Little Miss H is now six years old and Little Mister H is three. So it seems silly that I’m writing their birth stories now. I never wrote their birth stories before because I wasn’t blogging when Little Miss H was born and then it never seemed to be the right time. Then with Little Mister H, I was so busy getting used to being a mum to two children, that I never sat down to write it.
But on Little Mister H’s recent birthday I decided that it was now the right time to share how our babies were born. Mainly because I don’t want to lose those memories. I don’t want to forget two of the most amazing days of my life. Because giving birth was amazing. It is such a powerful and empowering thing to do. And it feels odd knowing that it is an experience that I will never have again.
I’m first going to share the story of how Little Miss H was born. I’ve divided the story into two parts. As that is how I always think of her birth. In two parts. First the birth and then the after-birth. Therefore, it felt that this was the most appropriate way to share her birth story.
This is the story of the day that Little Miss H was born.
Little Miss H’s Birth Story – The Birth
Waters Breaking And The First Contraction
It was 6:00 am on Tuesday, 21st May and our alarm had just gone off. Mr H got up to go to work. I was on maternity leave and two days past my due date. As I woke with the alarm, I noticed that my tummy felt unusual and I heard a loud pop. This was followed by my waters breaking in a rush. Little Miss H was beginning her entrance into this world.
I remember turning to Mr H and asking him what he valued most. Our bed or our carpet. He asked why. And I said:
“Because my waters have just broken and I’m about to ruin either our bed or our carpet. So if you care about our bed then I’ll go to the toilet. But if you care about our carpet then I’ll stay here.”
Mr H replied that he didn’t want me to ruin our bed and so I calmly walked to the toilet. My waters had broken in a great flood and I was still leaking continuously.
I then phoned The Birth Place to tell them what was happening. They warned me that it might take a long time and that I should phone them back at midday and let them know how I was getting on.
At 8:00 am I had my first contraction so we began to time them. This wasn’t as easy as we had anticipated. A contraction of 60 seconds would be followed by another that lasted 20 seconds. It was confusing!
We tried to use a TENS machine to help with the pain. But it was no use. I couldn’t tell when one contraction ended and another began. So we gave up with the machine and I just had to cope with the pain. The Birth Place had told me to take some paracetamol and have a warm bath. The bath helped a little but the paracetamol didn’t even touch the pain.
My contractions continued to follow an irregular pattern for another hour or two. Then at about 10:00 am, I began to be physically sick. I like to think I have a reasonably high pain threshold but I HATE being sick. I could no longer cope with the contractions and throwing up and I wanted to go to the hospital. So I asked Mr H (very rudely) if he could phone The Birth Place and tell them that we were going in.
Going To The Hospital
The car journey to the hospital was hideous! I was being sick, my contractions were coming thick and fast and my waters were still gushing. Panic was also beginning to set in and I was getting very upset. I even tried to convince Mr H to run over a pedestrian on a zebra crossing (which, thankfully, he did not do).
We got to the hospital and I was a mess. I was crying and sobbing. I’d had enough and didn’t want to be in labour anymore. I was still being sick and the walk to the hospital took ages as I kept on running to the grass verge to throw up.
Upon entering the hospital, it wasn’t long before we got to the lift. But the lift took ages to arrive and I really wasn’t coping. Eventually, we piled into a crowded lift. I was covered in sick and sweat and my waters were still gushing. One lady took one look at me and said:
“Oh, you’re in labour. You poor love.”
All I could do was cry. I just wanted the agony to end. And I was terrified that I was still in early labour and that I just wasn’t coping.
At The Birth Place
I made a dramatic entrance to The Birth Place. I flung the door open and ran to the toilet to be sick. Eventually, the sickness passed and the midwife was able to interview me and hear a contraction. She obviously thought I wasn’t coping either and patiently told me to breathe through my contractions.
After what felt like forever, I was taken into triage and examined. At that point it was around 11:00 am and it turned out that I was already nine centimetres dilated. The midwives suddenly rushed into action and began filling the birth pool so I could have the water birth that I so desperately wanted.
In The Birth Pool
Before the birth, I had been so worried about being naked around strangers. I had painstakingly spent time trying to find the perfect nightdress that I could wear in the birthing pool. But when the time came to get in the pool, I have never undressed so quickly in my life. I just wanted to be in the water and I no longer cared who saw me naked.
The combination of the water and gas and air was amazing. It wasn’t long after getting in the water that I felt the need to push. And the midwife said I could begin pushing. And it was at this point that the wonderful Entonox took hold and my memory becomes hazy.
But I was brought back to reality with a bump. The midwife said the phrase that all future mums and dads hate to hear:
“Your baby is in distress. We need to get you out of the pool and try and get the baby out quickly.”
I was then hauled out of the pool and helped onto the sofa in my room. And I suddenly became aware that the room was filled with midwives. The midwives tried to get me into a better position but Little Miss H’s heartbeat was still dropping. At 12:11 pm the chief midwife gave the order for me to be transferred to The Delivery Suite. I was put in a gown, placed on a gurney and wheeled, at some speed, into a room filled with midwives, paediatricians and obstetricians.
During all of this, I felt calm. My husband was by my side and I trusted the people around me. The doctors and midwives encouraged me to push and explained that Little Miss was stuck and needed to be born as soon as possible.
After a while, they told me that I could have one more chance to push the baby out. Then they were going to give me an episiotomy and use a ventouse on Little Miss H. Hearing this was all the motivation I needed. I pushed with all my might and at 12:24 pm Little Miss H was born. She was born with her arm by her head which was why she’d been stuck and had got into distress.
Little Miss H was here
The feeling of love that went through me when Little Miss was placed on me was incredible. Mr H and I were overwhelmed that we had produced this wonderful baby!
As part of my birth plan, I had decided that I wanted to do skin-to-skin with the baby as soon as possible. And I wanted to deliver the placenta naturally. I believed that the hard part of giving birth was over and that the third stage would be easy. But I was very wrong!
And there ends part one of Little Miss H’s birth story; the birth. Please do pop back in a few weeks to read part two which is all about the after birth.