Monday 22 November 2021

Baby 5 - A Birth Story

I have had four babies before so I know how painful labour is, but still I found myself looking forward to it in a strange way as I approached our due date with baby no 5.  I think it is knowing what comes at the end of the pain, knowing how worthwhile it all is (and it helps knowing my labours tend to be quite speedy).  I had convinced myself that I was going to give birth on the Tuesday before my due date this time (my last three babies have all come a few days early) so I woke up on Saturday morning determined to use the weekend to get everything ready.

I did three loads of washing, built the crib and took Cora out for some special time as I knew it would be her that will be most affected by the new arrival.  We had a lovely productive day and got home just after 4pm.  Around 6pm, I noticed that I was getting quite a few Braxton Hicks, the painless tightenings but I didn't think they would lead anywhere so I carried on as normal.  At 7pm, after having them painlessly for an hour, they started to change and I wondered whether I could possibly be in early labour. Because my plans for a home birth had been cancelled due to staff shortages, I decided to ring up the hospital and find out what the options were if things progressed during the evening and was told that the midwife led unit was also not able to take any more women due to staff shortages but the labour ward had spaces when I felt ready to come in.  We left it that I would ring back if things progressed.

I called my mum next, who was on standby to look after the other children and told her that I thought this could be it.  I have a history of short labours so I knew I needed to get plans into place early.  My body was telling my to walk so I decided to go for a walk.  As it was already dark, I walked round to the local Asda and paced the aisles.  With Cora, my contractions came fast when I walked and stopped completely when I sat down and I felt like this one would be the same.  I came home and had a quick dinner and then carried on pacing upstairs as things started to kick in more.  Cora could sense that things were happening I think and decided she wanted to hold my hand as we walked around the house. 

I didn't time the contractions and was still able to walk and talk through them, but when my mum arrived around 7.45pm, I decided it was best to make the 15 minute drive to the hospital and then I could walk around the grounds if I wasn't ready to go in yet, but at least we were in the right place.  We parked up just after 8pm and I decided we would go straight in and explain that although I hadn't rung back, I was definitely in labour now.

We were taken into day-care/triage so they could assess whether I was ready for the labour ward yet.  They did my blood pressure and other checks and asked me how my pain was on a scale of 1-10 - I answered a 7, and then left us whilst they checked me in on the system. A few minutes later I felt strong pressure and my waters burst all over the floor. My first thought was to panic about my boots as I hadn't brought any spare shoes with me so I made Ed remove them before he went to get a midwife.  They came back and could see that things were progressing very quickly, so they helped me into a wheelchair and raced me round to the labour ward.  They knew I wanted the MLU so they took me to the room with a birthing pool.  As I stood up from the wheelchair I could feel the baby's head coming, so I had two midwives peeling off my now very wet jeans as I stood up leaning on the side of the pool and gave birth in two pushes to the most perfect baby boy. The midwives passed him up to me and helped me to a bed and left the cord for over 5 minutes before cutting it.

baby five, birth story, positive birth story

He was born 8 days before his due date at 8.28pm weighing a smaller than expected 7lb 13oz.  I don't know if it has just been so long since I held a newborn but he felt so much smaller.  Just like his big brother and sister before him, once he decided to come, things went very quickly! 

baby five, birth story, positive birth story

The placenta came naturally soon after and after a few hours just the three of us, baby and I were transferred to the ward for the night.  Due to a complication during the pregnancy, it needed to be the paediatric doctor doing the new baby check rather than the midwife so we had to stay until we could be seen (which ended up being 6pm the next evening).  Thankfully everything was signed off and we could take our healthy baby boy back to the madhouse to meet his excited big brothers and sister. 

baby five, birth story, positive birth story

We are now 8 days into life as a family of seven (which still feels like a strange thing to write) and this baby has settled in perfectly.  He is so calm and tolerant of the others who want to be hands on and he almost seems more settled when the house is noisy and chaotic than he does when it is peaceful.  He is the final piece we never realised was missing.

After nearly two weeks, we finally agreed on his name  - Rex Arthur

baby five, birth story, positive birth story

1 comment:

  1. This is the first article I have ever read on insta about birth. It was really beautifully written nd so so real, I felt so much love from cora towards you ,holding you had when you was in labour, actually emotional �� ❤ �� �� ��. Making Ed take of your boots lol.. your kids are so beautiful and look amazed to see him in that picture. Lucky baby to have so many people to love and entertain him. Xx


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