On the 29th of September, I woke early in the morning, uncomfortable; trying to relieve discomfort, I thought I should try wee, and as I hopped back into bed, I felt a sharp cramp. I knew labour was starting. I checked my phone, and it was 3:58 am; I tried to stay calm and relaxed in bed. I was interested to see how far apart they were as I never really timed my contractions in previous labours & wanted to see if they were close together. It could be like my last birth, which was precipitous. They weren’t too close together in my mind as in my last birth they were immediately 1 min apart.
"It was nice to feel in control and that I didn’t need to do anything apart from take things as they come and birth my baby"
I had made a birth playlist but ended up not using it and just listened to some relaxing sounds, which kept me calm and distracted as I started breathing through each contraction. I woke my partner around 4:20 am and told him I was in labour and to not rush and tick off a few things I wanted to be done, like tidy up, set up fairy lights and my birthing comforts etc. but not to fill the pool or call anyone as I felt I was awhile off - my partner wanted to as he could see me getting into the zone but listened to my requests.
At about 4:30, I got out of bed as I felt I wanted to start using my TENS machine for some relief. I found walking around more comfortable - I paced around calmly and felt myself surrendering (not like my previous birth. I felt a more internal panic), so it was nice to feel in control and that I didn’t need to do anything apart from take things as they come and birth my baby I remember even saying to my partner and MIL that this feels like it will be a longer labour than my last (2hrs 45mins) soon after started making low noises through my contractions and paced the living room - it felt so calm with all the lights off and just fairy lights on - my partner kept asking to fill the pool & call family/photographer and midwife. Still, I kept saying, not yet; I didn’t want everyone to get there too early.
I messaged my photographer, ‘I'm In labour and will probably call you a little later this morning’ - whoops again, I waited too long in my last labour to call her too - even though we agreed to call immediately this time, haha. I tried different positions like kneeling, leaning on my bed, and sitting on my birth ball, but neither lasted more than one contraction. My body just wanted to be more upright, my young toddler woke up with the noise, but thankfully she settled with my mother-in-law in our bed watching movies as I was going into the birth zone I couldn’t physically carry can comfort her.
"I remember saying once out loud, ‘I don’t want to do this,’ and then thinking to myself stay in control, don’t say negative things. You can do this, and you have to do this"
Maybe around 4:45-5 am, I hopped on the toilet and pretty much couldn’t get off as my body was clearing itself out, and in all my labours, this position has felt ‘right’. At about 5:10 am noticed, I had quite a bit of blood which felt more than in my other labours, and I started to become quite vocal and pushy groans.
My partner called to contact my midwife, which I agreed with as I wanted some reassurance with the blood we sent through a photo and on her calling back, she said it looked okay and asked if I wanted her to head over. I started groaning louder and becoming pushier and vomiting, so my partner asked if I thought it was time to come, to which I said yes.
Somewhere between the phone calls, I remember saying once out loud, ‘I don’t want to do this,’ and then thinking to myself stay in control, don’t say negative things. You can do this, and you have to do this. My partner was amazing between all the tasks. He was there checking in on me, giving me positive reassurance and touch - I psychically like to go through contractions alone (with the support from my TENS). My partner emotionally checking on me made me feel supported and that everything would be okay.
At some point here, my partner called my sister and photographer to come over and started filling the pool and desperately asking me to try to hop off the toilet because he knew it was going to bring baby faster; I suddenly felt super dizzy and had pre faint symptoms sitting on the toilet (loss of vision hearing and limp feeling). My partner got me some juice which helped and after saying no 100 times to getting off the toilet I said to run the shower and try to get the TENS off me (which was a scary thought in itself as this has been the only relief I have used 😂) around this time my eldest girl woke from the noise, she knew what to expect checked in and went to watch a movie with her sissy and nanny.
We managed to get two pads of the electrodes off when I decided, nope, I needed to be on the toilet - my partner was setting the shower up with a yoga mat for me to kneel on and a pillow, and I suddenly felt a huge amount of pressure - I don’t remember it with my previous unmedicated birth, but it felt exactly like what it was a head pushing down, and all of the pressure in my bum and my waters popped, I knew she was coming, but I was so shocked it was almost over and ‘that was it’ as I hadn’t felt as much intensity as I did in previous labours - I like to think it’s from all the mental work I had done as well as learnt experience.
"I said ‘are you ready’, he knelt on the floor. I will never forget his nervous but excited face and voice"
I stood up, and my body did one big push. My baby's head was born. My partner excitedly kept saying push one more time which I leant onto my bathroom bench and born down once more, and with a gush of fluid, our girl was delivered into her daddy's arms.
The first thing I said was to ‘get the girls’ My partner yelled out to his mum to bring the girls in to meet their sister, which was probably one of the best moments of my life having my two girls meet their baby sister in such a raw and beautiful way.
Soon after birth, my Sister, Midwife, and Photographer arrived, capturing the most precious moment. From the moment I felt my first contraction to meeting my girl was 1hr 37mins and my least intense birth - I’m so grateful 💜