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Betty's Birth Story

Keri's second baby, Betty, was born at home, in water.

Brief run-down: I spoke to the midwife about 10ish, and again about 11ish and she came out just before midnight and said I was about 3cm dilated but agreed I wasn't in established labour. I was still thinking at that stage, 'am I, aren't I?' as contractions were only coming every six to ten minutes and although I couldn't talk through them, I could breathe through them quite happily. We decided to try and get some sleep but that didn't really work, so instead I got in the bath to try and submerge my bump a bit as they were getting more and more painful.

I felt really 'in my head', not out of it like I was when I laboured with Jakey, and I felt terribly upset the whole time that I was letting Jake down, that I didn't need a new baby, that it was Jake I loved and really really guilty. Finally I had a good cry about that which I think helped let it out a bit.

Jane, the acupuncturist, arrived about 2.30am and stuck some needles in my ears, and at that stage I got out of the bath and laboured standing up for a while - shame we all forgot to put the TENS machine back on!

Lovely midwife Tammy came back about 3.30am and examined me again - ouch, that wasn't much fun - I was mooing like a cow through the contractions by that stage, and I was really disappointed that I was only 5-6cm. She kept reminding me that I went really fast once I was in established labour with Jakey, but we'd made bets that the baby would be born at 1 or 2am, so I was feeling quite down that I was only 5-6cm! But nevertheless we got in the pool, which was lovely, and slowly the house filled up with a student midwife and the second midwife as well.

Still I was totally conscious between each contraction, which was hard because I kept looking at the clock on the kitchen wall and the time went really really slowly (I was so out of it when I laboured with Jake and slept between contractions, so then the time went fast!) But the pains kept coming and got worse and worse - a few more needles in my sacrum and hands (one fell out in the water!) and a bit of back and foot massage from the acupuncturist and the midwife, and me wishing that I was in hospital where I could have a nice big fat epidural!!!!

In fact I must have been in transition fairly quickly after getting in the pool, because at some stage I remember being disappointed that the baby's heartbeat was still good because that meant I couldn't transfer and have my epidural! We were thinking about getting the gas and air out of the midwife's car, but I was feeling very sick with each contraction and I was worried that that would make me vom!

I wasn't enjoying it because although I was saying all the right things, like 'I'll never have that contraction again' and 'each one is closer to meeting the baby', all I could think of was that it was going to get worse before it was going to go away!

All of a sudden I had a fleeting urge to poo - must have been at 5am, then a huge contraction which really made me scream. Tammy was hauling me back from hysteria, making me look at her and telling me to pant and try to control it, and I felt down between my legs and could feel the head.

Then suddenly her head popped out and we had to wait a moment or two until the last contraction came and out slithered her body... and sank! I picked her up slowly and it was up to me to peer in between her legs, shifting the cord out of the way, to see that we had a little girl! What struck me wasn't the fact that I had a girl, though, but how different she looked from Jake when he was born. And that the pain had gone away.

I had been playing with the idea of not cutting the cord until the placenta had been delivered, but as soon as she was born I wanted to get it all over with, so we left it about five or ten minutes until she was breathing well, and then it was clamped and Jo cut it. I was nervous about delivering the placenta in the water for some reason and wanted to get out then. I was also nervous as hell that I was going to drop her under the water!

So out we got, and the lovely midwives told me it would be a pity to have synto to deliver the placenta as I'd had no drugs at all (I just wanted it over with!) and the placenta arrived about half an hour later, with a bit of help from breastfeeding, on our kitchen floor. Apparently it was a huge one! It's now in our freezer!

Granny (Jo's mum) came downstairs to say hello - she'd come to stay entirely coincidentally - and was thrilled.

Keri

Update:
Kedi's third baby, Ian, was also born at home - all 10lb 6oz of him!

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