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Ivy Carolina Airey

16th August 2022

First Time Parents

Born at 41 + 4 weeks

Peterhead Community Midwifery Unit 

Spontaneous Labour

Water Birth

Family Photo Newburgh Beach

Getting Started

At 4pm Campbell was mopping up puddles of what I was sure couldn’t have been my waters breaking, and at 5pm when contractions started, I finally allowed myself to believe our baby was on its way! The advice from PCMU was to eat and rest up, prepare for a long night, and they would look forward to seeing us the next day. 


After days of waiting, I was suddenly buzzing! Things started moving quickly, and I only managed four mouthfuls of Campbell’s finest mac and cheese (top tier comfort food to keep those oxytocin levels high!) before I couldn’t distract myself from the contractions any longer. 

Comfort Measures

We were advised to go in and see how things were progressing, with the intention of being sent home if I was still in the early stages. I focused on my breathing techniques in the car, and the TENS machine helped. We arrived at PCMU at 7:30pm and got told we weren’t going anywhere... I was 8cm dilated. I was in the pool half an hour later, feeling protected with its high sides. I used gas and air for a while, and was given words of encouragement from a midwife that I was doing really well and if I could embrace the contractions, that they would feel stronger but our baby would be with us sooner. I knew I could do it, and came off gas and air; choosing instead to squeeze a comb in one hand, and Campbell’s arm in the other. 

Postnatal Peterhead Community Midwife Unit

Environment and Role of the Birth Partner

Campbell was the most brilliant birth partner, and seemed to know exactly what to do; whether it was give me words of encouragement, or take a step back and let me do my thing. The music we had playing was so significant at different points of labour, and meant so much to us before birth, and even more since. This, along with how Campbell had set the room up, and the neroli oil I was sniffing, were like parts of a puzzle which when put together, gave me my brilliant birth. 

I realised I had reached the transition stage of labour and knew it meant we were so close to meeting our baby. I went with my body and felt so capable and strong in those last intense moments. 

Ivy was born at 10:03pm (the EXACT time she would begin her nightly dance party from about 20 weeks!). I held my baby, and she held me with her gaze, and the three of us felt like the only people in the world. I felt so proud of what I’d achieved. 

Baby Girl Aberdeenshire

We’ve been riding the rollercoaster of parenthood ever since, fuelled by the love of our into everything, never stops smiling, daringly determined baby girl. 

Bougie Birth Plan

Mother and Baby Aberdeenshire

I did as much as I could to help prepare for birth. Staying active and reading positive birth stories helped me physically and mentally prepare for what was to come, and putting a birth plan together was an invaluable exercise to feel ready for different scenarios (even if we did accidentally leave it in the car on the big day!) 


The more I went overdue, the harder it became to stay calm, and I found myself getting frustrated at justifying my decision to keep waiting. A check in with Lara-Jo really helped, and I was reminded that knowledge is power with a book she lent me. When things finally got going, I’m sure the excitement and relief, preparedness, and readiness to meet our baby, is what aided a quick birth with no complications. 


After living in America for four years, we were so grateful to return to the NHS, and received fantastic care from all staff before, during, and after pregnancy. I did learn however, that I could trust my body and make choices that were right for our family; picking and choosing what parts of the service to utilise. 

Through educating ourselves with The Brilliant Birth Club’s hypnobirthing course, I started to view birth differently. Rather than something I had to endure to have a baby, it became something I respected and felt ready to experience to become a mother. I’m so glad Campbell found Lara-Jo, who taught me that I already had everything I needed to birth our baby!

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