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My Birth Story


9 weeks have past since I gave birth to my baby boy and I thought it was about time I put finger to keyboard and noted down my birth story. When I was pregnant, to put it bluntly, I was terrified of giving birth. I used to search the internet for positive birth stories from real women. And I am now adding my own to the many that are out there. 

Like many women I'm sure, the idea of giving birth scared the living daylights out of me, so much so I was prepared to book myself in for major abominable surgery. You see there are two ways you can look at giving birth, stick your head in the sand and just hope for the best. Or do what I did, educate yourself as best as you can and find out what is best for you. Not what society and what others say. 

Therefore I decided a home birth was best for me and my baby. 

Around 11 years ago when I was at college my teacher was a midwife and when she first talked about home birth I genuinely thought 'why on earth would anyone want to give birth at home where there are no drugs?'. But when she talked about how incredible they could be I did think that would be kind of nice, but giving birth still petrified me. 

A friend of mine recommended I read Your birth, your baby by Hollie De Cruz. Reading that book was the start of the positive out look on giving birth I needed. I also completed Hollie's online Hypnobirthing course and I couldn't recommend it enough. Lockdown gave me plenty of time to do lots of the practice. I felt fully prepared for the birth. 

As the end of my pregnancy came around I was drinking raspberry tea and eating date bars. From 38 weeks I told my baby that I was ready to meet him/her whenever they were ready. And that is exactly what my sweet baby boy William did, he arrived when he was ready at 38 weeks and 4 days. The day I gave birth was the best day of my life. I felt so proud of myself, like I'd climbed a mountain that no one had ever climbed before. Women give birth all the time, yes, but I hadn't. 

The night before William was born at 11pm I told Matty I had to go for a walk, after he protested and said it was too late and various other excuses I said I was going with or without him. So off we went on our usual mile walk around the block. I've done that lap hundreds of times but not while I was 38 weeks pregnant, let's be honest, it was more of a waddle. When we got back on our estate, a matter of yards from our house, I started to feel funny like I needed to sit down. Not one to give up I carried on, got home went straight in the shower and while getting into bed I felt a real strange sensation in my tummy, I said to my baby, please don't turn (baby was head down and ready to go), if the baby turned it meant my dreams of a home birth would be over. I told myself to go to sleep, it will all be fine. 

I slept all night that night, there was no 3am wake up call for a wee. It was like my body knew I needed as much rest as it could get as I had a big day ahead. 

I woke up at 6:40ish with trickling sensation in my knickers, I got out of bed and went to the loo and saw it was only an awful lot of discharge with a very slight pinkish colour, I took a photograph (incase a midwife wanted to see it later) I changed my knickers and told Matty that I think his Mum is right, the baby is coming today, I jumped back into bed and I couldn’t get comfortable so I got up, Matty asked me where I was going and I just said I don’t know, I just needed to move. I just walked around upstairs, I texted my Mam saying I was having tightening’s in my tummy at 0701 but I told her not to tell anyone, then decided to go to the family bathroom loo as I felt like I needed a poo. I sat on the toilet but couldn’t quite go, when I wiped my bum there was a good mass of blood and I think what was my mucus plug. It was 0717 (Again I took a photo in case anyone wanted to see it later on). 


I downloaded The Freya app (a contraction counter) as I thought I might be needing it. I went back into the bedroom where I had my first contraction, I told Matty ‘I think I’m in labour’ and he shot out of bed like a bullet. We had washing drying in the room where I wanted to give birth so I asked him to go and take it all down and prep the room. It was at this point I started to bark orders at him, like I was his sergeant major, I told him to run the bath, I'd read so much into how water has been used for thousands of years to help women in labour and I wanted to get in the water. (I never actually got in the bath!) 


I went to clean my teeth, have a shower, shaved my legs, washed my face in super quick time as the contractions where coming really fast and rather sharp. Not how I imagined early labour would be. With it being my first baby I thought it would be a long process and they would slowly build up. But these felt incredibly intense. I got out the shower and felt like I needed the loo again, I managed to go and then I didn’t stop. I was sat on the toilet contracting every 2 mins and 30 seconds and the contractions where lasting between 48 and 58 seconds. I got off the toilet and then went into the bedroom, lay on the bed in my towel to try and get some rest as I knew it was going to be a long day. This is when I decided to try my tens machine, because the contractions where coming thick and fast I needed some form of relief.


