Wednesday 12 October 2011

A Birth Story - June 27th 2011

Water Birth in Inflatable Birthing Pool

Leo Matthew was born on June 27th 2011 at 12:56pm weighing a healthy 7lbs 15oz, he surprised the world by making his appearance one week earlier than expected. I was due on the 4th of July 2011 and not due to finish work until July the 1st!

The whole experience was so positive and I could not have asked for a more amazing time of it.

I was niggling on Friday 24th June, but I just carried on as normal, I finished work and attended my final antenatal class without even, for a second thinking I was going into the early stages of labor.

I left my desk cluttered under the pretense I would be back in the office on Monday morning, where I would have got my things tidied away for my impending leave….but I never got that far.

I went about my weekend as I normally would, I still didn’t mention how I was feeling to anyone, but by Saturday night I was getting more uncomfortable, even though I wasn’t feeling myself…I still managed to drive myself and the other half a 30 min drive for drinks in a nearby town! Although being heavily pregnant I did get ID'd....and to add more comedy to the scenario of a full term pregnant women going to a club…in labour…I was attending an acoustic night at my friends gay bar!

Water Birth with gas and air - Gas and Air

We sat and had drinks until the early hours and then I drove us back home again. I had no problem going off to sleep upon getting home but woke up at 5am and could not go back to sleep. I ended up getting up and watching some very early morning television, before being able to drift back off.

I wasn’t in any pain; the only description I can think of is a tightening wave low down in my abdomen (not at all what I expected contractions to feel like!).

By Sunday these tightening waves were coming more frequently but I still didn’t think anything of them, not for one minute did I realize this was it and labour was setting in!
It was a really hot day and I was hiding away from the heat to try and stay Sunday afternoon I had, had a show and decided that it may be best to give the hospital a call to find out what they thought. I was advised it sounded as though I was in early labor but it could take days…And to basically labour as long as I possibly could at home.

Water Birth in Inflatable Birthing Pool with baby

My younger sister had fallen out of a tree earlier in the day and my mother had to take her to hospital where they put a temporary cast on for her, I called her to let her know I was possibly in the early stages of labour, and then promptly told the other half, but he didn’t believe that it could possibly be labour!

He decided that I should go with him to look around a derelict cinema that is under refurbishment, So off we go to the building site for a good look around, up and down steep steps with this tightening wave in my abdomen becoming more frequent and more uncomfortable.

I carried on as I normally would; I even managed to get one last shopping trip in at Tesco - even if it was just for ice lollies! The other half dropped me off at home and popped over to his Mother’s for the afternoon, I decided to stay at home as I was not at all comfortable by this stage.

By the time he came back at around 10:30pm I was even more so uncomfortable. So when everyone else went off to bed I couldn’t even lie down, let alone sit! My night consisted of pacing around the house..all night long! I couldn’t sleep at all as these tightening waves were very noticeable, but still not painful and still all in my lower abdomen.

Breastfeeding newborn in hospital

The other half got a full night’s sleep until around 6am and I had spent the night pacing and eating ice lollies with the younger sister who was up with her broken arm.

The other half got up around 6am and called the hospital for me, they spoke to me and advised that as I was talking through my contractions that I couldn't be that far along, He rang back at around 7:30am and they said exactly the same thing, they told me to have a hot bath and call back after this point I was getting very frustrated! So we did everything that the hospital advised and called back one last time, and they finally gave us the green light to make the 20 minute drive in.

The other half had already got everything ready in the car so all I had to do was get into the car and be driven to hospital, but sitting was not going to happen! I essentially had to lie on my side in the front seat! It was the most uncomfortable and longest journey of my entire life. There was a pressure low down that I couldn’t begin to describe and there was a 'lump' pushing down. I was told a bit later this was the head coming down.

Upon getting to hospital I walked myself into triage....thinking that I was going to be sent home. They checked me over and find that I was already 9.5cm dilated! They too seemed very surprised that this was the case.

Newborn baby after water birth

I informed them that I wanted a water birth and they said that they best get it all set up pretty swiftly and get me straight over to delivery! I had gone through the night dilating and only had paracetamol. I was very proud of myself.

Despite the earlier frustration before being allowed into hospital, resulting in me losing my temper and stamping my feet (in which I hurt my little toe, I had done it all with nothing but over the counter pain killers.)

