Birth story – Rebecca and baby Eloise — The Positive Birth Company

At 39 weeks I woke up and heard it was the Queen’s birthday. I joked with my husband saying “how cool would it be if the baby was born today and shared the Queen’s birthday?” My husband replied “I hope not, we aren’t ready”. This was true, we recently had an extension which had completed just the week before and the house was an absolute mess. I had planned for a home birth, but we needed to get all the bits in (lots of towels, dust sheets, puppy pads etc) and hadn’t been overly organized as we were desperately trying to get the house ready for baby’s arrival.

Later that day, I was getting ready to pick up my daughter from nursery and nipped to the loo. Found it was very mucusy with some streaks of blood…. I googled and decided it could be my mucus plug and bloody show, but that it could be days before labor started. Adamant I still had time, I said nothing to my husband and set off for nursery.

As I was walking, I was getting some pain in my lower back. I made a mental note of the time – 4:30pm. It came back every 45mins or so. I was induced with my first, so I didn’t know how natural labor began and thought…. hmm maybe, but was also in denial. These pains in my back came and went all evening. We’d had a sleepless night with my daughter the night before so we opted for an early night.

At 9pm we were in bed and I let my husband go to sleep, blissfully unaware of the increasing back pain that was now coming every 30mins. At 10:30pm I took myself downstairs, put ‘Friends’ on and swayed through, what I now know were, contractions. I used the Freya app to time them and paced around my new kitchen, stopping and swaying every 5 mins or so. At one point the app said I was in established labor but when I sat down and rested, my contractions eased off so I didn’t believe it.

At 1:45am I decided that I wanted my tens machine, but I couldn’t get to it as it was in my hospital bag, which was amongst all the clutter in the spare room we had named “stuff to sort before baby arrives” . So I went to wake my husband. As I got upstairs, the contractions were so intense I was on all fours as I woke him, which was quite the sight for him to wake up to. I told him I was in labor and he jumped up and went into panic mode… what to do… we weren’t prepared for this!

We rang the midwife at 2am who said she thought I was in early stages of labor which could last days, she suggested to take some paracetamol and have a bath. My husband ran me a bath and set about trying to contact our parents in case we needed someone to stay in with our daughter. We had decided we weren’t prepared for the home birth and would go to hospital. The bath was so relaxing and calming, but things intensified and after about 45 mins in the bath, I desperately wanted to get out. My body was telling me to be on all fours.

At 3:22 my waters broke, Hollywood style, just as I got out of the bath. I shuffled to the bedroom and leaned over the bed, a towel underneath my knees and dressing gown draped over my shoulders. I knew the baby was coming but I was still in denial. My contractions were roughly every 3 minutes. We rang triage who advised we come in to be assessed. In my heart I knew we weren’t going to make it.

My husband hit panic stations, despite ringing and ringing, neither sets of parents were answering. We couldn’t leave for the hospital as we had our 18 month old in the other room. He declared “I’m going to have to drive over and bang on the door”. At this point I lost it, begged him not to go, I needed him. I was in tears and my contractions slowed right down. We didn’t know what to do, so he called 999. I was so embarrassed as I felt it was a waste of their time and resources. All the while he was trying to get some clothes on me, which afterwards he described was like trying to dress our toddler!!

At 3:45am the ambulance was called and my husband was on the phone to 999 and passed me my phone so I could keep ringing our parents. Something had changed and I had the urge to push. I told my husband who informed 999. When the contraction subsided I phoned my mum, but not long after another arrived and the “moo-ing” began. As I came out of it I could just hear a “love, is everything OK?” I grabbed the phone and just managed to say “in labor, we need you”.

Oli appeared next to me with a shoe in his hand and a towel in the other…”WTF” crossed my mind. He later told me 999 asked him to get it in preparation for him having to deliver the baby and clamp the cord with the shoelace. I can only imagine what was going through his head and the stress that he was under. My hero!!

The feeling in my body was undeniable, I could tell baby was on its way and my body took over and was pushing. I had no control over it and remembered my hypnobirthing techniques and just breathed and allowed my body to do what it needed to. I didn’t actively push.

Minutes later (although it felt like hours) the paramedics arrived and chaos filled the house, lights on, dog barking, people coming and going, I just focused on my breathing and tried to stay calm. I do remember shouting at my husband though to turn the lights off. My contractions had slowed right down and I worried I had completely wasted the paramedics time.

A paramedic, Chris, came in very calmly and asked me to lay on the bed, I begged not to as I was so comfy on all fours, but because of the layout of the room he couldn’t assess me. Because of the situation we were in, I did move to the bed, propped up by pillows. He took one quick look, shouted to his colleague outside the door “no time to go to the hospital, baby is coming now”. He then turned to me and said “start pushing at your next contraction”.

As I lay there waiting, I vividly remember seeing my mum appear at the top of the stairs, I felt a wave of relief knowing that at least my daughter would be cared for should she wake. The next contraction arrived and I pushed, and much to my surprise, Chris declared the head was out, he told me to keep pushing, so I did, and came out the body at 4:09am. One active push and baby was here. I was in absolute shock and didn’t quite believe it until I heard the cry. I hadn’t even registered my husband was by my side holding my hand until he kissed me and told me “it’s a girl”. I burst into tears.

Chris quickly toweled her off and placed her on my chest. I was shaking. I looked up and could see my mum, I called to her and told her it’s a girl and cried again. She was here, she was safe and she was so so loved. My heart was bursting. I felt euphoric, I had just given birth to a beautiful baby girl, at home in my bedroom.

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