Theo’s guess date was 27th December, but in true Mindful Birth style, we told everyone the date was 3rd Jan. It helped to reduce the ‘oooh what if he’s an xmas baby’ comments at least!
This pregnancy has been so different to my first – with my now 2 year old daughter. With Mollie I was all over the pregnancy nutrition, exercise and sleep. This time, there simply wasn’t time for the regular evening walks, and all I felt like eating was energy-spiking white carbs and sugar!! Sleep was also more disrupted with Mollie going through sleep regressions here and there- and no weekend naps either…to be expected with a toddler I guess! However, the one thing I really knew I couldn’t let slip and needed refreshing on was the Mindful Birth techniques that helped me so much for Mollies birth, and what I’d be relying on for Theo’s birth.
I listened to my relaxation MP3’s over and over again for about 2 months before the birth. I didn’t once get to hear the end of most of the relaxation MP3s as I’d fall asleep, so they definitely did the trick!
I felt that this time around I listened to more of the physiological detail of birth which helped me to feel even more in control and trusting of my body than the first time around. And knowing what feelings and sensations were normal first hand really helped too.
I planned to have a home water birth, as I had done with Mollie first time around.
I started having very mild waves at around 1030pm in 30th December whilst working at my computer on my audio course and a business plan that I wanted to take a friend through the following morning! Well that didn’t happen…
I went to bed at around midnight but the waves very gradually got stronger, but not really closer together so I didn’t call the midwife until about 3am. Charlotte arrived at just before 4am, and James (my husband) set up all of the bits and pieces I wanted around me, including candles, diffuser, jelly babies (!) and the pool. Mollie was still asleep upstairs and we decided not to wake her until we knew more info about how far along I was. It turned out not very far as Charlotte couldn’t even feel my cervix when she examined me as it was too far up. She asked me what I wanted her to do- she was more than happy to stay but I said it was silly for her to sit at our house for what could be hours before anything happened. So she went home and we went back to bed. I didn’t sleep, as again, the waves got stronger and stronger and this time, closer and closer.
I called Charlotte back at 445am and said she needed to come fairly quickly! Mollie then woke up at 5am and James got her up and dressed and took her to our friends house just up the road. The waves grew stronger and I rocked/danced/rotated my hips (!) around the kitchen to some funky old Skool garage music (oxytocin inducing for me!!) for about 15 minutes before I just had to drop to my knees and lean over an arm chair, and then that’s when my waters released.
Charlotte the midwife arrived at about 530 and by then I was just stepping into the pool- ahhh the relief! I must have then had my transition as I started to say I was scared and couldn’t do it but James quickly reminded me I was ok and safe and to keep breathing (which I had stopped doing properly for a few minutes!). He gave me a homeopathic remedy to help with the transition stage and it passed within a couple of minutes.
Once I got my breathing back on track we were away. I focused on imagining and feeling Theo making his way down- I was on all fours with my head resting on the pool side- and using the birth breath to help him down. No pushing, and by this point, not much noise from me. I had been quite vocal up to this point but my quietness even surprised me- it just felt easier to not make a sound which was different to Mollies birth.
Theo was born about 20 minutes after I got into the pool at 6:10am on 31st December, peacefully and open eyed. The 2nd midwife only just made it and I certainly didn’t notice her coming into the room! I think I even said ‘hi’ for the 1st time after Theo was born! He was placed straight onto my chest by Charlotte and we stayed in the pool until his cord stopped pulsating and James cut it. I stepped carefully out of the pool as even though there was no tearing I felt pretty sore and knew the placenta was on its way. The placenta came naturally a few minutes after so we were then able to sit and enjoy those first incredible hours together, skin on skin.