They got me the gas and air, and as soon as I had this I could breathe through each contraction with no problem at all. The midwife said she had seen me while I was walking across the car park and she was very surprised to find out I was in labour. She was in the process of setting up the pool for me but as I had my gas and air, I was pretty relaxed and knew that very soon I would have my baby boy.

The midwife put her hand on my bump and asked if I could feel anything, I thought for a moment she was being funny and was referring to her hand being on my tummy, which of course I could feel. She informed me that I had just had a very strong contraction and should actually be climbing the walls at this moment in time, she was very impressed with how my body was coping with the contractions…and for that matter so was I.

First time parents in hospital after birth

 My Mum was back at the hospital with my younger sister getting her new cast put on for the long haul, she had been worried as she didn’t think I had been coping with the labour very well. No-one realized quite how far into the labour I acually was. The other half ran into my Mum while he was getting my bags from the car and came along with him to see me. She was immediately put at rest as soon as she saw how relaxed I was on the gas and air.

The midwife had everyone leave but my other half so I could get into the pool, and as soon as I got in I relaxed even more. The water offered a sanctuary, where I let the water completely take me over.

The midwife said to do what my body was telling me, she said if I needed to push...then I should push.....I couldn’t understand how I would know when to do this!.I had always thought this would be something they would check to make sure of the fact I was actually ready to push. Having the pool birth was brilliant as it gave me more control and there was no medical intervention.

I had got into hospital around 9:30am and was floating around in the pool for the first few hours, having chats with the midwife and the other half, but the other half was soon hungry and went to get some food from the cafe. The midwife had gone to let him out of the security door...  so she helped me out of the pool so I could use the bathroom.

Newborn baby in hospital after birth

As soon as I pushed down to go for a wee my waters broke! It was painful and I must have let out a scream as suddenly another midwife was helping me back into the pool, again once I got the gas and air I was able to cope and breathe through each contraction.
The urge to push had come in strong; I had to give in to my body and start pushing. The other half was still getting his lunch, apparently he was at this point debating whether or not to eat in or take away!

The first midwife had come back by now and the other had gone to find Luke.

By the time they had found him, the baby’s head was almost here, He couldn’t believe how quickly it had all progressed in the time he had been gone.

He never did get to eat his lunch....

I kept on pushing (this was the most painful bit where I had no problem screaming and shouting! according to other half all I screamed was AWCH!) I can remember thinking this is it...and stopped pushing....then in the next instance, I realized the sooner I put my all into pushing, the sooner I would have my baby and the sooner it would all be over.

So with four big pushes my baby was delivered.

Newborn baby in hospital after birth

He was put straight onto me for skin to skin, and he was left attached to the placenta until this was delivered naturally, and then Luke cut the cord.

I could not believe how my 9 months of pregnancy had now come to an end and I had an actual baby to show for it, and it had all happened 1 week early with me supposed to have been at work in the office.

It was all so natural and I can’t believe it all happened as it did, and so quickly!.Everyone was amazing, the midwives were so helpful and friendly and just let me get on with it in my own way, and it is by far the greatest experience of my life.

Leo Matthew was born on June 27th 2011 at 12:56pm weighing a healthy 7lbs 15oz; he is my little munchkin and just getting cheekier as time goes on.

First Time parents with newborn baby


  1. Oh my goodness!! I thought I would have a look at your old posts and read your birth story. This is such an amazing story and exactly what I am hoping to have. I hope that I can deal as well as you did with the contractions.

    AMAZING!! Xx

    1. Thank you lovely, It was the most amazing experience of my life! I hope you get a similar experience. Labour is such a great memory for me, and I really hope it is for you too!


  2. What a great birth story, I'm 32 weeks at the momentwith my 2nd and I hop mine is like yours this time, haven't got the option of a water birth here though in Cyprus and I missed out on one first time round with my Leo as there was meconium in my waters.

    Happy birthday to your little man xxx

    1. Hi Emma, I really hope you get the birth that you want and long for. Aw you have a Leo too! Love the name :-)
      How old is your little man?

    2. & Thank you very much for the birthday wishes for my little monster x

  3. What a lovely birth story. I had planned a water birth but it didn't go to plan. I did get a good few hours bobbing around in the water for being transferred to the hospital though!

    K x


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