Vanessa's Story

I went to bed on Wednesday evening feeling fine and with no signs that my baby was coming. I woke up on Thursday about 6.45am and went to the toilet and found that I was bleeding, my boyfriend was about to go work and I said that I thought it could be my show but that I'd go online and check first. Was still not sure and rang the hospital, they told me to keep an eye on things.

Sent my boyfriend off to work, went to the toilet again and my realised that my waters had broken so I rang him and told him to come home. I decided that I should try and keep mobile so I went down, washed the pots and had breakfast. There were no contractions but at 8am I decided to call the hospital again because more of my waters had come away.

I rang the hospital again and they told me to come in to be checked out so we got there for around 9am. Whilst in there and waiting to see a midwife my contractions started, I kept a note of the times and they were coming along every five to ten minutes and were pretty strong, I explained what was happening to the midwife and she kind of laughed at me and said give it 12 hours and your contractions will mean something. She checked the baby's heartbeat but did not bother to see how dilated I was and sent us home.

On the way back we decided to stop off to buy a Subway as I was really hungry, whilst waiting in the car my contractions became really painful, in the hospital I had been walking around loads so I figured they were more painful because I was sitting down.

We got home and I found myself sitting on the toilet and my waters kept on pouring out (tmi!) and I decided to get in the bath to help with the pain - it didn't work, by about 12.00 I got out of the bath and was screaming the house down, my boyf rang the hospital and they told me to come straight back in, my mother in law came to get us and somehow I got in the car and we got to the hospital for 13.00 ish. I was in so much pain that they had to wheel me into the maternity ward.

From then onwards it became a bit of a blur, my new midwife checked me over and found that I was between 8 to 9 cms dilated!!! I thought great, not long now and went straight onto the gas and air, I told my midwife that I wanted to stay as upright as possible during the birth so she got me kneeling on a very big bean bag with me leaning on a birthing ball. This was good as my boyfriend could sit facing me and holding me. Well to cut an already long story short, I stayed in that position for the next three hours and then the midwife suggested that I sit on a birthing stool which I agreed with, I was on my second canister of gas and air by then but when it came to the last hour, she got me concentrating on my breathing and I forgot about the pain relief. Finally at 17.28 I gave birth to my baby boy! During last part of the birth she got me panting to stop me from pushing and when I also tried to use the 'huh' sound which helped!

Throughout the birth I tried to remind myself of the breathing techniques and certainly with the aid of the gas and air it helped. My midwife asked whether you were a midwife when I explained what you'd taught us, I think she was impressed with the way I was coping although I was really disapointed with myself as I thought I would be stronger.

Yes it was very painful but it was worth it, I do wish I walked around more as I think this would have sped up the birth but the contractions were just so strong I couldn't move. I had been drinking the raspberry red leaf tea for five days so perhaps that could have contributed to the strong contractions? I did have to have stitches but they haven't caused me any problems.

I do think if I had stayed in the hospital the first time I would have kept on walking around and would have stayed in a more positive and not victim mindset that I feel I started to get. I was asking the midwife to knock me out at one point as the birth seemed to last forever but I think that was because of me being so dilated when I got to the hospital that I thought I would have the baby any minute!

Anyway, I finally got home today but my little boy is still in hospital. He was born with an 'Imperforate Anus' ( , he did have a bum hole but it was too high up. Not the most serious version of the condition but it's meant that he had to have an operation on Sunday and is in the neonatal ward until he fully recovers. It's been very upsetting seeing him like this as he's not been able to feed but I hope that we'll be getting him home early next week.