Our Christmas will be even more chaotic in the years to come as Thomas ‘Tommy’ Arthur Wilson joined our family at 11.24pm on the 25th December.
After what seemed like the longest labour and one moment where I had a bit of a wobble, I delivered him naturally with only gas and air.
So here is the run down!
The 23rd my labour was very on and off and never really increased in intensity. 24th after a fairly good night sleep started again around 9am and was more intense but still within a very manageable range. Relaxed a bit more with it psychologically knowing it could be the same as the 23rd but stayed very active to try and keep it progressing. I could almost control the surges at this point and bring them closer just by going up the stairs for example but also slow them down just by going to make a drink.
By bed time they had progressed enough to stop me resting, but not enough that anything was imminent.
Luke was brilliant but encouraged him to sleep as he had stayed with me through what was now the first 2 days. Hypno definitely helped, I understood what my body was doing and still trusted it to be doing exactly what it needed to.
During the night my surges had grew close and more intense and so a few hours with Luke up on Xmas day and labouring together we decided to go to hospital hoping to be well into established labour with the timings being down to 3 mins apart.
I was examined and 1-2cm and fully effaced. I literally sank as the thought of another 24 hours of labouring after so little rest overwhelmed me. I asked if they could give me something to sleep but they said no (which I’m now thankful of) and advised me to go home and carry on, but did give me the option of going to the ward. I knew that home was the best place so we got a McDonald’s (our Xmas dinner) and went home. They didn’t pack our burgers and it felt like someone was against us lol.
But we decided to try and almost forget I was in labour and opened some presents in the 10 minutes between surges. I cried and said I couldn’t do it and was tired and how was expected to get a baby out at the end of this.
Luke was really supportive and kind of decided that we weren’t letting it get to us, we were gonna be active like we knew was best and this baby was coming.
After about another 4 hours I was having 22+ surges an hour , Luke did the timing and wouldn’t let me know when it was getting closer as just thinking about hospital slowed everything down.
At 6pm went back to hospital and the midwife was very much preparing us for the worst saying first labours can be slow, I think she definitely thought I was too relaxed still to be in established labour. So I was immediately deflated again but she did the examination and was surprised I was 6cm and her words were ‘you won’t be leaving here without your baby’. And we both cried with pure joy! My waters released during the internal which I was also ecstatic about. The pool room was free (in fact the should ward was quiet as no planned procedures etc being Xmas day).
So they offered all the pain relief and I kindly took the gas and air but advised I would request anything further if I wanted it.
We were moved to the pool room and it was perfect. I was quite happy with a clock and not too dark etc, I just became mesmerised with the pool and being in the pool was enough.
I did most of the final hours in the pool. My body began to push with no mental effort after around 2 hours in the pool. I got out for an examination as they explained that would not expect me to be 8cm atleast for another hour and so didn’t want me to push and risk causing swelling to the cervix. We were happy with the reasoning and didn’t want to prolong anything and I was only 8cm (an hour sooner than they would expect) and so they were very encouraging saying they wouldn’t expect it to slow down.
The hardest thing was trying to fight the pushes from my body. Some surges were fine and I quite enjoyed these late stages when my body wasn’t pushing. Luke was great still, alternating between gas and air when I pulled the right face indicating I wanted it in my mouth and slipping water in with a straw regularly.
I then was finding it even harder and pushing with every contraction and said that my body was telling me it really was ready to push. The senior midwife came and explained they woulda like me to have a further examination to be sure which I agreed to and they confirmed I was 10cm. I felt another surge coming and could have dived head first back into the pool to make sure it wasn’t experienced outside the water (how do people do any of this without the pool, I’ll never know. It was my haven). I also had lost interest in the gas and air.
My surges weren’t long enough so after around an hour, they asked if I would like to get out and stand and see if could get more with each surge. They increased immediately getting out of the pool. It actually ended with me on my side on the bed with Luke fighting to push my leg up as I was pushing down and me having him in a head lock but it got the perfect position and this is how Thomas was born. Not quite the calm videos I had watched (these women are heroes) but still all feels perfect for us. I did require one stitch but am proud that it was natural with no pain relief or intervention.
I truly believed without the hypnobirthing course I would not have enjoyed the final stages of pregnancy and going one week past due date around the chaos of Christmas. Everyone around me was getting impatient but I was saying baby will come when baby is ready. I also definitely would have had more than one wobble during the 3 days where I felt like if I could have give up I would.
And the breathing techniques for the surges worked for me, it was the birth breathing the only one I could not keep in control. My early pushing had caused his head to swell quite a lot meaning it was harder to birth. I did find my own zone for this but it involved a bit of a squeal!
Thomas quickly took to the breast and has a big appetite like a true Wilson and I just cannot imagine life without him now. He was a healthy 8lb 1 and were we discharged early afternoon Boxing Day so have now settled in perfectly at home.
The care we received at The George Elliot Hospital in Coventry was outstanding at every level. It didn’t seem too medical at any point and really feel like I gave birth not that I was involved in something I had no control over. I look back and could kiss every midwife I came into contact with now. They do such a scary but rewarding job. But they made me feel like I was doing brilliant and that my birth was special and the whole experience was just amazing.
Thanks for all your teaching and support, I truly think we had the best birth experience for us and wouldn’t change a thing now.