*Trigger Warning* – use of the word contractions (not negative to me), 2nd degree tear.
I’m writing this story on the eve of my little man’s birthday, more or less where it all began.
On the 4th of Feb I was on my hands and knees scrubbing all the floors – they seemed horribly filthy all of a sudden (nesting is so real) and I kept a little tissue with some clary sage on it nearby to smell every now and again in the day.
I woke up at 5am on the 5th thinking I’d wet myself a little and waddled into the bathroom to check. I had severe SPD through most of my pregnancy- starting at 11 weeks, so at this point waddling was all I was doing!
Turned out that I couldn’t stop the ‘wee’ and I realised it must be my waters! Yay! Excitement! I went back to bed and tried to contain my joy and go back to sleep – it wasn’t happening so at 6am I woke up my husband and told him what was going on. I was only having mild contractions at this point – similar to period pains but more intense. We decided to start doing the final loads of laundry, getting all of the baby’s bedding sorted and final checks of the hospital bag. My husband suggested I tell the hospital my waters had broken which meant I saw a midwife at 9am who checked and confirmed it was indeed my waters. Due to my birth plan preference of minimal intervention including VE’s she decided not to check how dilated I was and risk introducing infection.
I came home, cooked, watched pretty woman, bounced on my ball, showered, and made out with my husband to get all the oxytocin I could flowing.
I had read so many stories where this phase could go on for days and so I decided to have an early night and got into bed around 7pm then all of a sudden at 8pm contractions started to get stronger. We were timing them with the Freya app – which is brilliant and we kept on timing them till 11pm, by which time they were super strong over 4mins long and about 6/7mins apart – not quite what any course mentions! I never got to the ‘3 in 10’ milestone so go with your gut ladies – or your partner because he was the one that knew when to go in!
My husband suggested we go in, I was still reluctant as partners weren’t allowed in until active labor and I didn’t want to do any of it without my husband. He insisted and I’m glad he did, because when we finally made it to the hospital at midnight, they were so strong it was all consuming- I couldn’t stand up anymore or do anything else for that matter except focus on my breathing .
On examination they told us I was 5cm dilated and we could move into the birthing pool yay!!…12:45 when I eventually got in the relief was massive! I literally ran/waddled into the water completely naked as fast as I could!
The hours until I met my son are a bit of a blur for me, my contractions remained very strong and long and I just carried in breathing through them all. I was in my own zone and not really aware of what was going on around me. My husband filled in the timeline from this point on for me.
Due to midwives not being able to monitor baby very well in the water I had to come out of the pool at 3am and spend a few hours on the bed (trying to be still) which was complete agony. I was told it would only be a few minutes but the monitoring equipment kept falling and what was supposed to be 10mins turned into 3hrs!
During this time I had to have a catheter put in to help empty my bladder – which I was very scared of – but the relief was just amazing and it really wasn’t too bad.
At 4:20am I had my second VE and was 8cm! I tried gas and air again at this point and fared a little better although I only really understood how to use it when I had my stitches after baby arrived! I must admit I was quite downbeat at 8cm as I felt I wasn’t progressing fast enough although the midwives tried to reassure me that I was doing very well.
At 6am I got back in the pool. My husband was my best advocate- I was in no state to for myself. He saw that I had been calmer and more comfortable in the water and he made sure I got back in the pool which was such sweet relief. As it had been more than 24hrs since my water broke, there was quite an urgency about getting me out of the water and baby out faster, all of which rather upset me as I was very focused and could feel baby moving down inside me.
Some time around 7 I could feel baby’s head starting to emerge but midwives didn’t believe it and wanted to get me out of the water to check as they couldn’t see under the water. This really frustrated me but I complied – as soon as I was on the bed they could also see baby’s head and asked if I wanted to go back into the pool…which I never wanted to get out of!!
We thought he might be born in the way back to the pool as I had a very strong contraction but he had other ideas. I got back in the pool and at 7:27 his head emerged…my contractions had always been far apart and so it took a while for the next contraction, because it was over 4 minutes, the midwives called a code blue, the room flooded with people and I was hoisted out of the water and with that at 7:33 our beautiful baby boy was born.
We had delayed cord clamping and then a beautiful couple of hours together after the stitches for a second degree tear.
This course and this community were so so useful to help me mentally prepare. The breathing was my life saver as I more or less used no pain relief other than the breathing and the water. You are stronger than you can possibly imagine. I’m so glad I found this course and would recommend to every mother to be!
Thank you PBC!
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