The Birth of Joshua
It was the August bank holiday weekend and the weather was miserable. This worked in my favour however as it meant I had an excuse to set up camp on the sofa, watch loads of TV and snack all day. After spending the Sunday indoors, due to the rain, my partner Steve got a little cabin fever and so on the bank holiday Monday we ventured into town and Steve treated himself to a Virtual Reality headset. Naturally I wanted a go so there I am 38 + 6 days pregnant at home, in my PJ’s, experiencing a virtual shark attack and shooting on a range like I’m in a cop film. I was completely relaxed and at ease, as was Steve and we were just having fun at home.
By that point, I had been experiencing period type cramps for about a week but they were very mild and not at all uncomfortable. I just assumed it was baby engaging but to be on the safe side I had put a towel down on my bed ‘just in case my waters went’.
That night, I woke up with a bit of back ache. I sat up and Steve rubbed my back for a minute then I was fine and went straight back to sleep. Again this was nothing uncomfortable and I assumed it was because I had slept in an odd position as I only experienced it once. In the early hours of Tuesday morning, at 2.40am I heard a little pop and felt fluid in between my legs. When it felt a little more slippy I knew it wasn’t just a wee.
I gathered up the towel and Steve stirred as I hobbled around the bed to the bathroom. He asked if everything was ok. ‘I think my waters have gone’ I said smiling and getting excited. Upon closer examination in the light, I could see it was definitely my waters and the ‘plug’ had come away too.
I called Huddersfield birth centre and they advised we go in so they could check the fluid. We took our hospital bag and the car seat although we thought we would be home again in an hour or two and not be back at the hospital for another day. On the way to the Birth Centre I had a few period pain type cramps. We arrived at the birth centre and walking from the car I had a few more that were more comfortable if I stood still for. Again however, they were not painful and perfectly manageable. As we arrived the staff were very welcoming, all was well with my waters and they gave us the option of either going home or staying for an hour or so to see how things progressed. We decided to wait and it’s just as well we did. We arrived at the Birth Centre at about 3.30am and by 4.30 / 5am I was having 3 surges in 10 minutes that were lasting at least 40 seconds each. I stayed up right and walked around the room and in between each surge you really do just feel completely normal. Steve was there rubbing my back during each surge and we were both very relaxed, knowing from our hypnobirthing course, what to expect and that everything I was experiencing was gearing up to us meeting our baby boy.
It was quite amazing, I laid on my back so that the midwife could listen to baby’s heart rate. She took her hands away and said ‘you are having a contraction’. A few seconds later I could feel the surge starting. It was amazing how she could see my body doing its thing, before I even felt anything. I have to say at this point, I had two surges laying down on my back whilst the midwife listened to baby and they were the most uncomfortable, so from that point on, I was on my feet. Although the midwife did check to make sure my cervix was dilating (at my request) she could not tell me how far dilated I was as she didn’t want to risk infection at this early stage. Knowing my cervix was dilating however, was enough for me.
Now the surges were coming more frequently and stronger, I found myself leaning over the bed and birth pool so staying mostly upright. This was the most comfortable position for me and whilst I tried bouncing on the ball I felt sitting on it was almost blocking baby. The midwife said to let her know if I wanted any pain relief. I thought things would get more intense so wanted to hold off even gas and air until I felt I would benefit from it most.
By about 6.30am (I guess as by this point things were getting a little more serious and I lost all concept of time) I found myself on all fours on the bed and ‘in the zone’. The surges were coming pretty consistently now and I could really feel things happening. The midwife was telling me to listen to my body, and it was incredible how I really felt my body doing all the work. The only thing I needed to do was breath and every now and then, ever so gently push to aid baby’s head crowning. But this was the smallest of pushes and my body really did just take over. I realised at this point that I wasn’t moving from that position and this was confirmed when I asked the midwife to run the water for the birthing pool and she said ‘I can my dear, but it takes 20 mins’, inferring the baby was going to be out in that time. I felt the crowning more in my bottom and not at all in the front to the point that at one point I was sure he was coming out the ‘wrong hole’ but they assured me he wasn’t.
My waters had broken at 2.40am and Joshua Steven was born 4.5 hours later at 7.24am at 39 weeks weighing 6lb 7oz without any pain relief. Josh had the cord wrapped around his neck and a knot in the placenta and he came out a little blue. But with the constant monitoring of his heart rate and the midwives amazing support, Josh was delivered safely and soundly and was having a little cry in no time.
I then went on to deliver the placenta naturally by sitting on the toilet with a paper bowl in the pan, and had stitches following a second stage tear inside (I had gas and air for this as I was very sensitive down there at this point and didn’t have the drive of getting a baby to aid me through).
After some tea and toast and Josh’s final checks, we went home that evening to start our new adventure as a little family.
I really think the Hypnobirthing played a huge role in my quick labour. Not only did the course provide us with an in depth understanding and awareness of birth, what to expect, our choices, the options and the different routes birth can take, but it taught us to be comfortable, calm and trusting of my body, making it an amazing and wonderful experience.
Abby really aided us in this life changing event and I the preparation and support she provided both me and Steve with, set us up perfectly for this fantastic experience.
Victoria and Steve, Huddersfield