Evie’s birth story
I’d had an easy and straightforward second pregnancy with Evie, but was starting to get a bit nervous towards the end. My first pregnancy had been an induced delivery and I was worried I wouldn’t know what labour starting felt like and Angela wouldn’t get there in time ( my first labour was 72 minutes start to finish!). Angela spent much of the last two or three appointments calming my nerves, talking through the signs and telling me again and again that I was to call if in doubt and no she would not think I was an idiot if it was a false alarm.
I had quite a few Braxton hicks cooking dinner on a quiet Wednesday evening when I was 39 weeks and 5 days. After eating they carried on so I went to lie down and rest to see if they stopped while my husband Mike got our son Nate ready for bed. Everything stopped, so i went down and put Nate to bed. They started up again and at 9pm I called Angela and agreed to get in the shower and see if they stopped. They slowed right down so we thought probably not labour after all! Then went to bed and at 11ish I noticed them back but more intense and strong in my back and hips. After a bit rang Angela then mike filled up pool etc and I chilled out on my birth ball in nate’s dark playroom. I started in our bright living room directing birth pool filling operations and worrying about waking Nate when I realised the surges were slowing down. I wanted them to get going so I took myself somewhere dark and quiet to get the oxytocin flowing. Everything soon got going again!
I still wasn’t quite convinced I was in labour until Angela said I was when she arrived at midnight and realised how low down baby’s heart beat was. Right up to that moment it felt very dreamlike and I was half expecting her to tell me that this wasn’t labour and to go back to bed and get some sleep! Everything was feeling more intense, but getting down on all fours helped as did focusing on my breathing. Angela was great, just keeping in the background and leaving me in my “zone” and doing all her checks calmly and quietly and most important between the surges! Plus she had the forethought to put a waterproof pad between me and our cream carpet just in case my waters went, something that hadn’t occurred to either me or mike!
About 30 mins later the surges were really intense and i started using thehypnobirthing breathing i used in Nate’s birth. I said I wanted to get in the pool so I did and it was amazing the relief and comfort it brough both during and in between surges. Another 30 mins later this big pop and huge huge pressure – i remember being very puzzled as to what on earth it was and looking at Angela for reassurance – and her saying my waters has gone and baby was on the way!
This was the part i had been worrying about as my first birth resulted in a partial third degree tear and I had talked a lot with Angela during the pregnancy about how we could avoid it reoccurring. It took an hour to breathe her down so slowly and gently as Angela and i had agreed (to help avoid a repeat tear) and she was crowning for several contractions (I could feel all her hair when I touched her head!) before gently coming. It was such great support to have her verbal reassurance that she was coming and my body needed to do this slowly to give it chance to stretch – a huge contrast with the orders to “push, push” in my first birth. A couple of times i felt an urge to push a bit harder just to get it over with, but Angela’s gentle reassurance reminded me of what we had agreed and was supportive and not intrusive. As she was born Angela prompted me to lean back so she could come up between my legs and i could catch her (something i had talked throughout pregnancy about really wanting). I leaned back as her body came and lifted her up from the water and there she was! I was the first person to hold my baby. With such a short cord I could only just lift her above the water!!
She was so chilled out that Angela rubbed her to get her breathing properly but then was fine. We waited for the cord to stop pulsing and my husband cut it and then I wanted to get out of the pool, partly due to my worries over a pph (which i had with my first labour) and partly because i just felt the need to get out. We had agreed no drugs for third stage and shortly after the placenta came of its own accord. We wanted to get Evie feeding and I wanted to be in bed so we went straight up – I was in my own bed feeding 40 mins after her birth. Nate never even stirred!
Angela was amazing, getting us settled in to bed and then going downstairs and doing some clearing up – even putting a wash on for all the bloody towels. She checked in on us again before leaving around 4am. We just all cuddled up and tried to sleep, but all i could do was stare at my beautiful baby girl. Nate woke up and was excited to meet baby in the morning and although there were tears that Evie wasn’t a boy he is now a happy big brother to his small sister. It was the birth I had dreamed of and was so, so cathartic after a difficult birth and week in hospital when Nate was born.