As you know we ended up changing our planned place for birth from Bracken to a water birth at home and with yours and Davina's help, we managed to arrange this! Within 24 hours of deciding on a home water birth we had managed to transform our conservatory into the birthing room with the hired birth pool from Davina set up in place! By the time I had finished the room, I felt very tired and had a bloody show. I had been losing bits and pieces of my mucus plug for about a week with lots of Braxton Hicks! By now I was a week over due! My community midwife has never been the kind of midwife I would recommend or want to deliver my baby and even now she was the only negative factor in the whole shift of birth plans. She was not encouraging of our plans and although she did organise the home birth paperwork, she kept reminding us that it still might not go ahead. I had to repeatedly chase up the home birth box to be delivered. My CM also told me that there would be no available pain relief and that there was no Entonox, but this was not what I was told by the lovely CM we had come round to assess me when I was in the latent stages of labour! However, I was woken up at 3am by vague period type pains on Thurs 23rd Sept. I went to the loo and realised I had had much more of a show and with that, contractions started to come about every 15/20 mins but they weren't really very painful. So I put on my TENS machine and tried to rest until morning. I got up and showered and phoned my CM to inform her that things had started. She sent a lovely CM round as she was busy in clinic and I was told I was 2/3cm dilated but that baby needed to move to a slightly more favourable position before labour would really start so I spent some time on my birth ball and on all fours. By just after lunchtime the contractions intensified and my CM turned up and examined me. She is not very gentle and I knew I must be around 4-5cm and was feeling ready to get in the pool as my TENS machine was beginning to not provide enough relief from the pain. I was trying my best to relax and breathe through each contraction and had some relaxing birth music on but I knew it was time for the warm water to relieve the tension I was feeling. However, on rough examination my CM told me I was still only 2-3cm and 50% effaced which I knew was inaccurate as I had already examined myself just before she got there! Maybe it was the anxiety she created that made me clam up! Tony also didn't like her attitude. We knew she was on duty until 5pm and desperately did not want her to be here to deliver our baby, so we were both relieved when she said she would leave us to it for a bit but that I should not get in the pool yet as I needed to be at least 4-5cm before I could do so or I would risk stopping or stalling labour. After she went, my contractions ramped up another gear and I began to get tearful as I was not coping well with the pain. So after about an hour I examined myself and could feel no thickness to my cervix so knew I was totally effaced and guestimated that I was about 5-6cm dilated. So I got in the pool which instantly relaxed me and I found I could cope better with the contractions and could zone out in between each one to get some much needed rest. By now I was vocalising through my contractions to enable me to cope. It was just Tony and I and Tony was very supportive but had to spend much time regulating the pool temperature to keep it constant.
We realised I was at transition stage when I started talking rubbish and crying! We waited until after my CM's shift finished before phoning labour ward to ask for a midwife. They called one out to us but we had to wait for her to get here. I was wanting Entonox by now but was just about coping. I was starting to feel the urge to push and so in between contractions, examined myself and knew I was fully dilated and could feel baby's head at the top of the birth canal. My waters were intact and I could feel the membranes around baby's head. I remained as calm as I could and Tony told Labour Ward I was starting to want to push. They said they would send a second closer midwife but if he thought delivery was imminent, he should phone an ambulance so the Paramedic could deliver the baby. I continued with the urge to push getting stronger with the next few contractions. Finally the door went just as I had a really powerful contraction and I told Tony I needed the Entonox quickly! Just then I pushed hard and baby's head crowned and I told the midwife..... "his head's crowning!" The midwife rushed in and told Tony to prepare to catch the baby whilst she scrambled around her bag to fetch out some gloves. Baby's body shot out with the next push (all in same contraction) and the midwife just managed to get her gloves on and grab him, brought him to the surface of the water and removed him from inside the intact membranes. He immediately cried heartily! The time was 6:24pm. Meanwhile I was in complete shock and crying and shaking all over. The midwife hadn't even had a chance to introduce herself and said to me, "you were hanging on to him until I got here, weren't you?". To which I replied "yes, I think so". Relief flooded my body as I realised he was fine and we had done it without any drugs or medical intervention.
The midwife said how lucky it was for baby to be delivered in his water sac. I felt sick and shaky due to the speed of delivery and how touch and go it was that the midwife was going to make it in time! But within a couple of hours I started to feel better. Baby latched on straight away and fed for an hour in total. He weighed in at 8lb 10oz with a head circumference of 35cm and a length of 51cm. He was perfect but we couldn't decide on a name and at almost 48 hours old, we finally decided on Theo Jamie. I escaped with a very minor tear so no need for stitches despite the speed of his delivery!
So there we go!!!!! We are recovering well and Tony was and is great - really stepped up to the mark and I can recall him standing there expecting to have to catch his new baby son, like a goal keeper with hands outstretched and a look of concentration and fear right across his face! He said it did not bother him in the slightest to watch Theo coming out into the world, whereas, he's never wanted to be down "business end" before with our other sons! lol
I wanted to say thank you for all the advice and support you have shown both Tony and myself through the classes, couples workshop and texts/phone calls. The homeopathic remedies came in handy too, as did the lavender facial spritz, Rescue Remedy and I found Tony blowing cold air on my face helpful!! I truely think we made the right choice in the end for our birth experience and much of that was due to your advice and guidance. The recommended books were also an excellent reference. As it happened, when I was in labour, I would have been turned away from Musgrove due to how busy they were and transferred to another hospital had we not opted for a home birth!! Little Theo had it all planned out for us and waited until we had all our plans in place before making his special and extremely memorable appearance in this world!!
I have attached a photo of our new baby son and look forward to coming along soon to tell his birth story to the Taunton yoga class and for you all to meet him.
All the best.