Claire Cartwright's Story

Jasper Robert was born on Saturday 25th June 2011. The labour and birth went well. I first had a show the day before, as I was up at the allotment, so I decided to go home just in case.

I woke at 4am on the Saturday with period like contractions, at this point I tried to carry on sleeping and get as much rest as possible, but I knew I was going into labour. I later decided to eat something and then woke my husband at around 7am.

At this point I put on the tens machine and started to try to relax on the exercise ball and briefed my husband on my birth plan. My waters were breaking gradually and contractions increasing in pain and frequency, but I was still relaxed remembering Nerissa?s words of breathe, contract and each contraction will end. At about 9am I rang the hospital to inform them I was in labour and as my waters had broken they wanted me to come in, but as I was so relaxed there was no rush. We drove in at 10am stopping for supplies on the way; I was feeling in control and managing each contraction well.

At the hospital I waited awhile to see anyone as they were busy and in the room I was swaying standing up, leaning against the wall or any other piece of furniture and using the tens machine as each contraction increased intensity. A midwife saw me and sent me home as she felt I was a long way from giving birth as I was not showing any distress and was I control, this was about 12. I also felt this was the case expecting a more lengthy labour.

However on the way home and in the next hour each contraction was definitely getting more intense and the world was disappearing as I became the labour. Then I suddenly had the urge to push and could not stop it, at this point my husband got me back in the car. This journey was not comfortable as I was restricted in the seat. When we arrived back again the midwife thought it was premature, as I was able to describe process, however when she checked my dilation I was 9cm. In my head I was thinking if I am 4 or 5cm I will ask for gas, but finding this out we all went to a home from home room for the second stage. I was on all fours on low bed leaning on beanbag. My husband gently reminding me to breathe, each contraction will end, this is your baby and not to scream as I asked him to, while mopping my brow, blowing my nose and allowing me to sip water as my throat was so dry from creating lowish noises. I had no time to ask for gas as each contraction was merging into each other.

After 1 3/4 hours Jasper was born, we had skin to skin contact and he started to root straight away. The midwife throughout was brilliant realising I wanted it as natural as possible and kept to the spec even suggesting to allow placenta to be delivered naturally as previously I had opted for injection in case it became difficult and complicated the breast feeding. I did need stitches but these were sorted after Jasper was settled and fed and my husband was having some introductory quality time with him.

The tens machine was still with me and I was using it throughout but towards the end it became more of a crutch as I had the boost button pressed down without noticing it. In my labour the Tens machine was brilliant the only thing is the cables and battery pack got in the way sometimes and covered in blood, so cleaning it after I had to be meticulous