… is thankfully one story I will not be telling. Less than 24 hours after standing in Hyde Park watching Sabbath’s possibly last ever gig and Soundgarden play Superunknown, my baby daughter arrived at home in less than an hour and half.
Put in perspective, we spent longer the night before she arrived trying to get a taxi home than I spent in labour. The midwife turned up exactly 2 minutes before she arrived, the paramedics who were sent because the midwife looked like she wouldn’t make it in time, turned up 2 minutes after birth. My husband and son were sat having a coffee down the road less than an hour before when they left to get the correct hose/tap attachment for the birth pool.
It was blooming lucky I wasn’t on my own.
Earlier that morning, I felt a little peculiar so had my husband empty the flat of excess people just in case but decided it was either a false alarm or long niggling, low level contractions. I went for a nap for what I thought was 10 minutes but turned out to be much longer. Woke at 3pm and had some regular but still not as strong as last time, contractions.
My husband started setting up the pool then went to B&Q so he could get the part to fill it. This was at 4.30pm. My son was helping all the way with climbing on the birth ball to cuddle me and breath with me. It still seemed liked very early labour.
While they were out, I thought, ‘heck I could probably do with some gas and air soon, better text the husband to call the midwife’. Ended up doing so myself because I was told none were available for an hour or so. Called back again 10 minutes later to say ‘nope better just send anyone, this baby is coming’.
Thirty minutes after my husband started to fill the pool, with the hose still in, I hopped in. Again, not quite believing the contractions were either strong or regular but that they were rolling into one big continuous one I found myself pushing. With my husband behind me saying ‘er you sound like you are pushing, I had better call them again’.
Ambulance en route to help until the midwife arrived, the midwifes just beat them there and by minutes just beat our little girl. In fact, as the midwives arrived, I am there asking how dilated I am, expecting them to say 6 cm and stop wasting my energy pushing, when they said I’d done the job for them as she was crowning.
An hour and half after it all started, born in a pool that had only just been filled, at home, where I pretty much sang her out.
One of the amazing pieces of birth advice from my yoga class was low level noises to move you into the contraction. So I spent the past week selecting some drone music to practice my breathing and yoga to and am so glad I did. Earth were playing as I pushed with my best drone voice and out she came.
It was a wonderful home birth, a world of difference to birthing in the hospital. The midwives were amazing, my family were around me, it was calm and a beautiful experience.