Labour started at 3am on Saturday – contractions where very mild and about 7 minutes apart, so I got up and went and dozed on the sofa in the lounge between contractions. Between 3am and 4am I had a couple of bouts of diarrhea and threw up. At 4.30am the contractions started to get a bit more intense, and I had a bloody show. I was very excited at this point as I knew that this was finally the ‘real thing’ (I had had 10hrs of contractions one night the week before).
I sat on my birthing ball and swayed my hips during contractions, I was trying not to pay to much attention to timing, as my mother had had a 36hr labour with her first baby, and so I expected I would be in for the same. Around 6am I was feeling hungry after throwing everything up so went to the kitchen and made a piece of toast with jam, the contractions where still pretty mild and bearable. At this point I put on the t.v to distract myself (and ended up watching 2 episodes of ‘Supernanny’ back to back – YUK!)
Things started really speeding up at this point, and I found myself having to vocalise through the contractions to get through them. By 7.20am I thought I would let DH sleep another 30minutes and I would then go and wake him up (he was completely oblivious to the fact that I was in labour and had been snoring away in the bedroom the whole time!)
By 7.30am I was calling out to DH that I needed him, and he must wake up – he continued to snore on, so I went to the bedroom and shook him awake saying
“You have to get up and come to the lounge”
“Why” he asked still half asleep (he is NOT a morning person!)
“Because we are going to have a baby”
I have never seen him leap into action so fast!!! We had planned a home waterbirth, so he hurriedly started putting together the pool as I sat on the birth ball and continued to vocalise through the contractions – the whole time I was saying to DH - “Don’t panic, the baby probably won’t be born till tomorrow, these contractions are going to have to get WAY more painful for me to be able to get this baby out”
As reassurance for DH I checked myself to see how dilated I was when I went to the bathroom, and was shocked to find I was at least 5cm, and I could feel something ‘squishy’ ballooning out of me, which I realized later was the bag of waters. DH immediately got on the phone to the hospital to get a midwife sent out, and set to with filling up the birth pool.
Things got very intense at this point, with the contractions coming every 1.5 minutes and lasting for 45 seconds and I was throwing up between each contraction, I suddenly felt like ‘something’ was going to happen, so I rushed to the bathroom, as soon as I sat down on the toilet my water broke. I got down on my knees and draped my arms over the birthing ball to try and slow things down. I am guessing that by this stage I was fully dilated, because all of a sudden the pain of the contractions changed and I felt very ‘pushy’ and every contraction seemed to be pushing a lot of pressure down. The midwife called to say she was on her way and that I could hop into the pool.
Being in the water was amazing, and it really took the intensity of the contractions down. The midwife arrived at 11.30am and immediately checked me and informed me I was fully dilated. As I climbed out of the pool to be checked I saw something drip out of me onto a white towel on the which I thought was meconium stained waters. I panicked and asked the midwife if she thought it was meconium to which she agreed and said we should go into hospital.
I agreed to go into hospital, though in hindsight I think I could have had the home waterbirth, as the waters where only a light golden colour suggesting the meconium had been passed some time ago, and only because I was ‘postdates’ (41+1) as the baby was showing no signs of distress.
At about 11.15am the ambulance arrived and took me into hospital – I was given gas and air in the ambulance to get through the contractions and try to stop from pushing. By 11.30am we were in the labour and delivery suite. DH and the midwife put the back of the bed upright, and I stripped off and knelt on the bed and started pushing my baby out.
Unfortunately I ended up having an episotomy as they couldn’t find baby’s heart rate (due to faulty equipment NOT because baby didn’t have one!) and it will take me a while to be at peace with the trauma that happened at the very end of his birth, but he came out healthy and beautiful, and we love him dearly, he is also an incredibly calm and relaxed baby, so I do not think he has been effected greatly by the change in his birth plans, it is more my own heartache at loosing my homebirth dream. I managed to do the whole labour with no pain relief, and just gas and air at the end on the ambulance ride and when I pushed him out, so I am so pleased I was able to at least give him a drug free start to life. He was born just 20min after arriving at the hospital at 11.50am.
We had to stay in for the night, and I am relieved we did, as I was clueless about how to nurse him, so we had a pretty rocky start to nursing, with him screaming at the breast, and me feeling a complete failure for not even being able to nurse my own baby. The midwives where brilliant at teaching us though, and from 8 hrs after his birth, up till we left the hospital 12hrs later, he had a nursing frenzy and was feeding every hour, so by time we left he was an absolute nursing pro addicted to the boob!
I am loving being his Mama, and seeing DH with him is incredible, and has bought an amazing new dynamic to our relationship. Co-sleeping is wonderful, and we have even had the hotsling out for a bit of babywearing, my milk has come in, and I am blessed with a very sweet and contented baby, and a wonderful supportive husband.http://www.flickr.com/photos/poppyseedgirl/