The bloke went out for his friend's birthday with a warning that my due date wasn't far away and that he couldn't get too drunk! As the night went on I started to feel some tightenings but they weren't painful so I presumed it was just braxton hicks. Just after midnight I decided to go to bed but once I lay down I realised that the tightenings were getting uncomfortable and sleep was not going to come easily. The bloke got home after a little while and I told him what was going on, but I still was not convinced that this was labour.
Around half one I decided that this may indeed be the real thing as I was still wide awake lying in bed and things were starting to get painful but I decided rest was the best thing so got out my book. I had my Labouraide ready and started using the early labour mouth piece when the contractions started. It was great to have something to bite down on and I think it helped. By half three I had decided I was almost definitely in labour and started timing contractions. I found that they weren't consistent with anywhere between 3 and 6 minutes apart and lasting anywhere from 40-60 seconds but they were definitely painful! I woke up the bloke and we decided that I should ring the Midwife Led Unit to see what they said. Halfway through the phone call I had to stop talking to have a contraction and the midwife told me to come in to be checked out.
My worst nightmare for labour was getting to the hospital to be told it was not real labour or that I was only one centimetre dilated so I decided to ring a taxi for myself and leave the bloke at home as I didn't want to wake my mum up in the middle of the night for nothing and someone had to stay with Dylan.
|My relaxing room|
I arrived at the MLU around half past four and was taken to one of the lovely big rooms by the same midwife that showed me round a few days earlier. She took my blood pressure, checked babies heartbeat and felt my tummy as I had a contraction. Her reaction was that they were particularly strong contractions and if they kept up like that then it wouldn't be a long labour. On examination I was 5cm so I rang my mum and the bloke and organised the changeover. I had bought my hospital bag along with me but left the baby's at home as I didn't want to tempt fate so I told the bloke to bring it along.
The bloke arrived around half past five and at this point I decided that bouncing on the ball was not enough and I started on the wonderful stuff that is entonox. It still didn't feel like my contractions were regular and baby still had to descend a bit furthur so I was sure that I had a long time left. The midwives were lovely and I had a student in with me most of the time who told me that my contractions were still very strong and that she hoped the baby would come before her shift was up.
At half past six I thought I would check that we had everything but upon asking the bloke for the baby's bag, he let me know that he had forgotten it! This meant no nappies, no newborn clothes and blankets . . . nothing! We rang my mum but as Dylan was still fast asleep she sent it over in a taxi for us!
At 7am I decided I was really struggling. I felt like I had only just caught my breath from the last contraction when the next one started. I had been told to put off the birthing pool for as long as I could as getting in too early could slow the labour down but the midwives thought I was ready and they ran the water for me. I got in to the pool - entonox still in hand and felt a slight relief on the next contraction thanks to the warmth of the water on my back.
The second contraction in the pool was strong and I felt a pop that let me know my waters had gone. With the pop I felt a desire to push, but scared that I wasn't ready yet, felt myself shutting my legs! With my first pregnancy I had been stuck on the bed and monitored throughout so the sense of freedom and the relaxation at the midwife unit was lovely. When I told them I wanted to push they told me to just follow my body. No examinations to check I was ready and no help. With three pushes my little baby Squish entered the world. The cord was wrapped around his neck but as he was pulled from the water he started crying before it was even taken off. He came straight onto my chest and I couldn't believe how perfectly it had all gone and how beautiful my baby son was.
We sat in the pool having a skin to skin cuddle as the midwives waited for the cord to finish pulsating and then the bloke got to cut it. Squish and I went for a cuddle on the bed and to wait for the placenta to be delivered naturally.
The whole labour was so smooth and fast and I was proud of myself for doing it again with gas and air. The midwives were really helpful and supportive but not interfering and I felt like I got the birth I always wanted. Squish was born at 7:36am weighing 8lb 5oz but he seems so much smaller than his big brother was! We didn't have a name ready for him and nothing on our lists fitted so he left hospital as Squish. We were discharged at midday after less than 5 hours as there were no complications and they had had to close the hospital for births soon after I arrived as both the MLU and the labour ward were full!
|Swamped in a newborn snowsuit|
3 days later, on his official due date we finally had the perfect name. I had never even considered it until I was in labour and then it came into my head, but it took us a few days to make sure that it was as perfect as he was.
|One hour old- Baby Archie|