Share your labour tales: Baby number four 'best birth' to date
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From the moment that I knew I was pregnant with my fourth baby, I expected to deliver slightly early than the due date.
My first two had been overdue (nine and six days), but my third had arrived three days early, so logically this one would be slightly earlier still.
Of course, I was forgetting that babies don't generally follow patterns and I was foolish to think that mine would. June 6 (my due date) came and went and still no baby.
I'd been quite happy to go over before, but as I really wasn't expecting it this time, I felt really miserable. That night I woke with quite strong contractions, and began to think that maybe this was it. Finally at around 5am, I drifted off, and things had ground to a halt, so was miserable, tired and completely over it.
My midwife, Toni, came round for her weekly visit and pointed out that one day late wasn't really overdue as such, and I couldn't really complain. We discussed plans for what would happen if there was still no baby in a week, although she had every confidence that things would happen sooner than that. I can't say that I shared her optimism at that point, especially as we had all been saying that, with all the signs I'd had for well over two weeks now.
I went to playcentre as normal and had a nice sit down with a cup of tea while they took all the kids to see a digger working up the road. I had thought maybe being there might help kick things off as it was something to keep me busy, but I didn't even have a twinge. I was having a lot more show though, I'd been having bits and bobs for the last two weeks, but suddenly it had upped a gear, and every time I went to the loo I was getting heaps.
Bed time came and I'd had less tightenings and crampy feelings than I'd had in days, so I really wasn't expecting much.
My daughter Lena woke up at around 1am and I went and got in bed with her to settle her. At around 2am, I woke up with quite a strong contraction and made my way back to bed.
I tried to stay there for a while to see what would happen, fully expecting the same as had happened the previous night, but it wasn't long before I felt that I needed to get out of bed to deal with them.
By around 5am, it was clear that things were actually progressing and that this might really be it. I got Mike to call his mother and gave my midwife a call. She was already at the hospital and had been up all night with another delivery.
At around 6.30pm I felt a pop inside and suddenly felt rather wet. I shouted at Mike to bring me a towel and somehow managed to keep any mess off the carpet. I tried to put on some clean pants and my jeans, so that I would be ready to go, but I just couldn't do it. Instead I grabbed another clean towel and wore that to the hospital instead.
Mike's mum was still quite a way from our house and I was beginning to feel that I needed to get to the hospital, so we arranged to meet up with her en route and swap cars, so that she could drive the kids back home. Mike piled them into the car and then I got in, trying to get comfy between contractions - easier said than done while in the car.
It didn't seem to be long before we were swapping cars, and then pulling up outside the hospital. I must have looked a right sight - lower half wrapped in a towel, slippers on, and just a T-shirt and old cardigan on my top half. It was freezing too, but I really didn't care at that point.
When we arrived we were shown to the delivery room, but my midwife was dealing with an emergency with her other delivery. I just lent over some chairs and rocked back and forth with each contraction.
As soon as she was able, my midwife came in and checked my progress, I was already at 10cm, although I was feeling no urge to push yet, there was just a lot of pressure. I continued in the bent over position, rocking with each contraction, and breathing through it all.
As Toni, my midwife had been up all night, she called in a student midwife to help her.
Then Judy another midwife arrived to help, followed not long after by Nicky, who was supposed to be the back up midwife. So, my very easy, straightforward birth had three midwives and one student midwife in attendance.
After a while I decided I needed to wee, but once I was sitting on the toilet, I just didn't want to move. It was so comfortable, the contractions were even easier to deal with in that position. All of a sudden though, gravity kicked in and I had the uncontrollable urge to push, I'd breathed the baby down as far as I could and now it was time to get things moving.
I was helped off the toilet, and back into the delivery room. Unfortunately, moving back into the all fours position meant that the urge to push vanished. After two contractions passed, and I had what felt like long breaks between each one, I still didn't feel the need to push, so I tried sitting back on my heels. Bingo, there it was again, there was a glimpse of the head, but the urge was gone before I got any further.
Two more contractions passed with nothing and then it was back, this time the head was right there, but still in no hurry to fully come out. It was quite annoying to feel it slip back again, but one of my many midwives said that this was the best way to do it, stretch everything, so there was less chance of tearing.
Two more contractions, and then we were on again, and the head was out. Mike was in position to catch the baby, who had the cord looped around the neck, and then with one more contraction and push she was out. Mike caught her, and then handed her though my legs so I could hold her against my chest. She had lots of black hair, and I couldn't believe that I had another little girl.
I was helped on to the bed, and was soon feeding like a pro, while I delivered the placenta. We waited until it had stopped pulsing, before Mike cut the cord, and then I delivered it 10 minutes or so later, without the injection. I was checked out, and apart from a little scratch or two, was all intact, so the stretching must have helped.
All that was left was to have the best tea and toast I've ever had, the best shower I've ever had, and to weigh my lovely little lady. She was a little bigger than her sister and one of her brothers had been, at a healthy 8lb 8oz.
So there you have it, baby number four, and my best birth to date.
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