The Birth of Thea

It was a very different experience second time around, but no less special. After my first baby arrived 3 days before my EDD I was longing for this one to be early too, given my EDD was Christmas Day. I couldn’t think of a more perfect Christmas present than to be a family of four.

The closer Christmas got the more I accepted that baby probably wouldn’t be here and I got frustrated by people referring to her as ‘late’ and ‘overdue’. Despite my own longing, I still accepted it could be anything up to 42 weeks.

Christmas came and went and on 30 December I fancied getting out of the house for some fresh air. We had a lovely long walk in the morning, and met some friends at the park with our respective toddlers in the afternoon. I was shattered in the evening and settled down with a cuppa and some popcorn. About 9pm I felt a little trickle of water and stood up to have a stretch. I mentioned to Chris that I thought I had lost some water but we had already had a false alarm a couple of days earlier so he wasn’t convinced. Within a minute or so it started coming more heavily and I knew then that labour had begun. I was so excited to get going and meet our little lady.

I phoned the birth centre who said to pop along at our convenience since my surges hadn’t really started. We got there at 11pm and were greeted by a very familiar face, Sophie was the midwife that accompanied me to theatre for the placenta removing after having my first baby and she had been amazing then, so I knew we were in good hands. We had it confirmed my waters had gone and she suggested going home to try and get some rest and give them a ring when my surges were strong and regular.

We set off back home and within a couple of minutes Chris was in bed hoping to get some shut eye but I was doubled over the bed. Within the short journey home my surges were coming thick and fast and 3/4 every 10 mins lasting anything from 45 seconds to a minute and we decided to go straight back. On arrival at the birth centre Sophie greeted us and said she hadn’t expected to see us back so soon! Our room was all ready for us and the birth pool was already run. Chris started putting out the tea lights and began playing my birth playlist whilst I got into the pool. I had only been in there a few minutes but didn’t find it as soothing as I thought I would as the surges were coming so fast and intensely. I was having some bleeding and the baby’s heartbeat dropped quite low. Sophie asked me to get out so she could monitor baby a few minutes and keep an eye on the blood loss. It was apparent that things were happening so fast it was causing the bleeding and we were offered an examination which I was happy to accept as I wanted some reassurance. She confirmed I was 8cm which made sense as I’d had a couple of strong urges to push. I hadn’t even been at hospital an hour! She was still concerned about the irregularity of baby’s heartbeat and asked if I could be transferred to labour ward to monitor baby properly and I was more than happy with her decision.

A porter arrived and within minutes I was being whizzed up to the labour ward at quite a speed. This unnerved me somewhat as I felt like it was some sort of emergency. As it turned out they were just trying to save my modesty since I had nothing but a sheet over my bottom half, which wasn’t doing a great job anyway! Within minutes of arriving at the labour ward I was being put on monitors and having cannulas put into my hand as they said fluid would stabilise the baby’s heartbeat. The atmosphere was very different to the birth centre with its bright lights, clinical set up and a few additional people milling around. It didn’t matter though as I was so focused on my breathing and getting our baby here safely. We didn’t bother with trying to make the room relaxing or any pain relief as there just wasn’t time…..our baby was very eager to meet us and in less than an hour of being on the ward and 3 or 4 pushes our baby girl arrived at 2:30am.

She was very alert and was passed under me straight away for skin to skin. After my previous experience with a manual placenta removal the injection was done immediately after birth and within 20 mins or so the third stage was over with. I couldn’t have been more relieved as the prospect of going to theatre again, particularly after zero pain relief, was too much to contemplate.

We were soon back down in the birth centre and a room had been made up for us to stay the rest of the night. After some tea and toast we all bedded down for a few hours, and although Chris slept I was wide awake, instead just mesmerised by the amazing little person we had just welcomed into the world. I couldn’t believe that within just 2hrs of arriving at hospital it was all over and our daughter was here safely.

Second time around you expect to have a more positive experience but it didn’t go how I imagined it would. However Hypnobirthing helped me cope with everything that was thrown at me calmly and rationally and we have Abby to thank for that.


Sarah and Chris, Mirfield