Louise’s Labour Story
My labour started on Wednesday evening after I had been to yoga. It felt great to stretch out having done nothing over the Christmas period. I found it very relaxing, focusing on my out breath and making sure I was lengthening it.
I got home had dinner and went to bed about 9pm where I started to get very mild period pains and lower back ache. These became stronger and so I started to wonder if this was the start... I asked my husband to come and lie with me whilst I tried to sleep, however, I was unable to sleep through each mild surge. It wasn't that it was painful, more uncomfortable to be lying down. I wanted to be upright.
These continued so at about 10:30pm we went downstairs to the living room and started watching a film (Pitch Perfect 2). This didn't last long as my surges started to increase in intensity and I found it hard to focus on the film. I wanted to be in a soothing environment with calming music. At this point we lit a fire and candles around the room creating a very calm and cosy environment where we proceeded to spend the night.
I had Clary Sage which I used throughout, I couldn't say whether it worked or not however it felt nice to have it there. I don't remember much of the evening as I went into a very focused zone where I was very focused on my breathing and had my hypno recordings playing - focused around the up breath and my visualisations. I wanted to be upright at all times and shifted between standing and kneeling on the armchair. When the surges came I found standing with my arms on the back of the armchair bent over the most comfortable.
I found myself controlling the surges through my outbreath (in all honesty I can't quite believe I am saying this however it really worked to control the discomfort).
At about 3am my husband called the birth centre just to let them know that I was in early labour. Soon after my mucus plug showed - as soon as I saw it I knew what it was and felt very excited as it confirmed for me that it was really happening, I was having our baby! The mucus kept coming as my cervix opened, I was surprised how much there was.
Throughout my husband had been making sure I was drinking lots of water and trying to feed me (I say trying as I was so absorbed in the moment that it was hard for him sometimes to distract me and get me eating) he was also monitoring the surges and at 7am called the birth centre because I was at the 3 in 10 stage. My surges were not consistent - so not exactly the same time between each - however as my husband had been monitoring me all night he felt now was the time to let them know.
We had opted for a home birth and so the midwives were with us by 8am. When they arrived my surges slowed down a little. They did an external examination to see where baby was and were going to leave and come back in a few hours when suddenly my surges became much more intense. So much so that they were keen to do an internal examination to check my dilation. I was 7cm.
I continued to stay in the living room completely focused on my upward breath and visualisations. At this point the midwife's and my husband decided to fill the birth pool up. This took about 1.5 hours and towards the end one the midwives pulled my husband aside and asked if there was a bed we could use as they were worried the pool wouldn't be ready in time. The spare room was made ready however I did make it into the pool.
My waters broke much later than I expected at about 9am, it felt like a gush of water - I knew it had happened.
I went upstairs about 9:20am (where the pool was) and started to use the gas. I initially found the gas tricky as it was interrupting my breathing and focus. However I did come back to it and soon found a way to take in gas and enable the breathing to continue too. I breathed in the gas at the early stages of the surge and then stopped the gas and used my breathing - the out breath - when my surge peaked. Interestingly talking to my husband as I write this he said that the last hour before I got into the pool was very tough and I did find it hard - he was worried that I might not be able to continue with just gas. I don't remember any of this and felt like I was only there for a short time.
10:20am I got into the pool - I remember it feeling absolutely lovely and such a relief to be in it as I was pretty tired by now. The water soothed and supported me.
Once in the pool the surges continued and at some point suddenly my body started wanting me to push down (like having a poo) It was an overwhelming feeling that my body just knew to do this. It came in surges with rests in between and I would give my all to bearing down. This lasted longer than I expected and required a number of rounds of pushing. At one point I was so tired that I wasn't sure I could do it - the body is amazing and somehow I kept going. Breathing was harder here as I was so focused on pushing. I used gas as the feeling grew and then stopped the gas as I pushed.
All in all I was in the pool for about 2 hours. It was incredible when the little man popped out, I sat back and held him. My husband said I had a look of total shock on my face as I just couldn't believe I had done it.
When I look back now I only remember a few bits vividly, the rest is already a haze.