At 0757 Matty told me to ring the hospital ward and let them know I was in labour. I protested a bit as it was my first baby, it was going to take a long time. At this point I couldn't talk during contractions. I think he was getting slight worried as I did tell him I felt really 'pushy' he went and got the number and I rang, I said to the midwife on the phone 'This is going to sound strange but I think I’m in labour' she went through the usual questions and said because it’s your first baby we’d tell you to stay at home which is where I butted in and said I’m not going to hospital this is a home birth but when I got a contraction I couldn’t talk, I was making warrior sounds, a noise I will never be able to make again. Matty then took the phone off me to talk to the midwife and I went back to the loo and kept turning my tens machine up. I had absolutely no idea how to use that machine and wish I had looked at it earlier and not waited till I was in full blown labour to try and work it out. 


Matty came to check on me and I asked him to cancel the man who was coming to fit our new front door that day, which he said he’d already done. I also asked him not to go to his fitness class which he had planned, he’d told me he’d already cancelled. I was still sat on the toilet. I rang my Mam and she told me she was like this all night with me and I wasn’t born till almost 10pm the next day. I thought I can’t carry on like this all day. I’m going to need some relief and rest at some point. I was still sat on the toilet at this point, pooing, it began to hurt to wipe so I got Matty to bring me some baby wipes. Unbeknown to me, the midwives called Matty and told him they’d be there in an hour, where he said I think you need to get here sooner as he didn’t think I was far away from giving birth. I’m so glad he told them this as if I had heard I’d have told him not to be so stupid. So they said they’d be here in 20 minutes. He came up to the bathroom to tell me they were on their way and I honestly felt such a relief, I was starting to get scared. 


I decided to try and get ready and by getting ready I mean pulling on a black maternity bra. As I was standing over my sink, my waters broke and went all over the bath mat. They were clear, which was another relief. I waddled over over to my bed, in my towel, tens machine still attached and more water came out. Thankfully I’d had the sense to throw a towel on the floor and protect my plush carpet. I was lying on the bed when the midwives arrived at 08:55, my Mam also arrived about 10 minutes after to pick Fenton up. I think he had known I was in labour as he was by my side until Matty took him downstairs. I was lying on the bed as the midwives arrived in my room. N instantly came and sat next to me while E sat on my bedroom floor and got started with the paperwork. Matty was downstairs turning the family room into my labour room. They asked me a few questions, I can’t remember what now. But I seemed to recognise N. So I asked her where she was from. I then asked her about her children, where it turned out I worked at a nursery where her little one went to and I remember her picking her up. But that wasn’t where I knew her from. Then after a contraction I had worked it out and I just blurted out ‘your a friends Mam’. I said it with such authority I was worried she wouldn’t believe I was in labour. 


N asked me if she could preform a VE. Which I told her I didn’t want as I didn’t want her to tell me I was only 5cm and it would upset me that I still had so far to go. But after talking it through with her I reluctantly agreed. She couldn’t preform one in the end as the baby’s head as too far down and said ‘do you want to know what colour hair your baby’s got? Well it’s dark’. I was a bit confused and she said you’re nearly ready to deliver. Matty said the pool was ready to go so I decided to get in it. We all made our way down stairs. I had a bath towel between my legs, I was holding the front, N was holding the back. N later told me this was because the baby was so far down she thought the walking down the stairs might cause the baby to deliver and towel would catch it. When I saw how homely Matty had made the family room it felt amazing. He had put plastic pallet wrap around the green sofa but covered it with throws so you couldn’t see. There was a huge waterproof sheet on the floor with our tents carpet covering it. There were towels everywhere and because we don’t have blinds in our family room yet, a net cover was over the window to give me more privacy. Before I got in the pool Matty had to take the tens machine off my back, but he didn’t turn it off so he was electrocuting himself, which looking back on really makes me laugh but at the time I couldn't have cared less. 


Getting in the pool was such an amazing sense of relief. I know it slowed my contractions right down so they only came every 5 minutes but it gave me time to rest. I also was using gas and air. I puffed away on this during a contraction, it didn't really do much but it helped me stay focused and controled my breathing. 


Between contractions I was in totally different world. Matty said I was so zen. I was focused on meeting my baby. Matty had told me my Mam was on her way back which put me on edge, I started to concentrate on the front door opening and not on the task in hand. I think this also stalled my labour slightly so I told him I didn’t want her here until baby was born. Between contractions I was in a different world, I guess this is what they class as ‘labour land’, I wasn’t in the room. Everyone was silent I was so zoned out. I was focusing on my ‘happy place’ which I had been doing every night before I fell asleep while listening to my relaxation mp3 from my hypnobirthing course. Then as I felt a contraction build up, it was like I was back in the room again, I was aware of my surroundings. This is where the gas and air really helped control my breathing, keep the adrenalin at bay. 


