One day before the due date I woke in the middle of the night to Braxton Hicks contractions like I have been for the past couple of weeks. I was having trouble sleeping which was not out of the ordinary so I was in and out of bed. I went to the toilet and discovered that I had a bit of a show, I was pretty excited which made it harder to get back to sleep so I started setting things up for the birth in the hope that it would all get started soon. I had a bit more mucus when I went to the toilet with a bit more blood in it so I knew that things would get going pretty soon. I managed to get back to sleep for a bit. I was still having a few Braxton Hicks-like contractions and they seemed to go away by the time India woke up and I thought that I would probably hold out until that night. I sent Mary a message telling her what had been happening and that I thought it would probably hold out a bit longer.
I wanted to keep Dave and India home with me just in case things got going. I had a shower and got dressed with the odd contraction here and there and then it seemed that suddenly they had become 3-5 minutes apart but still very easy to just breathe through and go about doing things. We filled up the pool and I got in just because I knew it would be nice and relaxing. I let Mary know how things were going and she arrived soon after. After Mary arrived was when it finally started to feel like things were really happening, the contractions became more intense and I knew that the baby was actually on the way.
Joy arrived a while later. The contractions were very intense and long and often didn’t finish before the next one started. I started to get tired from not having very much sleep. Mary suggested that having wee in my bladder might be preventing things from happening so she suggested I try getting out of the pool and going to the toilet. I managed to do a wee and come back to the bedroom but by this time I was getting really tired from my lack of sleep so rather than getting back in the pool all I wanted to do was labour in bed. I moved between the bed and the floor beside the bed in the hope that the movement would help. My back was really sore which made it challenging, having a hot water bottle helped a lot. I began to feel like I couldn’t do it anymore, I was really tired and just wanted to go to sleep. Joy suggested that the lip of my cervix might be caught and preventing the baby’s head from moving down so with an internal examination and the next contraction we managed to move it out of the way so that finally the baby would move down the birth canal. Pushing the baby out is hard work but it’s always the fun part. As the baby came down the waters broke. The head started crowning and then with one big contraction she came out all at once and Mary caught our bubba. Reaching out straight away I suddenly felt like I had all the strength in the world to grab hold of my baby and stand up. I turned and sat on the bed so happy to have a little baby in my arms again.
Throughout the day India had been in and out of the bedroom, worried about me at times and also taking care of me but she did get a bit bored. When the baby was crowning she left the room because it was a bit too much for her but she came running in when she heard a little cry. Straight away India wanted to know if it was a boy or a girl so we decided to have a look together. We had a beautiful baby girl.
She had a very strong sucking reflex straight away and fed for quite a while. I birthed the placenta about 30mins after our baby and then India cut the cord. We measured, weighed and made sure our baby was strong and healthy before dressing her and wrapping her up For India’s first cuddle.
This Labour was much harder than it was with India, I guess that with the baby’s head in not quite the right position to help the cervix open properly made it a real difference to the length and intensity of the labour. Once the labour actually got going properly I laboured for about five and a half hours like I did with India but the lack of sleep and the mild Braxton Hicks- like contractions through the night made it more exhausting than India’s birth. Everyone kept telling me that the birth was going to be quick and easy but every pregnancy, every labour and every birth is different and it’s important not to get attached to what you think is going to happen. No matter what happens birth will always be amazing if you allow it to be.
Birthing at home is always beautiful and I’m glad I had the comfort of that when I felt tired and exhausted through the labour. I gave birth to an amazing placid little girl and I did it in my own home without drugs or interventions.
It took us a day to decide what we would name our little girl. We named her Mio, our little white lotus.
Labouring in the pool.
Our new baby girl.
Just a few minutes old.
Joy checking her hips and tiny body.
Weighing our girl. She weighed 3.34kg.
India being a helpful big sister while we put clothes on for the first time.
India the super proud big sister.