If you follow me on twitter, you’ll know that I have been collecting birth stories from lots of people to publish here. I find birth stories fascinating, I hope you enjoy all the stories i’m going to publish over the next couple of weeks.
Thank you so much to everyone who has contributed so far, I can’t wait to publish your stories and pictures!
If you would like to have your story featured then get in touch with me – I’m also going to link to other blogs with brilliant birth stories too, if you’d like me to link to yours then please let me know.
A Birth Day in the New Forest
Sixteen months ago, my little son was born. He came at 38 weeks on the nose, and the night I went into labour we’d spent the day visiting family in Wiltshire.
My sister, who’d been staying, had been dropped at the station and we had arrived home and gone straight to bed. Funnily enough, I’d wanted to ask her to stay another night, but she’d bought a return ticket, and who was to know my baby would be too impatient to wait any longer?
So there we were, crashed out and cosy, my husband was catching up with an episode of Top Gear on iplayer, and I was trying to fall asleep, when I began to feel a little niggly. I ignored it at first, everyone who’s ever been pregnant knows that the last few weeks are pretty uncomfortable, and niggles happen all the time. But these got stronger, and what started off as a little bit of tightening, began to feel less like niggles, and suspiciously like period pains.
It was about midnight when I was certain. “Husband” I said, “Baby’s coming.”
The next five hours were spent pacing around the house, drinking tea and eating biscuits, mooing through ever increasing contractions that my sister in law, who’d come round to look after our daughter, was timing on her phone, and rocking on my birth ball. Eventually, when I didn’t think I could stand it much longer, I kissed my daughter for the last time that she’d ever be an only child, and we left for the New Forest Birth Centre.
I wanted the birth to be as natural and intervention free as possible, and the birth plan I had painstakingly written reflected that, so I refused any kind of monitoring or internal examinations unless I got into difficulties. The first of my three lovely midwives checked it over and gave me the go ahead to go to town on the gas and air. At 7am, she went off shift, and the midwife who delivered my son arrived with her student. They left me to my own devices for the most part, only popping in now and then to check on me and the birth pool they were filling, until I began to go into transition and started zoning out during the contractions. At that point I consented to one cervical check which confirmed I was almost at ten centimetres and my waters were still intact, and I was helped into the pool.
That was when everything started to speed up. I remember the Radio One breakfast show was on the radio and every time I breathed in the gas and air, the room spun, and my hearing went almost completely and it sounded like there was a CD skipping in the room. It was completely surreal, but I remember enjoying how it felt when I squeezed my eyes shut so tightly that I started seeing stars dancing in front of my face.
And then suddenly there was the incredible need to push. The intensity as my body took complete control over what it was doing was amazing. I could feel the sac of waters bulging but steadfastly refusing to burst. With each contraction I was pushing so hard and thinking, this will be it, in just a second I’ll feel the sac break, but I never did. I am convinced that my son would have been born in the caul had the midwife not ruptured the membranes. As soon as she had done that I started to push again and this time felt the burning of my son’s head crowning, followed by a sharp pop. I looked down and saw his head had been born. One more little push and out slipped his little body, covered in vernix.
I lifted him out of the water, as I had been briefly coached, and he spluttered, opened his eyes and breathed. Almost immediately he turned pink but there was no crying, just staring, with the occasional blink. He was calm, staring at me, and I at him. We were checking each other out, getting the measure of each other. Mine were the first eyes he ever looked into.
“Hello little Elliot” I said, “I made you from scratch”.