Tuesday 17th feb 2015. Sunflower arrived home from a day out with her childminder during which she had a total of zero minutes of sleep. She was absolutely wreaked and headed to bed early. Just as I retired at 11pm S
unflower decided she wasn’t going to sleep in her bed and so knowing it could otherwise be a long battle she was allowed to sleep beside me. Daddy slept in the spare bed as he needed good rest ahead of a big day at work…!
Sunflower requests “water, water”, and diligently I hand her her water bottle whilst glancing at the phone. It’s 02:11. “I don’t want water!” She declares, turns over and back to sleep. I shrug my shoulders and turn over….with a pop and a gush! Now what?!
Trying to rouse hubby from the spare room without rousing sunflower…somehow I manage it. In he comes, sleepy and bemused – “yes?” – “start blowing the pool up please”, “what?”, “yes – you heard right! Waters gone, oh – and the phone and the piece of paper from the fridge door with the midwives number please!”
Laura’s on duty tonight
and she’s just home from another ongoing labour. “Hmmm….give me a call when contractions start” – she’s the other side of Surrey from me.
I read the homeopathic booklet in depth – planning what remedies I might taken if contractions done start. The last thing I want is no contractions for 24 hours and to be induced. To me, every minute without a contraction is a minute closer to an outcome i would prefer to avoid. I’m nearly starting to panic about it.
Meanwhile, I can hear the air pump running and hubby reading the pool instructions for the first time! Next job is figuring out if there’s a tap in the house he can connect the hose to!
and I think I feel something – ish, so I download a contractions app for my phone. At 03:05
I start recording them. I’m rating them as mild – I’m still not sure I can properly feel them. Could be me imagining them as I really want them to start. But this feeling is coming every 2-3 minutes and lasting 45-60 seconds.
I text sunflowers childminder to let her know that something might be happening and i might be calling on her anytime in the next 12 hours!
Best call the midwife again at 3:45
. She arrives at 04:30
, at 04:40
I stop bothering to record the contractions – they are definitely happening and with a midwife and student beside me I don’t feel the need to keep recording!
At no point did I rate my contractions as anything stronger than medium, and at this stage Linzy, sunflowers childminder had arrived as the time was coming for sunflower to leave the house.
I had thought about whether to let her stay or not a lot, welcoming a new member to the family is such an important event. Oak and I had talked about it, and in the event that something didn’t go to plan, and to allow us to both give our full attention to our new flower, which we also knew wouldn’t happen very often in the life of 2 children, we decided that sunflower should go to her home from home.
We woke her at 5am
, and she wasn’t impressed to say the least! She didn’t want to leave her mammy. She knew something was going on, and it wasn’t like she didn’t want to miss out, but she didn’t want to leave her mum. So we have a girlie chat, daddy brought her in a present which she opened with us with an “oh wow!” response! (Phew!) Digital camera for a 2 year old. Tick. Great pressie! Happy with her new toy sunflower went with CM. Later we found out she played with her camera in the car and happily went back to sleep til breakfast.
It was 6am
when I made it to the pool, or rather when there was enough water in the pool for me to get into! It was fabulous. Just before I moved to the pool the contractions started to get a bit stronger. I remembered that I’m a trained acupuncturist (funny the things you forget in labour!), so I started to massage a pain point in my hands, and it worked instantly to reduce the pain feeling but not the strength of the contractions.
Once in the pool, and now hubby was free to focus on me too, (getting the pool ready was actually a very good distraction for him until now as there was really nothing else to do, with me that is). He did have to pack sunflowers overnight bag etc as we weren’t that prepared!!
His help was fabulous. With the contractions now getting stronger, he was able to massage the two important acupuncture points on my lower back that turned down pain rather quickly each time. The stronger the massage, the greater the relief, unless of course he was too strong too quick in which case my back hurt!!! A good distraction!
I’m not sure what time I went through transition, maybe about 7am
or so, I did request Gas & air but was told it wouldn’t work fast enough. Later I found out that this was not necessarily true but my oak knew me better and was telling the midwife that I was coping so much better than with sunflower so don’t bother with g&a! The cheek!
With all that going on, at 07:30
my daffodil was born. I gathered her out of the water and she curled up in my arms without a squeak or a cry. She called out of course, but I don’t remember her crying. She was beautiful (of course! As parents I think we are predisposed to see beauty in our children). And perfect.
The experience of getting out of the pool in the dining room and walking the short distance to my comfy couch in the lounge, curling up with my baby and a cuppa tea in my house as morning woke the rest of the world was indescribable.
The midwives from the Surrey Hills Team are nothing short of amazing. A home birth is one of the most personal and relaxing experiences possible in labour.
It was the right decision for us, even though I was very skeptical when it was suggested to me at 28 weeks. I was worried about the mess, the organising we would have to do, and worried about things I really didn’t even know what they were. Having sunflower in the hospital the first time was also the right decision for us. With a first baby I didn’t know what to expect and although I was told I would be more comfortable at home, I was actually more comfortable at the hospital where I knew there were people who knew what was going on with my body as I sure as hell didn’t!
With daffodil, I knew what to expect and how to manage things. Being at home with 3 midwives all to myself (1 was a student) for the birth was superb. The aftercare was totally focussed on me and my baby. There were no other distractions for the midwives (apart from texts and phone calls from the now 2 other ladies in Surrey in labour!) and all the paperwork was completed with us. The follow up care with this same team was fabulous. Being able to meet the midwife who will deliver your baby before the event is amazing. Having at least one midwife with you throughout the entire event with no other distractions as happens in a hospital (other women in labour, end of shift, etc) is
I was significantly under prepared from my plan – I had intended to listen to my hypnobirthing cd daily for the last few weeks but had only listened three times, my hospital bag was 1/2 packed, sunflowers overnight bag was 1/4 packed, the freezer was close to empty! I’m just about getting back to a new state of normal…. Hoping to blog more frequently again now. A x