Thanks to the amazing Natasha and Paul for sharing this rollercoaster with us. Birth can be unpredictable, for sure. BUT we can navigate this journey with confidence, and feel proud of ourselves. The bravery here is immense…
Wednesday night and we decided to carry on our Netflix and chill evening in bed as all I wanted to do was lay down, the sofa just wasn’t good enough anymore! It was around 9pm and I started getting some cramping sensations, getting all excited I began counting them, only to be disappointed when I reached 12 and they suddenly stopped.
Thursday came and I knew it was D-Day, time to make my final decision. Over a week ago I was diagnosed with Obstetric Cholestasis, the hospital had me in for monitoring 3 times over the 9 days and insisted on me being induced on the Thursday as I would be 38 weeks and anything over becomes high risk of a still birth. Not only was this stressful but we had also just moved house 3 weeks prior! Within those 9 days I researched like crazy and asked everyone I knew in the birthing circle of any information they had or experience. I knew that this was my decision and no one else’s but I wanted to make sure I knew everything I possibly could.
The hospital still hadn’t called, and at 5.30pm my husband, Paul, surprised me by getting home from work early, we thought we would go for a relaxing walk along the seafront after a stressful week and await their call. But my body thought otherwise. The cramping sensations came back, the same as the night before, I thought nothing of it and that my body was just tricking me again. Within about 30 mins they had became alot stronger so I started timing them. Now it was time to put all my hypnobirthing practice into play. I started rolling about on my ball, and then went for a walk around the garden to get some fresh air whilst ‘up’ breathing (and talking to my bunny to help calm me).
At this point I had lost all knowledge of the time on the clock but I knew it was about time to call the midwife. Paul called to explained that I was in labour and that we were having a home water birth, my surges were around 20 seconds long and 2 minutes and we were advised to call back when they were 30-60 seconds long. It was now a mad panic to get the pool filled up and he couldn’t get the hose attachment to fit on the tap (I had nagged him for weeks to try it and he said it fitted!!!) I could barely stand and there I am helping him fit this bloody hose with water flying out in every direction whilst stopping every few minutes to ‘up’ breath and groan like a small animal.
Within 30 minutes I was on all fours in my lounge with my surges 60 seconds long and around 3 minutes apart visualising my hot air balloon floating up into the distance. Paul called the midwife back, she couldn’t believe how quick they came on and made her way over with the second midwife followed shortly after. By this time my music was playing and the room was dimly lit, we hadn’t had time to light the candles and get the incense as we had faffed around too much with the hose!
When I got into the pool it felt like a weight had been lifted, it was amazing. I asked the midwife when I needed to start my ‘down pushes’, she advised that I would just know and my body would tell me. Within minutes I knew exactly what she meant. Paul tried to relax me by doing some light touch massage but my skin felt all sensitive so instead he got an ice cold flannel and kept soothing my forehead and neck (although i just kept throwing it on each surge). I counted five down pushes in total, the fourth I could feel his head and on the fifth, at 10.29pm, to everyone’s surprise, he flew out like a whale.
The midwife helped to bring him up out of the water onto me and all of a sudden he was tugged back, the umbilical cord was short. Everything then started to sound a bit panicky. One midwife was saying how Paul was going to cut the cord as stated in my birth plan, whilst the other was insisting that it just needs to be cut and that they need to take him. I had my beautiful baby boy in my arms for all of a few seconds and then whisked away. I had no idea what was going on as I was in a completely different state of mind. I then looked up at Paul who was as white as a ghost and onto the floor behind me where by baby was lying. They were trying to resuscitate him. An ambulance was called. I just kept saying out loud, he’s going to be ok, he’s strong like us, he’s going to be ok. I just couldn’t look.
He was breathing….its amazing how 10 minutes can feel like a life time.
He went to his daddy straight away for some skin to skin whilst I got out of the pool and got myself comfortable so he could carry out the breast crawl. My baby was finally in my arms once again where he belonged and there is no feeling in the world that could match that moment. My husband was my biggest support throughout and was there by my side the whole time, I couldn’t have asked for a better birth partner, best friend, or husband.
A massive thank you to our hypnobirthing mentor and friend Keri Jarvis for teaching us everything to help us through our journey and for being there whenever we needed support and advice.
I had a natural third stage of labour as planned which took an hour, they then advised that it would be best to go into hospital so he could be monitored throughout the night due to what had happened and because he had also passed meconium whilst being born.
The feelings experienced throughout birth are one a mother will never forget. I for sure will never forget what it is like to hold my baby in my arms for the first time after thinking that we had lost him forever.
Welcome to the world Logan Thomas Nightingale, born 18th August at 10.29pm weighing 7lbs 1oz.
You have made me realise never to take a single day for granted.