Well what a story my labour was with baby girl #2. First though, let me give you a bit of back story to my pregnancy and how I was envisioning this birth to be (heads up, it was completely different but not necessarily in a bad way).
**it’s a long blog but trust me, it’s worth the read**
My pregnancy was low risk and I was very grateful not to suffer from much of the negative symptoms that pregnancy can give you. I had some nausea in the first trimester, and heart burn and hip pains in the third trimester as well as of course tiredness. During my 37th week of pregnancy I went to the hospital to be monitored as little one had reduced movements (all was good thankfully) and returned the next day for a scan just to be sure.
Again all was fine & I was so grateful to have “seen” her again, the last time I would see her in utero. The doctor however did say he would note that I was able to have a sweep at my next midwife appointment should I wish.
38 weeks and 5 days into pregnancy and I had my final midwife appointment (shout out to Becky, she was amazing). I asked to be assessed, I’d been having little symptoms of early labour so I was curious to know if anything had started to happen or if it was wishful thinking. I also decided if she thought it was the right thing to do, I would go ahead with the membrane sweep.
“You are in prime condition! I won’t waste time & just do it.” A few uncomfortable seconds later, it was done. I was told to expect something to happen within the next 36 hours but if it didn’t ring up and book in my next midwife appointment.
No need for that! I remember talking to my stepmom about 5:30, telling her to keep her phone on just in case (they were on Lil duties). Our evening proceeded as normal; a few little cramps like mild period pains but I thought they were probably just Braxton Hicks, not signs of early labour, but signs of early labour they were!
I expected to go into labour the next day so decided to have an earlier night, get a bit of extra sleep while I could haha. 9pm off to bed, while I definitely got some sleep it didn’t last long. 11:30pm I woke with a strong contraction, now I’m not sure exactly on the time but around 11:45pm I felt a strong “kick” or was it my waters breaking (my waters never broke with baby 1 so I wasn’t sure what that felt like).
Trickle, trickle… there’s that question answered. It was definitely my waters. Up I got to put on a pad (I remember the midwives telling me they like to know what colour your waters were & this is the easiest way). More came out, along with my plug.. last time I had bits of this over the 48 hours before labour started so again this was different.
As always very calmly I told my husband labour had started and called the hospital, just to let them know that labour had started (but not expecting to have to go in for a while). I even text my stepmom and cousin (my cousin was my second birthing partner) to say “waters have broken” just so they were aware when they woke up.
My hubby however started to panic and rang my dad then probably 10 minutes later phoned him again to ask him to come and collect Lil who was fast asleep (even though I had said not to, just let Lil sleep we won’t be going yet). Have you caught onto my chilled vibes yet? ?♀️
Luckily Shane didn’t listen and rang anyway. So I rang my cousin, and she jumped straight into action to come round and support. Contractions were coming thick and fast. I’m talking 90-120 seconds apart most of the time, very painful but only lasting 30-40 seconds (so I thought no need for the hospital yet).
Shall we jump in the car? Will we make it to the hospital? Shall we call an ambulance instead? It was hard to know. Again luckily we decided call an ambulance, it might sound an extreme choice (it was only around 12:45 at this stage). But, there was no relief from the pain and with Lil when labour felt like this she arrived in no time at all.
As my cousin spoke to the ambulance operator, hubby kept checking on me and probably freaking out a bit, I lent over the birthing ball trying to breath and not scream (I’ll let you in on a little secret.. I screamed. A lot!). She kept asking “do I feel like I need to push?” And each time I answered no, I felt no urge at all.
After another gush of my waters, I asked hubby to help me either get changed or at least take off my underwear as I felt gross. So hubby carefully stood me up and pulled down my pants “oh my god”, at the time I didn’t take this in as I suddenly felt the strange sensation (if you’ve ever given birth or when you do you will know what I mean).
The feeling that I was either about to poo myself on my living room floor OR our baby girl was coming. I literally said “Jode, I’m either about to poo myself or I feel the head” thankfully it was her head; let’s be honest poo all over the floor would not have been great haha.
Hubby and cousin jumped into action as within what felt like seconds, the next contraction hit and her head was out without much of a push (gravity really does help!). The next contraction was mild followed by another painful one and just like that out came her body. Say what?! It all happened so quickly that it really is hard to believe sometimes. Born at 1:11am, approximately 1 hour 25 minutes after my waters broke.
The next few minutes were a bit of a blur. I remained leaning over the birthing ball recovering from the shock, not wanting to tug on the umbilical cord and knowing the placenta would probably come soon. Behind me, baby had barely let out a cry, was a little blue and breathing very shallow.
I can remember glancing back and seeing her chest moving up and down which was all I needed. I must have known deep down everything would be fine and also that if I started panicking, it may panic my husband and cousin more, plus they still had the ambulance operator on the line guiding them.
Ten minutes or so after she arrived, the ambulance crews arrived. They were brilliant!
Babies breathing was a little shallow and her temperature was low so they supported her with some oxygen and once we were all happy off we went in the ambulance to the hospital (the ambulances blocked our road, I can only imagine what people thought was going on ha). I must give a shout out to all of the staff I came across at Burton Hospital and the ambulance staff, they were all incredible with us.
As soon as we arrived the paediatric doctor and midwives worked on baby S to get her oxygen stats stable and her temperature up to normal. But I felt great, the adrenaline from a speedy birth pumping through me but also I didn’t feel uncomfortable or in pain (spoiler: It didn’t last) so I thought I hadn’t teared ?? and I was so happy to have our baby girl with us, healthy and strong.
It was time to get stitched and I’m not going to lie it took me 5 minutes to prepare myself. In my previous birth it was so painful, the numbing injections barely worked and the memory came flooding back. Puffing away on the gas and air (me, not the midwife) she got to work and sorted me out in no time and I barely felt a thing!
Baby S was placed on a heating pad in her cot which meant we had to stay in hospital overnight. They like them to hold their temperature for 12 hours on the pad then for 12 hours off the pad. As I mentioned before all of the midwives were incredible but it was so good to get home the next day. Introducing Lil to her baby sister was so precious ?
Although this wasn’t the labour I had imagined, I wouldn’t change a thing. I had originally wanted a home birth but due to Covid they weren’t being recommended due to the ambulance/midwife shortage. Happy to go to the hospital, I was imagining a calm water birth, with crystals to support me (I had them ready in my hospital bag and also had a beautiful bracelet made of crystals that would support labour and after), music playing (playlist was created) and most importantly a calm, enjoyable experience.
However, they rarely turn out how we want them to and that is ok. I will forever treasure my birth, the precious memories of her being delivered by my husband and cousin and having her in our family home.
What a night to remember it was and what a story we always have to tell.