After the not entirely successful attempt at a homebirth with my son Tyler, I was very keen for this birth to turn out the way I wanted, at home.
As with Tyler, I had a lovely uneventful pregnancy, cared for by my wonderful midwife.
I went to bed on the Wednesday night, and was almost asleep, when I felt a 'pop' and a small gush of water emerged.
I continued to leak for the rest of the night, and had very mild period like pains, which I mostly slept right through.
Upon waking on Thursday morning, I had a couple of mild pains, nothing much at all, and the leaking, and bloody show stopped altogether.
I thought it was all a bit of a false alarm, so dh went to work, but he rang me within the hour, and told me he had decided to come home after all.
I was pretty relieved, as I had started to get a few more mild pains, and my waters had begun leaking again. This pattern continued until around 3:30pm, when quite suddenly my contractions began to have real 'bite' to them, they were about 10 minutes apart, so I was not really concerned about my mw getting here too quickly, and told her I would ring when they got closer.
In the meantime I had rung my doula, and she was on the way, in really heavy traffic.
I probaby had about a dozen of these pretty excruciating contractions all up, and remember thinking to myself, "Why the heck am I here at home, what an idiot, I want DRUGS!"
During the latest contraction, I found myself making these really guttural grunting noises, and thought, wow, that almost felt as though I wanted to push! but thought how silly is that, I couldn't possibly be needing to push yet.
The next contraction was a doozy, and I yelled out to Ian "Omg! I'm pushing!" Well, he completely freaked out, as an unassisted birth is his worst nightmare.
He immediately rang our mw, all he said was, "You've gotta come now! She's pushing!" - didn't even say who he was, he was in such a panic.
At this stage I was still in the living room, pacing around and leaning on the furniture, when quite suddenly I felt an intense need to take my skirt and knickers off, and I was on my hands and knees, as I couldn't stand up anymore, and proceeded to crawl up the hallway to my bedroom, which was the designated birthing room, calling instructions to dh to get a plastic sheet down, and a bedsheet for me to kneel on.
So this is how our doula found us, with Ian applying hot towels, bliss! and she started giving me firm massage on my lower back.
Ian's relief at no longer being alone with me was palpable, he visibly relaxed.
Our mw arrived about 20 minutes later, and I had been having great pushing contractions, so she could see about a 10 cent sized piece of head on view with each push.
That urge to push is just so lovely, so completely uncontrollable. I never had an urge with my last birth, so it was all new territory for me.
Although I was well on my way, pushing still continued for a good hour, until I could feel baby was almost crowning, and his head actually came out about half way, so I was at full stretch OWWWW!!!! and stayed there, OWWWWW!!!! until the next contraction 4 minutes later.
I pushed much too hard, and tore a bit, and my mw was telling me to slow down as the cord was around the neck, but I couldn't, and my mw managed to get the cord off anyway, and out my little baby shot, like a wee missile! He was born at 7:22pm, and was 8lb 2oz.
I have been reading Sarah Buckley's book, 'Gentle birth, gentle mothering' and she talks about the 'feotal ejection reflex' where you have a few really massive pushes at the very end to get baby out, and I can clearly remember thinking to myself just before baby was born, and the head kept feeling like it was sliding back in, "Where the HECK is my feotal ejection reflex!!!!!" I'm such a geek sometimes!
As baby was around a week 'early' he had an amazing amount of vernix on him still, was very white.
He was a little wheezy, had swallowed a bit of mucous, or amnio fluid, so our mw sucked some gunk out of his nose and mouth, and we gave him a little O2.
The placenta came out very easily (compared to last time) and at last I could relax!
Baby latched on nicely to the (left, of course!) breast and fed well, he almost hasn't stopped since!
My older son Tyler (2) was just amazing throughout the whole thing, he was either bouncing up and down on the bed in the birthing room, or reading a book, or playing with toys etc, he was quite interested, but never distressed, gave me a few funny looks when I was at my most vocal, but was pretty much cool as a cucumber.
Our doula was just great with him, I don't know what we would have done without her.
I did end up having to be stitched, which was a little traumatic, I'm not the best with needles, especially ones being injected into my vagina!
As the sewing up was being done, my partner ran into the room, really excited, as there was a seven foot multicoloured snake curled up on the doorstep, looking all the world like a guardian. So that was a special addition to the atmosphere, an uninvited, but most welcome guest at the proceedings!
I'm absolutely over the moon, despite feeling pretty shattered, I DID IT! I had my homebirth!