The Birth of Polly
I was always telling myself my due date was just a guess and the baby could come up to two weeks later so anything earlier was a bonus, but I secretly hoped he/she would be on time or even a little early!
On the morning of Tuesday 25th October, 4 days before my due date, after yet another restless night I got up to go to the bathroom at 6am. As soon as I stood up I felt a trickling down my leg which soon turned into more of a gush and clearly something more than just a weak bladder! I shouted at Chris to pass me a towel, and 3 soaked bath towels and a dressing gown later, it dawned on me that this was the beginning of my labour. I only felt excitement.
I phoned the assessment centre at Calderdale who asked me to go in for them to check me over. By 9am we were on our way back home having had it confirmed my labour had started. We had a lovely breakfast out and went for a walk, then spent the afternoon watching DVDs of our favourite comedian and bouncing on my birth ball. By about 3pm I was concerned about the lack of movement. Chris reassured me that everything would be ok but the worrying was having an adverse effect on me trying to stay calm and relaxed. At about 6:15pm and phoned the hospital who advised us to go in. We set off for a second time with our suitcase and empty car seat, not realising that when we returned home our baby would be in it.
I had been experiencing mild surges intermittently throughout the afternoon but nothing major, however they really increased during the car journey. By the time it was 7pm and I was being hooked up to the monitor they were getting quite intense and every 5 minutes or so. I was monitored until about 9:30pm and they confirmed all was ok with baby, but instead of being discharged I was sent straight to the Birth centre.
We got settled in our room with our fantastic midwife. Julie said straight away that she had heard lots about Hypnobirthing but she had being in the job a long time so to forgive her if she used the ‘c’ work rather than surges. I was happy being examined and Julie confirmed I was just 2cm dilated.
I started off with a bath to relax but was finding it hard to sit/lay down and it became apparent the baby was back to back so I got out, had a couple of paracetamol and got in the birth pool where I spent the next 7hrs on all fours. Calmly breathing through each surge, having Chris massage a tennis ball into my back and nodding in between. At one point I was so relaxed I let go of the side and went under water! I had my birth playlist playing, tealights lit, munching jelly babies and we were having a lovely chat with Julie. I was getting a very strong urge to push but Julie didn’t know whether that was because the baby was back to back so she suggested I was examined, and I was happy to do so. At 5:30am, Julie confirmed I was 9cm dilated, and none of us could believe it, the last 8hours of, at some point, excruciating surges had been worth it and myself and Julie shed a few tears while Chris said how proud of me he was for getting so far.
I really got a second wind after the examination knowing that I was so close to being able to start pushing. Julie even joked and said her shift finished at 7am so to get a move on…no pressure! I had gas and air for the last stage and had to get out of the pool as I was too relaxed and nothing was happening. At 6:35am after pushing for an hour, our baby girl was born. It was the most emotional moment of my life and very poignant with U2 Beautiful Day playing in the background.
Panic set in when she was passed underneath me and wasn’t crying. The cord was around her neck and Julie called for assistance. All I kept saying was ‘why isn’t she crying?’. They got her going and she still wasn’t crying, and didn’t cry. I just remember these big blue eyes calmly looking up at me, taking in her mummy and daddy, and I truly believe she entered the world in a relaxed state as a result of the calm surroundings and relaxed labour.
Sadly, Chris didn’t get to cut the cord due to the panic when she came out but we had lots of skin to skin contact whilst waiting for the placenta to come away, Polly even managed to latch on for her first feed.
Unfortunately the placenta didn’t come away, even with the injection so I had to have an epidural and go to theatre for manual removal. It was upsetting after just paracetamol and a short time on gas and air for the labour. I was thankful for the breathing techniques as these came into play more when I went to theatre.
Words cannot express enough our gratitude towards Abby for helping us bring our precious daughter into the world in such a calm state. Thank you! Xxx
Sarah and Chris, Mirfield