I love reading birth stories! After sharing my own two very different birth experiences [emergency c-section and natural VBAC] I decided to ask other mums and dads to share their wonderful birth stories with me too. I’m absolutely delighted that so many people want to share with me! If you’d like to share your birth story, send me an email or get in touch via Twitter or Facebook.
This week Natalie is sharing the beautiful birth story of her first baby who made a surprise early appearance at 36 weeks.
Tell me your beautiful birth story…
I loved being pregnant with Joseph, although at the time we didn't know if he was a boy or a girl, so he was just 'Bubs' to us. I wanted to make the most of every second of maternity leave, so I had planned on working right up until my due date. I had had a really easy pregnancy all the way through - I was feeling great and active, so thought 'hey, no probs!'. I got a really bad bug at about 33 weeks pregnant, ended up in hospital on a drip, and after that I didn't ever get back to my previous healthy self - I got tired much more easily and couldn't stand for as long, which being a secondary teacher made teaching quite difficult! So I made the decision to stop work at 37 weeks instead. I didn't even make it to then!
At 36 weeks I was watching a Twilight film with my friend - you know the one where Bella is in labour (yeah great film to watch before giving birth!). I felt a cramp, it felt just like when I had the bug before, so I wasn't initially worried. This continued maybe for an hour until about 11pm, where they got really strong, That was when I thought I might be in labour rather than having a tummy bug. They very quickly became 5 minutes apart, which is when we rang the hospital. They told me to calm down, have a bath, take paracetamol, until I said that I was only 36 weeks, then they told me to drive straight in.
So feeling very apprehensive off we went to hospital. When I got there I was 3 cm and I was in labour. The nurses said they would come and check on me in an hour or so and left. Andy promptly fell asleep in the corner, and I got virtually no sleep, just enjoying the gas and air. By morning I was sent to the assessment ward to just wait and see what happened. My mum arrived shortly afterwards, which I think Andy was pleased about, as he was a bit scared as it a little early.
It turns out baby was back to back and so I had labour all in my back. It was nothing like the waves I was told would come and go, but just constant pain. So, after being told to try and rest (yeah ok!) I tried to rest. Hmm, that didn't go very well. I stayed at 5cm all day! They put a monitor on me, which was really uncomfortable, and I was trying to stay active, as the contractions felt better that way.
However, the trace kept being lost, so they attached the probe to his head instead which limited my movement even more. I remember my mum rubbing my back over and over, but it just didn't help. Finally at 6pm the midwife who had been with me all day (and stayed past her shift end to deliver Joseph - what an angel!) burst my waters. Wow, it was like a tidal wave! She popped out to change her clothes, and by the time she came back at 6.20 I was fully dilated, mu goodness I wished they had burst them 6 hours before! I was told after that they had hoped the contractions were going to stop, but they certainly didn't!
I was told to push at 6.30, and at 7.19 he was born.
The midwifes took him straight to the resus trolley they had on stand by to make sure he was ok. They cut the cord and just took him over the other side of the room. I remember Andy saying 'What have we had?' before the announcement that we had a little boy, and he was placed on me wrapped up. We were able to have cuddles only for about a minute, just long enough to get a few photos before he was taken to the neonatal unit.
I don't really remember a lot about the hour or so after the birth, it's all very hazy. My mum was still with us, as although the plans had been for it to be just Andy and I, when it came down to it we both wanted her there too. I didn't realise quite how worried Andy had been until later on. Looking back now, I wished that I had sent Andy off to be with Joseph in neonatal, but it just didn't occur to me right then.
Joseph then spent 5 days in the unit, and 3 days on the ward, and I stayed in hospital with him to establish breast feeding. The day we came home was just amazing. I still remember the first night having him in our home, altogether as a family.
How funny that Natalie went into labour while watching Bella in labour on Twilight! And to go from 5cm to fully dilated in 20 minutes, wowzers! What a lovely birth story, I’m so glad Joseph didn’t have to stay in the neonatal unit for too long.
You can read more beautiful birth stories here.