(grab yourself a cup of something hot because this is a long one, my positive birth story with my second baby)
Now, before I start, no two births are the same. My first was long, painful and complicated. My second? So positive. A dream. Read about my first birth with Theodore on this blog post and compare the journey against this one. It’s quite a difference!
On Sunday the 21st of June I was visiting families since the rule of 6 had come about, and I kept feeling this strange trickling feeling, almost like I had wet myself. It was only ever really small bits but it was nothing like I had felt before. I even had to change my underwear at the in-laws because mine had become so damp.
Nothing came of it but it happened on Monday too. So I took myself off to the maternity ward and they check to see if either of my fore or hind waters had broken, and neither had. So I went home and that was that nothing else happened so I just carried on as I was.
Tuesday 23rd of June 2020 (exactly 3 weeks away from my due date) at 3 pm I started to get very small twinges which seemed to be regularly coming between 2-3 minutes apart. They didn’t hurt what so ever, and I could only feel them if I was in absolute silence. I’d already had a lot of Braxton hicks that week so I didn’t think much of it, but the consistency of them made me wonder if labour was beginning. These lasted until 6 pm that evening, and eventually just died out.
I shrugged them off as Braxton Hicks as nothing else happened and I was still a while of my due date. I had that niggling thought in the back of my mind though that I couldn’t dismiss. So I decided to have an early night in case something were to happen. I told Brad he should probably get an early night too, but he joked that I was just being cautious and decided to stay up until 11 pm.
I woke up bang on midnight and felt that small trickle again that felt like I was wetting myself. I rolled over in bed and OH MY… GUSH!!! Waters broke, completely broke, 100% broken all over our lovely mattress. I hit Brad in the chest and said “my waters have broken my waters have broken get a TOWEL”, he confused and half-awake stood up and frantically placed a towel by my bedside so I could stand up.
As I stood by the side of the bed over a towel, waters seemed to fall out of me for at least 10 minutes. My waters never broke naturally the first time so this was all very new to me and I was shocked by the amount pouring out of me.
We decided to make our way downstairs to the bathroom, so with a towel hooked between my legs I carefully walked down the stairs. I decided to stand in the shower as it seemed the cleanest place to let all of this happen… since I was still gushing out. Every time the baby moved more splashed out.
At one point Brad shouted at me to turn the shower off because I’d wake Theodore up… I said the shower isn’t on, that’s just my waters!
I had noticed the waters were slightly pink which set panic in – I rang the maternity ward just to say my waters had broke, I wasn’t contracting and they were pink. She said pink (salmon coloured) waters are absolutely fine but to come into the unit to get checked.
Because of Covid, I had to go alone. So I filled my pants with maternity pads and bought a towel to sit on in the car. Drove myself to the maternity ward whilst my waters continued to break!
Once I arrived there were no other pregnant women about. Waters STILL falling out of me the midwife lay a tonne of towels on the floor near my bed and I just stood there. The sound of the water hitting the floor went right through me and I can still hear it to this day. My lovely midwife giggled and said, “I don’t think I need to check if it was your waters…”. I stayed on the ward until around 3 am since she ran a few tests on me and I ended up having an ECG (but that’s a whole different story).
About an hour before I left I started to have very very tiny pains here and there, I tried to time them but I kept falling asleep. The midwife scheduled me in for an induction for 10 am on the 25th in case contractions didn’t begin (your waters can only be broken for a maximum of 24hrs before it starts to become dangerous for baby). She said I could stay if I wanted, but I wasn’t prepared, I had no bags, and I knew how long this could take (Theodore taking 17 hours!).
Much to her dismay, I decided to drive myself home, with waters still leaking and small contractions happening every 3/4 minutes.
Once I arrived home I found Brad up playing on his Xbox as he didn’t want to fall asleep in case he was needed. I decided to take myself up to bed in case I was to have another long labour.
I got back into bed at 4 am, and the MINUTE I lay down contractions begun. I tossed and turned for a few minutes and decided to ditch the bed it would not do. Downstairs I swapped from leaning over furniture, laying on the sofa and bouncing on my birthing ball.
Contractions were painful but I could breathe through them with the breathing techniques I learnt from The Positive Birthing Company. I rang my friend Tasha who we had already organised would have Theodore whilst we had the baby. I let her know of the goings-on and that she might have to get Theodore in the next few hours.
