It’s about time I got round to writing this before it turns into a rose tinted version in my head!! Honestly though it is a fairly boring and standard story, no horror stories here! I’ll start with a disclaimer though, some of this will be TMI for some people so please proceed with caution!
My waters broke when I was 36+6 at 6am on Wednesday 1st February, 22 days before he was due. We called the labour line which was busy so we spoke to 101 who took some details and said someone would phone back. For the next few minutes I sat on the toilet with my waters still trickling and the husband started getting things ready. Looking back now this was the most surreal, exciting, scary time of my life. We were both very calm and almost euphoric, knowing our little boy was on his way!
A few minutes later a lovely midwife called Maddie called back and booked us an appointment for 8.30am at the hospital, it was staff changeover time so no point in us going in straight away. It allowed us time to change the bed (which luckily we had covered with a waterproof mattress protector just days before!), have a shower, have breakfast and ensure that our hospital bags were fully ready. I didn’t actually do most of that, I was busy changing my clothes 4 times as my waters kept on coming and soaking through my maternity pads and leggings! My top tip if your waters break… stay on the toilet for as long as possible. They just keep coming!
At 8am we left the house to avoid the school traffic in our area and headed to the hospital, because of the time we got the best parking space right outside the door, the husband was extremely proud of himself for that! I was feeling fine at this stage, a bit of period pain but nothing to write home about! Waiting in the waiting room was again, surreal! We bumped into a friend from our antenatal class who was in there for tests so chatting to her helped pass the time!
When we got into the examination room it was confirmed that my waters had broken… duh! My stomach felt very different and in a way I could tell that the baby wasn’t surrounded by fluid anymore, he felt closer to the surface! However his heart rate was a bit high and my stats weren’t great so we were monitored for a while. Because my waters had broken we were told he had to be born within 24 hours due to the risk of infection so I had a needle put in my hand ready for an induction if necessary. My blood was also taken to ensure infection wasn’t the cause of the increased heart rate in the baby.
We were sent up to the antenatal ward about 10am for more monitoring and were told that this would be our bed until he arrived so we got comfy! I was asked whether I wanted to be induced, I really didn’t! My birth plan was to have a completely natural birth in the birthing pool and I had time to allow things to progress naturally before having to make that decision. They would check me again at midday to see if things are started.
Midday came and went and nothing was really happening, I asked to wait until 6pm before making a decision about induction. 6pm arrived and I was having very early contractions every hour or so but nothing too intense so I asked to be checked at midnight where I would then have to be induced.
It got to around 10.30pm and my contractions really started, I was using the birthing ball to lean on whilst standing, which then became me bent over the bed kneeling on the floor. The pain was incredible but bearable. I was just grateful that things had started naturally!
Because I hadn’t yet hit my 37th week of pregnancy I was classed as high risk and little man was premature… until midnight when I hit the magic number and became low risk! It’s crazy how those few minutes can change everything!! So by 11.30pm the pain was getting unbearable and I asked the husband to get someone to give me drugs!! I think that’s a natural reaction even though I was adamant I didn’t want any beforehand! No one came to see me until midnight by which stage I was in agony. Maddie, the same midwife who is spoken to that morning was on duty which was lovely, she was with me from the start! She examined me for the first time and I was 4cm dilated, so in active labour.
Because I was then 37 weeks pregnant I was allowed to go to the birthing suite and have the water birth I wanted, so they got me a wheelchair and we prepared to go. However, at the next contraction I had the overwhelming feeling of needing a poo! The midwife told me it wasn’t a poo and we had to get to the birthing suite immediately! I ended up kneeling backwards on the wheelchair, the husband behind me keeping me on and the midwife wheeling us through the corridors to the birthing suite.
We got into our room which was lovely, birthing pool, balls, chairs, all the apparatus to be able to give birth beautifully! I was asked if I wanted the birthing pool prepared but was unable to make decisions by this point so was then told there wasn’t time. I had gone from 4cm dilated to fully dilated in 20 seconds. It was intense. I ended up bent over the crappy visitors chair in the corner of the room!
When I started pushing the head came out with one push, in the next push he was here! It was such a rush and such an experience!! The husband was holding me the entire time and now describes me as feral! He comments to this day that he was overwhelmed and in awe with what was going on. Once they had made sure my boy was ok he was passed to me and the husband and we just stared at him and each other for a while not fully knowing what was going on! There were no tears as we were so overwhelmed!
At the time I thought the pain was unbearable but I dealt with it without any drugs or intervention, exactly what I wanted and my body just dealt with it. The human body is so incredible. The husband cut his cord which was a beautiful moment but then I was put onto a hospital bed as I had lost a lot of blood and they needed to get the placenta out asap. The husband and our little boy got 2 hours of father / son time while they sorted me out (yes there were stitches! Apparently the speed of the birth led to a few grazes, nothing too bad!) and then I finally got my little boy. Holding him properly for the first time after such an intense and overwhelming few hours was incredible. Our boy was here and he was perfect!