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Category: Birth Stories

  1. My Birth Story with Emelia

    Posted on

    emelia birth photo

    I'd been having braxton hicks regularly since 20 weeks, so I was very used to the feeling of them and wasn’t fazed when they were quite intense and, sometimes, painful. On the Monday before I went into labour (things started on the Friday), I went for my daily two mile walk and my braxton hicks were very regular and intense. I had a really intense one that made me stop walking and breathe through. I got home and they died down pretty much straight away and I thought absolutely nothing of it.

    On the Wednesday, I went to see a reflexologist. She said that she still thought I was going to go overdue; probably to 41 weeks, which she had said the week before. I didn’t want to feel disappointed because I was only 38+6 weeks, and being a midwife, I was well aware that most women go overdue. I did feel that there was a strong family history of being early but I also didn’t want to get my hopes up, so I took it in my stride. I was still enjoying being pregnant and on maternity leave. Also, my best friend was on holiday until my due date and I really wanted her to be there for the birth, so I booked another appointment for the following Monday.

    I couldn’t sleep the night before Emelia arrived. This wasn’t too odd, as I hadn’t been sleeping brilliantly for a while. I decided to watch a film on my phone, oddly I picked ‘what to expect, when you’re expecting’, all about pregnancy and birth!! My brain must have had a sense that something was happening. I got to sleep about 2am. I woke up about 5.30am to go to the toilet and I realised that I was having period type pains and backache, alongside my Braxton hicks every 5 mins or so. I didn’t think it was labour because of what the reflexologist had said, because I wasn’t due yet and that they weren’t strong. I was convinced they would just go off later in the day. I thought this would probably go on for days, as I was a first time mum and I hadn’t had any other signs like a show or anything.

    I dozed until my husband got up for work at around 7, they were still coming every 5 mins but not painful. I said to him to go to work because I thought they would go off and I didn’t want him to miss work. I text my midwife at 9.03am, saying what was happening, just so she knew.

    My husband text me at 10am to see how I was doing. I was still getting the period pains every 5 mins and they were getting a bit more uncomfortable. I’d had a bath and just taken some paracetamol but still felt ok and thought that they’d still go off. His work told him to come back home to be with me just in case. He text me again at 10.48am to let me know he'd be home at 11.30am and asked me if I wanted anything. I said I wanted jaffa cakes and a bottle of water (so random, but that’s what I wanted at the time!). I was very glad he was coming home.

    At 11.10am, the tightenings were still every 4-5 mins apart but coming more intensely, especially in my back. I text my midwife again to let her know.

    My husband came home at 11.30am; contractions went off slightly, so I tried to rest on the bed. My midwife phoned at 12.06pm and I said I was fine. She said she was going to the hospital but to let me know when I needed her.

    I think I got into bath again about 1-1.30pm. The contractions were still every 5-6 mins, but again becoming even more intense. I was getting to the point where I knew this was labour and it wasn’t going away (my husband said he’d know it was “it” for hours but humoured me). He then started to inflate the pool and get things ready for my midwife to come.

    I text my midwife at 1.54pm to say they were coming every 3 mins and a lot more intense. I said I was going to try the TENS machine and that I’d like to use the pool sooner rather than later. She said she’d get a sandwich and make her way over. I was needing my husband to put lots of pressure on my low back to ease the backache I was getting during each contraction. I tried the TENS machine for a couple of contractions, but it wasn’t strong enough. I’ve got a feeling it was more because we hadn’t done a proper trial run, so we probably weren’t using it properly. Oops! I got fed up and took it off and got my husband to keep with the pressure on my back. He did a great job of it (again something we hadn’t practised but funnily happened so naturally).

    My midwife came at about 3pm and could see that my contractions were intense and so said to my husband to start filling the pool. I was needing a lot of support by this point, needing lots of pressure on my back. It took about an hour to get the pool sorted (he encountered a few problems filling it; we laugh about now but he said he was quite stressed at the time).

    I got in the pool about 4pm and it felt amazing. Even though it was a really hot day, the warmth of the water was so good and helped ease my back pain.

    For some reason, I decided to examine myself (must be the midwife in me) about 5.15pm and I could feel that that Emelia's head was low. I could also feel a lot of cervix and I thought I was 4cms. To this day, I don’t know how accurate that was.

    I think I coped really well until about 6pm, where I think I was in transition and classically, I kept saying ‘I can’t do this anymore’. I think I mainly was saying this because I thought I was only 4cms and that I had at least 6 hours to go. I didn’t think I could cope with the back pain but everyone kept me going and assured me that I wasn’t 4 cms (they tease me still to this day on how fixated I was about it, when clearly my body was saying something else). It goes to show examinations tell us very little about what’s going on in a woman’s body. My second midwife arrived at 5.40pm.

    I started to feel a bearing down sensation at about 7pm. It didn’t feel like I thought it was going to feel. I thought it was going to be this overwhelming pushing sensation or like a really needed to do a poo, but I was having so much back pain that I think it was masking this urge.

