We have another baby! Little Freida decided it was time to arrive last Wednesday at exactly 39 weeks. Can’t believe it’s been 10 days already and that we have a girl! We didn’t find out what we were having again but I think when you already have a boy it’s hard to imagine having a girl and vice versa, she is just perfect though. Abel is off to his Grandma’s today and Freida is napping so like every parent instead of taking the opportunity to sleep I’m doing something else, typing up our birth story.
I had been getting braxton hicks on and off for weeks but nothing sore, just like a period cramp so nothing out of the ordinary. The Tuesday night though I was getting them a bit stronger than normal and every 10 minutes, this only happened for an hour or so though so I didn’t think much of it. That night I could barely sleep, not for any reason in particular just so restless and half asleep all night. I remember saying to Mr how fed up I was and that I hoped I went into labour that day so he could come home haha, he messaged me later on to say he had been on google and a restless night’s sleep is a sign that labour is going to happen, obviously I didn’t think that was the case as I felt like I was going to be pregnant forever. I went into labour with Abel at 37+5 so hitting 39 weeks was making me anxious.
Later that day about 1pm the 10 minute BH started again for a while, I had been so busy that day as well – hoovered the whole flat, cleaned the oven, sorted the bassinet for the buggy, done a wash, went to the dump and the nursery run!
I remember looking at the clock at 4:15, I had picked Abel up from nursery, been to Tesco and was driving home and I got a really bad cramp, like the worst I’ve had so far. I got in the house and managed to make dinner without anything happening then I was sitting eating dinner and again I got a really bad one. I started to write the times down… 5:26… 5:36… 5:40… 5:46… 5:49…
I called triage and whilst on the phone I got another, I couldn’t speak through it I had to breath . I remember thinking to myself that last time I had them every 10/15 minutes basically all day until they got this bad/frequent, what was going on?! They told me to stay at home for as long as I was happy and to call if any changes happened. I had it in my head I would have most of my labour at home again, maybe 20+ hours but baby had other ideas.
I had already messaged Jen (our doula) and she was on her way round. Lucy came and got Abel as they were so intense and I didn’t want to freak him out, I had wanted to have him around but again they were happening so quick so soon it was all a bit overwhelming. When Jen arrived Abel was already away with Lucy and I was kneeling in the bath which was helping. Mr called triage again who said they wanted me in ASAP, by this point they were every few minutes and really full on.
I think you will all agree that the car journey to the hospital is the longest car journey ever. Every fucking pothole and every bend is awful. I even had a contraction on the way to the car, I remember seeing a little woman walking her dog with a mortified look on her face haha.
When we got to the hospital Jen parked up then came and got me at the entrance of the hospital from our car then Mr parked up, I’ve no idea how many times I contracted on the way to the labour ward but I remember when we got to the door there was a wheelchair and I just had to kneel up on it during a contraction and when the midwives appeared they looked at me knowing things were near crunch time I think.
The initial examination was skipped so I could get straight to a labour room. When they did examine me I was 8cm! I remember telling her if she told me I was like 3cm I would crack lol. The midwife we had at first was amazing, she was from a midwife led unit elsewhere and was just so open minded, she had basically memorized our full birth plan and was really up for letting us do what we wanted including letting one of us catch the baby with her help, I felt so chilled even though everything was so intense by this stage.
Things were going well, my plug had started to show when I got to hospital, I went on my side with the gas and air just getting on with it. Jen was doing her thing by making the room exactly how I wanted it – dim lights, some background radio, low voices and even putting out the little fake candles I had packed. I honestly felt like things were going perfectly.
9:30 hit and it was a shift swap. This is one mega reason why I loved having a doula, Jen was there til the end no matter what and knew exactly what we wanted. Now the midwife we had from this point was still amazing, she was the one who would in time help me birth Freida but there was a complete mood change. Things suddenly turned very clinical, she wanted me on the monitor straight away because of the bleeding from my plug, I said it was fine for a while but it suddenly made me uptight. Because I was on my side the straps kept coming off and she was trying to put them back on while I was contracting… I think I hit her hand at one point but it was so bloody distracting!
I continued to get through the contractions pretty well, I was totally in my zone. Then the time came where she wanted a doctor in… my heart sank and by this point the pushing feeling was kicking in. He didn’t seem overly concerned when he came in but started talking about sticking things in my hand just in case, examining me between contractions and for me to stop pushing!!! I felt my guard go up and after Jen kindly reminding them to ask what I wanted while he stood down the BOTTOM of the bed the midwife came up with a good suggestion that I try empty my bladder to see if that helped before trying anything else. Jen assured me this can work and helped me go to the loo.
I don’t really remember getting to the toilet but I managed. The gas and air didn’t reach the bathroom which kind of made me freak but I stayed in my zone. I didn’t feel like I could do anything but all of a sudden with a loud pop my waters went! With either the next or next again contraction I knew the head was coming, I felt down there but couldn’t feel it but then Mr said it was there! The midwife wanted me back at the bed but no chance was that happening. I had to at least move from the toilet so I told Jen (who was sitting next to me) to hold me up. I had my back to the door but Mr tells me it was chaos with the midwife pressing the big buzzer and people panicking that I was going to give birth in the bathroom! I couldn’t move, I had a head coming out of my fucking foof so that was that, I got through a couple more contractions and there she was…
After I birthed her I managed to get back to the bed and Mr told me it was a girl, I remember crying and getting to hold her quick before they said she needed oxygen. The cord got clamped and cut so quick which we didn’t want but she had to go. Mr went with her and Jen stayed with me and luckily within a few minutes she was back.
I remember how warm she was and just being in complete disbelief that she was here and how quickly it happened, she was born at 10:22. It was just a waiting game now for the placenta which took just under an hour. Everything was just so chilled after that, she fed quite soon, Jen went a wander so the 3 of us could just let everything sink in. When Jen came back she helped me shower – I will be eternally grateful to her for this haha, the bathroom looked like a murder scene!! Eventually Mr went home to try get some kip and I stayed up all night feeding and just staring at Freida, I was just so buzzing off everything I couldn’t sleep.
The next morning the midwife came to say bye before she finished at 7:30 and I felt like she was trying to explain herself but I think things went amazingly. Yes, the doctor thing was a bit scary and off putting but I think it’s easy to forget that midwives probably see births that don’t go so well and they obviously just want a healthy baby at the end and for you to be OK. I apologised for hitting her hand too lol.
So yeah, a bit of a dramatic entrance to the world but it was perfect. We got home the next afternoon and introducing her to Abel was just amazing.
Having a doula was without a doubt an absolute game changer for the both of us. Jen really made me chill the frick out during pregnancy and Mr was able to focus on me during my labour and not worry about answering questions or leaving me alone. Even in the chaos she was so calm and unphased by it all, I’m so happy she was there to help us bring Freida into the world.
We have been doing surprisingly well since I feel, I think 2nd time you are so much more laid back and things have definitely been more chilled out. I don’t feel like such a zombie like first time and breastfeeding has been so much easier just because I am going with the flow (literally lol). Don’t get me wrong though we have still had numerous poo explosions, tired bickering sessions, sore boobs and housework coming out of our ears but we wouldn’t change it for the world.
For more information on our doula Jen check out her website www.yourbirthscotland.co.uk