Our first baby was due on Friday 8th February. I had kept pretty active during my pregnancy, I walked, swam, done a pregnancy yoga class, and bounced bounced bounced away on the pilates ball! I also listening to Gentlebirth CDs. I had a fear of hospitals, sickness, blood, needles and honestly didn’t know how I was going to get through pregnancy let alone labour. But at the same time I knew that I would love to have a natural, pain relief free labour. I wanted the best start for my baby and I really wanted to experience labour and feel my baby entering the world. I believe that keeping myself active throughout my pregnancy, informing myself of all my choices and keeping as calm as possible really helped me have the birth I wanted.
I finished up work two weeks before my due date and after week one I was already impatient and couldn’t wait for baby to make an appearance. The week leading up to my due date, I walked, bounced, drank raspberry leaf tea, ate veggie chilli, burnt clary sage oil, went for acupuncture and reflexology, all to help baby on its way.
The morning of my due date I woke up at 5am on the dot and had very slight period like cramps. Honestly didn’t think anything of it until I noticed the cramps coming and going every ten minutes or so. By 6am I thought I better wake my husband up. His first reaction was “yeah right don’t be silly, it’s your due date you only want to think you are in labour” – I agreed with him and tried to go back asleep, but by 6.30am the cramps were that bit more painful. We both got out of bed and went downstairs, I was hungry!! By the time it took my husband to make my some tea and toast, the cramping pains and turned into proper labour pains. I bounced on the ball and switched on the tens machine.
“I told my mam that I needed to push, she said “don’t be silly, this is your first baby, you probably have hours to go yet and it’s going to get a lot more painful!”. But as soon as she heard the groan out of me I heard her say “Jesus! She is bearing down, DRIVE!!!!”
My parents live very close by, they called in at 7.30am and by that time I was finding it difficult to talk during each surge. I was kneeling up and draped over the back of the sofa, swaying my hips from side to side. My wonderful husband was doing acupressure on me and the tens was on full blast. Each surge was sore but quite manageable. I needed to use the bathroom and that’s when I had my show. I remembered reading “no show no go (to the hospital that is!)”. So I told my husband to ring Holles Street. I was registered with the Community Midwives Domino Scheme (such a wonderful team of midwives who promote a natural birth). Theresa, the midwife on that morning asked my husband if she could speak to me. And when she realised I couldn’t actually talk through the contraction, she said sure you might as well come on in and we will examine you and discuss pain relief. PAIN RELIEF!!!! I was so in the zone I had totally forgotten that I still had the option of pain relief. Yes it was time to go.
And just like that as I stood up, my waters broke. My dad was driving us into the hospital, my mum was in the passenger seat and my husband and I got into the back. From the moment my dad started reversing out of the driveway I knew something had changed, I felt different, I needed to push! It was now 9am. I told my mam that I needed to push, she said “don’t be silly, this is your first baby, you probably have hours to go yet and it’s going to get a lot more painful!”. But as soon as she heard the groan out of me I heard her say “Jesus! She is bearing down, DRIVE!!!!”
9am on a Friday morning, trying to get from Ballinteer to Holles Street…..traffic!!!! I kept thinking, I can’t believe my baby is going to be born in my dads car. My mam was telling me to pant, and my husband was silent, he too thinking I can’t believe our first born will be born in the back of a fiat punto!
After a very intense journey we arrived to Holles Street at 9.37am. When I entered the hospital I saw a small tan leather sofa in the reception area, and that’s where I headed. I had spent the entire car journey trying not to push now I was in the hospital that’s all I wanted to do. Up I got onto the sofa and started pushing (much to the shock of onlookers in the waiting area!!), I could feel the baby moving down a lot. A porter came with a wheelchair and I kneeled on it, grabbing onto his arm through each surge (now I thought the baby was going to come flying out in the wheelchair). Up we went in the lift and int a lovely big delivery room. I got myself up onto the bed, onto all fours and pushed. My trousers and shoes were taken off me, by my husband I think. The midwife said she was glad she told me to come in as she was going to tell me to stay at home a bit longer. She said the baby would be born any minute. My husband quickly set up the iPod (I really wanted the baby to be born to music). I was offered gas and air but refused, I had come this far without pain relief and I really felt that I was managing well, breathing and focusing (the tens machine was also super!). Two more big pushes and out he came. All 7lbs 5oz of him. My little Noah bear. My husband said “It’s a boy!!!” And he was passed through my legs, cord still attached and I picked him up and put him under my tshirt. He was born at 9.53am – 15minutes after arriving in Holles Street.
It was the most amazing experience of my life and I felt like superwoman afterwards. Granted it was a short labour especially for a a first timer. But in saying that I feel that I was prepared both mentally and physically and got the birth that I wanted as a result. Next time, home birth for sure!!
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