Just another standard Thursday…
…My friend and I had exchanged messages of happy pregnancy milestones (there was 3 weeks between us and we both hit a new week on the exact same day). I was finally 37 weeks and that meant I was in the “safe zone” to be able to give birth in a pool at St Marys Birth Centre, something I had desperately wanted to be able to do. My first baby was born at 35 weeks and so unfortunately my planned water birth couldn’t happen.
I was feeling good, despite the hideous heat, and enjoyed a visit from my friend Jess and her gorgeous baby boy. We had such a lovely day catching up, cooing over the baby and speculating the arrival of my bundle of joy! Little did I know that he would be making his appearance very soon.
Dinner was hosted by my friend Chloé (the pregnant one!) and her fiancé. My husband, Omari and I all went over to their new place and had the best evening. I feel it is important to mention here that for dinner, she prepared us the tastiest curry I’d had in a while along with lots of Indian bits to have as a starter. Absolutely delicious! After dinner we played a good game of Articulate and laughed so hard we cried! Discussions then turned to labour as my husband and I were beginning to think about different scenarios and making sure we had something in place for all of them. If the labour seemed to be taking a while then Chloé kindly offered to let us use her spare bedroom as a base as she lived much closer than us.
Anyway, it was getting late and we needed to get Omari home to bed ready for the last day of his football camp. On the drive home we were already reminiscing about the lovely day we had had and were beginning to feel more excited for bubs to be here. Home sweet home and with Omari sound asleep in bed we got sorted and made our way to the land of nod too. It was quite late by the time we went up though, maybe even around midnight. With all of the excitement of the day I drifted off to sleep no probs…
…2.30am and I was woken up by what I can only describe as a massive, uncontrollable gush of water rushing down my legs and soaking the bed and floor! My waters had well and truly gone! In complete shock, I could only gasp as I ran to the loo trying to control anymore from coming out – an impossible task! Tom was woken instantly by my frantic dash to the bathroom (he could tell that this wasn’t just one of my many middle of the night loo trips… this one was definitely different!) He did a superhero dive across the bed and had his clothes on in a matter of minutes! Haha!
After speaking to a wonderful lady from St Marys, she advised us to make our way there to be checked over but because of our distance she did have to make us aware that we could be sent home – not a problem because around six hours earlier we had a solid plan in place that we could go to Chloé’s house if this was the case! Phew! Feeling quite calm and collected we made arrangements for Omari who was sleeping soundly in the next room, called Chloé and then began the 40 minute drive to St Marys.
It was roughly 4.30am when we eventually arrived at the birthing centre and we were taken straight into one of their calm and quiet birthing rooms. The surges had begun while we were en route but were only very small and didn’t last for very long so were easy to manage. Now in the birthing room, things began to speed up quite quickly and I was now having regular surges. I think it was around an hour or so before the midwife examined me – 4cm dilated which meant we weren’t going to be sent home. Double phew! She offered to do a sweep while she was down there (why not she thought!) but I politely declined having faith in the fact that my body was doing everything that it should be doing in that moment.
I was feeling so at ease and happy. By no means do I claim to be anywhere near an expert on hypnobirthing because I had only just started doing some reading on it during the last few weeks of my pregnancy but I felt like just my basic understanding of the concept and breathing techniques was enough for me to have confidence in myself that I could get through this by staying completely in control. I was laying on my side using the “up breathing” and feeling so relaxed during each surge that the midwife told me it could all slow down if I was too relaxed! Time to get moving I thought…
I needed the loo anyway! My mum had arrived by now, kindle in tow! I didn’t realise until after the baby was born that my mum was reading a book on her kindle during the early stages of my labour! It really made me chuckle at how prepared she was – she had even made some sandwiches! Tom was in charge of timing my surges that were now becoming so regular he began to tell me when one was coming! They were getting much stronger and I was feeling like they were becoming a lot to manage so it was time for some good old gas and air – god I had forgotten how good that stuff is! I was back to feeling in control and trusting of my body again. The pool was almost ready too and so I knew that would offer some more relief soon.
Time to get the snorkel out! (Not literally though obviously. Although the midwife did tell us the most hilarious story about a man who actually brought his snorkel along with him – as you do!!)
