Welcome to the twelfth contribution to our Real Birth Story Series, written by the amazing Janelle Browne – mother to the sweetest little man Ryan, and co-founder of an amazing handmaiden business – Yes Mumma – Handmade

Yes Mumma – Handmade provides customers with gorgeous handmade baby accessories of the highest quality, which are also durable and stylish. These include bandana bibs, solids bibs, nappy purses, newborn towels and hooded towels. Head over to their Facebook page to check them out! 

I really hope you enjoy reading Janelle’s story as much as I did xxx

I was petrified to give birth. So much so that I think I was in denial for most of my pregnancy that birth would be the finale…

I attended private prenatal classes that were aimed at empowering mums to be. I always left feeling great but ultimately ended up nervous about the looming prospect of giving birth.

I am a control freak and this is one situation that I have very little control over.

Eventually I became resigned to the fact this was going to happen and started to think about what my ideal birth was. Like the diligent student I am I wrote a birth plan.

First and foremost I wanted a healthy mum and bub so would defer to all medical expertise. But I would like music and to be in a bath during labour. I would like minimal medical intervention and would rather not be induced or have an episiotomy. I would like to be offered all options of drugs. Give me the drugs!!!

Then I developed pre-eclampsia and was in and out of hospital for the 2 weeks before I gave birth. My existence became about trying to avoid giving birth until I was at least 37 weeks or a clinical term pregnancy. Bubs and I were bored but quite healthy and very happy.

One Friday night after copious amounts of blood tests and an ultrasound the doctor said to me, right this is getting serious, you are losing fluid and bub is ready to come. You are having a baby tomorrow! Ooops sorry, we’re full in the inn- you’re having a baby on Sunday!

Wait! What?
Is this happening?

I’m going to be induced on Sunday!

Oh well! There goes the medical intervention part of my birth plan. I didn’t do 7 years of medical training but I did realise there was a serious risk to my health if bub wasn’t delivered and labour was unlikely to begin naturally.

So there we are on Sunday morning, at 6am in the delivery suite, waiting to be induced.

I remember thinking that the midwife didn’t even look at my birth plan and was so abrupt, so how was I ever going to do this? Then it was time for a change of shift and I got the most amazing midwife, Carolyn and also a student. We set up my playlist and dimmed all the lights.

They broke my waters at 7am and went to arrange the drip needed to regulate contractions, but by the time they came back I was pretty sure I was having contractions. At first they just felt like the start of my period. By 8am they were pretty regular but still not active labour. I had some breakfast and a cuppa (and man am I glad I did!).

I needed continuous fetal monitoring so wasn’t allowed to labour in a bath but the midwives arranged for me to have a mobile monitor so I could at least go in the shower. By 9am I was having 3 contractions in a 10 minute period and was deemed to be in active labour. Being in the shower was awesome. Even while sick I have always relaxed well in the shower.

Around 9.30am the doctors came in to have a chat and see how I was going. This is the point for me where it was kind of the beginning of the end- but in a good way. But they didn’t want to talk to me stark naked in the shower! I didn’t think they would be so prudish, I mean I was in active labour- wasn’t my comfort more important?! So out I get and put my hospital gown on.

And we have a chat.

Suddenly I realise my contractions are getting pretty full on. I try laboring on my knees leaning over a fit ball and all I remember saying was “I want an epidural and I want the gas right now!”

From here it gets pretty blurry. I laid on my side, breathed gas and listened to my music. It was like I retreated inside my mind, into my own zone.

Carolyn was trying to tell me that I needed to breathe some oxygen in between the gas and that I should stop breathing gas when the contraction was subsiding and start again when it was ramping up. I tried but I started to really feel the contractions. I didn’t feel them too intensely if I just breathed gas continuously. I seemed so coherent in my own head that I thought I could communicate this with her- that the gas wasn’t kicking-in in time. This should have been my first indication things were progressing quickly.

My hubby was stroking my leg and at one point stopped, yet I couldn’t talk anymore. All I could do was tap my leg and indicate he should never stop! I thought maybe only 45 minutes had passed at that time, but my husband told me it was closer to 2 hours. He told me I was so quiet that he didn’t know what to do, so he had been texting everyone updates.

The anaethesist turned up and I remember thinking “Oh my! He is really young!” He was asking me questions and telling me the risks and side effects and asking for consent. I’m thinking “I am off my face, I cannot possibly consent to anything but my husband will consent for me- just give me the drugs!”

Carolyn asks me to quickly just roll over “so they can check how dilated you are before we give the epidural”. Okay.

I roll over onto my back and all I hear is “Oh My Goodness, she is 10cms”. I know then that I’m not getting the juice, and that it’s almost go time.

“Janelle? Are you getting the urge to push?”

Ummm? Now that I think about it, YES!!!

Okay, no epidural, no more gas.

“Push when you get the urge and rest in between”.

It’s a weird sensation, suddenly the contractions didn’t hurt anywhere near as much as they did but I had this uncontrollable urge to push. My body completely took over. It didn’t matter what my mind wanted because my body was in control.

At one stage I said I didn’t want to push with the next contraction. “That’s okay, you don’t need to” Carolyn tells me. My husband later told me that she turned to him and said that I didn’t really have a choice, I was going to push and even though I tried not to because in my mind I knew I was so tired, my body pushed.

My son, Ryan, was born at 12.27pm after 27 minutes of pushing and 3 hours of active labour.

I felt his head as he was crowning and it was the most amazing experience of my life.

I wanted delayed cord clamping and skin on skin contact after birth, both of which were possible. As my son laid on me I remember thinking “I can’t believe this just happening, this little guy was in my tummy yesterday, I spoke to him and rubbed my bump and now he is here, it is so surreal but I love him”.


I know that if I am fortunate enough to have another baby my birth may not go like this, so I am actually quite nervous to have another baby. However I wanted to share my story because even though I was so scared to give birth, it really was a positive, amazing and empowering experience for me.

And I hope it is for others too.

 Image © mummalifelovebaby on behalf of Janelle Browne

Image © mummalifelovebaby on behalf of Janelle Browne

Image © mummalifelovebaby on behalf of Janelle Browne

Image © mummalifelovebaby on behalf of Janelle Browne

Image © mummalifelovebaby on behalf of Janelle Browne

Image © mummalifelovebaby on behalf of Janelle Browne

Image © mummalifelovebaby on behalf of Janelle Browne

Image © mummalifelovebaby on behalf of Janelle Browne

My Real Birth Story - Janelle Browne

Image © mummalifelovebaby on behalf of Janelle Browne

Want to follow Janelle and the amazing business that she is a part of – Yes Mumma – Handmade?

Well you can do so at the following platforms:

Web: Yes Mumma – Handmade

Facebook:Yes Mumma