I tried distracting myself by sorting out my hospital bag, sorting my hair and putting on some makeup. 6 am rolled around and I was having contractions every minute and I found myself leaning on walls, doors, furniture whilst frantically trying to get Theodore’s stuff together. I rang Tasha and said come get Theodore NOW. Luckily she lives just moments away so she soon arrived.
I don’t recall speaking a word to her. At this point I was in pain almost constantly, we managed to gather up Theodore’s stuff and get him in her car.
As soon as he left I rung the maternity ward, stated my name and I said I’m coming in NOW and quickly hung up.
With stuff in the car, we took the quick drive to the hospital, whilst I moaned at every contraction. I also realised not a single family member apart from Tasha knew I was in labour but I had not the energy to let anyone know at this point. As we turned into the hospital car park I realised I might need to push. We scurried up to the labour ward and burst through the doors.
Because of Covid birthing partners couldn’t be present until you reached 4cm dilated. So usually your birthing partner would have to wait outside whilst you were examined. I think as soon as I walked through the doors they took one look at me and heard the mooing sounds I was making and took us both straight in.
We were put in a lovely room with the view of the cathedral and at this point, it was around 7 am and the June sun was pouring through the window.
Still, in so much pain I started to feel sick and begun throwing up in the toilet. For some reason, I first refused an anti-sickness injection. But Brad managed to sway me round and I had it and soon felt much better.
Then the midwife walked straight through the door I told her I needed pain relief – now! She said I could have gas and air but before I can have anything else she would have to examine me. The pain I was feeling was like nothing else I had felt before. I snatched the gas and air off her and begun breathing and it helped ease the pain.
I got her to examine me and at this point, I was very very angry because it hurt so much. It hurt so much I needed to be almost finished because I had reached my pain threshold. Before examining me I said to her “I better be at least 8cm!” – and much to my excitement, she told me I was 10cm and it would soon be time to start pushing hallelujah it was almost over.
I’m not sure what happened between then and starting to push. I must have just been riding through the contractions with my gas and air. Brad was sat next to me on one side and the midwife was just pottering around the room. At about 7:40 am I remember thinking to myself “do I need to push? I’m going to try push and see if I feel ready”. So without announcing it to anyone I begun. After doing this twice Brad said, “are you pushing?!” to which the midwife whipped her head around and swiftly got herself ready, she shouted in another midwife for help and I started the process of pushing.
I can’t begin to tell you how great I felt. After having such an awful long birth back in 2017 with almost an hour of pushing, I felt completely in control this time and proudly coached myself through the contractions and pushing.
After a couple pushes my midwife shouted “SLOW DOWN” as she was worried I would tear since the baby was about to come out at an alarming rate. She told me that we need to coach the baby’s head out carefully and gently. I grabbed Brad’s hand as I knew exactly what was about to happen. I held on tight and pushed two last times. One long slow push for the head, and another quick one for the body.
Then suddenly at 7:48 am our second 7lbs 1oz beautiful baby was there!
The midwife quickly rubbed the baby and plonked it on my chest. As soon as I saw the baby my heart melted a thousand times over and I couldn’t believe how amazing I had just been.
The first thing Brad said was “it’s a boy?!?!?!?!?!”. I had forgotten that we would be finding out the sex as well as getting our baby! I laughed and said, “I knew it!”. As Brad was very convinced we were having a girl throughout the pregnancy.
I cut his cord and the midwife threw a bunch of towels over us to keep him warm. Even though it was on record the hottest day of the year so far! We had some lovely skin to skin cuddles for a while… until we realised… not a single person knew he had arrived! Or that he was even on his way!
We ruffled through our hospital bags to grab out the blue knitted hat my Nanna made (she made a pink and a blue!), I popped it on his head and began to Facetime family. I started with my mum of course. I was surprised she picked up because she hates video calling. I started the video off just on my face and then showed tiny baby Zach.
“OMG, OMG! You’ve had the baby?! ITS A BOY?!”. And we had roughly the same reaction from everyone we video called. No one could believe our baby had arrived three weeks early and we didn’t tell a soul about going into labour.
Even when I rang Tasha who had Theodore, she assumed I was calling to check in on Theodore, and just let them know we’re at the hospital etc. She was not expecting me to show her my baby within an hour of seeing her!
But wow, afterwards I felt on top of the world. I wanted to do it all again in a heartbeat. The midwife kept telling me how amazing I was, and how she felt like she wasn’t even needed at all.
Overall I had such a magical experience, a memory which will stay strong in my mind forever.
The day Zachary was born.