It was 4am on Thursday 16th February and I woke to go for one of my many night time pees but this time when I pulled my pants back up I realised they were really wet. I thought have I peed myself during my sleep so sat back down on the toilet and waited a moment to see if anything was happening and there I could feel the trickling of my waters. I went back into the bedroom and woke my partner up whilst I got changed into some clean clothes. I then called up the midwifery led unit where I was wanting to labour and they advised me to make my way to the hospital so I can be checked over and have a midwife confirm if my waters have gone or not. We called my partners mother to come over to our house as we already have a daughter who is almost 4 so she could watch over her whilst we were out. We did take our hospital bag just Incase but we knew we would most likely be back home in a few hours.
We arrived at the hospital about 5am and I had a speculum examination where it was confirmed my waters had infact broken. I was advised to go home and wait to see what happens and if no contractions start I was to come back at 7am the following morning and go from there. My first born was a spontaneous labour so I was really hoping for the same again!
We went home and once my daughter had woken up my partner took her to nursery and we had a lazy day just watching films and me trying to rest as much as possible Incase we where going to be in for a long night ahead. As the day passed I was starting to get frustrated as nothing else seemed to be happening and I was worrying that I was going to end back up in hospital the next day and having a possible induction. Luckily for me around 6pm I started to get irregular contractions but I was really happy as this is what I had been waiting for all day. By 9pm the pain had started to get more intense around my front and also a little in my back and closer together so I gave the midwife unit a call. They advised me on the phone that my contractions were still a little far apart from what they would want and if I could try hang on at home for another hour or so which I did. An hour passed and the pain was getting too intense for me to be sat at home so we called back up and they told me to make my way in.
We arrived at the hospital at 10:30pm and made our way up to the midwifery led unit which has three rooms and is next to the labour ward in our hospital. We where greeted by our lovely midwife Alex who said she was taking us into the “jasmine suite” I burst into tears when she said this as this was the room I had birthed our first daughter in and the thought of having our second daughter in the same room and same birth pool was amazing I was so happy. I was also really happy that this was happening over night again as there’s something really calm and relaxing about knowing everyone else is tucked up in bed while your labouring. We got settled into the room and my midwife examined me and said I was only 3cm. I was so disheartened as the pain felt so much more intense then it had with my first daughter I was sure I was way further along.
She said not to worry and that I could get myself comfortable in the water already if I would like as I already knew I was wanting another water birth. All I had used so far in terms of pain relief was a comb in my hands and controlling my breathing but my midwife gave me some paracetamol as the pain was feeling very intense. Whilst this was happening my partner called my mum as she was going to be my second birthing partner again and it was another half hour or so until she arrived. After me probably begging a million times my midwife let me start using the gas and air during my contractions as I was so tired and struggling to get myself into the right mindset that I could do this. After a few hours of being in the pool I could be examined again at 12:30 and at this point I asked for some other form of pain relief. I waited to see where I was in terms of dilation and I was then only 5cm so I asked for pethidine to be administered. I know from my previous labour that it doesn’t necessarily take the pain off for me but it does relax my body enough that I can rest slightly so I stayed out of the pool and had it administered. The next hour or so is a bit of a blur because the pethidine made me drowsy enough that in between contractions I was actually falling asleep on the bed.
My mum was by my side massaging my back as I really struggle to get comfortable on the bed I much prefer being in the water. I had also been given clay sage to smell as pethidine can slow contractions down and sage can help with speeding them up. As I could start to feel the effects of it wearing off the pressure down below was becoming more intense as well as the contractions becoming closer and closer together and my midwife said it was time for me to start looking at moving back into the pool. I eventually moved myself back into the pool and my contractions had really ramped back up I remember saying on numerous occasions that I couldn’t do it and was not going to be able to get through it. My partner and mum helped me get back into the right mindset by reminding me that I had done this before in the exact room and pool and that I am capable of doing it again and i started using the gas and air again. Baby’s heart rate was fine each time the midwife monitored so that helped me relax as well knowing all was going okay. I wasn’t sat in the pool much longer when the urge to push came and it was time to really listen to my body. The not so nice familiar burning ring of fire sensation began to start and I knew it wasn’t going to be much longer until we where meeting our baby.
I pushed baby’s head out in one set of contractions and then she was out fully in the next at 3:49am. I love that in the water both times I’ve been the one to catch baby and bring them up to surface. Once baby was here we wrapped her in a towel against me and was able to stay in the pool nice and calm whilst we delayed the cord clamping. I never got to do that with my first labour as the cord actually snapped when I pulled her up onto me so it was nice to have that time to absorb everything that had just happened and also have that skin to skin contact.
Once out of the water my placenta delivered nice and easy again not painful at all and my partner came over to cut the cord. I was told I had torn slightly again in the same place as I had last time so I was cleaned and stitched up there on the bed.
Baby was cleaned up and weighed whilst this was going on she was a nice healthy 7lb 5.5oz. Once we where both cleaned up it wasn’t too long until baby had her first breastfeed which I’m really pleased was a success again. Because my waters had broken 24 hours because baby was born we had to stay in for 12 hours for her to be monitored but we where allowed to stay in the same room which was really nice as I could just relax for the rest of the day. My partner filmed this labour as I really wanted it to look back on so I think I sat and watched that on repeat all day. I’ve been so lucky to have had two really positive natural birthing experiences and would highly recommend the use of the birth pools and midwifery led units to anybody that has access to them.
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The Author: Midwife Pip
Pip is a Mum, Podcaster and practicing Midwife in the UK, currently working as a Delivery Suite Sister she has a wealth of experience supporting parents-to-be through all aspects of pregnancy, birth and the postpartum. Pip has trained and worked in some of the leading maternity units, has completed a master's programme and is passionate about all aspects of women's health and wellness.
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