“Mummy you’re leaking,” my 2 year old Poppy shouted as my waters popped and I attempted to stem the flow with anything to hand. I gave up on the third pair of trousers and just wandered about with no pants on but after much tutting, Poppy demanded that I put my trousers back on “Not good mummy, “she said. I then rang Tom and asked him to come home as I just sensed that it might be a quicker labour this time around.
Poppy is highly sensitive and I had ideally wanted to have the birth whilst she was sleeping so that I could relax knowing she was in her own bed, undisturbed. It was now 5.50pm, maybe I would get my wish!
When Tom arrived home after 7pm, he was greeted by me with a full roll of kitchen towel wedged between my legs complaining about how minging it felt. My waters hadn’t gone until about 20hrs into my first labour so I had no idea what it felt like but squelchy was definitely a good word for it.
He asked me what he should do, “Birth pool, now” I barked so off he diligently went to fill the pool. At that point I realised that Tom had rung Virginia to say that my waters had gone but that was it, she didn’t even know if I was contracting. By this point I was, thankfully I had managed to speed Poppy into bed by 6.50pm (the 50 is a theme) and as I shut her door, I had had my first contraction and then a minute later a second!
Finally at about 7.30pm, I rang Virginia to say that I was contracting but they were really random, every minute then 10 minutes and of varying intensity. She said she would finish dinner and head over as she was a good 90mins away.
The contractions carried on for another hour in the same random way and I decided that I wanted to get into the pool. We had set the pool up in the Manshed outside as it meant I could be as noisy as I wanted without fear of waking Poppy. The Manshed was at that time a partially converted garage which we were making into a little annexe. It wasn’t quite finished but the walls were boarded, the concrete floor had been cleaned and there was a sofa, soft lighting and relaxing tunes playing. However, as I opened the door to the shed, the billow of steam was like opening the steam room door at my local swimming pool! Too much hot water in the pool! Once the billow subsided, I settled myself on the Manshed sofa with the TENS machine, whilst trying to tell Tom that the pool needed cooling down. It wasn’t far off 10pm when Virginia turned up having been sent to Timbuktoo by her sat nav as the road had been closed. With a calm approach she assessed the situation and gave Tom his instructions. Number one, put cold water in the pool, he obviously hadn’t heard me! 5 minutes later I sank into the warmth of the pool, it was only half full but I didn’t care, it felt nice.
After only 20mins or so in the pool, we had to open the door as I was cooking and needed to cool down. A small room with a hot pool makes for a very effective sauna/steam room. Birth and a detox all at the same time.
I was gently breathing through my contractions when I felt baby shift down with a big surge. The baby was coming. Having had a bad 3rd degree tear with my first, this was the part I had been nervous about but the giggling behind me helped alleviate the fear. When baby had moved down, the squeezing on my tubes had worked to full affect and all I could hear was “ have you got one without holes?” Virginia had asked Tom to get a bucket and sieve and he had grabbed the nearest bucket which was full of holes! I didn’t witness what was happening but I can only imagine seeing the two of them trying to recapture the sieved bits as they escaped from the holey bucket.
Baby’s head was descending and I was breathing slowly to try and prevent tearing, after another 20 mins or so, baby was born with a couple of almighty surges. 10.50pm (there’s that 50 again,)4 hours of labour, a joy! I did have a few stitches but was able to sit again the next morning. This sparked such relief after my previous post labour experience that I consumed 8 Twix’s in 24 hours as a celebration.
After an hour or so the placenta hadn’t arrived, I had visualised pushing the baby out but had forgotten about the placenta so had lost all urge and energy to push. After a requested managed third stage, I was back in my house just after midnight with little baby James in my arms. A little baby brother for Poppy. He mostly chewed me that first night as a profound tongue tie left him unable to feed properly but a year later and following a lot of hard work in the early days, he still happily feeds from me whenever he needs.