I’m going to caveat this story with a reminder that this is my body’s third birth. I’ve had two complication free water births before and this story very unlikely for a first birth.
With all of my babies I have woken up and just knew they were going to come that day. This time I was 41+1 going by the scan dates, I was 40+2 going by when I knew she was conceived… and I just felt that morning that it would be the day I’d been waiting for. Both other babies were early at 39 weeks and this one had been carrying so low through out the pregnancy even the midwife had convinced me baby would be early. I’d also had evenings of on and off cramping for weeks, which is very typical of a third baby. Doing it all step by step when you have the time without the other children to mother.
After a typical morning in our loud household my eldest was taken off for a play date and I pushed for my husband to come for a wet walk in bushy park where Rory (3yrs) could jump off some energy in the puddles. In reality I wanted to go for a good stomp to encourage this baby to make her move. Through out the walk I had some cramping but nothing to even mention to hubby. A couple of more uncomfortable moments on the drive home from the park but again nothing to even pay attention to yet. All afternoon I was willing it to kick off but nothing happened. So that evening I had a nice long bath before bed and the baby was going crazy inside. Which I remembered my eldest doing before labour started with her too. I went to bed that night hopeful I wouldn’t be sleeping until morning. But then again I’d been going to bed willing to be woken in the night for weeks.
This was finally the night it happened though. At 2am I woke with a strong surge and thought to myself this is it. I lay in bed for a while and then decided to visit the bathroom. On my way back to bed my daughter called out, she’d woken and wanted a cuddle. I gave her a quick one and a big kiss and then headed back to bed. Sadly she didn’t settle so I kicked hubby and in he went to comfort her. I breathed through my surges and decided to put on an audio book to distract me. I also dosed my pillow with lavender spray and pulled cushions up so that I could rest on my knees/all fours propped up with my head & bump supported.
I then went for a pee again and realised these were getting stronger. So once back in the bedroom I got my crop top Out of the wash and put it on as I felt I’d be getting into the pool sooner rather than later and best to be prepared. After a couple of strong surges I had to humm and sway through I shouted for my husband to come in. When he did I asked him to call our doula Laura, he worried it was too early but I was adamant he call not text her ASAP. I also asked him to call my stepmum Who we’d planned would listen for the kids, but we actually needed her sooner as Everley was awake and I doubted she’d easily go back to sleep.
At this point I’d moved back round to my side of the bedroom and was leaning over the bed, rocking, breathing and humming through each surge. I then had a couple really strong ones and shouted for Hubby to come quickly. I asked him to hold me through one of them that seemed to last forever. He placed a hand on my back (not helpful) and I took His arms and positioned them around and lifting my bump as I lent back into him. I then told him it was time to call the midwife. I put my headphones back In with the audiobook but hated the noise of it so ripped them out. At this moment I doubted I’d make it through the labour, I couldn’t believe how much I was struggling and that every wave felt stronger than the last. I also panicked that it was moving and building so fast. I had a word with myself that I’d done this twice before, and to focus on my baby and body working together. Which I did. In hindsight I was probably going through transition at this point , but couldn’t believe it was it was about 90 mins if that, since my first contraction.
I then put on some Hypnobirthing tracks to try and refocus myself. I had a very strong surge and got down on all fours then pop. My waters went. I shouted to hubby it had happened and he ran in saying he knew because he heard the pop and gush from the hall and what should he do. I asked him to get some towels and we put them down where I was on the bedroom floor. I had a little rest and felt excited I was going to meet my baby soon. Both others came straight after my waters broke so I just knew baby would be in my arms imminently. I then felt the urge to have a poo, I shared this with him and bless he tried to help me up to go to the bathroom. I said no i couldn’t move as it means the baby is coming. The next thing I knew I felt the urge to push. I still had my underwear on at this point and it ran through my head, should I take them Off because of the baby, or if I leave them on as they will catch the poop - haha!
I left them on changed position so that I was on one knee (think proposing position) and I put my hand down moved my knickers out the way and guided my baby’s head out as I breathed and did some strange tonal singing. It felt massive in my hand and I couldn’t feel any hair so wasn’t sure if it was a head or bum, but was an amazing feeling to be finally touching my baby. I told Ross the head was out, at this point he panicked and ran out the room and called an ambulance. Then, what felt like only seconds later, another wave came and the rest of my baby was born. I had absolutely no choice in the matter, it was completely my fetal ejection reflex working on its own. I would say I didn’t even push, just guided my baby down.
I shouted that it was a girl - to which Ross replied “how do you know” and I said “it hasn’t got a Willie.” I scooped her up and held her on my chest in awe of what had just happened.
Ross was now on the phone to our midwife saying baby was here, while texting Laura our doula and Granny saying WTF it’s a girl. I was concerned that Everley had heard the whole birth and might be scared alone in her room
So I called her in and asked if she’s like to meet someone special. She crept around the bed and was the first person in the world to meet her baby sister. She commented on the wet floor and bad smell but was totally in love already with her sister and the three of us cuddled .
At this point my step mum arrived and came up and we both burst into tears. We sat together and Ross joined us. Then Laura arrived shortly followed by the ambulance which I asked her to send away as I knew the paramedics weren’t experts in birth and would ruin the lovely oxytocin bubble we had going. The midwife Helen arrived took one look at me and baby and said we were both fine, so sent them away much to their relief.
We then had a magical time as my stepmum took Everley into her room and I lent back into Ross and we took in our new baby girl, studying every part of her perfect body and tiny face. The midwife sat in the doorway and Ross held me and baby while Laura took some photos, put down some pads and pillows and made me a nest on the floor, she also waved some frankincense in front of me which smelt amazing! I caught my breath and just marvelled at my clever baby girl who knew exactly what she was doing.
I couldn’t get comfortable at this point and decided I wanted to lay on the floor and see if I could get baby to latch to encourage my placenta to release and be delivered. Baby and I laid cuddled up with her suckling for a while and I was contracting but the placenta didn’t seem to want to come. I decided sitting on the loo might help, but felt I didn’t want to carry the baby and hold her while I did this. So after what was about 40mins together we cut the cord and daddy had skin on skin while I waddled to the bathroom. It was then our son woke up having slept through the whole thing. He was taken downstairs by granny to give us some space. After what felt like ages and it not happening I was getting frustrated and upset. After a hug with Laura through a couple of surges I went back to the bedroom for some skin on skin with my baby. I mentioned having the injection to Ross, even though I knew I wanted to avoid it as if felt terrible after having it in my first birth, but it was getting on for over 90 mins now and I just wanted to relax with my family. Helen, the midwife, offered to have a feel of my tummy and see how close it was to coming on it’s own. Low and behold it was practically out, so I had some gas & air while Helen pushed my tummy and out it slipped.
We then had lots of cuddles together as a family. Rory came back up and met his sister and we all took a moment to process what had happened.
I had a second degree tear, which was expected as I’d had this with both other births. It was however my best experience of being stitched. Gas and air was a dream For the examination and having my baby still with me on my chest helped too. Then using the G&A for the whole process while chatting away made it much nicer and less uncomfortable than either of the previous times.
We then enjoyed a cuppa with Gails cinnamon buns and I snuggled with my baby girl as we commenced the name debate. We finally settled on Celeste Lily Jean by the end of that day.