As soon as I got into the pool it was a game changer! I strongly recommend to any pregnant ladies who are thinking about having a water birth to go for it. It adds another level of relief and coupled with gas and air I felt like I was quite literally on cloud 9! I could move around freely which I knew I needed to do in order to help the baby move down.
I think we were at around 11am (ish) by this time and my surges were well and truly in full swing. Tom was now in charge of holding the gas and air by my mouth ready for every time I needed it while I held (tightly like my life depended on it) onto the hand rails in the pool! The intensity of my surges were becoming a lot now and I was having an internal discussion with myself about not giving up. I kept telling myself positive things such as; “I can do this” , “I’m so close to meeting my baby” , and “come on do it for Omari.” It might sound silly but if I imagined my eldest was there and could see me well then I would have to keep going and be brave and strong for him!
OK, time to push…
Since I had gotten into the pool I kept asking my midwife whether I should be pushing during a surge or not. She was so reassuring and told me that when I needed to push I will know. Well she was right and I needed to push now! It was like I had lost a little bit of control of my body as I could feel his head getting lower and lower. My body was literally doing the work for me and all I could control was the way I reacted to it which was to stay as calm as possible and remember to breath!
We were around 10 minutes away from meeting our sweet baby and I didn’t know until after he was born that at this point, in my state of exhaustion and delirium, I had sat back in the water and had a little cry! Last little bit Tom had told me so I must have had a word with myself and got back in the zone. A second midwife had joined us now at this final hurdle. He was close to being out as I could definitely feel my pelvis bones moving slightly to accommodate the little human who was at the end of the birth canal. Another push and his head was out. The midwives noticed that his cord was wrapped slightly around his neck and instructed me to take slow breaths so they could unwind it. They were incredible and I trusted everything they were guiding me to do.
Back down to business
…With the cord safely unwrapped it was back down to business. I was completely focused now as I knew I was moments away from having him in my arms. My final surge meant that my body was gearing up for the final push. Keeping as calm as possible and definitely sounding like a crazed farm animal with my grunting I allowed my body to do what it needed to do. He was out! I had done it! With the support and encouragement from my husband, my mum and the midwives I had given birth to my beautiful baby boy in the most perfect way I could have imagined. There was a teeny moment of nervousness when I was holding him in my arms and he hadn’t let out his first baby cry. In an ideal world I would have loved to have had delayed cord clamping but the midwives suggested cutting it in that moment so they could take him and give him a good old “midwives’ rub” to encourage the scream that we had all been waiting for. With no doctors at the birth centre this is something that could have created total panic but deep down I knew that he was ok and I continued to trust the midwives completely as they did what they knew best. As soon as he was on their little table he did it. He let out the cutest little baby squeal we had ever heard.
With me out of the pool and back on dry land the midwives started checking me over and helped me to deliver the placenta (which was absolutely huge btw). I was really keen for some skin-to-skin time but the midwives thought I might need some stitches so they asked Tom if he fancied the first skin-to-skin cuddle. Well they didn’t have to ask him twice before he had his t-shirt whipped off and was poised, waiting anxiously for his teeny bundle to be handed to him! Turns out I didn’t need any stitches after all and so fortunately Tom had a little longer before he had to brave his first hold of a baby… ever! It wasn’t until around an hour later while we were cooing over the baby that we realised Tom was still sat topless in the delivery suite! We had such a chuckle about that later on but of course it didn’t matter really and I’m sure the midwives have seen funnier things – the man who had the snorkel perhaps!
Falling in love again…
…I was overwhelmed with a love that I don’t think I knew even existed. It’s hard to explain but throughout my pregnancy I had an irrational worry that I wouldn’t be able to love another human as much as I loved my first born. Well as soon as he was pulled up from the water and placed onto my chest every ounce of that worry had completely disappeared.
I don’t know whether it was the curry we had had the night before, the busy day we had had or maybe a combination of both but our baby had decided that on August 3rd 2018 (20 days before his actual due date and 3 days before his big brother’s birthday 🙈) that he wanted in on all the fun and we couldn’t have been happier.
I had fallen in love again. With a sweet angel baby – Isaac Anthony Hague. He weighed in at seven pounds, four and a half ounces and he was just perfect… In every single way… 💙
Thank you so much for reading! Let me what you think or share your birth story with me! I’ve loved reading lots of birth stories so would love to hear about more experiences! ☺️