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Daniel's birth, by Lorna

Daniel, Lorna's second baby, was born in July 2006 weighing 6lb 8oz

This labour and delivery were a complete contrast to my previous experience in terms of length and pain. I felt niggles at about 15:30 so texted Hubby and asked him to leave work slightly early to pick up our toddler from nursery. I then did some relaxation and had a light meal just in case. By the time Hubby got home at 17:00 I couldn't quite hide that something was happening (though could still be false labour) so he went by himself to pick up our son.

I got their tea on the go then went up and had a bath at 18:30 as I thought that it would grind to a halt if it wasn't for real. The contractions were still just uncomfortable and coming every 5-6 mins. After about an hour I was going to get out of the bath but when I stood up I had a more painful contraction so sat down again! When our son had gone to bed at 20:00 I got Hubby to get the TENs machine ready then got out of the bath and got the TENs on.

I rang the maternity bleep at 20:15 to say that I thought things were happening but I was coping well. The on-call community midwife rang me back just after 20:30 and said that she was on her way. I was having a mild contraction then a stronger one in a 6 min cycle but still just uncomfortable rather than painful though I was starting to rap up the TENs intensity and using relaxation techniques during the contractions.

The midwife arrived at 21:00 and asked the usual questions and started to write some notes. She'd brought a very basic labour bag as the second midwife brings the full delivery kit. She then asked if she could do an internal examination which I agreed to once the next contraction was over, if I'm honest I could still talk through the contractions so thought I had hours to go.

However I felt a pop during that contraction so shot off the sofa on to the pad that was on the floor. There wasn't a huge amount of fluid, in fact my pad had absorbed it all so the sofa was safe! My Hubby got the waterproof shower curtains out at this point. Unfortunately there was some (stale) meconium in the waters so the midwife told me that it was their procedure to transfer me. So I asked her to monitor the baby's heartbeat (it was fine) and to do an internal examination. As I was 5-6cms dilated already (to my surprise) and the baby wasn't in distress I declined to transfer. The midwife wasn't best pleased but called out the 2nd midwife.

The contractions then became very intense and it hurt all the time and by 21:30 I felt out of control and that I couldn't cope. So I requested to transfer for an epidural. With hindsight this was obviously transition and if the midwife had told me this I would probably have coped much better but I was sure I still had another 2-3 hrs to go. So we called for a baby sitter and an ambulance. I was still using TENS only for pain relief.

The babysitter and ambulance turned up at around 21:45 just as I started to feel a strange urge to push. I was still whimpering that I couldn't cope and needed an epidural with the midwife and Hubby telling me I was doing really well. The ambulance crew (all female) took one look at me and asked if delivery was imminent (I think the 2nd midwife turned up at this point but the ambulance crew had got out their birthing pack so we didn't need hers). So the 1st midwife asked to do another internal examination which I agreed to. However the midwife wanted me on my back and there was no way I was moving from my all fours leaning on the sofa position so she had to examine me where I was. She declared that I was fully dilated at 21:55 and the ambulance crew advised that we were best delivering at home as they didn't fancy having to pull on to the hard shoulder to do the delivery and didn't think we'd make the 15 min journey to the hospital. I was given the Entonox at this point - it didn't help with pain relief but gave me something else to do!

I was worried about tearing so started doing feeble pushes at about 22:00. The pain was much more bearable now, probably because I knew the end was in sight and could feel him moving down. 4 mins later out he popped and gave a good lusty scream. So no suctioning was required as he'd cleared his lungs out himself. The Entonox was very useful for the two stitches that I needed, though I did overdo it at the end and felt dizzy and sound went all echo-ey.

They still wanted me to transfer at this point so Daniel could be monitored for 24 hrs as there had been meconium in his waters. I declined emphatically as I could monitor him just as effectively at home and take him in if a problem developed. My friend who had come over to babysit was a real star at this point and was busy making cups of tea and running me a bath. This meant Hubby could concentrate on Daniel and me. Not long after 23:00 everything was cleared up and we were left to get to know our latest addition.

Lorna

Related pages:

Home Birth Stories

Meconium - what does it mean if your baby passes meconium? Should you transfer to hospital?

Pain relief - what are your options at home?

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