Aurelia’s birth story 8th December 2012
My due date arrived and I sat at home thinking will this be the day? Midnight arrived and there was no sign of labour so I decided to try and carry on as ‘normal’.
On day 41+5 (Friday 7th December, 13 days after my ‘due date’) I was offered an appointment at the hospital to monitor the baby and ensure everything was ok. After being hooked up to the machine for 30 minutes all appeared well with the baby and I was offered a ‘sweep’. After discussing our options and we agreed to accept the offer. We were then offered a visit from the community midwives over the weekend to carry out another sweep and told we could return on Monday to be monitored again and discuss our ‘options’.
Later that day I notice a few trickles of water and some sensations I can only liken to ‘period pains’, I wondered if these were contractions and started monitoring them with my ‘contraction app’. By 10pm they seemed quite frequent so I decided to go to bed and get some rest. I woke up a few times in the night for a wee and noticed some discomfort but I had been fairly uncomfortable for the past few weeks so this was nothing unusual. I woke up again around 5.30 and try to doze but I couldn’t get back to sleep so I got up at 6am and went down stair to listen to my Hypnobirthing CD, which helped me to relax.
I wanted to keep busy to take my mind off waiting so I decided to head out early with my daughter. Whilst out I noticed that I was still experiencing a few sensations but I’d almost given up any hope of spontaneous labour so I it to the back of my mind. The sensations continued so after an hour or so I decided to head home. The sensations continued and started to increase, both in frequency and intensity; I decided to call my partner to ask him to get the birth pool ready, then I contacted my friend to see if she could look after my daughter for a few hours. By the time I reached my friend I was finding it difficult to move so I quickly headed home thinking this is it!
By the time I got home it was 1pm and the intensity of the contractions continued to increase, I made a brew and went upstairs to try and prepare and focus on my hypnobirthing techniques. I could hear my partner downstairs struggling with the birth pool preparations which made me feel anxious, so I decided to call the community midwives to let them know. Coincidently, barely a minute later there was a knock on the door, a community midwife had arrived to conduct the sweep, which fortunately was no longer required. The midwife conducted an examination and advised that I was 2-3cms dilated and in ‘established labour’. After a few phone calls the midwife advised that another midwife would be attending for the birth, she left and I went downstairs to get into the birth pool only to find we had run out of hot water! (hence why it is recommended that you have a ‘dry run’) I got into the pool and attempted to submerge my body in the water, whilst my partner continued filling the pool with saucepans and kettles full of hot water, he spent most of my labour doing this.
The 2nd midwife arrived and told me I needed to get out of the pool so that she could examine me, my partner asked the midwife to go into the kitchen so that he could explain our birth plan. After this she appeared more respectful of our wishes and agreed to carry out any monitoring in the pool. As my contractions increased in intensity I found it increasing difficult to breathe through them as my nose was really bunged up. I began to feel as though I was not able to manage on my own so I decided to use some gas and air at the height of each contraction.
I could feel the pressure building and it felt very intense and overwhelming at points. The midwife suggested I try to empty my bladder as this could help release some of the pressure and may encourage my waters to break. Well the ascent to the toilet worked and a few minutes later my waters broke and I quickly progressed to the transitional stage. I could feel the head starting to work its way down the birth canal, I began to feel the urge to push so I started to pant and avoided pushing when I knew my body was not ready.
We quickly moved back downstairs and into the pool, the midwife said that we needed to get more water in to the pool as the baby could only be delivered in water if the head remained submerged throughout delivery. I managed the 2nd stage really well and used the gas and air to manage the height of the sensations. I refrained from pushing, which felt incredibly natural and strain free and delivered my baby into a calm and peaceful environment as planned. My partner jumped in the pool and gently lifted the baby out of the water and placed her on my chest, we just sat there peacefully and took a few moments to adjust. The lights were dim, we had the Hypnobirthing music playing in the background and we both just sat there cuddling her, it was the most incredible, surreal moment of my life, I felt so alert and aware of what was happening.
I offered baby my breast and we just sat there in the pool cuddled up for ten minutes, then I asked the midwife to take some pictures. The midwife asked me to come out of the pool to deliver the placenta so we moved upstairs to the bedroom. After an hour of skin to skin contact the umbilical cord had stopped pulsating so we cut it and allowed the midwife to carry out her checks and weigh the baby. I remained in bed to relax whilst my partner went downstairs to tidy up, after an hour or so I began to feel hungry so whilst continuing skin to skin contact I moved downstairs and we had some tea together and settled down to watch the X-Factor final, it all felt very surreal. Normal life resumed fairly quickly, the following day my daughter returned to greet her new baby sister and we all snuggled up on the sofa to watch a film.
Lucy – Whitworth, Rochdale