In Mum’s words
I couldn’t sleep the night before, which wasn’t too odd, as I hadn’t been sleeping brilliantly for a while. I got to sleep about 02.00. I woke up about 05.30 to go to the toilet and realised that I was having period type pains and backache, alongside my Braxton hicks every 5 mins or so. I didn’t think it was labour because I was early (39+1) and they weren’t strong. I was convinced they would just go off later in the day. I thought this would probably go on for days, as I was a first time mum and I hadn’t had any other signs of labour.
I dozed until around 07.00, they were still coming every 5 mins but not painful. I said to my husband to go to work because I thought they would go off and I didn’t want him to miss work if it wasn’t labour.
I txt Tanya at 09.00 saying what was happening, just so she knew.
At 10.00, I was still getting the period pains every 5 mins and they were getting a bit more uncomfortable. I’d had a bath and just taken some paracetamol but still felt ok and thought that they’d go off. My husband called to let me know he was coming back home to be with me.
My husband came home at 11.30; the contractions went off slightly so I tried to rest on the bed.
Tanya phoned at 12.00 and I said I was fine. She said she was going to the hospital but to let me know when I needed her.
I think I got into bath again about 13-13.30. The contractions were still every 5-6 mins but more intense. I was getting to the point where I knew this was labour and it wasn’t going to go away. My husband started to inflate pool and get things ready for Tanya to come.
I txt Tanya at 13.54 to say they were coming every 3 mins and a lot more intense. I said I was going to try the TENS machine and that I’d like to use the pool soon. She said she’d make her way over. I needed my husband to put lots of pressure on my low back to ease the backache I was getting during the contractions. I tried the TENS machine for a couple of contractions but it wasn’t strong enough. I got fed up and took it off and got my husband to keep with the pressure on my back, which was more effective.
Tanya came at about 15.00 and could see that my contractions were intense and so said to my husband to start filling the pool. I needed a lot of support by this point, still needing lots of pressure on my back. It took about an hour to get the pool sorted (my husband encountered a few problems filling it).
I got in the pool about 16.00 and it felt amazing. Even though it was a really hot day, the warmth of the water was so good and helped ease my back pain.
For some reason (which I regret now-must have been the midwife in me), I decided to examine myself about 17.15. I could feel that baby was low and I thought I was 4 cms.
Deana arrived at 17.40. I think I coped really well until about 18.00, where I think I was in transition and I kept saying ‘I can’t do this anymore’. I think I mainly was saying this because I thought I was only 4 cms. I thought I had at least 6 hours to go and didn’t think I could cope with the back pain. Everyone kept me going and assured me that I wasn’t 4 cms.
I started to feel a bearing down sensation at about 19.00. It didn’t feel like I thought it was going to feel. I thought it was going to be this overwhelming pushing sensation, but I was having so much back pain that I think it was masking this urge. Plus, I thought I was still 4 cms and therefore, couldn’t be at the point of pushing.
At 19.25, Deana encouraged me to feel where baby’s head was, as I still didn’t believe it was time to start pushing. I felt baby’s head and it was really low, so I knew I was nearly there. I could feel the waters bulging. Once they broke, it felt so good and I could really feel baby coming down.
My daughter was born at 19.58, I brought her to the surface of the water and to my chest where I cuddled her (in shock)! We stayed in the water together for about ½ hour, and then my husband cuddled her skin to skin for a while, while I was being checked. She then was passed back to me and latched onto the breast straight away and fed like a dream.
It was the most amazing, exhilarating experience I have ever experienced and the fact that she wasn’t exposed to any drugs, and was born at home with friends in a calm environment was awesome!
In Dad’s Words
I woke up on the morning to go to work as usual. My wife had been awake since 5.30am with tightenings. We decided I should go to work and to see what happened, as the pains might subside.
On the way to work, I was starting to get excited and a bit apprehensive about what might happen. I got to work and could not concentrate, but as it was still 6 days until the due date, I did not think baby would arrive just yet.
My colleagues and I thought I should go home around 10am, as my wife had text to say the tightenings were still every 5 minutes. When I called to say I was coming home she was pleased. I was very calm on the way home but it started to become much more real. I got her some jaffa cakes and 2 bottles of water.
When I got home I helped my wife with the contractions by putting pressure on her back. The contractions started to become more frequent up to every 2-3 minutes. The TENS machine did not help to ease. I inflated the pool and started to get things ready. Tanya arrived mid afternoon and I felt better.
After a while I started to fill the pool up. I knew my wife really needed the pool, so when the adaptor would not stay on the tap due to the water pressure I began to feel worried. Three times water went all over me in the kitchen while my wife was contracting. Luckily Tanya was helping her. The pool was filling up very slowly and then the hot water ran out!!! I did not know what to do. I then started boiling three pans of water and the kettle to fill the pool. When my wife finally got in the pool, it wouldn’t fully inflate!!! We needed a manual pump, which luckily Deana later brought.
As the contractions began to increase in intensity and frequency, I wanted to be calm for my wife. I later realised that she was experiencing transition, which was very intense. She was doing amazingly and breaking my hand in the process but I didn’t want to complain.
When my daughter started to arrive I could see her long hair wafting in the water. It was amazing and surreal. My wife didn’t believe she were so close. After a short while my wife delivered her herself, which was really emotional. The best experience of our lives!
I spoke to the family. I then made pizza and tea for everyone while my daughter had her first feed. I then held you. I felt unconfident but it was a great feeling. My wife said she looked like me with her dark hair. I was exhausted and apprehensive but I loved every minute. I spent the coming hours smiling, talking with my wife and looking at my daughter’s gorgeous wrinkly face.