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Daisy's Arrival, by Helen H

Daisy's due date was 28 February. I had a perfect pregnancy and felt fit and well throughout. Tiredness was a bit of an issue looking after Oliver under 1 at the time, but David and I are a good team which made it all the easier.

On Friday 23 February I had a show. This is not something I had experienced with Oliver. After checking with Nikkie and Debs that it actually was what I thought it was, I was really looking forward to what would soon be coming our way again.

I had the usual Friday with Oliver. We went to the toddler group. I was having mild contractions every 35-45 minutes but knew that all of these pre-labour signs could last for at least a week.

The next day, we had a normal Saturday. Walked into Worcester for coffee and cakes. The contractions still continued and sometimes took my breath away, but I didn't let that get in the way of anything. I was wondering whether anything was going to happen later that day and decided that I was going to see Mr O for some Caulophyllum. He explained that it helped the cervix to ripen and toned muscles (good for the uterus!). I took them immediately and watched the England v Scotland match whilst bouncing on my birth ball.

That night we planned to have fillet steak for dinner. But as the contractions were regularly occurring every 20 minutes or so we decided that pasta would be a much better idea, just in case more was destined to happen that evening.

We bathed Oliver and just as David was about to put him to bed I decided that he should really go to Granny and Grandad's – things, I thought, were definitely going to happen. So, the poor little chap was hurried off to Granny and Grandad's in his pyjamas.

After our pasta dinner, I spent the evening on my birth ball and hooked myself up to the TENS machine. The contractions were still quite far apart but definitely getting stronger. I had to concentrate quite a bit. I made sure that I kept active, many trips up and down to the toilet and many wees too! I wasn't going to make the same mistake as last time and not go! At around 10pm David decided that he was going to go to bed. I was not at all happy with this decision but did not want to appear selfish and say “no’. I then felt a bit nervous about dealing with it all downstairs when he was upstairs and couldn't hear if I needed him. I used every stalling technique known… even sitting on him to stop him going upstairs.

I then decided that I needed another trip to the toilet. My God, I suddenly had back to back contractions which really took the wind out of me. I went downstairs and suggested to David that it was time to call the Midwife. I knew that my CMW (Community Midwife) was on call that evening and was really excited at the prospect of her helping us with birthing our baby. David put the call into Ambulance Control (to page the Midwife) and I again, popped upstairs. Blimey, the same again….. taking the wind out of my sails. I made it downstairs and quickly realised that this baby was going to arrive – very soon! Another call was made to Ambulance Control to check that Jackie was on her way over and they said “yes’ she was.

I just knew that this baby was not going to hang on. I could physically feel “it’ moving further and further down. I tried the “brace position’ I had been taught in yoga. But I felt this baby just moving quite rapidly down the birth canal. Before I knew it, that guttural noise of 2nd stage labour was travelling from my stomach to my mouth. I think I realised that this baby was going to arrive well before Jackie.

We were in the dining room (I on all fours), hardly time to put down towels when David asked if I wanted him to have a look. I said “no’ because I was sure that he would see its head. I had another contraction and this time I knew that a head could be seen. He got back onto Ambulance Control and said “my wife is in 2nd stage labour and I can see the head’! They told him that they would have to take him through it all on the phone. With the next contraction the baby was crowning – David was amazing. He supported the baby's head which immediately took the pressure off my perineum – what a relief. A couple more contractions and David then had to put the phone down on the floor to go for the catch! He said he saw the baby's head come out and then turned so that the shoulders followed, just as we had learnt in our Antenatal Classes. He caught her perfectly. A baby girl…. How lucky are we?

I remember thinking “trust this to happen to us’ at some stage….

The Ambulance Controller was absolutely brilliant. “Is the baby breathing’? she asked, David repeated the question to me, unsure, but as Daisy was starting to scream we realised that “yes’ she was indeed breathing. David passed her up to me and we wrapped her in a towel and started to dry her off. She just looked so tiny to me.

Then, I heard the clip clop of Jackie's shoes coming down the passageway! I was so happy to see her. “Oh, you didn't need me’ she said entering the room! We were just about to discuss 3rd stage labour when nature answered the question for us. Plop! Out came the placenta and sploshed onto the floor. Mmmm, lovely. David then spent the next 2 hrs trying to get the blood stain out of the floor in time for a 2nd viewing on the house the next day!

Daisy weighed in at 6lb10 and fed really easily.

Probably the most incredible experience of my life…. And for David too.

There surely isn't a better place to be born than into your Daddy's hands.

Helen H

Related pages:

Helen's first baby - a very different labour!

Fathers and home birth - fathers' feelings about the birth, and how they can help.

Fast Labours - is quicker always better? What do you do if your baby is arriving faster than your midwife?

Blood on the carpet - How much mess are you likely to encounter at a homebirth, and what can you do about that carpet?!

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

Homebirth UK email group

Home Birth Stories


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