Briony’s Birth Story- Premature baby Sonny

We were lucky and had a smooth journey to conceiving our first baby and the pregnancy was smooth too despite being in a National lockdown for most of it. I was “due” towards the end of September 2020 and was planning a home birth.

When I was 11w pregnant I started reading about hypnobirthing and quickly fell in love with the positive affirmations and the deep sense of trust it gave me in my body and baby.

“My body knows how to nourish, grow and birth my baby.”

At 17w I was in the bath talking to my bump and telling baby how exited I was to meet him. I said “We can’t wait to meet you in September…unless you come in October?” I was waiting for a hint about when he’d be born. I then said “or maybe you’ll be early and come in August?” and he started kicking ferociously! That was it. I just knew my baby would come early, I just didn’t know HOW early.

At 31w I was having regular tightenings and despite being told they were just braxton hicks they became increasingly more intense so I went into Burnley birth suite to be checked. I was monitored there for 48hrs, had steroid injections to mature baby’s lungs and medication to stop the contractions.

“My baby will come when my baby is ready.”

At 33w I lost some mucus plug, but other than that my pregnancy was pretty event-free again…so at 33w+5d we went on a cheeky trip to Scotland (lockdown rules were easing). We packed the car seat and birth bags, and discussed Scottish baby names just in case!

34w+1d- We unpacked from our trip and I started having regular tightenings again so went back to the birth suite to be monitored overnight. Partners weren’t allowed to visit the antenatal ward at this point so my husband Sam picked up dominos pizzas and we ate them in the hospital car park. Little did I know it would be the last fuel I’d have before birth.



I woke at the hospital, and after standing up lost some blood. I pulled the orange cord to get the attention of the midwife and lost a couple of blood clots whilst sat on the toilet. I remember apologising because it sounded like a huge poo, I quickly realised that my baby was coming soon.


I had a cervical check and was told I was 2cm dilated. The midwife looked a bit concerned and kept asking if I was alright. I think she assumed I’d be panicked because he was coming early but, thanks to the hypnobirthing, I was just soooo excited. I trusted my body.

“My baby knows when and how to be born.”

I was breathing through the contractions and felt calm despite not having the environment I wanted. It was bright, I was observed a lot, and I was restricted to being on the bed due to the monitoring. I coped really well for about 8hrs but after having my waters artificially broken (sadly without my informed consent) the intensity ramped up and I lost my breath and all control.

At 3.30pm I had an epidural and this relaxed me enough to allow my body to labour how it needed. Within 25minutes I’d got to 8cm dilated, relaxation was clearly key.

I had coached pushing whilst lay on my back and feet up in the air (not how I wanted it to be) but after the biggest few pushes I could manage our gorgeous baby boy was born at 5.50pm on 11th August 2020.

The love and relief was instantaneous. He was gorgeous, pink and perfect and felt so tiny in my arms. He wasn’t actually that tiny though and the doctors couldn’t believe his size for his gestation…so they double checked and he was indeed 5lbs 7.5oz.

I had active management of the placenta (again, not my preference) but had optimal cord clamping which was really important to me. Sam cut the cord and with my eyes full of tears I kept saying “he’s here!”

The moment I gave birth to my little boy was the greatest moment of my life and I couldn’t believe that I’d actually made and birthed something so perfect, (do you ever get over it?!) especially being in an environment that was definitely NOT conducive for labour.

Sonny's oxygen levels were 100% and thankfully didn't need to be whisked away for any urgent care. We were in hospital for 9 days while he was being treated for jaundice (I didn't realise how common this was!) and to get feeding established but other than that there were no complications. We felt immensely grateful and I'll never forget the feeling of, finally, getting home and snuggling up in bed as a family of three.

Within minutes of giving birth I declared to my husband that I wanted to do all that again, and we did!

21 months later I gave birth to his little sister, at home, in entirely different circumstances…but that’s a birth story for another day❤️

Sonny James Aston, 5lbs 7.5oz

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