My Daisy Birth Story
I attended Lindsay's classes in Warrington and had a lovely home water birth in July. Total labour was recorded as 4 hrs 8 minutes, with the second stage recorded as 2 minutes (an impressive improvement on the 90 minutes I spent pushing in my first labour - the midwife said that I only gave one push and for the rest of it just breathed him out).
I spent part of the afternoon in the park with my husband and daughter, leaning on the swings to do my rotation circles, and only went home because my contractions were 4 minutes apart and my husband was getting antsy! Once we got home, our daughter went to my mum's for the night and we started getting things ready. Around this point I remember clapping my hands and exclaiming that I was having such a lovely time, then becoming mildly hysterical as it seemed such an odd thing to be saying while in labour.
I went and had a bath, doing my escalator breaths, and we made a couple of calls to the MWs - took a couple because I was so calm so I had to work quite hard to convince them I really was in labour.
By the time the first MW arrived I was 6-8 cm dilated and hopped into the birth pool. I have photos of me grinning between contractions. The second MW and my doula arrived a few minutes before baby Mortimer did, about an hour after the first MW turned up. The bearing down breath was great, though I have to admit that it was more of an OOOOOOOOOOOOOHHHH than a nice neat OUT; I also hadn't mentioned to my husband what I'd be doing and think he found it a bit alarming! Plus occasionally I'd put my face in the water by mistake and find myself blowing bubbles.
Third (natural) stage was speedy, blood loss was minimal and my glasses suffered more damage than my perineum - I had only a graze but my husband stepped on my specs as he walked round the pool to help me catch the baby.
Mort is now 4.5 months and a super-chilled little chap - he even attended my Daisy training in October. All I need now is a Daisy babygro ... ;)
To understand some of my feelings, I need to shortly summarize my first birth. It started on a Monday (22nd June 2009) at 11pm, with contractions getting closer together. (This was in Germany and I had something like an independent midwife who I could call directly.) The midwife kept refusing to come and check me until Wednesday morning (24th June) at about 8. She then announced that I was at 2 cm and offered to break my waters. Since I hadn't slept for two nights, I agreed to anything that would bring the baby out on that day. Half an hour later, I was at 8 cm and one and a half hour later Hannah was there. (I think she was posterior and therefore the pushing stage was long, bringing what the midwife called the "actual" birth to 2 hours â€“ for me it was more like 36 hours in total.)
This time, the due date was Wednesday, 29th June 2011. On Thursday, 30th June I had contractions every ten minutes from 6.35 onwards, but for the first few hours I didnâ€™t take that seriously â€“ partly because I had had that before, partly because I had such a long pre- or early labour with Hannah that I was determined not to get too excited this time (and rather have some sleep!). I have to admit that I nevertheless was a little more excited than the days before... I sent an email to my doula Sarah and warned her that things MIGHT be starting, and then went to bed, listening to the Daisy music. I still checked the time whenever I felt a contraction, and we were still at ten minutes. I think I managed to sleep for about an hour once or twice in the first part of that night, but mostly I was more or less awake, timing my contractions and relaxing as best as I could. By the morning I was sure that the contractions would not stop until the baby was here. They had already lasted for about twelve hours, painful enough to keep me awake but not regular enough to call the midwives.
By lunchtime, the contractions were 40-50 seconds long and about five minutes apart, and I called the labour ward, saying that I was in labour, booked for a home birth and wanted to see a midwife. They asked back whether I was having contractions â€“ well, yes! So the midwives came at about 2 pm. They decided that my contractions were 25 seconds long and about eight minutes apart; Iâ€™m sure that the latter was because there was a change in scene, and they came closer together once the midwives had left. They found that I was 2 cm dilated. (That was 20 hours after I had started timing the contractions.) I was assured that HOPEFULLY the baby would be here later that day.
That afternoon, my husband cleaned the house. He kept checking with me whether I would like him to be with me or do something else for me, or whether he should continue cleaning and preparing the â€œnestâ€. Since I couldnâ€™t think of anything really that he could do for me except refill my water bottle, I was happy for him to keep nesting. Meanwhile, I went back and forth between walking through contractions to help the baby move down; leaning on a shelf and doing dilation circles; and kneeling in front of the bed, leaning on the bed and doing dilation circles. I breathed through the contractions: four in, eight out. After some hours I thought I could do with a change â€“ either changing contractions or some pain relief other than the moving and breathing that I did. I wished I had given this issue more room in preparing the birth! At about 5.15 pm I called Sarah again and told her about my feelings, asking if she could come over and maybe suggest some form of pain relief I hadnâ€™t used yet. She arrived at about 6 pm and suggested that I take a bath to see if that helps. I showed Sarah my Homoeopathy in Childbirth kit and asked if I could take one of the remedies that make contractions more effective. We agreed on one, and it was maybe 6.15 pm when I took the first dose, and at about 7 pm I went into the bath. I didnâ€™t really feel comfortable though. It was suggested that I should eat something, so I had a banana, and nothing really happened. I had contractions, they hurt, I kept breathing four in â€“ eight out, and I complained a lot about how disappointed I was that it took so long again, that nothing was happening, that I had hoped for a faster birth this time, that I didnâ€™t want this etc.
