erin at home in a birthing pool.

Victoria, her husband and baby Brooke in birthing pool and midwife Adriana

Previous birth experiences

My first birth was a very long hospital labour due to the beast from the east! Unfortunately it didn't progress as my contractions stopped and I ended up with oxytocin drop and assisted birth with forceps.


My pregnancy was the similar to my first as I had heartburn through the roof and morning sickness until 20 weeks. But in terms of coronavirus it was awful, I had just had my home birth signed off at 33 weeks and then home births were put on hold. We then had to consider various options and even considered the possibility of free birthing! I was very lucky that when my due date week arrived home births were back on! I was so relieved.

Birth of baby Brooke

On the morning of Saturday the 25th April my lovely home birth midwife Adriana came to see me, I was 40 weeks and 4 days. We discussed how the home birth would work, she told me the days she was on call and that Saturday as in tonight was one of them…no pressure!

So we went for a walk to one of our favourite places and played hide and seek and chase with our son in the woods.

The evening came and we put our son to bed. Normally this is a two hour battle of going in to tell him to lie down or give him this and that, but not this time. He took his two toy dinosaurs to bed, played for an hour and fell to sleep.

I had a bath and my contractions began! It was 9.30pm and I was contracting 50 seconds every three minutes. My husband suggested we start to fill up the pool at 10pm just in case. Everything was good until I sat down. My contractions stopped and there was an 8 or 10 min gap! But then the next time I stood up I had the biggest surge!

At around midnight we decided to try and sleep, and if it was the real deal then surely the contractions would continue.

I managed about 45 minutes of rest and in that time I had three strong and painful contractions. With the last one I decided to get up and I checked the pool to see it was full.

I had previously been to hypnoborthing classes and I used hypnobirthing and the Freya app to guide me with my breathing. At 2.40am I rang the labour ward to ask for advice as even though the contractions were strong they were irregular and spaced out, plus if I sat down they disappeared. I rang triage to explain what was happening and they rang my midwife who was on call. I really didn't want to bother her as I wasn't sure if this was it. At 3am my midwife rang and said she would come out. She arrived at 3.30am and just sat and observed and as my labour progressed a second midwife arrived at about 5am.

I breathed through my surges with the help of my husband rubbing and applying pressure to the bottom of my back. I was classed as in established labour at 5.15am when I asked for the tens machine putting on. I lasted for 30mins with tens machine before deciding at 5.45am to get into the pool.

I went to the toilet one last time before deciding to get into the pool and I said I wanted to know how far dilated I was but I also didn't want to know either. My midwife was perfect, she explained that she didn't feel it was necessary, the plan wasn't going to change and if I wasn't established and we felt the water was having a slowing effect then I could just get out. This made complete sense and I got the relief! I had a contraction that felt so much better in the water, it made me regret not getting in sooner but then no more than a minute later another came.

Something clicked and baby had dropped right into my pelvis, I transitioned and I remember saying that I said I couldn't do it and I knew straight away what was happening. I then had gas and air which was heaven.

I then had the most amazing experience, I felt everything, and felt my baby in the space of 1 to 2 contractions move through my birth canal, I have to admit, I did say after this movement "that better be her head out!" it was a painful sensation that felt like my whole body was opening up, however the pain was an amazing feeling, it was indescribable. The midwife replied to say she could in fact see the head, the next surge my body pushed the head out, which was a massive relief. My waters also went and the next minute I felt my baby turn, I felt every bit.

The next minute at 6.30am our little baby girl Brooke Erin entered the world!  It was so perfect. I pulled her up from the water and placed her on my chest and she screamed but it was so magical. It was like she was saying "I am here! I made it". The cord felt short and I felt I couldn't lift her up enough to see what gender she was so we just rested. Eventually I gained the courage to reposition her little body and revealed she was in fact a girl! Not knowing if she was a boy or girl was so special, when I realised she was a girl it just took my breath away.

Our amazing midwife captured the moment too…I can't watch it without crying!

I really wanted a physiological 3rd stage in the water but with the short cord I felt I was best out of the water. I moved to the sofa and after nearly 40 minutes my husband cut the cord. I asked for an injection for the placenta delivery as I was worried that my son would wake and if he was to come down the environment wasn't as I would have liked. The placenta was delivered and I was then checked, this was the first time I had been examined through the whole thing so it took me by surprise but I understand it was necessary. There was a small graze and a 2nd degree tear. These were stitched whilst my husband tied her cord tie and we had a 20 minute feed. All was cleaned up and put away, and I got in my Pyjamas just in time for my son to come down. Never in his life has he slept past 7.30am. He got up at 8.30am and didn't come down until 9am to meet his baby sister! It was as if he knew. This was the most amazing experience in my life!

Adriana was my midwife, she was amazing, she shared my passion for home births and understood my want for a ‘hands off’ birth.  I would thank Adriana for staying hands of throughout my birth and trusting my body more than I did!

Victoria sends a message to women who are due to give birth during the Covid-19 pandemic and says:

My advice is that your birth plan is your birth plan, made by you to show the things you want, just because we are in challenging times doesn't mean your choices should change. It's your body and your baby and it can still be a positive birth no matter where or how your baby arrives.

Thank you for sharing your experience with us and huge congratulations to Victoria and her family from all of us at the Trust.

