Elizabeth's Birth Story

Just to let you know that Katie Samantha arrived safe and sound last Tuesday morning. I have to say all went really smoothly and I couldn't have hoped for a better birth. The last week has been manic mind you and I feel that I've only just entered the land of the living again! This is a bit of a ramble but I hope it's helpful!!I had my show on the Sunday morning and knew that things were afoot, I could just feel it was imminent. Sunday passed and then on Monday morning I was woken up at 4am by what were, I guess, the start of my contractions, although I didn't realise it at the time. It was just crampy pain, sort of regular, but not really.

I did usual stuff for the morning then by lunchtime things were getting a bit worse. It really is a slow gradual build up. I decided not to just hang around moaning so I popped out shopping to the local coop. Probably not the best idea with hindsight but it did take my mind off it! The contractions were starting properly now. When I got out the car to pop to the post office on my way home it felt although my waters had broken so I got back in the car and came home. In fact it was the rest of my show. Just so you know, it is a weird jelly (well mine was), you won't mistake it! By this time it was 4pm, so 12 hours on. This was when the contractions really started. I started using my yoga breathing to try to control them and take control of the situation. It really did help. At this point I decided to cook up 5lb of mince (!!!!) to put in the freezer...... yep I know!!

By 10pm I was still controlling the contractions with yoga breathing and bouncing around on my birth ball (which was really helpful). I was taking paracetamol. We drew the curtains and lit a fire and I found that leaning over the mantelpiece was great....the right height and the heat of the fire was great. Simon was fantastic and kept reminding me to breathe through the contractions. Simon went to bed, there seemed no point both of us being knackered, and I kept doing this all night.

By 5am I wasn't coping so I went and had a warm shower, I think I was in there a good hour. When I came out I got Simon up and he put my TENS machine on. I should have really done this ages before but I was a bit fuzzey. If you have one, use it early on! It really helps. My contractions were now 4 minutes apart and lasting about 50 seconds. We rang St Mary's and they said to have some breakfast and then pop over there.

By the time I got downstairs and made some cereals things had changed. The TENS was uncomfortable and I felt like I needed to bear down, not push though. I was sick. My contractions were now 30-60 seconds apart and I was really struggling to cope with them. We panicked at this point because I couldn't get out the door to the car, the contractions were too close and too intense. We rang for an ambulance and they started me on gas and air (heaven)!! They didn't examine me, thank goodness, and said we should drive to St Marys. It was the longest 40 minutes of my life. We got some strange looks as it was rush hour, 8am and I was wrything around in the car. We arrived at 8.45am. When the midwife examined me I was fully dilated!!! What a result!! My waters broke immediately and I started pushing. I used gas and air. They didn't think there was time to fill the water bath before Katie arrived! But we did manage a water birth, and it was fantastic. The water is so calming. Simon was amazing, reminding me to breathe and he really helped me to push properly. Katie arrived at just after 10am.I was so impressed by all the staff at St Mary's. When we got there and they saw I was fully dilated we had 3 midwives with us all the time. They all read my birth and post birth plan. I was keen for skin to skin after the birth and for the baby to initiate breastfeeding during this. It worked like a dream and she made her own way to the breast. I've had no problem with breastfeeding which I feel is a miracle!

I didn't need any stitches but I did have an internal tear which is sore. I feel really bruised but it is getting better. I have no idea if the perinneal massage helped but I like to think it did. I seem to have no pelvic floor left at all now!!

Having been through it, the best bits of advice........trust your body and your instinct and keep chanting that each contraction WILL end. Stay at home for as long as possible and don't let anyone tell you to lie down! To induce, try hot curries and lots of sex, it worked for me!Good luck girls, Jenny and Rav you're next.......Stay in touch, love from Elizabeth xxxx