At 7.15 pm Sarah reminded us that I could have a second dose of that homoeopathic remedy; I had this second dose, and still felt nothing was really changing so there would be no point in calling the midwife. At, say, 7.40 pm I wanted to get out of the bath because I couldnâ€™t really relax in the water anyway, and all I wanted was sleep or at least rest as much as possible. When getting out of the bath I had a few pretty strong contractions fairly close together, leaning on the sink, but I still thought they wouldnâ€™t be enough for the midwives. I thought about switching to the Escalator breath but thought it was too early on and I should save that technique for when it would be really really really painful. (I should have used it then!) I went into bed and slept for what felt like 10 minutes (Sarah said it was 4 minutes), the Daisy music playing again; then I had a monster contraction that was really difficult to breathe through. As that wore off, the next one started, and I couldnâ€™t believe there was no real break! But after the second one, there was a break, and I slept again for another â€œ10 minutesâ€ (I was kind of wondering how two sets of â€œ10 minutesâ€ and two mega contractions fit into the time between 7.50 and 8.05 pm, but didnâ€™t think too much about it and Sarah explained later...) before the next monster contraction started, which actually drove me out of bed. It was another â€œtwinâ€ contraction, as in, two very close together and then another (short) break, and I was leaning on the side of the baby bed. I was cold and shivering and put a huge warm cardigan on.
Now this felt different! Sarah called the midwife. 8.10 pm: The midwife was on her way. I asked Sarah to breathe with me through the contractions because they were so strong and â€œeverywhereâ€ and overwhelming that I didnâ€™t really stay on top of them. And then, very soon, I felt the baby coming down; first I felt it in my bowels, like I needed to poo, but I knew it was the baby, and then I actually felt the baby descending. I said â€œthe babyâ€™s comingâ€ (8.15 pm? Iâ€™m guessing now...) and felt very hot, so I wanted to get rid of the cardigan. By that time I was sure the baby would be quicker than the midwife. I asked Sarah what she can see, and Sarah said it was the waters bulging out, and soon they broke â€“ no gush, just a trickle, because the baby was blocking the rest of it. I still was sure this was â€œitâ€ and got down on all fours. I had planned to give birth in the semi-squat I had learned in the Daisy class but somehow couldnâ€™t get into that position. I reached down and felt the head inside; with each contraction it stretched the perineum but I felt it wasnâ€™t time yet to let him out, and after each contraction I felt him slide â€œupâ€ again. This was in some way really disappointing, but I knew that I was doing it and that it was right. I was on my elbows so that I was angled a bit and gravity was helping me to keep the baby in. I said â€œIâ€™m scaredâ€; Sarah asked whether this was because the midwife wasnâ€™t there; I replied that I was scared of tearing. The midwife situation didnâ€™t bother me at all. I felt calm and excited at the same time and I knew what I was doing, I didnâ€™t need any one else there. After a few contractions on all fours I felt the babyâ€™s head going so far out that I knew it was not going to slide back, I got upright and let him out. I didnâ€™t really push, just released him and directed him with some â€œbearing downâ€ breathing â€“ although I didnâ€™t even really do that, it happened by itself.
And out he was! Within seconds. He was lying there and all I could see was his bum, so I reached underneath to feel that he was really a boy; I asked â€œIs he ok?â€ and Sarah said â€œYes, he just needs picking upâ€; my husband, sitting behind me, picked him up and unwrapped the cord from his neck and ankle. It was 8.35 pm. David was crying then and, well, I was kneeling there, holding my baby, my perfect baby, and I instantly fell in love with him.
Tell us your Daisy Birth Story ..... what did you most enjoy about classes, how did you feel approaching birth and how did your journey play out on the day.
The most inspirational story (by deadline on 30th June 2011) will win Â£75 of Mothercare vouchers
The most inspirational story (by deadline on 30th June 2011) will win Â£75 of Mothercare vouchers
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