Woke up beautifully rested on Sat morning after an uneventful night. I'd had a sweep on Friday morning, leading to contractions and bloody show which petered out by that evening.
We had a late breakfast, then went for a walk along the high road and down through the fields back to home. There was snow still on the mountains, the lake shimmered in the sunshine, and we stopped to look at tadpoles and newborn lambs. I climbed two fences and two gates on the way home and bemoaned how short the walk felt.
The boys went to watch a rugby match and I went for my first acupuncture treatment, which I found uncomfortable, with energy singing from each point long after stimulation. On arrival home, I burst out crying to DH, wondering how I'd face into labour if I found an acupuncture treatment that painful.
I sent off some emails and helped DS with his sticker-book while DH went to pick up an Indian takeaway. As I sat at the table to dish out our dinner, I felt a little gush in my panties and ran to the toilet. Almost straightaway I had a contraction and several more as I ate my dinner. I took some labour herbs and sat on my yoga ball to help move baby into position if this indeed was labour. The contractions were already coming 5 mins apart and I told DH that perhaps we should make a move towards town as the hospital was about an hour away. He speedily organised the house, animals and DS as I laboured in different rooms, gathering bits and pieces and tidying! The ball was no longer comfortable, nor was any position but standing upright, though I swayed and danced through each wave, which were coming 3 mins apart and lasting for ~45 secs by now.
Car loaded up, DH held me for a contraction at the front door and I climbed into the back seat beside DS who was excited to be going to hid grandparents for a sleepover. I asked for DH to stop twice for big surges as we went down the drive! Coming really fast and furious now only an hour after the first twinge.
15 mins up the road and I was beginning to moan a lot. DH told DS I was singing and he seemed to accept my unmelodic wailing and occasional curse as that. I began to repeat positive affirmations over and over throughout a contraction, firstly for him and then because I realised how much they helped me get through each one. 15 mins down the road my bowels opened.....into my leggings, so I asked DH to pull over to clean me up while we were still in the countryside. Thank goodness I'd not been wearing jeans as usual!
I felt the nature of the contractions change but didn't realise I had probably transitioned by now....I had no idea how fast this labour was progressing. The breaks between surges got longer and I could talk again during them. I told DH I didn't think I'd make the hospital, still almost half an hour away, as I felt baby lower in my pelvis, and he called for an ambulance. While we waited, DH supported me through the strong waves, reminding me that they were part of me, that my body was doing this for me. I could feel baby's head now when I put my hand down, and DH could also see it by the light of his phone. I began to feel a desire to push, which I hadn't experienced with DS's birth, but I held back because I wasn't sure I was ready to deliver and because the roadside conditions (in a layby opposite a pub) were less than ideal! I had every confidence that DH could deliver our baby, I just think the cramped conditions and passing cars likely stopped me from fully letting go at that point. DS continued watching NetFlix, stopping only to scold me for spilling a few drops of water on him, and the dog stared unhappily out the window. The ambulance took almost 20 mins to arrive and they bumpily loaded me onto a trolley between strong surges. I heard DS screaming as they did, although the lights and siren were exciting, he was worried abut his Mama. The car battery had gone flat and the paramedic had to give DH a push before we set off
I lay on my side, refusing again to lie supine, gripping the stretcher so hard my palm hurt for days afterwards. Ambulance rides are not comfortable! After I gulped gas and air through the next few surges, I asked the paramedic, Ray, How long?' and he told me where in the city we were. 'No, how long until baby?', I gasped. When he replied we were probably one good push away, I finally allowed my body to go with the urge and boy, it felt good. There was immediate relief from the pressure with the next contraction as his head popped out and his body came easily with one more push. I immediately reached down to grab my baby and pulled him onto me as Ray gave him a brief rub down. His cry sounded wonderful and I snuggled him into my chest without even looking at his face. All was good with us regardless of our surroundings, which were registering with me for the first time.
Minutes later, we arrived at the hospital, where midwives and grandparents were waiting for us in the lobby and everyone realised I had already given birth. DH dashed into the delivery room only 5 minutes later, having abandoned car with DS and dog on the street outside, to where baby and I hadn't yet been disturbed from our dazed reverie. The cord was left to pulse and DH cut it after about half an hour. Baby finally left my arms for his apgar test, then got some skin-to-skin with Dada, while I gulped back a cup of tea. He was suckling within the hour. MIL and FIL were allowed up with DS for a quick 'hello', which was great because DS was a little upset when the ambulance left with me. He hasn't appeared to be suffering any trauma since although he had a couple of nightmares as a cold came on. Our dog, however, isn't as keen to jump in the car as usual, and avoids the front seat in particular. She has wet the couch and our bed since!
All in all, I am delighted with my experience, despite parts of it being less than ideal. I was always torn between a home and hospital birth; intervention-free and with hopes arrive at hospital just in time to deliver, and I guess that intention paid off as that's almost exactly what happened. There was no artificial augmentation, no paperwork, no monitoring or restriction of movement. The only thing missing was DH's presence as baby was delivered but as far as I was concerned, he was there when I really needed him and he only missed the first few minutes of baby's life.
We were good to go home after about 12 hours rest and our new little man is fitting into our family more perfectly than we could ever have imagined. A beautiful and healing experience.
Edited by SlimP - 3/26/13 at 11:58am