My water broke in bed at around midnight on Tuesday morning. I had been cramping and tried but mostly failed to sleep the rest of the night. I did manage a couple of hours and when I woke up there was no more cramping but fluid still coming out in small gushes. That stayed the same all morning, very little cramping, very irregular and my 3 year old daughter was being very demanding all morning. Every time I did get some decent pain she was nagging for something and it would go away again. I decided I wasn’t going to get anywhere with her around and I needed to relax so she went to her Gran’s after lunch and Mat came back and we spent some time together, went for a walk and then came home and relaxed with each other.
Late afternoon I was getting frustrated and called my midwife who suggested to have a hot shower – either it will slow the contractions down and I could have a sleep or it would help me relax and get everything going. So I left it for a little while and then had a long shower – had no pain at all and thought bugger it’s going to slow down! Got out of the shower and bang the contractions were one on top of the other! After about 20 mins they settled into every 5 mins and I told Mat I wanted to go to the Birth Centre, he was so relieved!! He rang my midwife and we met her there at about 10pm.
I laboured in the bedroom at the birth centre while she quietly set things up and checked baby’s heartbeat every now and then. I stood or kneeled at the end of the bed while Mat rubbed my back or held me. The second midwife got there at about 11pm and they soon talked about running the bath. I was happy to get in there as soon as possible but didn’t want to slow things down again so they left me a bit longer then started filling the bath so I was in there at around 11:30 and it was lovely! I walked in and there was a small heater going on the wall and little tea light candles everywhere, towels for me to lean on and an energy drink waiting. It did slow things a little when I got in but not much, everything kept going strong thankfully and by about midnight I had decided I couldn’t do it and needed to go home. I told Mat and my midwife that I’m sorry I thought I could do it but I can’t, it’s too much and I need to go.
Of course, soon after that the urge to push started creeping in and I ignored it at first still huffing and breathing through each contraction, I discovered a few contractions later that if I pushed a little it made the pain pass more quickly so I went with that! Soon the pushes consumed every contraction and it was all very primal all of a sudden, I had planned on not really actively pushing but there was no way I could not bear down so by now I was very loudly pushing with everything I had! Another massive contraction and she started crowning. I had a few stitches after Mya’s birth and really wanted to avoid tearing this time so my midwife coached me through pushing till I couldn’t handle the burning sensation then holding it there for the next contraction. I think it took three or four of those and her head was out. My midwife was telling me to wait for her shoulders to turn but after all that I didn’t listen and managed to give myself a teeny first degree tear – bugger!
With that she was straight up and into my arms, Mat was standing nearby and he’d been able to see everything and was a bit blown away to say the least! I held her and we just cuddled in the water. I was preparing to have to sit in the bath for another hour to wait for the placenta but less than 10 minutes after she was born I felt it coming, gave another push and out it came. It was put in a bowl and Mat held onto the cord while it stopped pulsating then he cut it for her when it was done. Holly and I sat a bit longer in the bath while Mat checked out the placenta with the other midwife then he came back in and took her while I hopped out and WALKED myself to the bedroom and into bed! – I was wheeled out of the delivery room after my first birth in hospital, and I didn’t even realise what I was doing until Mat said how proud he was that I had walked myself to bed!
I can’t thank my midwives and the LBC enough for providing the choice they do and the enormous amount of care and support that was given to my family and I throughout the pregnancy and post natal care. It is a memory I will treasure for the rest of my life.