...The Birth of Ted!

I was 15 days late and really sick of people asking if I was going to get induced so I decided to take things into my own hands by having a long walk, spicy food, raspberry leaf tea and then sitting on my gym ball whilst watching ďMy fair ladyĒ and bouncing in the hope something would happen..... and it did!!!

I went to bed at 1 am ish, went to lay down there was a gush and my waters broke, I was so grateful at that point that my partner had fitted the en-suite and I didnít have to run downstairs as it would have gone everywhere...luckily most went into the toilet!! At this point I rang Viv but it was a little early, or so I thought, so she said to call when things had progressed a little more.

I then went for a bath and it filled with all this green liquid, which made me panic a little as I had heard all this stuff about the meconium so Andrew called Viv and she decided to come and check, this is when the whole thing starts to get a bit confused for me as the contractions started and as a coping mechanism I went very quiet (unlike my usual self!!) and internalised the pain so I could concentrate on the breathing I had practised, almost daily with a Yoga exercise CD. A lot of pushing started on the loo and eventually moved to the birthing pool and my contractions were coming pretty quickly, enough to make me think it wouldnít be long before Iíd be in the 2nd stage.....how very wrong I was!!!

I was in the pool for ages and Viv and Andrew and eventually Mirijn, when she arrived later were an amazing support, I really felt like I needed to hold on to someone and not feel completely alone with the pain Ė I had no idea, and I suppose no one does until your there how unbelievable this pain was, I just know it closed down my communication with the outside world, except for squeezing a hand, shoulder Ė whatever I could grab of someone else. Viv and Mirijin kept topping up the pool with hot water as I was in there for ages, thinking things were progressing but now I know they werenít really, so Viv suggested that I go back to the bathroom and again, it all blurs into one as I was in and out that bathroom, lounge and bedroom. I canít remember how many times I was in each or when...

I did find all sorts of ways of breathing through contraction by leaning on the piano, radiator, sitting on the edge of the bath, using the shower as pain relief from the waist down. Viv smiled at me and gave me such encouragement, even when I was tired she brought me pillows and I went to sleep, mid contractions whilst sitting on the loo!!! The hours were passing and it must have been late afternoon of the next day when Viv concluded that I was only 5cm, I was quite confused by this as I think I thought to start pushing but I still had another 5cm to go! It was at this point that Viv and Mirijin suggested I come into the lounge and Andrew help me do some squats whilst supporting  me from a chair, it was a little like doing my yoga class once again, but I had envisioned an Active birth and here it was! I never wanted to eat during all this time but I did have the lucozade glucose sweets and little sips of water, I couldnít actually face anything else. I also used the TENS machine and wasnít sure it was doing any good until it was removed, as I got it wet and then I realised how much good it was doing and asked for it to be put back on ASAP.

It was then approaching early eve and I had started to push but was finding it really hard one of the main things being that I was utterly exhausted, it was around this point that I asked for a couple of paracetamol. All I remember thinking is ďI wish I was one of the midwifes or Andrew drinking tea and feeling normal and not going through this pain!Ē But I was determined for a home birth as I had planned and in my mind thought of it as a super marathon that I was going to finish! I was flagging though and Viv said that things had slowed down and that they needed them to progress or I may have to consider a transfer to hospital, which I really didnít want but at the same time I did want an end to the pain and also to remember why I was doing all of this Ė to have a baby!!

I asked if I could have a rest and so I went upstairs, walking sidewardís up the stairs as the head was fairly low down. However when I got upstairs I decided to go for another round of pushes and Viv and Mirijin suggested some more interesting positions in order to give more space in the pelvis and get that babies head moving down, unfortunately it wasnít happening and again it was suggested that because my 2nd stage was now approaching itís 5/6th hour that I should consider the hospital and an assisted delivery, but I really didnít want to go, I dreaded not being with the people that had helped me so far and the bright lights, clinical atmosphere! I was so lucky that Tedís heartbeat remained strong throughout or I would have been at hospital sooner!

After this attempt things were still not progressing, where I got the energy from to continue I will never know! I then decided that I did want a little sleep and so me and Andrew got into our bed and I prayed, Andrew told me he did too and being religious and spiritual I really believed that someone helped me as I have no idea after 24 hours how else I could have done it...... Whilst I was lying down my body started to have contractions of its own, without me forcing or controlling them, they started to increase and Mirijin, who had sat on the stairs listening to me as I slept would come in and see what was going on, sooth me with kind words and then cover me again and go back to the stairs when the contraction had finished.

After about 10 mins the contractions came thick and fast and so I decided before the hospital route was seriously considered I would try again, Viv came upstairs at this point and both midwifes then guided me once again through different positions with results finally happening, the head was moving down and I could feel it! I did some more squats, pushes on the toilet, squats with Mirijin and Andrew holding me up from the side of the bed and when I saw Viv setting up the birthing equipment I felt that this is it, itís happening!! It gave me the encouragement I needed and my body then pushed out the top of the head. Wow, the crowning part as far as pain goes is beyond it all!! I was put into the Roberts position and out came the TED! He was a little stressed from the time it took and did need a bit of resuscitation, not much and there he was a beautiful baby boy weighting 8lbs 13 ounces......... It was so nice to be at home and if it wasnít for the amazing support and belief I had from Viv , Mirijin and Andrew I would never have been able to do this and I would have been so disappointed as I had set my heart on a natural birth with no stitches and thatís what I got!!!

I never thought about after the birth as I was so worried about the birth itself which lasted 25 hours but dealing with some of the challenges in the weeks after was the real test and thank goodness Viv and Mirijin were there to help me. Breastfeeding I think was one of the biggest challenges Iíve ever faced, it was so painful, in the early days and once the babymoon period had worn off and I wondered why I was putting myself through something that hurt so much, but both of them were there to support me and show new ways of doing it and generally offering comforting words, encouragement and positivity about it without being pushy. I really didnít feel very well in those first few weeks after the birth but because of the relationship I had with both Viv and Mirjin I turned to them as the experts because they helped me achieve the natural birth I wanted.  Therefore I trusted them both with all the aftercare and my goodness was it needed, I couldnít walk for a week Iíd tired myself so much with all the different squats and positions I was in during labour!!!

I actually have to remind myself what a fantastic achievement the whole experience was as not many women manage to have a natural birth first time round and avoid stitches and then still manage to continue breastfeeding as I am now, over two months later, (Visiting the baby clinic the other day and meeting other mums was proof of this and many of them said that they unfortunately were not shown the correct way of feeding or given the choice of how the birth would take place).  So paying to have Viv and Mirijin as my midwifes was worth every penny!!!

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