My husband was told he had an important work presentation that needed to take place on Tuesday 5th October which was two weeks away, I had just turned 36 weeks. We had agreed we would focus on the presentation and not discuss/ prepare anything baby related until it was done. As the weeks went by, I had grown more and more uncomfortable. I could not imagine remaining pregnant to 40 weeks, let alone after that which is of course expected in first pregnancies. The night before the presentation we went for a (VERY SLOW) walk late evening to finalise points of the presentation, I had to stop several times just with sheer discomfort and feeling utterly pregnant.
That evening I had decided to cook a new recipe containing gnocchi , which was disgusting - neither of us ate it. We climbed into bed at 11.30 pm having not eaten. At 11.45 I woke with a mild period type cramp, I had assumed I had given myself food poisoning from the disgusting meal I cooked! I wondered to the bathroom and just as I had entered into the hard floor, I had a trickle of fluid go down my leg- 'Ive wet myself??' I assumed... pregnancy is so glamorous I thought. I went to the toilet (again unusual at this late hour) and went to stand up and had a further gush of water splat onto the floor. Could this be?? I called out for my husband to come quickly as I was not sure if I had wet myself or if my waters had begun to break.. I did not want to get my hopes up! Charles ran over in excitement and quickly got onto his knees to investigate the fluid and ascertain if it was indeed waters! We agreed it was! We called one of the homebirth team midwives on duty that night to let her know, she advised for me to get back into bed and gather as much rest and energy in readiness for what was to come the following day- she also of course advised for me to ring her if I am having 3 contractions in ten minutes lasting a minute or more.
I hung up, and quickly instructed Charles to go downstairs and make me a giant bowl of pasta, I was concerned that I was not energised for what was ahead having not eaten a proper supper! Charles left me to make pasta, in that short time my 'cramps' had returned and become regular! I didn't believe for a second things had begun so quickly so I kept telling myself, ' surely not'!! By the time Charles had returned presenting me with a large bowl of pasta, I couldn't even look at it or talk to him to tell him I did not want it anymore. Contractions had come thick and fast- I told him to quickly start the list of jobs to prepare the 'birth space', off he went putting up affirmation cards, fairy lights and filling our birth pool.
The Freya app had then told me I was in established labour... time to call the midwife!! We rang the midwife at about 1pm (an hour after our first call to her) and advised we were having 3 contractions in 10 minutes with inconsistent lengths, but most lasting 55 seconds. She seemed quite surprised that I was already in the throes of things, and told us she would get dressed and dash over! (she was an hour away... not that I was aware of this!) ...Whilst Charles was downstairs, my body decided to start pushing, an uncontrollable urge which felt like I was being sick but in reverse! I told Charles as soon as he appeared and he was mortified! We rang the midwife and explained I had been pushing, she started to give Charles instructions in the event our baby would arrive before she did!
At about 2pm, midwife Pippa arrived and thankfully no baby yet, at this point I was trying not to push but feeling every sensation and urge to do so. I asked the midwife to assess me and she confirmed I was 9cm! This had happened in 2 hours. I pushed and I pushed and I pushed.... but sadly nothing was happening, our daughet was stuck and I was experiencing severe back pain / hamstring cramp. I then decided to ask for some gas and air, which helped me roar through the pushing.
After about 2 hours of pushing, the midwives agreed it was time for me to stop gas and air in the hope when I stopped things would be better quality and more focussed. Our baby was beginning to show some slight signs of distress having been pushing for so long and we needed to try and change babys position so she could get round that 'u bend'. THey asked me to get out of the pool in order to try and manoeuvre baby slightly. By this point, each gap between contractions was spent with me virtually asleep, I was absolutely exhausted from all of the pushing and would put my head down for some quiet. When being asked to move to a different room felt like an enormous task that I wasnt sure if I would be able to do, with some help we staggered into our spare bedroom which had a fairly high bed. THey lay me on the edge, with one leg in the air we had a little shake in the hope it would move baby. Pushing continued in the spare room, the midwife advised we might have to think about a little cut as baby's heart rate was starting to show more distress.
THe midwife injected me to numb the area, and with the next contraction I pushed with all of my might, burying my head into a pillow and clutching onto my husband for dear life, my daughters head appeared. By now, almost 6am, I was absolutely exhausted, I had been pushing since 2pm and my contractions were beginning to slow, they were shorter in length and arriving further and further apart. My daughters head kept appearing and then disappearing because I would quite literally run out of contraction. I was told when the next contraction finished, I needed to hold her there, take a breath and push again but this time on nothing. This was so so hard, without the contraction I felt so weak and feeble but we were so so close I was desperate to get her out. With the next contraction, I held her there and pushed on 'empty' and birthed her head. It felt like an eternity whilst we waited for the next contraction to then finally deliver my baby daughter. She arrived at 6.18 am and I will never forget the instant scream she let out, crying and crying on my chest covered in butter.
We enjoyed skin to skin listening to her cries and trying to soak it all up. My placenta followed moments later without the need for any injection and my husband cut the cord when it was completely white and after the placenta was delivered. We then made our way into our bedroom and enjoyed family time in our own bed. I was blessed with a very quick labour, and being at home was extremely special, I felt entirely safe the whole time and loved labouring in my own “birth nest”. We were then able to advise my husbands work that sadly he wouldn’t make it to his presentation because we had a daughter instead :)
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