My birth story…

With the imminent arrival of the future king or queen it felt only right for me to tell the story of the arrival of my little prince…

Throughout my pregnancy I was always measuring a little big so I had convinced myself I would be early, I wrote in my birth plan that I want a water birth but was aware that if I was too early this wouldn’t be possible. I had also expressed my wish to avoid drugs and an epidural which my mother found hilarious, I was well known for being a bit of a wimp.

A couple of weeks before my due date we had a visit to the hospital as I thought my contractions had started and I was freaking out with the pain. After some monitoring and an examination it turns out it was wind, that epidural was sounding more and more appealing…

Five days before my due date during my usual morning ritual of watching Philip and Holly whilst bouncing on my ball I felt what I thought were more Braxton hicks, this time a little more intense and painful than the ‘wind’ I was feeling last time. These continued for a few hours during which time I paced round the house, had about five baths and made mooing sounds while on all fours which my two cocker spaniel puppies found hilarious. It finally came to the point where Mr A was summoned home from work, “I don’t think its wind this time sweetheart” I screamed down the phone while on all fours rocking back and forth like a mad woman.

After some more floating around the bath, hours of bouncing and packing and unpacking my hospital bag I called the hospital as my contractions were getting closer together. They told me to come to the hospital straight away and confirmed that the pool room was available which made the pain a little more bearable for now. So off we went, me with an overpacked hospital bag and Mr A with his little bag of energy drinks and magazines which I made him bring. Two excited faces sat in the car both with a nervousness about what was ahead but knowing our baby would be with us soon, this was it we were all systems go!

My good friend gave me an excellent book to read while I was pregnant ’Good birth companion; a practical guide to having the best birth and labour’. I’m not gonna lie, it scared the shit out of me when I started reading it around 20 weeks so I decided to come back to it when I was around 30 weeks and was more focused on my birth and things like the colour of the nursery were sorted. The book basically talks about women and childbirth and how our bodies are built to cope with the trauma. With a bit of positive thinking and physical and mental preparation your labour can be as natural as it would be if you were an animal in the wild (this bit did make me giggle as I did start to resemble a giant hippo towards the end) I had also read a lot about hypnobirthing and visualisation techniques so during the journey to hospital I knew I had to try and put myself in my ‘happy place’ and try and zone out a little and focus on moving the baby in to the correct position.

We arrived at the amazing midwife led Birth Centre at Royal Bolton Hospital at 1am and I was 4cm. I was so impressed with our room, we had a huge birthing pool with coloured lights all over the room, a huge bed with all kinds of things to hang off and lean on and the best thing ever…an I pod docking station! We had been on a tour of the unit and I had noticed the docking stations in every room so spent a day putting together the perfect ‘labour’ playlist!!

After a few more hours making some interesting shapes and trying to enjoy my ‘happy place’ I decided to get in the pool to see if made things progress any quicker. My new bikini didn’t stay on for long and I was soon doing laps of the pool barking some interesting vocabulary at Mr A which he found hilarious. We also had a laugh at some of the songs on my playlist; I had put some ravey tunes of from my clubbing days that brought back some funny memories. We also had our wedding song Elbow ‘One day like this’ and some special songs that remind of us happy times like Eva Cassidy ‘Songbird’ and Roberta Flack ‘The first time ever I saw your face’. It really helped to have relaxing surroundings and another great thing about the midwife led unit is that you are left to do your own thing until it comes to the serious bit. I had an amazing midwife, trainee midwife and trainee doctor in the room with me during the final few hours, they didn’t do any examination apart fetal heart monitoring under the water.

I had always just wanted it to be myself and MrA in the delivery room but I was delighted when MrA agreed to let my Mum pop in to offer some words of encouragement. She gave me lots of kisses and told me how proud she was, I just kept crying ‘mummy I’ve done it without an epidural!’ it was a real lift to have her there and we all had a little cry before she returned to the waiting room to join my Dad. My contractions had started over 24 hours ago and I was now nearing the end, after a pep talk from MrA and the decision to scrap the gas and air which was making me sick I was starting to push. Two very long hours later and to the sweet sounds of the Beach Boys ‘God only knows’ Oscar William was born. I remember looking down at him thinking jeez how on earth have I done that, he was a beast!

The next part was a bit of a blur but I remember my Mum and Dad coming in while Oscar was still attached to the umbilical cord and us all having a good cry. MrA whispered in my ear how much he loved us both which just brought on more tears from me, even the trainee doctor had a little cry as she had just witnessed her first birth! MrA cut the cord and I did the last bit that we don’t like to talk about then came out of the pool to start nursing my boy. The midwife left us alone for a good hour so we were able to have some special private time trying to take in the sheer awesomeness of our new arrival. My parents, sister and MrA’s parents all came to say a quick hello to our little prince then then went to wait back in the family room as I was told I would be moved to a private room shortly and they were all dying for a cuddle. After a bit of us time he midwife brought the scales in and we plonked the little chunk down…

Weighing in at 9’13…Oscar ‘the beast’ William!!!

My god, I felt like super woman I was so proud of myself texting a pic to all my friends with the words NO DRUGS in capital letters.

We got moved to a private room which had a double bed and a huge TV, I felt like I was in a five star hotel! The midwives and healthcare assistants would pop in to say well done on my delivery and they were all pleased to see he was feeding well and I was recovering ok. After a bit of pass the baby parcel our families left and we were able to have some cuddles on the bed. Just as we were all nodding off the midwife came in to say we could go home, I had only given birth 7 hours ago, you are really going to let me take this thing home?? So that was it, we packed my bag, dressed Baba and MrA went to the car to get the car seat.

This was the first time I had been alone with Baba, I still felt like I was in a dream and as I looked down at his big eyes I felt that special kind of love that my mum always harps on about, he was perfection.

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