    At 7.25, my midwife said to feel where her head was, as I still didn’t believe it was time to start pushing. I felt her head and she was really low and nearly there. Shortly after, I asked my midwife to break my waters as I felt things weren’t progressing. Once they broke, it felt so good and I could really feel her coming down and that we were both working together to get her out.

    Emelia was born at 7.58pm, after 22 mins of proper pushing. I brought her to the surface of the water and onto my chest where I cuddled her (in shock)! We checked whether she was a boy or a girl and found out that she was, indeed, a girl! We stayed in the water together for about half an hour, where we decided her name and then my husband cut the cord. My husband then took his shirt off and cuddled her skin to skin for a while, while I was being checked. Emelia was then passed back to me and latched onto the boob straight away and fed like dream.

  2. My Birth Story with Sebastien

    Posted on

    seb birth photoThe pregnancy had been very similar to Emelia's pregancy. The first 3 months were tough with the tiredness and having a cold/cough for over a month! It was made even tougher having to look after a toddler too. Most of that time, I just lay down on the couch and she had to amuse herself, as I literally had no energy to do anything else.

    Finding out we were having a boy was incredible. I was shocked and relieved, as we both really wanted a boy. I was convinced it was another girl until the scan.

    The rest of the pregnancy was straightforward. Around 36-37 weeks, I felt Seb drop significantly and I found it very difficult to move around a lot for long periods of time. I had seen a chiropractor that had really helped my right hip but this I knew she would not be able to help with. Moving around at night was a particular chore.

    From 37+3, I began getting more intense Braxton hicks with period pains every evening. It felt a lot like labour with Emelia. I would then go to bed and they would die off.

    At 38+3, my midwives came around for my check. I was really fed up at this point. Seb felt very low and I was finding it increasingly harder to move around. Emelia had been ill, so trying to deal with that was difficult. My sleep was getting worse and worse.

    My midwife took my BP and it was higher than normal. She suggested I had a sweep. I was 3cm and his head was low! I tried not to freak out about the BP, as everything else was normal. I certainly played it down to my husband so he didn't worry. I said to my midwife that I’d see how I felt but may want another sweep towards the end of the week. That night I slept very badly, I think I was replaying what had happened and the consequences if my BP continued to be up. I hadn’t even considered going into hospital.

    The next day I felt much calmer about it and had more perspective on it. Emelia wasn’t feeling well and I was feeling under the weather, as I hadn’t really slept. So my husband took a sick day and we all had a duvet day. That night I didn’t get to sleep until 2am for some reason!

    At 38+5 I woke up and went to the toilet and found that I had passed an enormous show. I let my midwives know. We went to playgroup as normal and we had a fairly normal day. That night around 7-7.30pm I started having more regular intense tightenings, which were actually getting quite regular. I said to my husband to get the pool sorted. They then began to die down again. I went to bed and they did. 

    I woke up the next morning with a horrible cold and feeling rough. Emelia was still not quite right either. I hardly slept that night as I could hardly breathe. I was still getting bits of show every time I went to the toilet.

    At 39 weeks, I was still full of cold and feeling even worse. I felt I couldn’t do anything, my energy was so low. I txt my friend in the morning to ask how her appointment had gone the day before. She txt me later that day saying she'd had her baby boy at 10.30 that morning. For some reason, I got very upset that she had had her baby and because I was feeling so ill, I knew I wasn’t going to have him any time soon. That evening I had a few intense Braxton hicks but I didn’t think anything of them. My husband hadn’t slept well either, so I said to take a night nurse. I was sure Seb wouldn’t come that night, so would be good for him to get some sleep. I think we were asleep by about 10pm.

    Later that evening, I woke up to my waters breaking at about 23.50. It hurt a lot; it felt like someone had punched right through my cervix. I managed to get to the toilet without it going everywhere and confirmed it was definitely my waters. I had a small tightening on the toilet, which felt intense and then another soon after. They were very short.

    I then I had to go back into the bedroom and wake my husband to go and get all the stuff for homebirth. He was in a daze and didn’t really know what was happening. He said I needed to call my midwife. At 00.06 I texted her to say that my waters had broken and that I was having tightenings every couple of minutes.

    At 00.10 I decided to call her as I presumed she hadn’t read my text. I said I’d call back when I needed her. The tightenings were becoming more and more intense and I wanted to get into the pool. My brother and sister in law were helping my husband fill the pool up. My sister in law and my husband were intermittently rubbing my back, as my back seemed to hurt the most.

    At 00.20 I asked my husband to call my midwife, apparently she was on her way already. I think I got into the pool around 00.30 but there was only inches of water in it as I was desperate to get in.

    My midwife came around 00.45. Around 00.50 I felt an urge to push and could feel like I was going to open my bowels. The second midwife got there at around 01.00. Seb was born at 01.04 and I was soooo relieved!! 

    I had very intense after pains for a few hours after birth, so all I could manage to do was lay there on the couch cuddling and breastfeeding him.