Zoey's born before arrival of midwife birth experience (BBA)

Zoey gave birth to baby Martha Rochella at home before the arrival of a midwife (BBA)

Zoey, her husband and baby Martha Baby Martha

Birth of baby Martha

My waters started slowly leaking about 4pm Wednesday (16th). I wasn't sure initially if it was my waters but by 5:30pm I'd soaked through 5 pads so decided to ring triage. The midwife I spoke to said it sounded like it was my waters and that she would contact the homebirth team for someone to come and check. I wasn't having any contractions at this point.

The lovely Adriana from the homebirth team arrived, checked my pads and confirmed it was definitely my waters. I still had no contractions at all at this point... Nothing! Adriana checked me over and everything was fine.She did tell me baby was back to back (even though she hadn't been my whole pregnancy!) but she was so positive about it and kept telling me it was fine; she then explained to us what would happen from here. She was confident I would go into labour overnight and encouraged us to relax, cuddle, watch a funny film, etc to get the oxytocin going. Adriana then said she'd leave us to it and to call triage again when my contractions were 5 minutes apart and she'd be back out to us. So we settled down on the sofa to relax.

By 9:30pm, still no contractions so my husband and I decided to go to bed and get some sleep. At 11pm, I woke up with mild contractions which were anything from 10-25mins apart so I laid down to rest in between each one. I was listening to the Freya app and tracking contractions on there too. I left my husband sleeping as my contractions were not unmanageable and he would be more helpful to me well rested if I was going to be in labour for a while!

A little after 4:00am my contractions were consistently 5mins apart and getting more intense so I woke my husband, we rang triage and they said they'd contact the homebirth team. Adriana then rang to say she was on her way!

My husband headed straight downstairs to fill the birth pool and I followed shortly after. Downstairs my contractions quickly got even closer together and a lot more intense. I had a massively intense contraction in the living room so moved to the dining room where the pool was, it wasn't quite full yet so I leaned over the pouffe I had put in there and had another really intense contraction. I then informed my husband I had a mild urge to push. His initial reaction was "Oh God!" as Adriana wasn't there yet! But then he put his 'cool under pressure' hat on (he was so calm to say that we both assumed we had plenty of time left yet!) and said, "Well, you better get in the pool then". The pool was only just filled to the min line at this point... so I got in. I then had another intense contraction and informed my husband I needed to push. He quickly got in the pool and after one big push and she was here! My husband caught her and passed her through my legs up to my chest! I couldn't believe she had made an appearance so quickly, I was sure I had more time!

Minutes later, Adriana arrived. She took a look at baby and said she looked great. Baby and I then relaxed in the pool for a while in skin-to-skin, she latched on for the first feed and we just enjoyed cuddles. I then got out to deliver the placenta. I had a physiological third stage with the placenta arriving just over an hour after baby. We'd requested for delayed cord clamping and decided not to cut the cord until after I'd birthed the placenta. I cut the cord myself. Adriana stayed another few hours to sort out paperwork and check me and baby, take bloods for Anti-D and administer vitamin K. Then she left us to it.

My birth was amazing! I got everything I wanted... and it makes for a good story to tell her when she's older! I would like to say a huge thank you to the homebirth team! In particular, Michelle W and Adriana who have been amazing! Michelle saw us throughout our pregnancy and then Adriana was on call the night our baby was born. I couldn't have asked for better care and support. The homebirth team really are an asset to the Trust!

Thank you for sharing your experience with us and huge congratulations to Zoey and her family from all of us at the Trust.

Lucy's born before arrival of midwife birth experience (BBA)

Lucy had an extremely fast, unplanned home birth

Lucy and baby Osky


My pregnancy was straightforward with no complications. This was my second pregnancy and I was far more relaxed. Because my first birth was so fast, my midwife suggested home birth for this one but I declined. In hindsight, I wish I’d accepted.

Birth of baby Oscar

I’d felt a low grinding all day but no real contractions. I was going to go to bed around 9pm but started to feel cramps. I sent my husband to bed and told him get some rest, as I thought it would be a while (even though our first baby was born in under 6 hours!)

By 11pm I tried to run a bath and realised I was in too much pain to get in. My contractions app quickly showed they were getting closer and closer then suddenly I realised I need Grandparents here to look after my toddler.  I also called the hospital to book in the Birth Centre. By this point my husband was up and was keeping our two-year-old occupied.

So with my audience of a toddler and husband, my TENs machine on full power and the toilet as my throne; the pain and downward pressure increased. We were under 2 hours since the pain started when I realised baby was imminent. But still, grandparents hadn’t arrived.

My husband called 999 and an operator walked him through. First, they told him to check me for any head. Now, at this point I was still on my toilet throne so he had to manoeuvre me to check. Upon which he announced “there’s a head!” We then had to get towels and my husband prepared himself to catch the baby. Luckily then the in-laws arrived!

I think it took around three pushes and Osky flew out just before midnight, so around 2 hours of full labour. All of a sudden two new faces appeared above; the paramedics. They took me to Pinderfields Hospital and although I’d missed the waterbirth, they offered me a shower/bath when I arrived in our own private spa-like Birthing room.

The team at Pinderfields Birth Centre afterwards were amazing. They were relaxed, supportive, thoughtful and caring.

Thank you for sharing your experience with us and huge congratulations to Lucy and her family from all of us at the Trust.