Updated: Mar 9
I woke up at about 00.30 a week ‘overdue’ feeling distinctly like things were happening, small cramp-like sensations but nothing alarming. I decided to let my husband sleep and I just tried to tune in to what my body wanted - sometimes feeling the urge to get up and walk about, bounce on my ball, relax in between surges etc. I had a fluffy throw over my shoulders which I wasn’t planning on using but it was great for keeping me warm and was large enough to pull over my head if I wanted a bit of a cocoon. I ended up taking it to hospital and it really grounded me on the journey there.
Anyway, a couple of hours later I woke my husband as I wanted some company through the surges. He was calm, sorted out my chilled music played through wireless headphones (a great tip if you have them as you don’t have wires to worry about), discreetly began timing the surges, helped my with my breathing and did lots of soft stroking which I loved!
He called the hospital at around 4am and they advised that I make the decision about when to come in. This was unexpected (no ‘3 surges every 10 minutes lasting around 1 minute’ rule this time round) and we began discussing when to call my mum to come over to look after our firstborn. This decision was complicated because she had her second Covid jab at 9am. Thankfully we had great friends locally who had said they’d be our emergency back up so we took the decision to take them up on the offer. Jed set about doing the final few bits in readiness to leave and I took a Covid test (a requirement this time round). Probably unsurprisingly, all this distribution to my little HB bubble meant my timings went all over the shop...long gaps in between surges, very short surges etc. If this didn’t show me the importance of Jed’s influence I don’t know what would. In a way I can’t do justice to it in words, it only confirmed to me how much of a team we were through this incredible experience. With Jed gone and despite my best efforts to stay focused, my body fought against itself: it was only when Jed returned that things got back on track. To the BIRTH PARTNERS out there...don’t underestimate how important you are even if the person giving birth can’t tell you or explain at the time!
Anyway, frubes and freshly-cut, cold melon packed we made the decision to call our friends who came over and we headed into hospital at 06.45, 15 minutes before our firstborn gets up as my brain told me labour and a toddler might not be the best mix!
Jed called the hospital to tell them we were coming in. They told us that they were a midwife down and, as a result, we might need to go to delivery suite on arrival. Ordinarily this might have freaked me out but we had to go to delivery suite initially with our firstborn and it was a really positive experience. Instead I focused in on my music and just tried to control the controllables. I’m glad I took this approach and didn’t panic unnecessarily because when we got to the Midwife Led Birthing Unit, we went straight in to a room there, rather than have to go to DS.
Jed introduced us to the midwife and agreed to a student midwife being with us. As teachers, we both know that there are some experiences you just need to be there to learn from so we were happy to allow this extra person. Our midwife was incredible and really reiterated to us the importance of having full trust in the support of someone so integral to such a life-affirming and empowering time. I got into the pool and really zoned in to my affirmations, music and breathing through the surges.
I really felt like I knew what my body wanted from me this time round, this was no more true than going into to final ‘pushing’ stage and this was a really empowering moment. I can’t remember how many times Jed counted me through my surges, soft stoked my arm or back and refreshed my flannel with cold water to keep me cool. These small things made all the difference and genuinely meant that I loved the whole experience!
Our gorgeous girl came in to this world in the water and Jed scooped her up and put her straight on my chest. It was an overwhelmingly powerful moment and a real team effort, made possible because of the awesome techniques learnt through HB with Torie.