I woke up early Friday morning, probably around 1:30am and Anna was awake. She was restless, fidgeting, uneasy. I asked her what was up; she said she couldn’t sleep properly. I went back to sleep for a while and woke up again at 3ish. I too was not sleeping well. Anna had said she felt funny and had been timing some pains in her stomach region. Without leaping out of the need in a panic I calmly talked with Anna about how she felt. She was pessimistically optimistic about what might be happening. Maybe it was the start of labour or just Braxton Hicks (false labour). I woke up a few times more before my alarm; Anna was in a shallow sleep. At the 3ish wake up I said I would stay at home but Anna said there was no need. At 5:30ish when we were both awake again, I said again that I would stay at home. I think this time Anna was glad I would be around as the pains were occurring regularly and at shorter intervals.
As Aoife was a week over her December 2nd due date and way over her 23rd November due date we had learned to be patient. At this stage though we both wanted labour to start, yet still in a natural way. Now it had started we were excited, scared, quietly confident and apprehensive all at once. We did our best to be calm and relaxed about the process. We kept going with the timing, Anna texted our midwife at 8am and he called back, asked a few questions about timing and how Anna felt. He too wasn’t going to rush over, so on it went, Aoife’s labour.
From the moment we decided to have a child we worked hard on trying to be as healthy as possible. Healthy from a physical, mental and emotional point of view. A lot of hard work goes into the whole process from trying to conceive, feeding Anna a healthy diet of smoothies with cabbage in, to lots of chocolate and of course choosing the birth path.
We kept a close eye on the contractions; I was noting the time and duration of each one. By 9am the contractions were happening about every 5 minutes, Anna was dealing with them very well. At this stage we had accepted that Anna was in labour and that it wasn’t a false alarm.
It’s a funny feeling knowing the labour has started and that a child is about to be born. You fear for its safety and hope for the Mama and the babba to do well. You think of all the potential problems and pit falls. All these things we prepared for, but caution always tells you to be aware of anything. From the moment we decided to have a child we worked hard on trying to be as healthy as possible. Healthy from a physical, mental and emotional point of view. A lot of hard work goes into the whole process from trying to conceive, feeding Anna a healthy diet of smoothies with cabbage in, to lots of chocolate and of course choosing the birth path. We were fortunate to be in the area of a very good midwife. He attended us on numerous occasions before Aoife’s birth and was a calming balancing force during the pregnancy. Lisa was also a positive addition to the team but didn’t join until the last month.
The timing of the contractions continued until lunchtime when Colm turned up. Anna was dealing well with them and Aoife seemed to be doing well also. When he got here he did all the checks, wanted to see how we were doing. He wanted us to get out and have lunch but the weather was really crap rain and we had managed to go out for a walk at 9:30am to the local shop. Colm wasn’t sure if he was going to stay or go, then come back later when things speeded up. He stayed in the end, and set about relaxing and doing Suduko and the Irish Time crossword :o)
Anna’s contractions were slowly getting closer and more intense but at a relatively slow pace. This continued on into the evening when Lisa turned up after work at 7:30ish. Colm continued to monitor Anna and Aoife and kept an eye on the intensity of the contractions and their intervals. My job was to continue supporting Anna, encouraging her and sending good vibes. At this time of the evening things were starting to ratchet up, contractions were coming quicker and becoming more intense. Anna was continually moving around the bed in various positions trying to find a comfortable one. She was feeling nauseous and vomited several times. My Mum and Dad turned up a little earlier at 5ish and dropped off Aoife’s little bed but didn’t hang around due to the noises coming from the bedroom!
When we got to about 9:00/9:30 we had “hit the wall”. Anna was in an inverted position and was saying “I can’t, I can’t”. I had run out of positions and was glad when Colm stepped in to pep us all up for the last push! He got us out into the hall, to walk around. He then got us to dance a bit to get Anna’s hips swaying and generally moving. Little Aoife was as she had been all along; feeling good and giving a constant 155 beats per minute. We walked down one flight of stairs and back up, danced a little more, then made or way back to the apartment.
She was and is so beautiful, we were blown away, exhilarated, relieved, and exhausted. We were so happy we almost forgot to check what sex she was! A little girl. Wow!
We were refreshed, reenergised and ready to move on with the birth. We were all exhausted too, but we weren’t going back or to the hospital. Colm did an internal examination on Anna to check her dilation; I think he said 8 – 9cm and could feel Aoife’s head. Anna could feel / sense that the time was approaching and moved from the bed to sit on the loo and back to the bed. Colm and Lisa were always supporting, not pushing us but still moving us along. While Anna was on the loo in the bathroom, she got some fluid discharge and some blood. We sensed that birth was close, her contractions were close together and you could see the swelling in her groin area. I remember Colm saying “where do you want to have this baby”. It’s not a question you get asked every day! We went to the bed, Anna wasn’t sure she could walk but made it by waddling to the bedroom.
Anna sat on the edge of the bed with her face down. I was by her head encouraging and supporting her, Lisa had been given the camera at this stage to photo the event. Aoife’s head was starting to appear now, still in the “caul”! We turned Anna around, with me sitting on the bed and Anna on the edge of the bed between my legs. Within 5 minutes of this position change Aoife was born. It wasn’t easy as Anna will contest but when the head started to appear she came out quite quickly. When she did pop out, Colm caught her, put a towel around her and gave her to Anna; she cried a little. She was and is so beautiful, we were blown away, exhilarated, relieved, and exhausted. We were so happy we almost forgot to check what sex she was! A little girl. Wow! Aoife’s name then got decided on very quickly.
I cut the umbilical cord a short while later. The placenta followed on after that and so the birth was over in effect. Anna was in really good shape and had very minimal damage. Colm and Lisa tended us and the baby for a while to make sure all was well. They then left us alone with Aoife, we were so happy. Tea and toast was brought in a little later and by 1:30am we had been left on our own with Aoife; life moved on and now our little family was three.
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