I went to bed normally around 10pm on Sunday night. By midnight I was awake tossing and turning and Liam suggested I get up and do something rather than lying there frustrated (and keeping him awake). I gave the house a quick tidy and then went into the office (at home) and started clearing emails and working on the final reports and agenda for a meeting I had on Tuesday. At about 1.30am I started to notice little cramps coming and going and wondered if I was having contractions. I didn’t really experience these with Max so I was a bit skeptical. By 2.30am I was fairly confident that I was having contractions and was pretty excited. I finished my meeting papers and sent those off to someone else to take care of, flicked a few more emails out and just before 3am and I went and woke Liam.
Liam made a start on filling the pool and I paged my midwife to call me. I remember not knowing how to page someone and when I called the number and told them I was in labour they couldn’t care less! My midwife called me straight away and I excitedly told her I was in labour, thought I was having contractions and what should I do now. She asked how often they were and how long and I couldn’t tell her, I said I had no idea but thought I would call her anyway. She told me she was on her way.
I set the lounge up how I wanted it for the birth with the lights dimmed, a few drops of clary sage in the pool and affirmations on the wall. I had a labour basket with everything I needed and a separate box for once the baby arrived with clothes, a muka tie etc too.
I was pretty comfortable settled in the lounge leaning against a chair. In and out of contractions I was chatting to Liam and making jokes.
The midwives turned up at 3.40am and grabbed their gear from the car. Liam made everyone cups of tea. We checked the pool and it was too warm for the birth which was a bit ironic because with Max’s birth it was too cold and I had to get out to deliver.
Just before 4am the pool temperature was ok so with a bit of convincing from the midwives I moved into the pool. I was happy where I was but they were pretty firm at reminding me I was so set on a water birth so I moved to the water. I instantly loved it and was so grateful they remembered my wishes. I really enjoyed the contractions this time. They felt predictable, the breaks were good and it felt like I was getting to experience a more traditional labour.
My waters broke while I was in the pool, similar to Max where I just felt a pop. A few minutes later I felt strong pressure and focusing on breathing I breathed out the head and then gave 1 push for the body.
I pulled the baby straight up to my chest and had a very alert, eyes wide open (lungs wide open too) baby! We checked and she was a girl!
I stayed in the pool for a few minutes but started shivering so got out and set up on the couch with hot water bottles, blankets and a dressing gown to warm up. 20 minutes after our wee girl was born her cord stopped pulsing so Liam cut it and tied it with a muka tie. The placenta was birthed about 10 minutes later by standing up and giving a couple of pushes, more than I had to do to deliver the baby.
Baby had a quick check (discovered a mild tongue tie) and had the vitamin K shot while I was assessed. I had a small tear which didn’t require any stitches thank goodness! That was the worst part of Max’s birth - having a couple of stitches after labour.
Baby latched really well and I had some toast before passing her to Liam and heading to the shower. When I came out we had a quick debrief with the midwives and established that labour started about 2am - about 2 and a quarter hours in total. Since we were happy and settled, the midwives headed off about 6.30am and I went to have a nap, leaving Liam with the baby and netflix.
I really loved this birth. I felt like it was 100% my experience and that everyone was there to support me. I had reread Ina May Gaskins ‘Guide to Childbirth’ when I was pregnant, was super prepared and was so happy to share the experience with the two midwives that supported Max’s birth too.
17th February 2019 at 4.15am and weighing 2.89kg, Emily Rangimarie Puzzles Rutherford (Millie) was born!