It had been a really tough pregnancy with constant viruses, colds and sore ribs from a hacking cough, so I was keen to see the other side (totally different from my first pregnancy, which I enjoyed every second of- and thought I was some kind of pregnancy goddess!) how wrong I was.
Anyway – post roast lunch, I was feeling really great, the sun was shining we sat in the garden while watching our crazy toddler Matilda throw pebbles around, my midwife had said that the baby might wait until a window of time where I felt strong healthy and happy and then things would start.. and she was right.. Matilda was tucked up in bed & I had a nice bath, was sat eating some chocolate cake and cream as you do when your 10 days past your due date – around 10pm and I felt what I thought might be a surge, ever so subtle I was not sure. Within 5 minutes they were coming every two minutes- I still was not sure as they were so gentle But called the midwife – she asked me if I wanted to come over, I said let me have a think and I’ll phone you back. 15 minutes later at 1030pm I said yes – Please come along now, they are getting stronger and seem to be every 30 seconds. I was not timing them but I could tell they were very close together. Things were moving very fast indeed!
Hubby started filling the pool in our living room, I popped my bikini on, made sure everything was as I wanted and had a glass of milk and a banana for energy and jumped in the shower, the surges were strong and I was a little nervous as they were getting stronger so much more quickly than the birth of Matilda. But I said ‘this is power, not pain.’ And I honestly did not feel pain of any kind – just strength.
Rene our midwife arrived at 11pm, less than an hour after I had felt the very first surge. We took a selfie together and laughed at how fun labour can be, and I wanted to take a picture to remember that. After she arrived things progressed very quickly, while waiting for the pool I used my yoga positions and calm breathing to focus.
I was desperate to get into the pool, as soon as I did the surges became stronger. My anchors were holding my husbands shirt, smelling a lavender flannel, and my hyno meditation music playing on loop. Our second midwife Sarah arrived, and this instantly relaxed me / my team was here – I was ready, soon after her arrival I felt the sensation to push. I was tired but knew that pushing meant I was so close to meeting my baby. In between surges my view out of the pool was of Sarah our midwife writing her notes and our dog Oscar snoring away, and I thought to myself, this is birth- it’s so natural, there’s no fuss- everyone’s just doing their thing, I’m doing mine. My husband was also so calm, and knowing he was on the same page as me and actually enjoying the experience – It really relaxed me – the normality of being at home and calmness of everyone, including the dog! I did not feel pain just a lot of pressure in my lower back.
At 130 (3.5 hours after I felt the first flutter of a surge) our baby Linus came into the world, he was born into the very same waterpool as his big sister & he was born with the caul around him (inside the amniotic sac!)!which happens fewer than 1 in 80,000 births, and is very good luck as it so very rare! Linus was 9.5 pounds!
Afterwards I got out of the pool, the midwives checked me and the baby on the sofa (this was nerve wracking as I had some complications post birth with Matilda and had to go to hospital.) however, sigh of relief – all was well, hubby made bacon sandwiches for me and the midwives and we all had tea as they popped me & hubby with baby Linus into my bed (which they had beautifully made up for me.) and we had a few hours sleep before the sun came up, and Matilda woke up to her baby brother fast asleep in the bed next to us. Big family cuddle – we did it!
What an incredibly healing, magical birth – which I believe was down to feeling safe, supported and trusting my midwife, my team and most importantly focusing on stories of women’s strength in birth and not listening to people’s comments about their horrific experiences. I was fortunate to have the birth I had hoped for this time with no transfer into hospital after the birth. But even if I had it was the positivity and belief that birth is safe and natural that made it such a wonderful experience.