WRITTEN JAN 2012
On 29th November at 38+6, I went for my weekly reflexology appointment, during the session I could feel the baby really moving around. That night as my husband put Saoirse (16 months) to bed, I began to prepare dinner, I had a real sense that it was our ‘last supper’. I’d a lovely relaxing night and a bath before bed. At about 4am on 30th November, I was 39 weeks, I woke with surges (contractions), they were about 10mins apart and very intense.
At 5am I woke my husband (Will), Dec is a very busy month for him, so I told him perhaps he should get up and do some work as the baby would be coming that day. By about 5.30am surges were increasing in intensity so I got up and had a bath. The water really helped. I went downstairs for a while and cleaned the kitchen and used my birthing ball. All the time I was listening to my Gentlebirth tracks. Will thought we should go to the hospital, as he thought things were progressing fast but I ‘knew’ things could take hours so I wanted to wait in the house.
At 7am I phoned my Dad, I told him I had hours to go yet but wanted him and Mum to come and get little girl. Mum was on night duty so he said they’d be down about 9am. At 7.30am our little girl woke so Will got her up and brought her downstairs for breakfast. He took my birthing ball upstairs for me and I used the ball during surges and had a shower.
At 7.45 I rang my friend I couldn’t find my head phones and asked her to bring me hers. She arrived at 8.15am, at this stage I was in the bath. She was fantastic, she poured water on my back chatted to me etc. I was listening to my Gentlebirth affirmations and she tuned into them and when I got out of the bath she repeated several of them to me when I had surges. She also applied pressure to my back; her hands were so cold which felt great.
At 9am my Mum and Dad arrived. My friend started to time surges they were 1 min 20 seconds apart but were only lasting 19-28 seconds. I thought they weren’t lasting long enough to be effective, also I’d had no ‘show’….and ‘no show no go’. Mum was very calm but said she really thought it was time to go to the hospital, I was finding surges pretty tough but was very much in control. At about 9.20am I agreed it was time to go to the hospital. I first went to the bathroom and noticed I’d had a show…so I happily shouted ‘we can go…I’ve had a show’. Mum grabbed towels and a packet of baby wipes. Into the back of the car about 9.30am and for comfort I kneeled up on the seat. Mum sat beside me. Poor Will had to drive. In the car less than 30 seconds and Will hit a speed ramp on the road…pop….waters released. Within perhaps 2 mins I knew our little baby was on the way. My affirmation track was playing and I was adding little ones myself, saying aloud ‘I am so grateful for green lights and clear roads’. Poor Will speeding along the hard shoulder on the N7, braking all speed limits. He was very calm and reassuring all the way.
Driving over the bridge at Dolphins Barn, approaching the Coombe, I could feel the baby’s head with my hand. As we reached the Coombe, my Mum told Will to drive straight to the ambulance bay outside the hospital and run into reception and tell them his wife was having a baby in the car. Will parked practically in the reception any nearer and the car would have been in the building. I wondered why it was taking so long for staff to arrive (in reality they were at the car in less than 2 minutes)
Two midwives arrived at the car, Liam’s head had emerged at this stage, they opened a sterile pack and draped this on the back seat. Midwife 1 said ‘one push and your baby will be born’. Midwife 2 added ‘when baby is born he will have to be brought straight into hospital’. I replied I would wait for him to born with the next surge. Between us myself, Will & my Mum told the midwives that everything is ok with baby I wanted skin to skin, delayed cord clamping & a natural third stage. Midwives insisted that baby was to be brought straight into hospital. Mum and Will were fantastic, said they understood but if all was ok baby would be staying with me.
Liam was born with the next surge, he cried, it was amazing, I had delayed cord clamping and skin to skin in the back of the car. They then wrapped myself and Liam in heated blankets and I was put on a trolley and brought into delivery suite accompanied by Will and my Mum
I had natural third stage in the delivery suite, Liam fed, latching wonderfully, and for me that was amazing, as I had a very hard time getting breastfeeding established with Saoirse. Liam was weighed a whopping 8pds 10ozs, a whole 2 pds 3 oz heavier than my first baby
We stayed in the Coombe, myself and Liam had skin to skin for 48 hours, he was only dressed for leaving the hospital. We had a fantastic bonding time.
My birth was not what I planned, but it was calm and gentle. Looking back at my birth preferences the birth although very different to what I imagined it still ticked all the boxes. And my Mum of course was thrilled to have ushered her little grandson into the world. Liam is amazing, he’s so good, I’m so proud of our gentlebirth and I feel like my family is complete…for now. We are blessed with two beautiful babies and I am blessed that I met Tracy Donegan & her Gentlebirth Programme
Gentlebirth Instructor, Mum to Saoirse, Liam and Cara