Irish mum’s second birth in the US with midwives

Well as I’d gone early with my first daughter I assumed I’d be the same on my second birth. So 40 weeks came and went and no sign of baba!

I had decided early on I’d go with midwives as I’d seen that film “the business of being born” and I was nervous of the over-medicalised view of birth in America. Through friends I found a lovely midwife group who were very supportive of natural birth and just letting women do what they need to do during labour. I was really keen for a natural birth this time. Even though I had one the first time I was a little worried that this birth could be different and I wanted to do as much as I could to help me achieve this. So myself and my husband did a 12 week antenatal course (Bradley birthing class) and I read loads of inspiring books on birthing. Ina May Gaskin’s book quickly became a favourite.

At 41 weeks my midwife was fairly relaxed but offered to do a sweep to see if it would kick start things. It didn’t. Every night I walked stairs and sat on the exercise ball and did pretty much everything people suggest to help get a baba out! Nothing seemed to help. My midwife booked me in for induction on Christmas Eve, this would have been 41 + 5. A few days before this I had a lot of bloody show. I rang my midwife just to let her know and while on the phone I asked if I could delay induction till 42 weeks which would have been after Christmas. She agreed as baby had been perfect on the scan at 41 weeks. So that gave me a huge sense of relief. I think I had been really worried about induction. My sister had come over from Ireland to help mind our 2 year old and we had a great time that week. I knew now my toddler would be fine with her aunt minding her while we were in hospital and I really just felt everything would be good.

The day I went into labour we had ate mountains of food, shopped for hours in the mall and had a dip in the outdoor pool and hot tub. Beautiful sunny day typical of Arizona. I went to bed feeling great but pretty darn big too! At 3.30am I woke with sudden contractions. I waited till 4 to wake my husband. They were every 6-7 mins and very powerful. I rang the midwife an hour later and she suggested coming in soon enough. I swayed my hips and focused on the candle I had lit during each contraction. I said little positive birth mantras to myself like “open and soften” and “my baby will be perfect”. I found them great.

We headed to hospital around 5.30. It was only 10 minutes drive but it took a lot longer as we had to pull over on the freeway for me to be sick. I figured I was in transition. I was in very powerful labour then and was wheeled up to the triage area. This was tough as my contractions were so frequent and so strong. While on the triage bed being monitored, my waters broke with a huge gush everywhere. I was really moaning and the other couple in early labour were probably a bit freaked! The monitor started going crazy and my husband pressed the call button…it turned out to be the wrong one as “code blue, code blue” was being called on intercom and loads of nurses came running! Everything became calm once my midwife turned up. The baby’s heart rate was a little high due to the shock of the waters breaking but all was well and I was fully dilated!

So off to the delivery suite….and pushing….so much easier this time…he was out within 15 minutes of serious pushing. I felt so powerful and strong. I could feel his head moving down and out. I looked out the window and saw the sun rising outside. Beautiful. I said “baby I’ll see you soon, this will be ok” as I paused in pushing while he crowned. The midwife was so wonderful, just there for me but letting me do my thing. He was massive – 10lbs as it turned out. No tears for me this time. He was perfect. The relief and wonderful feeling was awesome. He was put on my chest and warm blankets put around us both. I felt fantastic!

All birth stories and images featured in 42 weeks have been generously shared by members of the public in Ireland. If you would like to take part and share your story, we would love to hear from you. Get in touch through the website http://www.42weeks.ie, through Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/42weeks or follow us on Twitter at @42_weeks.

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