I woke up with contractions in the early hours of Wednesday morning, but assumed it was another false alarm after having had a previous night of contractions that fizzled out. I wasn’t really sleeping though and some of them seemed fairly close together, so I got up around 4 am.
Just before 5 am I decided to wake Colin up and ask him to set up the pool, which he did with Aaron’s help while I rocked on my birth ball. I also phoned the labour ward to warn them that I was booked for a homebirth and would be calling back later. Within an hour I had phoned them back and asked for a midwife to come out.
For a while after getting into the pool I wondered if I was really in labour at all as it was lovely and relaxing! There were candles, essential oils, fairy lights, Bible verses on the wall and harp hymn music playing in the background. Aaron had gone back to bed but Colin woke Tabitha up as she was keen to be there. She chatted to me in between contractions, asked lots of questions and fetched me drinks.
At 6:20 am I felt my waters break and the first midwife arrived about ten minutes later. After checking my blood pressure, pulse, temperature and baby’s heartbeat, she explained that she hadn’t yet had a chance to collect the gas and air or suction equipment from the hospital. The other midwife was at least half an hour away and by now I felt that things might happen quite quickly. It was decided that she would call an ambulance so that there would be suction equipment available just in case resuscitation was needed. The paramedics arrived as I was pushing, waited in the kitchen and then left a few minutes after baby was born. I never even saw them.
Tabitha had wanted to be there to watch the actual birth, but I was struggling with the pain and was concerned that she might be upset, so I asked Colin to send her to play with Aaron. She has since said that she wasn’t in the slightest bit scared and was a little disappointed to have missed it, but it was the right decision for me as I didn’t have to worry about her.
Colin was an absolute rock, supporting me emotionally and physically. I was kneeling in the pool, leaning over the side and gripping his hands very tightly as I pushed! Baby was born at 7:21 am, I caught her myself and brought her up to the surface. It wasn’t until the midwife suggested it that I remembered to check if she was indeed a girl! We called Aaron and Tabitha to come and meet their new sister.
After a while I got out of the pool and went to sit on the sofa. At this point the second midwife arrived. Eventually I cut the cord (Colin is too squeamish!) and handed baby over to Colin and then Tabitha for a cuddle. We discovered that none of our newborn hats fitted onto her head very well!
I delivered the placenta naturally after forty minutes and then baby had her first feed. After that she was weighed, measured and checked over. To our surprise she weighed 8 lb 14.5 oz, over a pound heavier than either Aaron or Tabitha!
By mid-morning the midwives had gone, the house was mostly back to normal and we settled down to enjoy our new arrival. After Tabitha’s home birth I was on an amazing adrenaline high, but I have to admit I found this birth much more difficult and didn’t get the same feeling. I felt quite wobbly about it for the first day, but already the negative memories have faded and it now seems like a positive experience. I was lucky enough not to have any tears or grazes, and have been feeling great physically except for a very sore tailbone which makes sitting and getting up rather difficult. Baby doesn’t yet have a name and is still known as Bumpy! Lots more photos to follow soon.