The day Nathaniel arrived...16/09/2016

I'm writing this story two days after the 1st birthday of my son, Nathaniel. This past year has flown, but I still remember the day Nathaniel arrived so clearly. After I arrived at hospital I stopped timing my contractions and asked Scott not to tell me how long things were taking - I just wanted to zone out and not focus on timings, so he helpfully added in timings for me afterwards!

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I'd decided to sleep in the spare bedroom (for the first time in my pregnancy - I must have known something was up!) and awoke around 03:30 with contractions. I didn't know what they were at first, they weren't painful...just odd...but I decided to time them on my phone, sleeping in between each one.

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Scott decided to work from home (I'd not woken him during the night, I just told him my contractions had started and that "we might need to go to hospital later" when he'd woken up for work). At 08:00 I rang St James' Hospital aka Jimmy's as my contractions were now 5 mins apart. They were closed for admissions (September is a busy month for babies I had been told by my midwife), but the lady I spoke to advised me to take two paracetamol and have a warm bath. I walked around the lounge and swayed with each contraction. When pregnant I'd attended Daisy Birthing classes, and I found the breathing techniques that I'd learned useful for keeping me calm and in control. I decided to lie down on the spare bed and read, and at 10:50 I felt my waters break, and the contractions ramped up and started coming thick and fast. Scott now rang Jimmy's and they said we could go in.

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We arrived at Jimmy's at 11:45, and I waited in reception whilst Scott parked the car. That multi-storey car park is so far away so he'd dropped me off first! At 12 noon we arrived at the Maternity Assessment Centre (MAC) and I was examined and told I was 6-7cm dilated, but that the Delivery Suite was still full. When I was in the MAC I asked for pain relief, and started using gas and air, and at 14:15 I then felt the urge to push, whilst still in the MAC! I was examined again and then put in a wheelchair and taken through to Delivery Suite.

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I stepped out of my wheelchair and stripped off before getting into the birthing pool at 14:30 - it was heavenly, such bliss and although the contractions were still intense, the pain had lessened and I felt a lot calmer again, after panicking slightly that I was going to have my baby in the MAC! Nathaniel arrived at 15:08, and I scooped him out of the water before Scott cut the umbilical cord.

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I left the birthing pool to deliver my placenta (which midwife Laura said was huge!) and after waiting an hour or so, had some stitches for a second degree midline tear. The midwife got a bit flustered and cut the thread before she's tied the end, so then another midwife had to come and re-do my stitches.Not ideal, but I wasn't too concerned - after all my baby boy had arrived safe and sound! We were transferred to the postnatal ward, and discharged the following day.

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