Aimee's Birth Story

My baby was due on the 24th November. A week before my due date - I felt so impatient for him to come. I was tryng everything to induce it: raspberry leaf tea, pineapple, lots of walking ...and other things!!!!

On the Monday night (6 days before my due date) I had a 'show' not really knowing what it was or what it meant - I looked it up in a book and it said that while it indicated things were progressing - birth could be another 2 weeks away!!! On the Tuesday night ( 5 days before) I felt restless and started wrapping Christmas presents. I didn't sleep that well that night but wasn't uncomfortable. By 7.30 am Wednesday morning I felt some twinges but nothing major. I sent my partner Phil to work as I didn't think it would happen that day. However, I rang my mum to ask if she could spend some time with me that day. My mum arrived at 10.00 am. By then I was feeling some regular twinges but as they weren't strong I didn't think I was in labour. When she arrived, she suggested timing them. They were coming 3 to 3.5 minutes apart! I rang Phil and asked him to come home.

I wanted a very natural birth so had chosen St Mary's Birth Centre in Melton for my  birth. As it is 40 minutes drive - at 11:30 we thought we should set off. By then the twinges were uncomfortable but not breath taking. We got to Melton Town Centre at about 12.15. I didn't feel like I was truly in labour so we thought we would go for a walk and coffee in Melton first. By then I was using a tens machine and lots of breathing. By 1 o'clock the pains were 2-3 minutes apart and very painful. I was having full blown contradictions in the coffee shop but breathing through the pain and the tens were helping me through. I eventually felt ready to go into St Mary's at about 1.50 pm. They were just changing shifts so I wasn't checked till 2.15 pm. By then I was in a world of my own. Just lots of breathing, humming, rocking and swaying. I was trying to avoid getting on the bed - but climbed up to be examined. I was shocked when they said I was only 3 cm dilated and they wouldn't check me for another 4 hours and I definitely could not get in the pool till then. I felt crushed.

45 minutes later, I was really struggling so they suggested some gas and air. This helped immediatley. I kept up with my rocking on my knees. I would hum through the contradictions, something I learnt in Nerissa's class but I didn't think I would use. It definitely helped. My mum and partner Phil who were both my birth partners joined in! By 3.15 pm I felt something changing but didn't really know what it was. I kept going in to the ensuite bathroom just to have a minute or two alone (something I have since learned is very common in the animal world as females (especially cats) like to be on their own to give birth, and will try to find their own space). This really surprised me as I thought I would want my partner to massage me as we had practiced and I am usually a very tactile person. This was probably one of the biggest surprise to me: my need to be totally on my own.  however I felt that by rocking and being on my own I could handle the pain. The midwife came in to see me (hiding in the bathroom) at 3.30 pm to ask if I was ok. I said I really felt something changing and my humming had got deeper to a more of a grunting sound, again something I learnt with Nerissa but didn't think I would use.

She said she would examine me again but that would mean getting on the bed. I agreed. So at around 3.40 she examined me - and to her surprise (and mine!) told me my baby was coming. 'great' I said, 'can you fill up the pool' - unfortunately there wasn't time for that. They grabbed the birth stool and my beautiful baby boy was born on my second push at 3.53 pm.

It was a perfect birth and i was delighted that i didn't need any stitches. Tate Orran was a perfect little boy at 6 lb 3. While I had the birth I really wanted, it was very quick and I did suffer with shock about 15 minutes afterwards and had to be swaddled with blankets till I stopped shaking. Still it was perfect time for my partner to have skin to skin contact with Tate.

Eleven weeks on, he is now 13 lbs and a very contented baby -an sleeping through the night! Every time I look at him I am reminded of that day. I feel very blessed to have the birth
I did and it is without a doubt the biggest thing i have ever achieved in my life. I still can't believe I did it!

My three best tips:

1. Wear your own clothes and be in your own environment as long as you can . Birth is not an illness but something so natural.
2. Hum, hum, hum. it really helps - well it did in my case.
3. Massage of the perineum from 34 weeks (thanks Nerissa!!!) I really believed it helped avoid stitches.