by Vicki Williams
born at home
Unassisted Vaginal Birth After Caesarean
at 12:45 this morning.
Now claiming my rightful position in the ranks of the smug.
Now follows a brief birth report for those who are interested.
On Wednesday we went to the Lincolnshire Show and I spent all day complaining that I should have worn easier shoes, that I had backache and that there was too long a walk between loos… By the time we got home, I was hot, cross, dazed and exhausted.
I had a bath, cleared up all the junk we had taken and went to bed with a hot lavender pack on my aching back.
About midnight, I woke up with raging backache and sat on the loo for ages, contemplating the wisdom of a 4th pregnancy. There were trickles of fluid, but I really wasn’t convinced they weren’t wee, so I ignored them.
By about 3 AM I had mild, irregular contractions, but I was sleeping in the gaps so I put it down to having done too much during the day.
By about 6 AM I was up, cleaning the dining room of builder’s dust and feeling antsy, but not really sure why (I am quite good at this denial thing). It was obvious. I have never had the urge to get out of bed and clean. This was followed by a desperate urge to eat chocolate cake, and the solution seemed obvious. Of course I should bake one. At 6:45 AM. Yeah. Okay, I don’t usually do that kind of thing, but it seemed so logical. I was desperately nesting, but blissfully unaware of what was going on in my head.
All day I had bunches of contractions. They would be every 10 mins for an hour or so and then go away. I trickled fluid on and off for most of the day, but never enough to really convince myself that it was my waters. I think that I was reluctant to admit to the ticking clock, so I ignored it.
I got my first clue that things were really happening when the smell of our BBQ made me feel sick rather than starving, which it usually does. Instead of eating, I went and sat in the bath in the dark and felt very, very mellow.
I then spent the next few hours alternating between the bath, the loo and pacing the sitting room; probably a good thing in that it involved lots of stairs! By about 9 PM, I was having contractions that made me stop, but they were still very irregular–starting, getting mean and then going for ages. By 11, they were taking effort to breathe through, but I was relaxed as they still weren’t regular enough to time. The pattern was every three minutes, then not one for 15 – 20 mins, so I was convinced that I had ages to go. I really appreciated the gaps because I was finding things hard work. By 11:45, I had had enough. I was telling Rod I should have just booked the ElCS, etc. and suggesting that I couldn’t cope.
I should have realized, but since the contractions didn’t feel “pushy” at the end, I thought that I would have to go a while before transition. I was getting seriously worried about how I would cope with the rest of labour when everything stopped. Silence. I hung onto Rod for about 5 minutes waiting for another one but nothing happened. We decided to sit it out for an hour. I would lean on my ball and rest, Rod would try to sleep on the sofa, and if nothing restarted we would go to bed.
After about 10 minutes of trying to balance on my birth ball and trying to stop it rolling away with elaborate cushion arrangements, etc., I slung it in the corner and piled all the cushions on the coffee table and leaned on those. I guess within seconds I was asleep, and it was bliss.
Just before 12:45, I woke up with a sharp pain and a desperate urge to push. I squatted to try to stand and yelled at Rod, “Wake up, were having a baby!” His reply was, “I know, you have been at it all day,” and he shut his eyes again.
I yelled (probably screamed, because it felt really good), “NO! NOW! You are going to miss it”, and there was a head. Within two pushes came a face, then a body. Rod was kneeling, phone in hand, wondering whether to catch his baby or phone for help.
I caught the body, which did a curious somersault and a loop of cord just slipped over his head. I sat back completely dazed and feeling like I could do absolutely anything. I have never felt so powerful, so invincible, so amazing. I sat and gazed as our new baby cried and then rooted and latched on. Rod called the midwife (he really wanted them there), and we sat and had tea and toast whilst we waited for her.
The midwife arrived, pronounced us fine, ran me a bath, sorted the laundry and left.
I was in bed, bathed and refreshed before dawn, and I was awakened by my three big children crawling into bed to see their brother.
All we need to do now is agree on a name, since he doesn’t appear to be a Sophie!