My first birth story was a funny tale, punctuated with comedy moments from my Mum and ending with a beautiful baby boy.
This one isn’t as funny, but it was a positive experience and ended with a beautiful baby girl.
As you will know if you’ve read my first birth story, our little man arrived 11 days early so I made the mistake of thinking (hoping) that my daughter might make an early appearance. Add in that I have been off work since the beginning of October and I was massively uncomfortable, it was no surprise that by the time my due date came on the 19th December, I was grumpy, achy, tired and generally fed up. Christmas was looming and the thought of being in hospital on Christmas Day or even Christmas Eve was making me very emotional, so, at my 38 week Midwife appointment, I had booked in for a sweep on my due date.
I’d never had a sweep before and was a little nervous about it but I also wanted my baby so I was going to deal with it! I asked my ‘Life partner’ Keri to be in attendance to hold my hand. Honestly, it was a weird moment, laying on my bed with my bestie whilst the midwife did a sweep but it wasn’t as painful as I had thought it might be, in fact it wasn’t painful at all…just a little uncomfortable.
I had my hopes pinned on the sweep getting things started because I needed her to be here before Xmas and my midwife knew this. However, I also knew she would be bluntly honest with me and there and then she said
“I do a mean sweep but I don’t think that will do anything. Your cervix is soft but long and she’s still high up. I’d prepare to enjoy your last Christmas with just your son and possibly prepare for an induction on New Years Eve.”
Oh…great. Obviously I was disappointed. I was so uncomfortable but I text a few friends and they told me to suck it up and focus on after Christmas…it was only a week or so after all!
And that’s what I did, so much so that when I was casually watching The League of Gentlemen in bed on the Wednesday night, the day after my sweep, I didn’t think much about the pains I was having and when my husband returned home just before midnight I said “I feel like I’m having contractions but I can’t be!”. His response was something along the line of “You should know!” but I continued to ignore them and fell asleep.
Fast forward an hour or so and I woke at 2am in a lot of pain. I stood in our en suite blowing through the pains…
“Becky you’re in labour!” my husband said.
“I can’t be! The midwife said she was too high up!”
Denial at its best, ladies and gents!
I was eventually persuaded to ring the Birthing Centre and a nice Midwife called Jayne confirmed that I should probably ring my Mum (who was going to stay with our son) and my sister (my other birthing partner). I accepted that I was in labour & got my TENS machine positioned on my lower back to ease the pain before creeping into my sons room to give him a kiss.
I had the strangely emotional moment where I looked at him & took in just having him for a minute. I had been feeling all kinds of guilty for bringing another child into the family and making him share his Mummy and Daddy so I needed a moment to just be us. A moment was all I got as the contractions took hold.
By the time my Mum arrived I was ready to leave…looking like a chav apparently (according to mother) however at 3:30am I wasn’t too bothered that I was in my PJs, winter boots and an oversize knitted cardigan. I was comfortable and warm which was needed given I was in labour and it was December! Given that we only live a five minute drive from the hospital, you will understand how frequent my contractions were getting if I say I had one on the drive, one in the car, one in the hospital car park and one in the reception. We’d been told to leave our stuff in the car and just bring my notes and I thought “There is no way they can send me home like this!”
Luckily, when I walked into Pinderfields Birthing Centre, the birthing pool was already running and as we were shown into Room 2 both myself, my husband and my sister (who had met us in the car park looked suitably stylish and well put together for 4am) were very impressed by how posh it was, if not a little warm!
Standard pi**ing in a pot and examination done and we were staying – this Baby was going to be here for Christmas! Despite wanting a water birth, I suddenly was fearful that it wouldn’t be as affective as my little TENS machine but as soon as I slipped (that sounds far more graceful that it was, maybe flopped is a better word) into the water, it was like magic. The dull period ache in between contractions immediately lifted and I was able to float about, relaxing my body…with the help of a couple of painkillers too!
I managed in the water for another hour or so without any other pain relief before I started on the Gas and Air which, like last time, became a good way of controlling my breathing and keeping focused. This time I squeezed my husbands thumb, whilst sucking on the gas and focusing on the lock of the toilet door…and singing “Anywhere” by Rita Ora in my head, which had been on in the car. My sister was at hand with juice and some cheese savouries which she kept chucking in my mouth as and when I needed.
The strangest thing that happened was that my waters broke in tact! I honestly thought I had pooped at first then I felt this “wafting” (sorry) around my nether regions.
“It looks like a jellyfish!” said my husband (luckily I was told it was waters and I didn’t think he was referring to our child!)
“Ooooh that’s weird!” said my sister.
“Get it off!” I said, “It’s like seaweed on my foof!” Such a way with words that I have…
Not long after this my body began to push and I got the fear, I’d had more pain relief with our son, how was I going to do this without?! I didn’t have any choice in the matter, my body was going for it so I just focused on that toilet door lock and 2.5 hours after we had parked and with a lot of grunting and other weird noises to get me through, our daughter was born at 6:29am on the 21st December.
I immediately looked to check she was still a girl (I’d never fully believed it throughout my pregnancy) and we lay in the water until the cord stopped pulsing before my husband cut it. A few moments later, baby girl was handed to my other half while I exited the birthing pool to be jabbed in the leg and deliver the placenta.
As I lay on the bed, wrapped up in towels, my daughter was laid beside me also wrapped up in towels and we got our first proper cuddle together before she was weighed and measured. “4.2” the midwife said before giving my husband the conversion chart to see what it was in pounds and ounces. “NINE POUND FOUR!” He exclaimed. I couldn’t believe it, almost 2lbs heavier than her brother but she looked so small!
So there you have it, a considerably quicker birth than her brother, a bigger baby with less pain relief and honest, I would highly recommend the birthing pool. I had a second degree tear with our son and needed stitches but despite our little girl being not so little I only had a first degree tear (aka a scratch) and didn’t need any stitches. I put that down to the water that helped the birth.
There will be no more birth stories from me as my husband and I are in agreement that we are having no more babies. My pregnancy with our daughter was not as enjoyable as our son and with one of each, we feel our family is complete so I’m just going to enjoy her being a baby. I rushed things with our son, wishing away each milestone. I won’t do this with our daughter because it will all be the last time and you know how rubbish it is when you eat the last biscuit/sweet without realising its the last.
Have you had a water birth? How did you find it? Have you used the Pinderfields Birthing Centre? Did your waters pop in tact like mine?! I love a birth story so send me your links or tell me about yours! Comment below or find me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest – don’t forget to click like/follow! 🙂