My due date with B was 31st August and right from the start everyone had been telling me to hang on to him as long as possible so he made it in to the new school year as the eldest. My due date came and went and so did the disappointment that came with it.
I saw my midwife the day after my due date and all was well. I’d had a complete problem free pregnancy and she was happy to let me carry on as I was but booked me in for a sweep at 41+1.
We tried all the old wives tales to try bring on labour and nothing worked. At 41 weeks we sat down on the sofa in the evening to catch up on our TV viewing from the week. We’d put on some silly American comedy and all of a sudden, mid belly laugh, my waters broke. I leapt off the sofa as quickly as a heavily pregnant woman can and headed for the safety of the downstairs loo while G went for clean clothes! I think panic set it as I knew this was the start of my labour and I didn’t really know what to expect.
We rang delivery suite and told them what was going on. They sent me straight to bed and told me to ring back when I started having regular contractions. We headed off to bed after checking my bags had everything we needed, but I couldn’t sleep. I was nervous about what was going to happen yet excited at the same time. G however, was snoring away!!
I must have just drifted off when I started to get some tightenings. It was about 3am so I just lay in bed quietly timing them so I didn’t wake G. I knew we could be in for a long day so I wanted him to get as much rest as possible.
At 4am the pain started to ramp up a bit so I went and ran a bath. This disturbed G so he came and sat on the toilet seat (as you do) timing my contractions while I was in the bath. I remember I was starving hungry so I sent him to get me cheese and onion rolls from the fridge which I proceeded to eat in the bath. Every time a contraction started coming he would remove said cheese roll from my grip so it didn’t get a dunk in the bath.
At around 5.30 I was getting the magic 3 contractions in 10 minutes so we called the hospital. They told us they thought it was too early to come in as “first babies take forever”. We pointed out that we didn’t want to be trying to get to the hospital in rush hour as it’s a nightmare so we were coming now.
The drive to the hospital was excruciating! I had to lay the seat almost flat to get comfortable and everytime I had a contraction I’m sure I nearly ripped the door handle off! Of course G managed to find every bump in the road as well. The drive only too about 20 minutes but it was definitely the longest 20 minutes of my life! I couldn’t wait to get out the car.
All throughout my pregnancy I had been desperate for a water birth on the midwife led unit. I already knew a water birth was out the question as my friend had given birth a few days before and been informed the pool was out of action for the foreseeable future.
We arrived at the hospital and headed for delivery suite. As it was the small hours, the only entrance open was A&E so I had to walk through the reception area and passed all the resus rooms to get into the main body of the hospital. It took forever as I was having almost constant contractions. We finally made delivery suite and I asked to use the midwife unit. I nearly had a breakdown when they told me it was closed as they didn’t have the staff. The perils of a September baby I guess!
I was taken to a room on delivery and told to make myself comfy(!) and a midwife would be back soon to check me and give pain relief. It took 45 minutes for a midwife to come back and I think I may have sworn when she finally arrived. I told her I thought I was pushing and was told that wasn’t possible as I hadn’t been in labour long enough!
Thankfully, the midwife disappeared to get me something to stop me pushing and in the time she was gone they managed to find me a midwife and trainee who were prepared to transfer me to the midwife unit. After much complaining about having to move, I did shuffle to the unit. It was so much nicer. Calm lighting, mats and balls everywhere and not a piece of medical equipment in sight. I got myself set up on all fours in a corner with some mats while the nurses got their coats off.
They checked me almost straight away and found it was 9.5cms which she could stretch to 10. I was ready to push and hadn’t been making it up! I did a small inner cheer as I was expecting them to say I was about 4cms and I was being a massive drama queen!
The midwives wanted 5 minutes to get ready then I started pushing. They left me to do exactly what my body wanted and didn’t interfere. I pushed for about 15 minutes before I knew the head was about to be born. The midwife gave me great instructions on when to push or pant to avoid too much damage.
A few minutes later and B was born and he was passed straight to me. I’m not sure how I managed to turn round with baby still attached to me but I did and we had lovely skin to skin. I immediately fell in love with this mucky and alien looking little boy. Daddy was the lucky person who got to cut the cord and somehow ended up looking like he had just undertaken major surgery!
Daddy had a quick cuddle and took B to be weighed. He weighed in at a massive 9lb 1.5oz (not a stitch to be had thankfully).
The midwives brought us in the magic tea and toast, which truly is the best ever. We sat chatting with them while they did their paperwork and discovered that this was the trainees first delivery. She was so excited and chuffed with herself. I didn’t have the heart to point out that I did all the hard work!
The midwives then left us alone while we got to know this little person and began calling our family. It was so lovely ringing our Mums and saying “good morning Nanna”. There was lots of tears of happiness that he had finally arrived. Also, lots of approval at our name choice. We have always been very keen not to share our name choices until baby is born. It saves too many people giving an opinion on your favourite name when it’s not their choice.
I was so pleased with how my birth went. I had brought this little person into the world safely and with no intervention. I would have done it all over again instantly.