So after my birth story with Lily, this one isn’t going to seem a lot different! Things went down pretty similarly excepting the time of day and the sex of the baby at the end of it all!
I had been having minor contractions in the week or so leading up to my labour – very irregular and not painful in the slightest, so I just put them down to Braxton Hicks. I was due on the 18th, and definitely expected going past my due date as I went 11 days over with Lily.
The 18th came and went without event. By the 22nd I was having the minor contractions. On the 23rd, I lost at least part of my mucus plug, which made me hopeful because with Lily I’d gone into labour within 48 hours of my plug going. I was so ready for this baby to be out – I could deal with the same pains and things I’d had when I was pregnant with Lily, but I had an excruciating muscle pain across the top of my belly which was getting beyond bearable.
The 24th went by without much event, until late afternoon, around 5-6pm, where I started getting contractions that were still irregular but getting quite strong. I started timing them, and they varied from 5-20 minutes apart each time, so I wasn’t too concerned yet, just kept timing.
By 8:15pm, they started getting more regular, approximately 7 minutes apart at that point. I counted a few more before contacting my mum around 9:15, letting her know she’d better come over. Meanwhile, Michael got on the phone to the hospital and let them know we were heading through shortly, and I contacted my midwife to let her know too.
By 9:30 my dad had also arrived to stay at home with Lily, so Mum, Michael and I headed off on the half-hour drive to the hospital. We got about 10 minutes in, and Michael asked me if I had everything – I said, “I think so?”, and then I realised I’d forgotten the baby’s bag!!! The whole reason we were going to the hospital in the first place! I said oh well, just get Dad to bring it through and I’m sure the hospital will have a bunch of stuff anyway.
I continued having contractions on the car ride, between 3-5 minutes apart, and regulated out to 4 minutes by the time we got into the delivery suite at about 10:30pm. My midwife put me on the CTG for about 20 minutes, confirmed it appeared I was in active labour, and examined me – I was a stretchy 5cm. I was very relieved because I was worried that they’d just send me home and that it was all in my head! I continued to labour by wandering around the room for a while, swaying with contractions. I was anxious to get in the tub too soon, but by about 11:45 I decided I’d get in. The water provided some relief initially, but after an hour & a half or so (about 1:15), the pain was back up to ‘High’. I moved around in the bath, to sitting on my bum and leaning back against the side of the tub.
It was great to begin with but my body started to tell me that I needed to get out of the tub, and onto the bed on my knees. I told my midwife between contractions that I needed to get out. She tried initially to talk me out of it because she knew how badly I wanted to have a waterbirth, but I told her that I need to be on my knees. She offered me gas & air, which I took for a couple of contractions, but then I started feeling so space-cadety that I just wanted out. My mum and Michael helped me out of the bath (I had one contraction as I stepped out and squatted down on the floor), and got up on the bed. My midwife had raised the back of it up so I could drape my arms over the top of the bed and kneel.
Once I was up there, I felt a lot better, and it wasn’t long before I started feeling the need to push. I started pushing, and then felt baby’s head right down low. I remembered what it was like having Lily, and knew it was going to hurt, but this time since I knew what it was going to be like, I just went inward, bore down and pushed as hard as I could. His head came out after about 3 pushes, and his body in the next 2 or 3.
My midwife had Michael cut the cord rather quickly after his body came out, which surprised me because I’d requested delayed cord clamping, but it wasn’t long before I realised why – the cord had been around his neck and he wasn’t breathing. Another midwife (who’d come in to assist my midwife for the delivery) had whisked our baby up to the heat lamp and was rubbing him down to get him to breathe. Michael rushed over to him and the look of worry on his face scared the shit out of me. Not long after (although it seemed like ages!), our baby let out a little whimper and then a louder, gurglier cry. It was such a relief, I just cried out for him. I had to deliver the placenta before I could hold him, so I assisted my midwife with a small push to release it.
My waters and everything had made a real mess of the bed, the absorbent pads and things on it, so the midwifes had to clean all that up before I could turn around and sit back to hold my baby. I turned around, my midwife checked me for tearing (I had a small graze), they handed my baby to me, and he was PERFECT. In every single way. We had skin-to-skin time, and he latched on almost straight away. My midwife had worked a shift already on which was now the day before, so she headed home and said she’d be back later in the day and check in on us.
After a short while the other midwife weighed and measured him – both of which I asked her to do twice because I couldn’t believe the measurements she was telling me!
So, welcome to the world:
Weight: 10lb 2oz
Length: 57cm [~22.5in]