I woke up on Sunday morning at 3

 

I woke up on Sunday morning at 3.30am feeling crampy and having to go in and out of the loo regularly. I actually thought I was either constipated, or,( after it had gone on for a few hours) food poisoning. At 5am I actually went downstairs and checked the date on the packet of meat we had used for dinner! Once I'd ruled out food poisoning, the thought of braxton hicks was my next port of call. The cramping and loo trips became far more frequent and by the time my husband woke at 9.30 I was up every ten minutes or so. I found leaning against the sink in the bathroom with my head on the tap while I rocked my hips helped me manage the surges. As soon as the cramping eased I'd head back to bed. I was only getting about 5mins between surges at this stage.

 Gerry put on my gentlebirth cd's and some low lighting and started setting up the birthing pool. I got into the pool at 11.30am and got up on all fours under water swaying through each surge. My surges were about a minute apart lasting for around a minute which I was confused by. I hadn't had a show or any waters releasing, so Gerry phoned the midwife to ask what the best plan was. I spoke briefly to a lovely man who said that if I was managing very well at home he doubted strongly that I was in established labour and to stay in my pool as long as possible. When my two hours of pool time were up I decided I'd like to go into the hospital to be assessed as I couldn't imagine how I'd cope with the car journey and time in A&e once the surges progressed. As soon as I stood up, I had a show and what seemed like some waters releasing. For the car journey into the Rotunda which was about 20mins I was lying up on all fours against my labour ball in the back seat. As you can imagine, on a busy Sunday afternoon in the city, I was quite the sight! We got into A&e and I was assessed by a midwife who seemed to think I was quite early into labour and was a little unhelpful around me managing my surges while she wanted to do my trace. I lay on my back to allow her to get it over and done with and almost immediately vomited. The trace was perfect and when she did the VE I was 5cm so she was happy to take us up to the labour suite. I got a lovely room with a shower and a midwife who was so respectful of our birth preferences. I spent the next hour or so sitting in the shower aiming the warm water at my bump during the surges. I was completely zoned out of people coming in and out and Gerry made sure the atmosphere was kept calm and quiet. I needed to start swaying again to manage the surges and was eager to know how far along I was. At this stage I thought I'd like to try some Entonox and I really found it both helped me focus on my breathing and just dulled the surges enough to allow me to keep calm. At my request the midwife did another VE and I was 10cm. I began breathing my baby down and found pushing along with the breathing really helped. All in all the second stage lasted around 50mins and Jack began crowning, which felt far less scary than I had expected. He emerged in two surges and was born at 7.59 on Sunday evening after 17 hours of labour. The midwife left the cord to pulse and Jack was immediately given skin to skin with me and then Gerry while I had a little stitch for a slight tear. The third stage happened naturally and though there was a lot of bleeding initially, the next day it had almost stopped. I have to say, our birth experience was so much better than I had hoped for. The workshop really helped prepare us to work as a team and allowed me to be able to zone out and stay so calm and focused. I also think the GentleBirth course helped me have a really healthy pregnancy, so all in all, amazing.

           
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