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IT'S A BOY! LABOUR AND BIRTH STORY

I cannot believe it has taken me almost two months to sit down at my laptop and write our little boys birth story, but what can I say? That’s how demanding new-borns are, needing your attention, love and nourishment every moment of the day. I love it! I relish in it!

So, Christmas has passed, New Year has been and gone, the toddler is back to nursery this morning so voila! A few moments to sit down whilst my gorgeous boy sleeps and let you all know about his journey into this world.

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I knew he was going to be born early, full term, but early just like my first. For a couple of weeks, I was feeling great pressure in my lower back and I constantly found myself sitting on my birthing ball leaning really far forward dipping my bump between my legs almost. Also, the tiredness was at full peak now. I was needing naps many times a day, even if just for ten minutes to recharge my batteries. So, here we go…

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15.11.18

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The first signs!! Bang on 38 weeks of pregnancy I lost my mucous plug. My midwife was actually visiting that afternoon and I told her the exciting news to which she told me labour was imminent and I could expect to see some sort of progression within the next 24 hours.

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Hooray!

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16.11.18

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Morning - I could feel a hardening of the bump coming and going so decided to take our little one to the park, just so I could get some gentle exercise but was not too far from home. I asked my husband to come with me just in case things progressed whilst we were out. I could feel my bump hardening during our walk to and from the park so I knew something would be happening very soon.

I asked my husband to take the rest of the day off work to which he replied ‘why?’

I don’t think he believed that I was in labour. I just wanted to have a bath and prepare the house for what was to come. I also wanted to spend some special time with my daughter knowing that another little baby would soon take us to a family of four.

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7.30pm – As my daughter went to bed I decided to measure these surges I was feeling to see if they had a pattern. They did! Every 9 minutes! The sensations I could feel were the same as what I was feeling in the morning and throughout the entire day, which was a hardening of the entire bump. No pain at all, just a definite change in feeling.

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10.30pm – We decided to call my parents to get them to collect our Daughter, because if this labour was anything like my first, I would be giving birth in 6 hours’ time! They do say subsequent births are quicker, don’t they? Let’s just remind ourselves that all pregnant women are different, all births are different, and all babies are different.

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17.11.18

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12.30am – Our daughter had been whisked off to her grandparents. She was very excited waking up in the middle night and sang nursery rhymes in the car all the way to their house apparently (one hour away.) I am glad she was happy.

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12.45am – We didn’t waste any time. We put our 90’s playlist on, whacked up the volume, blew up the birthing pool, laid down all the towels, lit all the candles, had a cup a tea, did some filming, laughed a lot, kissed a lot…our baby would be born today!! Get that oxytocin flowing!

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2.30am – Not much happening. Surges are still 9 minutes apart, still very manageable. We decided to snuggle on the sofa and watch a movie.

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3.30am – My husband is asleep. I am restless. I am walking around the house, up and down the stairs sideways to keep this baby in a good position.

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4.30am – Still no progression. Mucous plug looks the same in colour. Surges still 9 minutes apart. I decide to go to bed.

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5.15am – I slept! A whole 45 minutes! YES!

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7.30am – I decide to wake my husband up now who is still asleep on the sofa, bless him. I got bored of labouring on my own and if I am honest, I was feeling pretty deflated at the fact that my surges were STILL 9 minutes apart 12 hours later. I was umming and aahing whether I should go for a little walk or not. I decided I was too tired and decided to lay down and try for another snooze. I did manage to sleep on and off, I was just being woken up every 9 minutes by those surges (still manageable mind you, but definitely there.)

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11am – Surges are now 5 minutes apart! Finally, some progression. I thought now would be a nice time to soothe my muscles and get into the birth pool. Turn on the hot water and….nothing. Turn on the cold water and…nothing.

So, it turns out the entirety of Sevenoaks district is without water and will be for the next few hours or so.

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Okaaaaaay.

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What is the ONE requirement a midwife asks for, for a home birth? Running water.

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11.30am – We decide there is no point getting into a faff about it, we go up to bed and put a movie on. Surges slowed to every 15 minutes. The power of the mind!

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2pm – Water is back on, the birthing pool is full, I get in for the first time and oh my gosh the feeling is incredible. My entire body feels like it is floating, surrounded by warmth in my own private space. It is amazing. I remain there for the next three hours with my husband bringing me food and drink whenever I requested it. Thank you my love! You are the best!

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5.15pm – It is dark outside again so the twinkly lights are on, the candles have been lit and my little cottage looks like a space a calm and serenity again. I am very happy. Surges are 4 minutes apart and our midwife will be arriving anytime now. I have just experienced a bloody show. FINALLY!

