Our baby boy made his appearance on the 13th of January 2017 at 41 weeks and 1 day. I ended up cancelling the reflexology appointment because I was already in labour!
When my surges were 5 minutes apart, we called up the Maternity Assessment Unit (MAU) and they said to come in.
I listened to the birth affirmations and to the Bond and Breathe mp3 the whole way to the John Radcliffe Hospital (JR). When we got there, the student midwife had a look at my bump and watched my surges then called the midwife on duty who told us they were too erratic and to go back home and come back when they were 5 minutes apart for an hour and visit my Wallingford midwife for a stretch and sweep as my waters hadn’t broken yet.
We got home but I couldn’t sleep! Not through the surges, which were getting more intense, so I filled up the tub and got in. When Patrick checked on me, he said the surges were 2 minutes apart. He called the MAU again, got me into the car and drove like a maniac. We’re expecting a few speeding tickets soon! I remember none of this, though!
We got to the JR at 5.45am. By the time I walked to the MAU, there was already a queue but the midwife who sent us home earlier took one look at me and immediately called the Spires to get me in. She explained she was alone with two students and the Spires had three midwives on duty. I wanted to go the Spires anyway so we were delighted. The walk to the lift and getting to the Spires was difficult. Again, I don’t remember much, Patrick will fill in the gaps (see below)!
The next thing I remember is following a midwife into an assessment room. She asked me for a wee sample but I couldn’t even sit on the loo. I told Patrick, ‘I’m too swollen to wee!’. The midwife came back in and I showed her the maternity pad I was wearing, which had drops of blood on it. She said, ‘It’s meconium, your waters have broken, we’re going to have to move you to the ward but I’ll examine you first’.
She looked at my bump but I was having a surge so she waited and then said, ‘Okay, let me have a look down here’. Then she said, ‘Oh, I see baby’s head, come have a look, Dad!’ Patrick looked and yup, he could see the head! And before the midwife managed to put on her gloves, out came our baby boy and she caught him! He didn’t cry. The midwife placed him on my chest and he just looked at me, as if to say ‘I’m here’.
We arrived at 6.07am and baby was born at 6.21am! We were pretty popular on the ward on that day!
We think they probably sent us home without an examination because we were too calm and relaxed. The Wise Hippo hypnobirthing techniques definitely helped us both at different times of the birthing experience. Thank you, Sam!
What we loved the most about the hypnobirthing classes and how we used the techniques during the birth
- Sam’s calmness and the way she explained things.
- The positivity learned in classes is something I used in everyday life in pregnancy and still use now, and it makes such a difference!
- The mp3s.
- The breathing techniques.
A special thank you to Sam. When she first told me about hypnobirthing, I didn’t think it was for me or my husband, but what a difference it has made in our lives!
Tuesday 10th January: 3 days before birth. I had a feeling that this was going to be the week. So I had taken a half day at work and we both went out for lunch.
Wednesday 11th January: 2 days before birth. I had taken another half day as we were now 40w+6d and we had a scheduled midwife appointment in the morning. In the afternoon, I headed back to work and left at the usual time and was home at 6pm. San said that she felt that the early stage of labour had started so I cleared my work calendar for the next 2 days.
Thursday 12th January: 1 day before birth. We had been timing the surges during labour the previous evening and went to bed at the normal time. We had a lazy morning, treating it like a weekend and timed the surges for the rest of the day, taking in a lazy lunch and dinner. After dinner, the surges were coming more frequently and I found San in several places around the house each time, in the kitchen, leaning over the stairs, etc. I used the soothing strokes we had learnt in the Wise Hippo classes and put all the final items into my daddy bag. At 7.30pm, when they had been timed at 60 seconds and 5 minutes apart, we phoned the MAU and headed to the hospital. San’s waters hadn’t broken yet.
We arrived at the hospital, were signed in and waited at reception. San continued to have surges but we were just happy that we were at the hospital. We were assessed and the midwife timed the surges. San was still calm and relaxed but at this point was holding onto me quite tight at each surge – they were obviously getting more intense.
The midwife timed them and watched but decided that the intervals were too erratic and that we should go home and that this was still early labour. When the surges were 5 minutes apart for 1 hour, we should come back. They gave San some paracetamol and we left at 11.30pm and got home at midnight.
At this point we were both tired, having been up for 18 hours, so headed to bed.
During the night San woke up and ran a bath. I’m not entirely sure how long she was in there but the sounds coming from the bathroom woke me up. At 4.30am, I headed to the bathroom and timed the surges. They were 2 minutes apart. We had sailed past the 5-minute interval and were now moving towards transition. In hindsight, we should have had a full physical exam the first time we were at the hospital but I don’t think the midwife believed that San was so far gone as she appeared calm.
Getting San out of the tub, dressed and back into the car seemed like it took hours. In fact it probably was only 15 minutes. We left at 5.15am. With San in the back breathing through each surge, I ran three red lights and went through several speed cameras! (We’ll see if I did when we I get the tickets!) We had the birth affirmations on in the car, I’m not sure if San was listening, but they helped me drive to the hospital, the Cove of Confidence in particular!
We arrived back at the MAU at 5.45am after having another surge in the car park. I tried to move San inside as it was -5˚C. We headed inside and the midwife took one look at San and sprang into action. We went upstairs to the Spires and were taken to a room at 6.07am. The midwife did a quick exam and saw the baby’s head! At 6.21am, the little man was born! Now at this point several midwives appeared. Nobody expected the baby to be there. I was roped into getting supplies and equipment out of cupboards. The baby was known on the ward as the rocket baby 🙂