I was a week overdue and starting to get a little impatient! I’d had a couple of acupuncture appointments, reflexology and been doing all manner of meditation and visualisations but the little guy was staying put!
On Thursday morning I had a membrane sweep and my sister had told me to go somewhere which would make it really inconvenient if I went into labour and that would undoubtedly invoke sod’s law and we’d have kick-off.
With this in mind, that evening N and I went to the cinema for the latest Star Wars. I was pretty engrossed in the film and only vaguely aware that I was getting a bit uncomfortable sitting in one place. I kept quiet about the increasing cramps on the way home and as we got into bed. But after watching the clock for about an hour, being pretty sure they were coming every 15 minutes, I gave N a nudge and announced we may have a green light!
We began timing surges about 1 am and they got to about 5-7 minutes quite quickly and stayed like that all through the night and into the morning. I went between the hypnobirthing recordings, N reading the scripts and doing my own meditations through the night. In the morning we went for a few walks to our local park and I had a couple of baths. It was all very calm and actually quite exciting and enjoyable. Just after lunch on Friday things stepped up a bit and I had some bleeding. We called the Mulberry Suite and they said for us to go in.
We arrived on Mulberry around 2.30 pm, I chatted to the midwife and she seemed quite convinced I wasn’t in established labour and we’d probably be heading home again, but told us to stay there for an hour and see if anything changed. This was the first point I actually started to worry about. The surges were getting quite intense and I thought, ‘if this isn’t even established labour, I’m going to struggle!’ I was pretty much in my own world of breathing then. At 3.30 pm the midwife returned and did an examination. 6cm!! I’d never been so relieved in all my life. And of she went to fill up the birthing pool.
I was in the pool at 4 pm, yoga playlist on the go and becoming acquainted with the gas and air! The first couple of surges, once in the pool, were really strong and I panicked a little and lost focus whilst trying to figure out how to use the gar and air. But N and V, my midwife, reminded me of the breathing techniques and I got control quickly and then it was honestly just a matter of time and staying focussed on my breathing. I think during one surge I wondered why I hadn’t just asked for the epidural! But as quickly as that thought appeared, the surge eased and I thought, ‘oh it’s okay now!
There were a couple of surges when I didn’t quite get the breathing right and that was a bit panicky. I wonder now if that had been a transition. But with encouraging words from N I was back on track. Then I was pushing. Sticking to the breath, it felt quite natural and I felt in control. V was utterly wonderful and was coaching me through every push. This stage did seem to go on for a while but finally, the head was out and V guided me through the next surge and helped me take hold of my baby and pull him out of the water myself. And it was done. J was born at 6.44 pm. I’d hoped for delayed cord clamping and for N to cut the cord, but J was a little sleepy so V had to do a quick snip of the cord a take him for a little oxygen. Although he perked up before they even got him out of the room and was quickly wrapped up and passed back to me with no intervention needed after all.
We then had a wonderful hour snuggled together (albeit covered in a fair bit of meconium!) before heading back to our room for a shower and the best tea and toast I’ve ever tasted!
The word I would use to describe the whole thing – ‘intense’. But I did feel in control and am certain that was all down to the preparation I’d done with all the hypnobirthing scripts and breathing exercises and the confident, positive frame of mind I’d been able to keep throughout the day. Thank you, Erika, for your guidance and thanks too, to V and the team and the Mulberry suite. I could never, ever thank them enough for the beautiful experience we had. Thanks again, and we’ll be in touch for a refresher on number 2!
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