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Molly's birth story, by Doris O'Connor

Molly was due on 20th May 2002, and that was last week leading up to her birth had been absolute hell! Really the only way to describe it! Her head been 3/5th engaged and she was very very low. I could not get comfortable whether sitting (felt like I was sitting on her head), lying down or walking. It just felt as though she would fall out at any given minute. Now if only it was that easy eh ;-)

I clearly remember thinking that I would commit mass murder if I had to endure another weekend without baby and the kids and dh were treading on eggshells, bless them.

On the 16th I had been tossing and turning all night and at about 2.00 am had two massive contractions 3 mins apart. No sooner had I got excited then they disappeared again. Esther sprang to mind and I thought to myself "Here we go again".

I was then niggling until 5.00 am when I had another massive contraction followed by another one 15 mins later.

I told Tony that he had better not go to work and as I had to breathe through each contraction he readily agreed. They sort of ambled along with no particular pattern, half an hour to ten mins apart, and I pottered about getting breakfast, seeing the kids off etc, who were all very excited about the prospect of there perhaps being a baby when they got back from school.

By the time Tony got back from the school run the contractions were 8 mins apart so we called the m/w who came round at 10.00 am to see how I was doing. I was so pleased when I realized it was Ingrid, my fave mw on the team and the same one who had delivered Benni!

She examined me at my request and I was just stretching to 3 cm so she said she would do her rounds and get back to me later.

I was to ring when they got to 3mins apart.

By midday I was contracting every 3 mins so we called her back and she set up all the equipment in my bedroom as she thought I wouldn't be long now and we called my friend who was to be in the house to look after Esther.

However when she examined me again I was still only just stretching to 4 cm and she said baby was back to back, something which I had expected really as the contractions were all in my back again. I spent the entire time walking around and leaning forwards breathing through contractions and swinging my hips around to encourage baby to turn.

The contractions got gradually stronger, but come school pick-up time I was still stuck at 4 cm, very disheartening to say the least. Ingrid, however, stayed as when I do get going, things happen very quickly and she was enjoying herself chatting to Tony!

We arranged for the kids to be picked up by another friend as Tony didn't want to leave me either, and Ingrid reluctantly handed over to two mws from another team, as her shift was finished. I had progressed to 6cm by then but it was still slow going.

I was getting tired now and sat on the bed for a bit and started using the gas and air as the contractions had intensified somewhat, still contracting 1 in 3!

The kids came home and had fish and chips dinner followed by bath and they had been popping in and out until my mw said that it might be a good idea to keep them out of the room now. I had started groaning and was back on my feet as it was too painful to sit down and I was beginning to be oblivious to my surroundings as the pains really started biting and I went in on myself to cope with them.

I had officially hit transition and it was at this point that I ran out of gas and air. Unbeknown to us the canister had been slowly leaking, the windows were open thank goodness, or we would have all been very merry lol!

I unfortunately panicked when I realized that there was no gas and air; if ever a girl needed one it was now!!!!!!

I was literally climbing off the bed with the pain, how I didn't break Tony's arms the way I was grabbing them I do not know. Neither do I know how I restrained myself from hitting the mw who said just keep breathing (yeah right!) and my friend popped in, was promptly sworn at by me and made a hasty exit.

Eastenders was on I remember that and she had to turn the volume up. I was screaming by then and Rachael in particular got a bit worried about me, bless her.

At Tony's insistence one of the mws rushed off to get another canister of gas and air as I was far too tense to let things happen (she didn't want to as I was so close to giving birth, but Tony made her!) but we live 3 mins drive from the hospital and she was back in ten minutes - think she was worried!

No sooner did I have the blessed gas and air I felt the need to push and I remember shouting "knickers" frantically and again it was Tony who pointed out to the mws that I still had my knickers on at this point. What would I do without him!

The mw took a quick look and asked whether I wanted to stand up as I had stipulated in my birth plan that I wanted to give birth in a supported squat, so I ambled off the bed and no sooner had I stood up and my waters broke all over the bit of the carpet that wasn't covered by the plastic sheet! Typical!

One push later and Molly literally fell out into the arms of the younger mw, who commented that she had never quite caught a baby like this. Tony cut the cord and I then sat down and caught my first glimpse of Molly, who was screaming blue murder. They asked me how big I thought she was and I said oh about 8 lbs and they just smiled and said think she is bigger than that!

The kids trooped in just as Molly was having her first feed during which we delivered the placenta, which completely grossed them out, lol!

I have a pic of me sitting on the side of the bed surrounded by all the people I love best in the whole wide world, Molly on boob and Esther stroking her head with a completely awestruck expression on her face, it was a magical moment I shall never forget and I have tears in my eyes just writing it down now and remembering.

The mws left us to it and went to write their notes. Official verdict was 16-hour labour and 1 min (!) second stage!!! Weight 9lbs 4 oz! WOW!

The kids then went to bed, all apart from Nate, who held Molly who had gone to sleep, whilst I wallowed in my own bath and Tony and the mws made my bed and tidied away the mess.

I was then tucked up in bed and had my chicken and chips at 10.00 pm as I was starving by then and Molly nursed on and off all night. Not that I could have slept a wink anyway.

My lasting memory was of the older mw (for the life of me I cannot remember their names!) saying to me “Do not be afraid to have her in bed with you J” and her delight when I said “Oh no I intend to co-sleep!)

Esther's birth was good, but Molly's was extra special really as all the kids were up.

Doris O Connor

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