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Theo and a Placenta!
by Buffy

Buffy sent this birth story to the Homebirth Uk email group four days after baby Theo was born. Her last baby, Lori, was born at home but Buffy transferred to hospital after the birth with a retained placenta and a very serious postpartum haemorrhage.

I thought I would take the time to write our little boy's birth story while his biggest sister enjoys a cuddle (something he doesn't lack in this house!)

At 3.20am on Monday 13th November (41+3 by scan dates 42+3 by my dates) I was woken by what I knew was a real contraction - although it wasn't particularly painful it was different to the Braxton-Hicks I had been having. I decided to lie there for as long as I could to rest even though I knew I wouldn't sleep again. I laid there for another 7 contractions but was unsure how close they were as although I had looked at the clock initially I didn't bother to again until getting up.

I got out of bed at 3.45am needing the loo and thought I'd stay up, so I put a pot of coffee on for when dh got up and for the midwife when they came out!  Then I wandered around the house, reading "aliens" while the contractions carried on.  I did try sitting on my gym ball but it was soo uncomfy as his head must have been really low.  This surprised me as I had used it a lot during my last labour!

I decided I would run a bath as I had never used water as pain relief and figured that I might as well give it a go as this is definitely the last time I'd have the opportunity!  SO I started running the bath at 5am and at 5.15 woke dh up as I didn't want to get into the bath without someone else awake. I woke him up and suggested he get our 12 year old to get into bed with our 2 year old in case she woke up and was upset (2 year old co-sleeps with us) He looked at me and asked why looking rather baffled LOL!(LOL = Laughs out loud) I rolled my eyes at him and he leaped out of bed LOL!

12 year old staggered downstairs and though we told her to go back to sleep she didn't - she sat on the end of our bed peering into the bathroom and chatting.  I got into the bath and dh did things like empty the bin! etc between contractions.  I soon discovered I am not a water person during labour and it really annoyed me so I got out after about 10 minutes !!  It took longer to run the bleeding bath lol

Once I got out of the bath dh realised the contractions were coming every two minutes and asked if he could call the midwife - Nope I said, its going to be ages yet, let them sleep longer lol!

Just before 6am our 2 year old woke up and peered around the doorway and asked for boobie - I was in the middle of a rather large contraction and 12 year old explained baby would be coming and could she wait for boobie for a little while - to which youngest reminded us "I told baby to hurry up and come last night!" which she had done lol!  She looked a little bit worried but that went away once a packet of cookies was produced!

At 6am dh said please let me call the midwife and I agreed.  The midwife rang us back and said she would be there in 20-25 minutes but that if I needed to push beforehand to call an ambulance on standby just in case lol! I had seen my own midwife the Friday before and we had discussed that if I went into labour Sunday/Sunday night then I would get midwife X who was dying to have another HB as it had been a while - so much so she had put herself on call for a few women in the hope someone would birth!  I was really pleased that it was her shift that I had gone into labour on.

Midwife X arrived at 6.45am mid-contraction and I waved to her and she said "I think I'll just get my stuff in now"  I kept saying, don't worry it doesn't feel anytime soon. However she had already called her own student midwife to attend and the second midwife before she had left her own house to attend as she didn't think it would be very long! I was convinced they would be there for hours before anything happened!

Midwife X asked if she could just palpate the bump and listen in quickly and I laid on the sofa for her - eeek OP presentation (occiput posterior - baby facing mum's tummy) - that I kinda knew but my thoughts were oh crap it'll be a long painful labour (my first had been OP) and for a few minutes she couldn't find the heartbeat but I wasn't fazed as I could feel him wiggling! She did find the HB and established he was well engaged and so I got back up and into my kneeling position against the sofa. During this time the second midwife arrived.

Funnily enough though he was OP presentation I never once had a backache labour which I expected - though in hindsight I wonder if I am so used to back pain that I just didn't register it.

Note from Angela: although a baby in the OP position can make for a very difficult first labour, in subsequent labours it's less likely to be a problem as the baby has more room to enable it to turn around. See 'Get your baby lined up' for more on presentation and how to manage it.

At 7.25ish I asked for gas and air as the contractions had hit a new peak and I used it to breathe to their peak and then I breathed through the rest on my own - it was fantastic and really helped me cope.

It was great as all this time I had been able to talk between each contraction and chat with everyone and the two year old and 12 year old sat chatting too - my 7 year old son appeared but was more interested in the cookies on offer and kept vanishing back upstairs!

The student midwife arrived rather panicked about now as she had gotten lost - apparently they told her to get her gloves on quick but I was still convinced it would be hours so couldn't understand the hurry!

At 7.35 my waters broke and wow the contractions really hit then! For a few seconds I forgot the gas and air, forgot to breathe and just about forgot what I was supposed to do but my dh and midwife were fantastic and reminded me to breathe and use the gas and air LOL!

At 7.48 I went from saying it's going to be a long one to "HEAD!!" I felt him shoot down and out and was worried no-one was there to catch - it turned out the midwives knew what was going on far sooner than I did and were there to catch him - his head was born in one contraction and his body followed with the second - it was so fast! (second stage recorded 3 minutes) He had even turned at some point and instead of arriving OP he arrived the right way! He was passed through my legs and I lifted him up - and cuddled him - my first instinct was where was the rest of him as he seemed so tiny compared to my last 9lb 5oz baby!! Me and dh looked to find out the sex and announced he was a boy :) He was fine but a little bit grunty and spluttering mucus up - as agreed the midwife waited until the cord stopped pulsing, double checked it had stopped and then cut the cord at my request so they could just make sure his breathing was ok as I was worried but not overly so, just enough to ask them to check.

I turned over to a seated position and he came straight back to me being given a clean bill of health and we had more cuddles - they then gave me the synto injection at my request (as I had a previous retained placenta and PPH). My third stage was just 7 minutes and I cheered and shouted "I delivered a placenta!" when it came out! The relief in the whole room was tangible!

Both my boys appeared; my two daughters had seen their brother born which was wonderful. A few minutes after his birth and I had my dh and all my children sat around me with all of us enjoying our new addition, counting his fingers and toes. The midwife said how lovely and natural it was to see the entire family together.

This was such a healing birth for us - our daughter's birth was amazing and to this day we consider her birth and third stage as seperate incidents, but we now realise how much we still needed to work through and our little boy's wonderful textbook birth has really completed that healing now. Even the midwives said it was the perfect birth.

We also now have a name for our little fella - Theo :)


The story of the birth of Buffy's fourth baby, Lori, is also on this site.

Related pages:

Home Birth Stories

Pain relief - what are your options at home?

The Third Stage of Labour - what are your options, and the pros and cons of each?

Overdue - what are the risks? What are your options?

Grand Multiparas - are you higher-risk after you've had five babies?


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