My third pregnancy was very much a surprise. It did not start in the best way! I was breastfeeding and vividly recall taking the first response test while holding my 6 month old PRAYING it would be negative. I nearly dropped him when the second line came up. I was in denial… only after the 5th test with varying shades of lines and symbols screaming PREGNANT did I actually look at my husband and conclude that I was very much indeed pregnant. My first words were “what are we going to do”
The pregnancy was hard. This was my third child in 3 years. My body did not cope well at all. I was sore, tired, and terrified. I put on alot of weight, my BMI was at 30, and emotionally was not in a great place. I had a show at 22 weeks followed with a pregnancy full of strong braxton hicks and SPD. I really found it difficult to connect to the pregnancy and as I had PND on previous pregnancies, was nervous that I was quickly heading in that direction.
At around 36 weeks something happened. I am not sure when or how or why it suddenly kicked in…but I was suddenly overwhelmed with the reality that I would soon have a new baby. I started enjoying my pregnancy and feeling really excited for the baby’s birthday. I enjoy giving birth…it was never something that scared me and after an especially good experience on my second child I was really looking forward to the onset of labour and meeting my baby.
I later describe this part of my labour as being wonderful because it was just so NORMAL. No pressure. No timewatching. No rushing or examinations or questions. Just us being us as we prepared for our newest member’s arrival.
From about 38 weeks I started getting stop/start labour pains. It was so tiring and I really started feeling discouraged that the labour did not take off after a good start. At 38+4 (my daughter’s birthday) I had strong regular contractions for two hours and then they just stopped. I was absolutely gutted! This went on for several days.
On the morning that I turned 39 weeks I woke up and started crying when my husband started getting ready for work. I begged him not to go! He told me I was being silly, nothing was happening, I had not had a single twinge all evening. I told him I knew that, but just really felt that I needed him here today. Reluctantly he agreed and went downstairs with the children while I went to back to bed.
Mid-morning I woke and decided to have a nice bath. After my bath I came downstairs and played with the children. I had a few bits to do online so I went on and sent a few emails. At one stage I felt a little stitch in my side and noted that the time was 1:40pm. Nothing else followed so I carried on…had lunch, cleared up the kitchen, fed the children, etc. A few minutes later, around 2pm, I had my first surge. It wasn’t strong but it was unmistakable. Wahooooo – here we go!!!!!! I recall a certain amount of smugness towards the fact that I had instinctively asked my husband to stay home!
I spent the next few surges fluttering around the sitting room. The children were eating and I took turns between going in with them to walking into the sitting room to take a surge standing in the doorframe. They were strong enough to take notice but I was not in pain or discomfort. I later describe this part of my labour as being wonderful because it was just so NORMAL. No pressure. No timewatching. No rushing or examinations or questions. Just us being us as we prepared for our newest member’s arrival.
Things happened very quickly from here. In the space of one surge things changed. I was not in discomfort and was hesitant to ring the hospital. It was my husband who told me that he thought that maybe we should start making a move. Madness, I thought. I am only in early labour. But he told me he saw my face change and that he recognised that I was working through the surges and that they were about 7 min apart and he would feel happier if we went in.
On the way to the hospital I felt less comfortable. The surges quickly went from 7 min apart to 2 min apart and I was spending more time breathing through them. I recall feeling slightly sick. I remember asking my husband could I walk from the Bridge of Peace because I was carsick. I wanted to be standing…I was really comfortable at home so long as I was standing.
One midwife asked me did I want to push. I didn’t have the urge so they were happy just to sit back and leave me. It was really lovely – I remember her sitting on her stool with her hands gently in her lap smiling. She was so calm!
We got to the hospital and parked the car. I placed a bet with my husband that I would be about 3-4cm on admissions. We walked through the carpark and up to the entrance. We walked up to the labour ward and rung the bell. No point hurrying, I thought. We went into admissions and was shocked to be told that not only was I in established labour but baby was coming. “Oh well done, Pet!” my husband said – he was very excited. We went down to the delivery room – I don’t remember much from this point on to be honest…. just snippets!
I remember hearing the midwives talking.. one midwife said that my waters were still intact and another shouting back “good!” as they rummaged about and started taking notes. One midwife asked me did I want to push. I didn’t have the urge so they were happy just to sit back and leave me. It was really lovely – I remember her sitting on her stool with her hands gently in her lap smiling. She was so calm! “Wait until you are ready” she told me. I knew she was in no hurry and would not try to hurry me along. I told her she would know when I wanted to push – that I would make a funny noise! A few minutes later she said “Is that the noise?” and with the next surge I got a strong urge to bear down. The waters released and the head was right on the perenium, I bore down (it felt so good) and my tiny baby boy was born. It was all very quick in the end. He was lifted up onto me straight away and wee’d all over me. It was only then I noticed I was still wearing my top and socks. He was born at 3:27pm and we had our first cuddle.
My head was still spinning… it was almost too fast if that makes sense. My husband rang my mother who I could hear laughing in the background on the phone. She told him I give birth like her mother – who had 3 babies en route to the hospital. We again joked to my husband that thank goodness he didn’t go to work that day.
My son was gorgeous. Absolutely perfect and all those doubts in pregnancy melted away from the minute I held his warm little body and heard him cry. He was a brilliant feeder and the image of his daddy… he was also the runt of our pack weighing only 7lbs 8.5 oz
I found the midwives extremely supportive and encouraging. I particularly was thankful for their hands off approach – something which always was a worry for me and I had discussed many times in ante-natal appointments. It was a really positive experience.
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