Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Birth Story!

Today I should be writing my 38 week pregnancy update and posting my 38 week bump picture.... but instead I'm recalling and writing down my (Nathaniel's) birth story!

I had a consultant checkup at the hospital on Monday 16th January where I was told I was 2cm dilated (although that can be normal for a second pregnancy) and I was given a membrane sweep.  James and I went for a lunch date to Nando's... I had the spiciest chicken, hoping to kick things off and I ached all day and night Monday, but all was quiet when I awoke Tuesday morning.

I woke Wednesday morning at 6.40am, after an AMAZING nights sleep.  I went for a wee and on walking back I felt some of my waters go.... though at that stage I wasn't entirely sure it was them!  I was sure I hadn't just wet myself though.... a few more steps.... a bigger gush and then it was fairly evident I was losing my waters.  My waters didn't break on their own when I had Ollie so it was all new to me!  I rang the hospital and they said to take my time but that I should come in to be examined.

Minutes after my waters broke, I started to have contractions that were 5 minutes apart and painful.  I rang my mum and asked her to come on over (40 minute drive away)....but a few contractions later and I really didn't want to wait for my mum to get there.  I rang my friend who lives right across the road and she came over so we could leave sooner.

On the way to the hospital it was obvious that things were happening fast as my contractions became 3 minutes apart.

We arrived at the day observation unit to be assessed and was found to be 4cm dilated!  By now my contractions were 2 minutes apart and really strong.  I started using gas and air.

They moved me up to the Home from Home department which is an area of the hospital run just by midwives, who encourage natural and relaxed labour.  Each room has it's own birth pool etc.

When I got to Home from Home the pains were coming so thick and fast and as much as I wanted to have  a natural labour, the pain was unimaginable and I asked for an epidural (I'd had an epidural with Ollie so had never felt this sort of pain before and I had no idea how long I would be in labour).

The midwife went to ring for the anaesthetist and came back with the news that it would be at least 40 minutes before they would be able to attend.  I really panicked thinking there was no way I could cope that long.  The midwife told me that she thought my labour was progressing at such an intense speed that she really didn't think I would need one.

Everything progressed so fast from then.  I remember walking around the room a little and feeling like my body was going to split open.  I told the midwife I thought I was dying.... and then I told her I really thought he was coming out.  The bath was run and I struggled into it.

The pool felt lovely and one of the midwives used the shower head on hot on my lower back... I leaned on the edge of the pool while my whole body was in the water and I made use of the gas and air.  James sat on the outside of the pool hanging on and facing me.

Apparently the anaesthetist came into my room at that point to let us know there was a space up in the labour ward for me but she was told I was too far gone now to be able to have an epidural!

The midwives used a mirror to be able to see how close I was to being able to push and I remember them saying they could see vernix.... I knew they meant they could see some of the head and my body then took over.  I became less scared and more motivated.... focused on James and I PUSHED.  I pushed with all my might and kept asking if it was nearly over!  All the while I was still using the gas and air.

I could literally feel him moving down my body and I felt myself tear though I wasn't sure where, and then his head was out.  Something came over me in that moment and I knew in less than a couple of minutes I would have my little boy in my arms.

TWO MORE PUSHES... and I scooped my little guy up onto my chest.

I turned around in the pool and made myself comfortable and we waited for the placenta to deliver.  James cut the cord himself and we just stared at little Nathaniel.

I couldn't believe I had done it myself.

My birth experience with Ollie was a lot more traumatic and scary... with intervention and forceps being used.  This time around I got the most positive birth experience that I could have imagined.

From the moment my waters broke until the moment he was delivered was just 3 hours and 25 minutes.


  1. A beautiful birth story Emma, what a fast labour! Nathaniel was just so desperate to get out to his Mummy, Daddy and big brother :) He is so gorgeous, and you look AMAZING! Hope you're enjoying the precious newborn snuggles xxx

  2. That is a beautiful birth story!!! I hope I have a similar experience. Its comforting to know that the tub water helps. I plan to have a water birth, too!

  3. Awe!! You are wonder woman!! Way to go! And he is amazing!

  4. Beautiful little boy! My 2nd (a boy) went a lot faster than my first, but not like that!

  5. This is such a positive story for me to read :) I had an awful birth with Isaac, forceps and tearing and drugs galore when all I wanted was a water birth. I've been told I probably won't be offered an option when I have more children, but I'll push for it as you've proven it can be done! Lovely lovely post xx

  6. I had natural labors with both my boys here in the states, and your experience sounds so lovely! I wish I had had the option of a birthing pool, but we don't have the Home from Home type deal here in hospitals, just in Birthing Centers, and since I live in a rural area that isn't an option.

    I'm so happy for you that you had a positive birth experience, I think it's so important for every woman possible to have one. A lot of people think that natural labor is a terror, but the worst part of my first labor was when I lost my wits from the pain of back labor and they tried to give me a spinal, it hurt so bad and they messed up and didn't get it in. I went fast too, around 2 hours 20 to 30 minutes both times. Your baby is beautiful, and congratulations on your experience, you will forever be able to look back on it with fondness and love and know that your body brought him into this world naturally, it's an empowering feeling!