After keeping everyone on their toes and arriving 10 days late, Buddy wasn’t hanging around when he finally decided he was on his way!
By this point, I’d tried everything. And I mean EVERYTHING, but this baby didn’t want to seem to shift. Curry, pineapple, clary sage, long walks, stretch and sweep, even ‘the deed’ – you name it, I’d done it! I was so desperate to avoid induction (although I felt comfortable that I knew what would be happening, and I could be in control if that is what it came to) so I was over the moon when I went into labour spontaneously – to the point I cried when I woke my husband up to tell him I thought things were happening!I’m convinced that the fact I had gone to bed that night resigned to the fact this baby wasn’t coming of its own accord is what sent me into labour. My body finally relaxed because I let it.
Anyway – hold on to your hats! This is a fast one!
I woke up Sunday 22nd Sept morning in the early hours, around five to 4, not really sure what had woken me. After hearing my husbands terrible snoring (no change there!) I assumed that’s what had woken me up so I moved myself over to the spare room to try and get some sleep, because let’s be honest when you’re the size of a whale sleep isn’t exactly forthcoming so you’ll take all you can get! Before I even shut my eyes once in the spare room I had a wave of period type pain, which I thought was strange, having not had one niggle or inkling that little one was on their way on previous days. I put it down to wishful thinking, but clocked the time just incase, and tried to go to sleep. After all, even if this was the start, I thought I’d have hours of irregular contractions. I should atleast try and rest before it all started kicking off. HAHA funny what we tell ourselves and then look back on.
Half an hour passed, with 3 contractions in that time, I thought I better wake up my husband and things really seemed to be on the move already. I thought I’d then take the opportunity to go for a wee – a big help to keep labour progressing as I learnt in antenatal. I didn’t want a big old bladder getting in the way of this baby coming out! That’s when I noticed I was wet – so I guessed my waters were leaking. No big gush of waters like the movies! I hadn’t even noticed! Contractions felt like they were coming thick and fast, without much let up. My husband suggested I have a shower to try and help me relax, and so that I was atleast ready for the day of we were to be doing a lot of walking and waiting around. I did enjoy the shower, but all my contractions were up front under my bump, not in my back at all, so it wasn’t quite the relief I was hoping for. By this point it was 5am. My mum was going to be my second birth partner so I rang her to let her know things were moving, and moving fast, so she came over straight away and was with us by 5.30am.That’s when we called the hospital as my contractions were coming every 5 minutes and were lasting a minute long. I wasn’t prepared for such a fast progress, it took me by surprise that’s for sure!
The lovely midwife on the phone asked us to make our way in as we were about a 30minute drive away, and they could examine me and see how I was doing. Finally the moment had come to grab my strategically packed bags and notes and head out the door.
The car journey is still a blur. I think I sent the most of it ‘mooing’ on the way, and lifting myself off the seat as I didn’t want to be sat down. Not a very helpful passenger! I do remember telling my mum if I got to the hospital and was only 4cm dilated I was having an epidural for sure! A stark change from my chilled water birth I had imagined for myself.
We arrived at the birth unit at around 6.30am where our lovely midwife Yazmin met us and took us into a side room where I could be examined. It took a little while to be examined as my contractions were coming fast I didn’t want to be touched or confined to lying in a bed. Yazmin was great, let me do my thing. It was when I asked for some gas and air she let me know I had to have an examination first to check I was in established labour. After a (impressively quick) examination she told me I was 8cm dilated one side of my cervix but only 6cm the other side, so to help the shorter side dilate quicker to lie on that side for a little bit. Baby’s head was at a slightly tilted angle so was pushing harder on one side and not the other. But bloody hell, 6-8cm dilated. I couldn’t believe it! I was gladly sucking on the gas and air by now – a welcome relief! Although it didn’t take the pain away, it took me away from the pain. That’s the only way I can describe it. It’s a real out of body drunk kind of feeling, but you know exactly what’s happening, and you’re oddly OK about it all. You just know you’ve got ride the waves. Then my body just took over. I wasn’t asked to push, there was no momentous announcement of hitting the magic number of 10cm, my body decided it was time to push and that’s what it did. I apologised over and over to Yazmin, worried I wasn’t supposed to be doing it. But she reassured me all was OK, to just go with it and see how we got on. I told her I had wanted a water birth, when in reality I think I knew as much as she did there was going to be no time for that now.
Everything then started to move at what felt like super speed. Whilst pushing, baby wasn’t feeling too happy about it. It’s heartrate was dropping with every push and wasn’t picking up as quickly as it should. Yazmin explained this to me, and asked that I be moved from the birth unit to labour ward – cue the panicked tears from me! Which then also resulted in tears from my husband and he NEVER cries! I remember now what we discussed in antenatal and it really does ring true – labour ward isn’t second best to the birth unit, they just have more stuff in their cupboards! And as I was possibly going to need some assistance to get baby out sooner rather than later, that was the best place for me to be. However I can’t say I enjoyed clambering onto a bed mid labour to be wheeled to the lift! Ha!
I continued to push whilst on the bed in the lift, determined to get this baby out on my own. Yazmin came with us, which I will always be grateful for, for that continuity and support. Once on the labour ward, the sister of the ward came to help deliver me (along with a reem of other people who just seemed to fizzle into the background for me) and thankfully I’d managed to push baby far enough down on my own that I didn’t need forceps or vontouse. All that was needed was a small episiotomy to help the head be born. And all this time, pushing really does feel like one big poo!! You really can’t imagine it before, but then when it’s happening you understand what everyone’s been talking about!
When I was pushing the midwife told me to reach down and touch the baby’s head. That was most bizarre – warm, wet and squishy 😂I’ll never forget that!
And then there HE was. A boy! At 7.25am, all 8lb 3ozs of him – 3.5hrs from start to finish! I couldn’t believe the speed of it!
Although I didn’t get the water birth I hoped for, I didn’t end up with the natural 3rd stage I hoped for, I didn’t even get to eat the snacks I had packed for myself, I wouldn’t have had it any other way. I in no way feel cheated out of a birth I imagined, as the birth I got ended with my boy in my arms and nothing trumps that!
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