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5.20pm – ACTIVE LABOUR – I am indeed experiencing 3 surges in ten minutes, even if they are only about 30 seconds in duration. They are there, they are frequent and they are more intense. I feel them more when I get out of the pool, leaning against the banister or my husband, swaying my hips through each surge and breathing with my waves of relaxation. It still amazes me how long your ‘out breath’ will be during labour. It just keeps going. When I get back into the pool again, I really can’t feel my surges at all, I just feel the hardening of the bump. It was so beautiful to feel our baby throughout this labour. He was such a little wriggler and moved loads.

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7pm – Strictly Come Dancing is on and my husband and midwife are watching it together eating a takeaway with me labouring in the corner in my birthing pool. I should stress that it was my request to pretty much be left alone to labour in my own way and not be tinkered with. The only checks I consented to were blood pressure, my temperature and checking the baby’s heartrate once an hour (it is usually every 15 minutes but after discussions at previous appointments we compromised on every hour.) All checks were perfect each time.

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9.30pm – Surges are more intense now, but I am still breathing through them with control. All my surges have been one on top of the other, 3 in a row then about a 6-minute break. Odd, but that’s just what my body is doing and that is good enough for me. My waters have still not broken, and I can feel that if they were to rupture it would feel like such a physical relief to me and giving birth would happen very quickly, but they are still intact keeping my baby warm and cosy. I have lost count of the amount of times I have gone to sit on loo feeling like they are about to burst and nope, just a wee.

I decide to lay on the sofa and have a rest. A ‘rest and be thankful’ sign that I didn’t notice at the time, but in hindsight that is defiantly what it was!

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10.45pm – I decide to get up off the sofa and go to the loo, this time asking my husband to come with me, the only time I asked him to (again another sign that I did not recognise at the time. I wanted him with me at that precise moment.)

I sat there with such a straight back and surges were incredibly intense for the first time, incredibly powerful and one on top of the other. Another sign, sitting on the loo. The feeling of great pressure in your backside like you need to go to the loo. I did recognise this sign and as soon as those surges were complete, I left the bathroom and made a quick decision.

Do I go downstairs back into the birth pool to give birth, or do I go to the bed, which is right there just steps away!?

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10.50pm – I am on the bed. I ask my husband to take my dressing gown off. I feel boiling! Another sign. I flip on to all fours (another sign) and shout at him to take my knickers off…here we go!! I tell him I need to be sick (another sign) he brings me a bowl and the teeniest bit of cucumber comes out. Even though I am about to birth this baby this makes me laugh.

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The sound that comes out of my mouth when I give birth is so primal. So real. So raw. In the run up to this labour I said to my husband “If I start shouting when I’m giving birth please remember that I am not in pain and it is actually my favourite bit of the whole process.”

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With every surge of my body I feel my baby descend more and more. Just incredible. I feel myself unfolding inside as he makes his way down, a familiar feeling to birthing my first. It’s instinctive and it is just happening all by itself.

I feel my baby’s head almost be born for it to slide back in again. I swore at this bit and said ‘Come on you little fucker! I am so tired!’

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With the next surge my baby’s head was born very quickly followed by a gushing of my waters. Wow, I felt like I was giving birth to an adult sized head, not a baby! Very different experience to birthing my first who was bottom first (nice squishy bottom compared to a solid skull.)

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I heard my midwife say ‘with the next surge Natalie your baby is going to be born.’

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I could also hear my husband spurring me on, which is what kept me going.

“Come on baby.”

“Yes!”

“This is amazing!”

“Baby I just saw the head being born.”

“Wow.”

“Wow.”

“Wow!!!!”

Hearing his excitement was just the best thing.

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10.55pm – My midwife was right. On the next surge my baby was indeed born, on the bed in exactly the same spot as my first born. I was on all fours and I heard my husband shout out over and over again that it was a boy and we have a son. I scooped our baby up between my legs, held him close, kissed his head then kissed my husband. Our baby boy was absolutely covered in thick vernix. My arms were also covered in thick vernix, which completely absorbed about an hour later. Natures best moisturiser hey?

I lay with my baby and wait for the cord to stop pulsating, breastfeeding him for the first time, marvelling in how perfect this birth had been. How gentle, how calm and how uninterrupted, just as nature intended.

My placenta decided to take a nice 3 hours to be born, probably due to my extreme tiredness at this point. I think if I had laid down and gone to sleep, I probably would’ve birthed it quicker, but it just meant more baby cuddles in the meantime. I decided to have a managed third stage in the end as it was now about 2.30am and I had been awake for days. I was indeed very tired. Exhausted. Shattered, actually.

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I was in labour for two days, active labour for 5 hours, Transition for 1 hour and then second stage of labour for just under 10 minutes. All of that build up for 7 minutes of birthing my baby.

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It was the most physically challenging experience of my life, simply because of the duration, but my goodness did we all achieve the most incredible birth of our little boy.

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Our little Baby J. Born 17.11.18. 22.55pm. 5lb 15oz. Two weeks early.

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#baby #homebirth #midwife #hypnobirthing #calmbirth #newborn #sevenoaks #equilibriumbirthing #naturalbirth #natural #justborn #minutesold #

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