I went to bed feeling very sleepy, but Sophie wouldn't settle, at 10:50pm she was in bed with me. Lee, my husband, put her to bed at 11pm and I was so grateful that I could sleep. However, when I rolled over to get comfy my waters started to go. I then found blood clots, so being unsure what that meant I contacted the midwives and one came out to assess me. I was 1cm but having no real pains. I felt quite shaky and excited, but also very calm, it was all very surreal.
Throughout Wednesday my waters and show came away, it was very messy and I just wanted to sleep. My communitiy midwife came out and we discussed the time limits, and my great wish not to be induced, preferring if nothing happened by the time limit and depending on how baby was coping, to have a C section.
I had till 9am Thursday before I would need to see the consultant to discuss when a C section would be done - either that day or first thing Friday morning. In my mind I decided the sooner the better, prepared myself, and by Wednesday night having had hardly a twinge, began packing in readiness for hospital.
I felt calm, but a bit sicky. I forced food down as had to starve in prep' from 3am. Went to bed I think around 11pm, and started to feel more twinges, but slept, only waking to breathe the twinge away, and get comfy. But at about 1:30am Sophie came in the bedroom, Lee put her back to bed, but because I woke up the twinges suddenly seemed a little more spiteful.
I was soon sat up breathing and panting and thinking this seems like last time! At 2am I started timing them, and by 2:15am realised they were coming every 4 minutes. I called the communitiy midwife who arrived at 3am, just as I was putting the tens machine on.
Lee made me a hot choccy and I chatted to Jane the midwife while she took blood pressure and listened to baby. At 3.30am she did a VE (vaginal examination), and said I was 3-4 cm, and encouraged me to go downstairs to walk around. I didn't really want to, but I did as the bedroom seemed hot!
Downstairs I just couldn't find a comfy way to walk, I tried my birth ball but it was all wrong! I shuffled into the kitchen and hated it! I crawled across the living room, told Lee to turn the TV off and started to climb the stairs but couldn't get beyond stair 3!
I was Ooooooooohing and Ahhhhhing and feeling a lot of pressure. Jane climbed over the top of me and helped me back to the bedroom, and I leant across the bed, and I remember my tummy felt it was being ripped vertically. I'd have been scared if it had been across the scar but it wasn't.
Jane called her colleague who had the entonox; Jane hadn't any for some reason - I can't recall why! I used the tens machine quite well and her colleage arrived at 4am, just in time for me to decide the tens machine wasn't working. They tried all sorts but it just wouldn't work, and we discarded it when they realised it wasn't working and it wasn't just me!
I needed the gas but then they found 1 cylinder wasn't full, and something or other wasn't right with the pipe. Great! I had to wait for them to sort it out, and thank goodness when I could breathe it in and escape for a few seconds! I was by this time on the bed on all fours, and growling.
I have to say the next stage is a blur - I could hear them talking, asking me questions but I couldn't speak. I turned away from them all, only turning around when I felt Sophie climb next to me. I am told she came in as I was saying I can't do this, its all going to go wrong, and that when I saw her I calmed down again and was kissing her. I am told she copied what I was doing for a while on the bed until they decided I was growling deeply and may knock her by accident while I went for it!
I remember thinking the gas wasn't doing much, but biting on the pipe helped. I told myself there must be 100s of women at that moment feeling like me and I can do it. Later I was told the pump hadn't worked! I heard the midwife say that I was adopting the birthing position, and thinking to myself OMG I'm doing it! I remember Lee saying he could see the head, and the midwife saying if I could just push a bit longer they could have got a finger under the chin. I heard them say listen to your body, push, but I didn't want to, so I listened and pushed when I wanted to! This seemed to go on forever, and then suddenly I felt a relief from the burning to a pop, and a slippy slappy slop wet feeling, and Lee was grinning. I saw the baby was a boy, Oh Wow!!!
They passed him through to me between my legs and Lee cut the chord while I shook with excitement and just took him in, but at the same time grabbing Sophie close and telling her how much I loved her.
I then laid down and we put baby to me, he latched on and Sophie decided she wanted a drink so Lee had to go grab her a milk quick!!!
Photos were taken, and then I felt a bearing down again, the third stage was happening, which I'd chosen to be natural. It was uncomfortable but nothing I hadn't just gone through, and once out the midwife checked me, and I just had a slight graze. How clever was I?!!!
Sooooooooooo! - the room became a bit of a party with choccy bars, biccies, cups of tea and me just gloating! More photos were taken, baby was weighed and dressed, Lee put his nappy on. He fed for nearly 2 hrs and I was told to stay in bed and rest.
2nd stage officially was 48 minutes. I had the best midwives possible, my community midwife was a total star encouraging me all the way.
That is how James Alexander was born. I'm so glad to share the happy event with you all - its been a truely remarkable, healing and amazing experience and I feel so b...dy smug!!! The whole birth experience has helped heal me in so many ways as Sophie's birth was a traumatic emergency c section, which left me terrified of becoming pregnant and of hospitals. I suffered with a lot of problems related to post traumatic stress syndrome which my community midwife and GP recognised and helped by encouraging me to lean to an HBAC. I never thought I would do it but I did!
I only had 2 VE's and both with my permission, unlike when in hospital; and my birth plan was respected throughout. We only had a slight panic when at 36 weeks the consultant said baby was small for dates, but again my community midwife calmed me down after checking out fundal heights and a scan also help us feel more reassured that James would be just fine. He was a respectable 6lb 10oz.
If I can do it, little me, so can many many others! I went from a birth with every intervention and drug possible, to basically a very natural homebirth with my daughter present. It's made me so much more confident and happy, and best of all I'm me again, not "The C Section Mum"!