Mary arrived safely on Saturday 25th May at 5.24pm, weight 8lb 5oz and she is absolutely perfect - the calmest baby.
I started contracting at 4.30am and laboured at home until 10.30am. I decided to go in as my son was bothering me and I noticed my contractions would slow down whenever he was near. After getting stuck in traffic I arrived at the hospital and was told I'd have to be monitored with no water birth. I calmly explained I'd done my research and we agreed to put me on the monitor for 20 minutes and then they'd examine me and I could use the pool. I was only 1cm dilated and I think you can see why!!! I didn't let that get to me though and I was transferred to the antenatal ward. I continued to labour with my tens machine and a bath. I did try gas and air but it did absolutely nothing for me. I did a hypnobirthing track but found it annoyed me. I had another anchor through which was 3 songs I associated with relaxation and determination with yoga (we would close our eyes and do an actual exercise that would hurt for 3 minutes to work on our mindset and focus while listening to the song - often singing along to it). I listened to those 3 songs all day!
I requested an examination which they did reluctantly at 2.30pm and was pleased to be told I'd got to 4-5cm. I realise you don't advocate examinations but it's something I personally wanted and I knew my body was further along. I was ecstatic to be told I could head to the pool. The walk to the pool was extremely long and I could feel her descending with every contraction. I thought my waters went en route but I was actually bleeding which meant I had to get straight onto the bed and watch my pool being filled in the distance (so close!!!). It was quite frightening but all was fine albeit I needed to stay monitored so my water birth went out of the window. Although I was frightened I stayed absolutely focused. We tried a range of positions on the bed but my ultimate focus at this point was on getting her out and not on position. By this point my body was telling me to push with part of my contractions. I was examined again at about 4.30pm (just over an hour before my last examination) and I was 10cm dilated. The midwife thinks the quick dilation is what made me bleed.
The midwives were fantastic and guided me but could clearly see me and my body knew what we were doing. I was very lucky with them I think. They never actually had the time to read my birth plan so were guided only by me and Paul.
There was something so primal to pushing when it came to it. The only thing the midwives guided me with was that I was making a lot of noise! They told me that I had to put all my energy into pushing as I was wasting it with the noise. My inner cavewoman took note! Mary was born at 5.24pm with a small vaginal cut to aid her out. I also had a small tear inside. Neither of these were painful with local anaesthetic.
So in the end no pain relief! This wasn't really a conscious decision but I wanted to get in the pool before using anything and that never happened. When I saw I was bleeding I didn't even consider pain relief, I was just focused on getting her out and trusted my body to do that. The only thing I did to aid the pain was to have Paul put pressure on my lower back as thats where the pain was (she was back to back).
I don't think I've ever felt so empowered which is dramatically different to how I felt after I had E and I have you to thank for that!
Thank you so much for everything. It could have been a very different story if I didn't have the confidence, trust and belief that my body could do it which is what I gained from you. Mary is the calmest baby and I believe that's because of how she arrived and how relaxed I've been the last few weeks.
Thank you again Helen.