I am writing this post 12 weeks after giving birth to Isla and it feels like only yesterday. I can’t believe I’ve been a mum for nearly 3 months!
I spent the last few months of my pregnancy absolutely dreading giving birth. All episodes of One Born Every Minute were banned in my house and if I so much as thought someone was going to tell me their birth experience I would ask them to stop. I was terrified! I had thought through all eventualities (induction, c-section, bed birth, water birth etc) you name it and I had already given it a lot of thought. Infact I had about 2 weeks of sleepless nights to these thoughts! James’ aunty Deb even dreamt that I gave birth in Tesco’s so I stayed away from the supermarket in my later weeks fearful that it might somehow happen!
Now I am the other side of pregnancy and comfily snuggled up on the sofa with my little cub as I write this, I can honestly say it was the most beautiful experience and one that I would do over and over again. I was one of the lucky ones and had the birth I had planned for which was to labour for the most part at home and go into hospital at crunch time for a water delivery.
Hope you’re in for the long haul:
It was the day before my due date and I was woken up in the early hours by period pain like tightenings across my lower stomach. I woke James up straight away and was strangely excited and relieved that it was finally happening, we were going to be parents!
I spent the next 5 hours at home bouncing on my birthing ball and walking around the park opposite my house as my midwife had told me that it’s best to stay active during labour as it speeds things up and helps the baby to stay in the right position for birth. I was really comfortable and only in slight discomfort with every contraction which where every 6-8 mins. Around mid-morning we decided to take a trip to the labour ward to be checked over as being first time parents we wanted to make sure we were doing the right thing and I was progressing in the right direction.
The midwife had good news, I was 3cm dilated and in her words ‘well on my way’! With this little triumph under our belt, we headed off home ready to get on with things and was told to return once my contractions were 2-3 mins apart.
On the way home we stopped off for an obligatory KFC and some chocolate to fuel the next few hours. KFC is right next to the hospital and popping in for a cheeky snack box after scans and checkups had become a habit. Not the healthiest option I know but when a pregnant woman craves fried chicken she must have her way.
Once we got home I laid in a warm bath for about 2 hours and nodded off inbetween contractions which were every 4-5 mins and still like period cramps, a few deep breathes with a little rub here and there made all the difference. James was tracking every contraction on his phone which he gained immense pleasure from – It almost felt like a competition and gave us lots of laughs!
It was about 2pm when very suddenly my contractions sped up and were every 1-2 minutes apart. It was at this point that I started to feel a more intense pain and wanted to start making my way into hospital. It was 2:30pm when we arrived into the labour ward and I was given my own room with a birthing pool straight away.
I had two amazing midwives, Marj and Love, who I owe so much too. Marj examined me at 3pm and I was 8cm dilated and ready to discuss my options for pain relief. I decided to go with gas and air and my goodness it was amazing! I felt like a drunk hippo floating on a bed of feathers. It also made my voice really deep which was hilarious.
At 5pm I was fully dilated and moved into the birthing pool. The pool was lovely and warm and really helped me to remain relaxed and calm in the final moments. I managed to float inbetween contractions which helped to relieve the pressure in my lower back and the warmth of the water was so soothing. At around 17:30 my waters finally broke and at 17:48 after 7 minutes of pushing my dear little Isla was born.
After what felt like a mamoth pregnancy I could finally hold my beautiful daughter in my arms and believe me nothing can quite prepare you for that moment. The rush of love is so real and every contraction, every ache, every pain (and every tear!) feels so unbelievably worth it.
Never ever have I felt so empowered in my life. Not only had my body carried Isla for 9 months, it had now surpassed all my expectations and given birth to her in quite a graceful manner! Well done me.
This was truely the best day ever and I can say my birth was nothing like what I had expected. It was beautiful and a lot less painful than I had imagined. I was on a complete high afterwards and spent our first night together just staring at her. I couldn’t love Isla any more if I tried and I feel so blessed to have her.