It felt like hours to push the baby's head out, the baby seemed to be crowing for an eternity. At one point I looked at Matty straight in the eye and I said I WANT THE HEAD OUT NOW!! I also told him I couldn't possibly give birth to a baby and I wanted to go home. I was at home and I was giving birth to the baby, I now know what the transition stage of labour feels like and it was like I just wanted to give up and go to the pub! 


During the crowing, I did reach down and feel my baby's head. I stroked it's hair and told my baby to hurry up!! But I knew it wasn't the baby's job to do the work, it was mine. So at that point I literally gave everything I got, I pushed down and I did it hard. Everything bit of strength I had went into getting this baby's head out of me. 

 

Once I’d finally delivered the head, between the next contraction and I didn’t go to my labour land, I was fully back in the room. I asked N what would happen. She told me and said get ready to catch, then it dawned on me, there was a head in between my legs and I was about to become a Mummy. I checked Matty had his sleeves rolled up and his watch was off, as it was his job to catch baby. 


It was the strangest sensation feeling his body travel down my birth canal, the cord was around his neck and arms. Between Matty and N he was untangled and I found out he was a boy. I was in shock. I was so convinced I was having a girl. I told Matty around 3 times, it’s a boy, it’s a boy Matty we’ve got a boy I think were my words. I stayed in the pool for 10 mins with Williams head just out of the water on my chest and his body still warmly tucked below the water and we tried to get William to latch for some early breast feeding. 

 

N went to go and get my Mum who was sat in her car outside, once she entered the room, I told her ‘it’s a boy’. I think I said ‘it’s a boy’ about 20 times, I was a little bit in shock. 

 

Matty waited for the cord to stop pulsing before he cut the cord and he had some skin to skin and I got out the pool to deliver my placenta. I lay down on my covered sofa and had some more skin to skin with my new baby boy to try and get the oxytocin flowing and the placenta out. I did a few pushes, but nothing happened. So I handed the baby back to Matty and the midwives helped me up and I squatted down to the floor and another contraction came and then the placenta was expelled. 

 

I was examined and I had torn; I genuinely didn’t feel that at all in labour. Tearing was my biggest fear. During my examination I was puffing on the gas and air again and WOW did that knock me funny. It made me feel so drunk which was such a strange feeling as I didn’t feel like that at all in labour. I was told I’d need transferring to hospital for stitching. I knew this would mean a 999 call and a trip out in an ambulance. 


While we were waiting for the ambulance we rang other members of our family to let them know our little boy had made his way earth side. My Dad was playing golf and had left his phone in the car, that will teach me to tell my Mam not to tell him I was in labour!! 

 

The paramedics arrived within 8 minutes and were the 2 nicest girls. Matty helped me dress, put on some Jo Malone perfume and sort out my hospital bag. (It was already half packed). I went to stand up to walk to the ambulance, but I wasn't steady on my feed, I kept apologising to everyone as I really didn't want to cause work for anyone, I ended up getting wheeled out of my house into the ambulance.  

 

Matty stayed behind with my Mam and helped pack everything away. 


I got rushed to hospital with my tiny baby on my chest. My midwives from home came with me. N in the ambulance and E followed behind. 


Once I arrived in the room the doctor H came to see me pretty much straight away. I was told thankfully I didn't need the operation as first thought. This is where I had my first funny turn, I went all dizzy, couldn't take a deep breath and couldn't talk. I put it down to the fact it was now 2pm and I hadn't eaten since the night before. N suggested to the doctor I had a canular put in my hand but I refused. So I had an egg sandwich and was stitched up and then did the biggest wee I've ever done in my life.


The bath was ran for me where I got in and just let the warm water wash all over my body. Once I was dried off with my clothes put back on this is where my home midwives left, I really didn't want them to go. The idea of being left with a tiny baby suddenly dawned on me, I had 9 months to prepare for this but no amount of time could have prepared me for that moment. I called Matty and told him we were ready to go home. 


While I was lying in bed I decided to call my Auntie in London and let her know she was a great Aunt, this is when I cried for the first time. I'd done it, I'd birthed a baby, at home, in the pool exactly how I wanted. 


Once Matty had arrived I had another funny turn all my observations were checked and were ok, I had no idea how I was going to walk out of the hospital and there was no way I was going to be wheeled out to my car. So I decided to stay there until I felt better. I had a jacket potato while Matty was walking around the room talking to our new baby. 


After an hour or so I decided it was time for us to make our way home. We ordered a take away and cracked open a bottle of champagne. I only managed half a glass before I decided it was time I retired to bed. 


That night I was thankful for everything, even more so that Matty had put fresh bedsheets on. I snuggled down to sleep feeling absolutely exhausted. I thanked my lucky stars for my baby boy and my incredible husband. 


My Birth Story  

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