At 38 weeks I decided that I’d like a home birth so I told my midwife who was super supportive and told me the home birth team would be in touch. I started looking at pools to hire and went to buy extra tea and biscuits and some dark towels. However, my little boy had other ideas.
At 38+5 weeks my waters broke at 3.30am in the morning. My waters didn’t break with my first baby so I didn’t know what to expect. So. Much. Water. And it just kept on coming too! I spent the remaining few hours of the night waiting for contractions to start. They didn’t.
In the morning I rang the birth centre and they said to come in for a check. I knew that they would book me in for an induction in 24 hours time. I cried in bed at the thought of it, it was not what I wanted at all. I wanted a natural birth with minimal intervention.
THE END OF OUR FAMILY OF THREE
My 3 year old goes to my parents on a Wednesday and as I knew I would be induced if nothing happened, we arranged for them to pick him up and to sleep over. I tearily said goodbye to Milo, knowing this was the end of our relationship as it was, and that it would change. The next time I saw him, there would be another addition to our family.
I went to the hospital and got checked out, everything was ok and I was booked in for an induction 24 hours after my waters went, at 4am on Thursday 12th April.
Spent all day waiting around, even managed to get my HD brows done and cleaned the house. We were ready for him to come.
At tea time I felt some tightenings, totally different from my first labour, was it starting?! We ate spicy pizza, had a walk and I did lots of bouncing on the ball. We headed to be at 9pm. I knew I need my energy if I was to be induced. I set the alarm for 2.30am.
At 1.30am I woke up and boom, straight into very intense contractions. I put the TENS machine on and woke my husband. By 2am they were 4.5 minutes apart so I rang the hospital and we headed in. We got to the hospital 20 minutes later and contractions were now 2.5 minutes apart. I was so happy it was happening naturally! We made the comical walk into the birth centre, stopping every few minutes for me to breathe and hold onto something as a contraction washed over me. I was glad it was the middle of the night so it was quiet!
THE BIRTH CENTRE
We arrived in the midwife led birthing centre at Pinderfields hospital and were shown straight to a room with a pool. After being checked, I was 5cm dilated at 2.20am. Caroline, my midwife, asked should she run the pool? I was unsure if it was too soon but as it takes 30 minutes to fill I asked her to do it. Lots more big contractions.
I paced around. Practiced my breathing techniques. I got in the pool and had lovely low lighting and candles, green light in the pool and some relaxing music on. The contractions were getting very intense and powerful so I had gas and air. I thought I couldn’t do it. But I knew that meant I was close. I kept repeating to myself ‘he is nearly here’ and ‘it’s almost over’.
TIME TO PUSH
Very quickly after getting in the pool I felt like pushing. It felt too soon so I asked the midwife ‘I feel like pushing?’, she said to do it! I was leaning over the edge of the pool with the midwives behind me. It was amazing to be left alone to birth, it felt so natural and animalistic. I held my husband’s hand and he put on the music I’d asked baby to be born to, Hoppipola by Sigur Ros.
I felt like a bit of splitting was going on and my fore waters broke like a balloon popping. Around 4 pushes later and my baby boy’s head popped out! I reached down and felt his little head. It just stayed there hanging out, haha! The next wave of contraction came and his body slid out into the water. I remember asking the midwife ‘argh what do I do?’. Of course she said ‘pick him up’! So I reached down and picked my baby boy out of the water.
Ernie Atlas born 4.22am on 12th April 2018 weighing 7lb 1.
HE WAS HERE
I pulled Ernie close to me and told him that he was so wanted. I had to hold him low down as the cord was so short. I couldn’t believe that I’d done it!
The birth I wanted. No induction. In the pool. It was beautiful.
I felt relief and so, so happy. I loved him so much already.
The midwife helped my husband cut the very thick cord. After a while, I got out of the pool, it felt like my stomach was falling down! Hubby took Ernie for skin to skin and I got checked. No tears woo hoo!
I had the injection to get the placenta out and a few minutes later it did. I fed Ernie, had tea and toast and had lots of snuggles and a snooze.
We had to stay in a further 24 hours, because of my water breaking and the risk of infection. We moved to a postnatal room in the birth centre which was lovely, it had a double bed and bathroom with a bath. We spent the day snoozing, chilling and feeding. I was at first annoyed at having to stay in but it was actually fantastic to have to rest. The midwives were amazing; helping with feeding and bringing us tea.
A FAMILY OF FOUR
My husband went to get Milo from nursery and brought him to meet his little brother. He gave him lots of kisses and cuddles and to me, it looked like he had grown up over night. It was very emotional. We had a KFC picnic in the room and Milo went off to stay at Granny’s for a night.
My husband came back and stayed overnight with me. Ernie fed on/off till 1am that first night and came back from his check asleep. He then fed at 5am and had another check. We all woke up at 8.30am and had tea and toast. Final checks and we were ready to go home.
On Friday 13th April we left the hospital at 10am and it didn’t feel anywhere near as weird leaving with our second baby as it did with our first.
We were home. A new family of four.
I cried, it was so, so overwhelming.
A MAGICAL MEMORY
I am so grateful I got the birth I wanted. For me, it was magical. I am grateful to Ernie for coming naturally and playing his part. I am thankful to the universe for assisting me in the journey to having such a positive birth. My first birth was long, hard and tiring. Still unassisted and natural but I don’t remember too much, other than relief it being over. I’m very glad I will remember the second birth experience my whole life.
To bring life into this world is the ultimate magic and I feel so proud to be a mama of two.
If you are reading this in preparation for your own soon-to-be labour, then mama you will do great. Whatever your birth experience, it will be magical. Understand how special you are to be able to do this, and drink up all the vibes when your baby arrives. And write your birth story soon, you won’t regret it. Sending magical labour dust to all who need it.