“…I’m sharing my story in the hope that it encourages others to trust their body, their baby and their instincts!
My waters broke at 22:30 on Monday evening. As labour had not yet started 24 hours later I went into hospital for observation. As I felt and knew that me and baby were well, I declined the offer of induction and said I’d like to give baby a chance to get going on her own with the plan that I’d go back in at 48 hours if nothing had happened by then.
Once home, three hours later at around 02:00 on Wednesday morning the surges started. They were very strong and roughly 5 minutes apart from the outset. This was my second baby. My first labour lasted 21 hours (18 of which were at home, but I ended up transferring as contractions had lost their strength due to my exhaustion), so naturally I anticipated I was in for a long morning so decided to manage the surges on my own for about 2.5 hours in the bathroom.
Hanging onto the radiator for support during the surges and swaying my hips side to side in between seemed to get me though. By 04:30 my husband woke to the sound of me being sick in the toilet (the surges were intense!) and I said it may be a good idea to call Zara (my doula) and the labour ward to get them to send a midwife out.
I needed some sort of relief, so I hopped in a warm bath while my husband got the birthing pool ready. Rather than the relaxation giving me a bit of a break in the surges which I hoped it would, it seemed to open me right up! They picked up pace and before I knew it the surges were coming back to back and I was getting very little rest in between.
How long could I do this for? I had doubted my ability to carry on without pain relief at this rate. Thankfully my doula had arrived by then and was there to hold and support me through what turned out to be quite a rapid progression to transition. I distinctly remember reaching transition in my first labour – it is very intense for me, massive self doubt and fear washed over me both times.
But this time I did doubt whether I was there and fully dilated yet, as it was so much quicker than the first time round. Next thing I knew I had the urge to push. Midwife said at that point there was no need to do a VE to see how dilated I was, I should just hop in the pool! Hoorah!! I must be here! Relief!!
I much prefer the second stage of labour to the first.
The pool was ready just in time. When I got out the bath, another urge to push – the midwife thought we were going to have the baby there on the bathroom floor! But the pull of the warm soothing water was too strong and I made my way to the pool and hopped in. Aaaaaah!! The best feeling.
The urges continued. I just went with my body and ‘beared down’ – and it is a ‘bearing down’, there’s no other way to describe it – whenever I felt the urge to and before I knew it, baby’s head was making her way out. The urge to want to just push to get baby out as soon as possible at that point is quite strong, as it’s quite uncomfortable!
But I remembered to just relax and go with my body, only breathing baby out when I felt to. Well 11 minutes later and she was out. Oh my goodness!! I did it!! She was born 8lbs 11 ounces (3.92kg) and not a single tear, which was especially surprising to me given how quick it had all been.
So believe me when I say listen to your body, it will tell you what to do!
I am over the moon to have welcomed our little girl at 07:15 on Wednesday morning, and I am thrilled to say that she arrived into the world after a calm, gentle and drug-free water birth at home. Her big sister got to watch her arrival from the side of the pool, which made it all the more special.
I am still buzzing. Labour was an intense but swift five hours, and I couldn’t have done it without the support of my incredible husband (I am the luckiest woman in the world) and amazing doula. I love you both!)