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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.