Rosanna was delivered by Steve at round 04.25 am 16th June after a very short labour. I had my first contraction around midnight but wasn’t convinced it was the real thing so carried on dozing on and off. At 01.30 I woke Steve up as the contractions were continuing and I thought it would be good if he set-up the birth pool. Whilst Steve was getting the pool sorted I went in the babies room with the bouncy ball and stayed in the dark labouring. Moving around some of the time leaning over the banister but mostly spending time leant forward over the ball, rocking during contractions & trying to have little sleeps lying down between contractions. Throughout almost the whole labour I didn’t turn on any lights, I just had curtains open, which definitely helped to keep me very relaxed. The contractions started getting a bit stronger but still felt comparatively short.
Throughout the whole labour I also didn’t time contractions, Steve did for me every now and then but didn’t let me know how frequent they were. Around 03.30 Steve had got the pool up and filling and he started timing contractions a bit more & spending a bit more time with me through them. They still didn’t feel bad, I just did a lot of breathing, some golden ribbon breathing early on, then later just trying to lengthen every exhalation. At 03.50 they stepped up a notch and were 3 mins apart so Steve decided to ring the midwife. I had a chat to her and she said to call back when they got stronger, put down the phone and then next contraction my waters broke everywhere (v glad we had some Huggies good night bed pads down on the floor otherwise the carpet would’ve been covered!). Once my waters went things got a bit more serious and the contractions were very strong and I got a bit concerned about coping with the strength of them, up until this point I was sure the mid-wife would arrive and I’d only be 3cm dilated and have a long way to go. I definitely wasn’t expecting transition at this stage, but was starting to need to push! Steve called back the midwife 03.59 and she could hear things were going well and would be on her way, I couldn’t speak to her at this stage.
I knew I had to get in the pool now. Steve like me had been expecting a long labour so the water that had gone into the pool was v hot. He chucked in some cold and helped me down the stairs. I got into the shallow pool, which really helped with the pushing and said to Steve that the baby’s head was on the way down and I needed to push, he told me I didn’t. Next couple of contractions I could feel baby’s head was a couple of pushes away, but Steve still wouldn’t believe me and told me not to push. This helped me slow it down a bit but wasn’t that useful as I knew she was close to arriving and there was nothing I could do to slow it down. Next contraction her head was out, then Steve believed me! I told him the rest of her would be there next push and he caught her as she came out. She was really relaxed as Steve passed her to me but I thought she was well. Slowly she woke up a bit and I could hear her breathing softly. Steve rang the midwife to say baby had arrived, and was told to call 999 who then chatted to Steve to check everything was ok until the paramedics arrived 10 mins later and midwives shortly after. So glad I didn’t go into hospital as she would definitely have arrived on the A3!
I’m sure the Pregnancy Yoga & Active Birth Workshop helped with the labour. I also listened to Maggie Howell’s homebirth/hypnobirth CD almost everyday for the last few weeks which helped with confidence giving birth at home and read the Active Birth handbook and Marie Mongan’s Hypnobirthing book. The local homebirth team were also great, and have fantastic homebirth statistics e.g. v low hospital transfer and high success rates even for first time mums. A lot of people we’ve talked to about the birth have said it was their worse nightmare, but neither of us were scared at any point, it all felt very natural and calm, even when she arrived earlier than expected.
The only thing I’d add is that three days after birth when my milk was coming in I had a migraine that came on when I was napping in the afternoon. When Steve tried to wake me up I couldn’t speak and was pretty out of it. The mid-wife and paramedics thought I’d had a stroke. Luckily my speech came back overnight but we ended up on a stroke ward after being taken in by paramedics. So it’s worth mentioning to your mid-wife at one of your appointments particularly if you have migraine during the first trimester, as that makes it likely you will have a migraine in the first couple of weeks after birth. Hopefully not one like mine but worth mentioning.
Hope you’re well and the classes are all going well. Rosanna’s growing quickly and keeping us on our toes, hopefully her feeding will calm down a bit over the next few weeks. Think she’s just going through growth spurt at the moment!