Just like my first pregnancy my due date came … and went. I had bursts of false labour or Braxton Hicks in the weeks before but nothing really happened. Then eight days later, in the evening whilst my husband, Ash, watched football, I relaxed watching TV upstairs. I then went to bed and slept for maybe an hour until just before midnight when I started to get the cramps I’d had on and off in the week or two before, but this time they didn’t subside.
Around midnight I remarked to Ash that maybe we should time them. I rang my mother-in-law (a midwife) to tell her I thought things were happening and that I might be having 3 surges in 10 minutes at this stage. By 1am I was getting surges every 2 minutes lasting almost a minute. My mother-in-law arrived after 2am and soon after I was unable to chat between surges like I had been. She observed that I soon retreated into myself, becoming quiet during and between contractions.
I had my first set of observations done when my MIL arrived, declining an examination, all was looking fine. I laboured on my birth ball and as it neared 3am. Ash was inflating the pool and my MIL rang the labour ward to send a second midwife. I found huge comfort holding on to the now inflated birth pool handles while sat outside the pool on my birth ball. However, my legs were really shaking, so I sat up on the sofa instead and held on to my birth pool. I don’t know why but holding something really helped as did Ash placing one (warm!) hand on the bottom of my bump and the other on the small of my back. We didn’t employ any massage techniques like in my first labour as him holding my bump/back felt so helpful. He was filling the pool and I felt I’d need to get in soon.
At 4am the second midwife arrived and I got in the pool at 4:20. I’d made sure to use the toilet frequently however I knew I couldn’t sit on the loo at this stage as I might not get back to the pool. I was also getting urges to push at the end of contractions now. I got into the pool and had the “ahhhhhhh” moment the water can offer. I noticed that sitting in the pool as I was my contractions had dropped off (though this may have been the calming pause some people report) so I got over to the side of the pool, kneeling and leaning over the side. I began pushing at the end of contractions and my daughter’s head was delivered at 4:40 followed by the rest of her at 4:41.
I picked her up and sat in the pool so we could have skin to skin. Within 20 minutes she was breastfeeding and her cord was left to pulsate. It was not cut until after 5am when it had turned completely white. I wanted to deliver my placenta physiologically and felt sitting on the toilet might help so I went to the toilet while our baby had a cuddle with her Dad and the placenta came away almost immediately after sitting on the toilet. Our girl had her newborn checks then I went to be checked over. Apart from a labial graze that required one stitch (to aid healing) we were all good and settled in bed by 7:30.