Firstly, thank you to those of you who have posted comments wondering whether our little boy had arrived yet. It still amazes me to think that people are interested in reading my blog – many thanks to you all!
As you may have guessed, I have had our little boy – he arrived on 16th July, a whole 6 days early, and he’s just perfect 😀 Here’s the story:
I woke up on Weds 16th July at 6am with tummy cramps, initially I thought I was dreaming then realised that no, they were in fact real. They felt different to the cramps I had been having so I thought I’d time them (whilst my husband snoozed beside me) – I timed them for a couple of hours until about 8am – they were coming every 15 minutes and were strong but not uncomfortable. DH woke up and I told him that he should probably stay at home from work. Then we set about thinking what we should do about our daughter. Unfortunately her nursery was full that day so we called up DH’s mum who very kindly agreed to come and fetch her. It’s a 2hr drive for her so we carried on calmly with the day – I showered and ate breakfast and loaded up http://www.contractionmaster.com on my laptop so I could keep track of what was happening. We then phoned the labour ward to let them know that things were underway, and they said to phone back when the contractions were 2-3 minutes apart or if my waters broke.
So, around lunchtime, some builders turned up to assess a problem with the brickwork, then MIL arrived to fetch our daughter, followed by the internet grocery shopping I’d ordered the day before!! All rather hectic and it sent the contractions a bit haywire – they felt a little less intense and came on and off. Once everyone had gone and it was just me and DH, we were able to relax and I got my rhythm back again. They were coming every 6-7 minutes and starting to increase in intensity and length. We laid back on the sofa and watched The Incredibles (well, I did, my DH snored all the way through!!).
At around 5pm we decided to set up the birthing pool and I lit my aromatherapy candle so the bedroom became a virtual spa 🙂 I moved into the bedroom as the lights were a bit less harsh and the mood was set. Whilst DH sorted out the pool, I lay on the bed and breathed through each contraction, feeling calm and a little excited that this was really it. By 7pm we decided to time things for an hour before calling the labour ward again. At this point contractions were coming approx every 4 minutes and lasting from 40 seconds – over a minute. I sat on the birthing ball and rocked side to side which made things feel much easier and DH gave me lovely soft-touch massage on my back, whilst we played the hypnobirthing cd to really really relax. At 8pm ish we called the labour ward again to tell them that we were at a steady 4mins apart with each one lasting an average of 1minute – they were handing over from day to night shift so got a midwife to call me back at around 8.30pm. She agreed to come out and assess me, bringing a student mw with her. In the meantime I decided it was time to put on the TENS machine…
Only to discover it was malfunctioning – the ‘boost’ button which you press when having a contraction didn’t work, and the machine randomly flicked from regular to ‘burst’ mode without any intervention. This was entertaining for a short while but ultimately useless for the job intended. Thankfully a friend had offered us the use of their machine so a quick phone call later, they dropped it off then about 5 minutes later the mw turned up.
They watched me for a little while and asked some questions then took my temperature, blood pressure (weirdly lower than for almost the entire pregnancy!!) and baby’s heartbeat. Then they did the internal to see how dilated (if at all) I was. The mw went first whilst the student waited in the other room – the mw whispered in my ear that I was 6cm!! This was so unbelievably good to hear – I’d only got to 5cm after 2.5days of labouring with my dd, I could have cried with happiness. The student then did her examination and they discussed how they could feel the membranes bulging as our baby’s head was pressing right down. I think they were quite surprised how far along I was because the hypno techniques meant I was incredibly calm – chatting in between contractions and really just letting my body do its thing. The mw then said they would leave us to continue whilst they sat in the living room, and that they would come and check on my progress, and listen in to baby’s hb every 15 minutes (obviously if we wanted them before we could just call out). Anyway, I phoned my mum to let her know how things were progressing (about 9.55pm) and had 3 huge contractions whilst on the phone. I had one check then the contractions were coming thick and fast. They didn’t hurt but were starting to be quite overwhelming – I got DH to check when it was ok for me to get in the pool and was told whenever I wanted. So, DH took off the TENs machine whilst I had 2 massive contractions bending over the bed. I clambered into the pool, knelt down and despite being told that the water would probably slow the contractions a little, I almost immediately felt the need to push (well actually I thought I was going to do a big poo!) the mws came running in and reassured me that there was nothing to be scared about, that my little boy was coming! They got me to feel his head which was amazing, then a big push (unprompted and not forced) the waters popped and I delivered his head, a couple of minutes later and the rest of him followed. I brought him to the surface and I will never ever forget the sight of that perfect little face looking up at me. He was tiny but perfect. My DH says I looked euphoric and that’s pretty much how I felt. 10.37pm, our beautiful boy was born weighing 6lb 8oz.
I got out of the pool and waited for the 3rd stage (delivery of the placenta) which happened about an hour after the birth without any interventions. I’d done it. I had my home waterbirth with no drugs (not even gas & air), no forced pushing or being told what to do. My body did it all and I remained calm throughout. No pain, no shouting, no swearing – a little ‘lowing’ (as in ‘the cattle are lowing’) – it was exactly as my birth plan.
The 2nd mw arrived after the birth and missed all the action! So he made tea for everyone instead. Once they’d done all their paperwork and checks, we were finally left to ourselves at around 1am. I had a quick shower, and we put some clean sheets on the bed then we snuggled up on the sofa, DH with a glass of wine, me with some squash and of course our beautiful little boy. It was amazing to be able to relax and enjoy this special time – so different to the birth of my dd where my DH was sent home at 4am and I was transferred to a ward with 3 other women & their newborns, left on my dirty sheet, unable to sit up (because of the epidural) and unable to sleep.
So, all my worries and fears about bonding with my darling son were put to rest. I had a tear or two just after the birth and whispered to him how sorry I was about his siblings. I have cried for them since but I am so in love with our little boy – the moment I saw that face coming out of the water I couldn’t help but feel that way and I’m so happy.
Nearly 3wks on and I’m still feeling great about it all. He’s a complete poppet; sleeping and eating well, barely crying. His big sister is totally enchanted with him and gives him kisses all the time which is so sweet and lovely – I’m a very lucky mama 🙂 I’ve had some physical problems since the birth – including an infection in my uterus so am dosed up on antibiotics and anti-infection medication, but mentally things are just dandy. Again, the difference between this and how I felt after my dd is astonishing. I’ve cried over that – I feel so bad that I didn’t feel the way I do now, about her when she was born. But, I can’t change the past and I know how much I love her now (and did then, the mask of PND just hid it from me).
The placenta sits rather unceremoniously in our freezer until we can plant the cherry tree somewhere suitable, then the twins will have their special place. Although, they already have a special place within me and my ds (rather gruesome a thought for some I’m sure, but very comforting to me).
And there we are – a family of four, mama, daddy, dd and ds. And the cat! What a journey we’ve been on these last 9-10mths. I’ll continue with this blog but probably not as frequently. I hope one day my children will read it if they would like to.