I know a lot of people like to read birth stories and I really liked to read them when I was pregnant. I wanted to write this down while the memory was still fresh. I feel that Ted’s birth story makes a lot more sense if you know Roman’s too, so I’ve put them both down here. The pictures below are from bath time when they boys were both about 2 weeks old. I can’t believe how similar they look!
I was 10 days overdue on the day Roman arrived. I woke up at about 7am with cramps and a sore back and had a feeling that they meant a bit more than the cramps I had been having the few days before. I went back to sleep and woke up an hour later and knew they were real contractions. I walked around the flat timing the contractions while hubby got my bag ready for the hospital. He also called the hospital to let them know I was having contractions. They told us not to hurry…first baby and all.
The contractions were building and at about 12:30 my water broke during a contraction. Hubby called the hospital back and they said they had no record of the earlier call. They obviously figured that we’d be many many hours away. The midwife told us to come in. We called a cab and got set to go. The cab drive was great and we got to the hospital just before 1:30.
At the hospital, I had a contraction in the main foyer and a nurse walking past offered some assistance. He took us up to the labour ward the quick way and we were taken to a birthing suite. My contractions were really strong and very close together. The midwife asked if I wanted the gas and I remember looking at it and thinking it was too hard to figure out how to use it so I said no thanks. I felt sure that it was all about to happen very soon. The midwife examined me and I was fully dilated. They put a fetal monitor on to see how the baby was doing. His heart rate was very erratic so they said they had to get him out quickly and to push like mad!!
They had to use a vacuum to get him out and after about 4 pushes our little baby boy arrived! Roman was born at 1:55pm. He weighed 3.65kg (8lb 1oz) and was 51cm (20″) long.
I don’t really remember much from straight after Roman’s birth. I tore badly and lost a lot of blood so was quickly taken off to get stitched up. I remember being freezing cold and shaking terribly from the blood loss. I also remember trying so hard to not move when they have me the spinal block for the stitches. I ended up in hospital for 3 days (which is a long time in a UK public hospital) and needed 3 blood transfusions.
All I can say is that I’m glad we got to the hospital when we did!
If I could use one word to describe Ted’s birth it would be incredible! That might seem like an unusual word to use to talk about labour, but it really was amazing. I had so many worries after Roman’s birth and so many things I hoped went differently. I was worried that he would have an erratic heart rate and would need to come out quickly. I was worried I’d have another bad tear and that I’d lose a lot of blood. Thankfully, none of this happened and I was able to experience my labour fully.
I had been feeling crampy for a few days, but at 10pm 1 week past my due date, the cramps started to feel like they were coming and going. I decided to time them. They were erratic, but quickly started to get stronger. This was it! During the early stages, I bounced on a fit ball with a hot water bottle on my back. Hubby got everything packed in the car and my MIL came over to stay the night and look after Roman.
My contractions were around 3 mins apart but still pretty erratic. Because everything happened so quickly last time I didn’t want to hang around at home any longer so we headed to the hospital. By now I was banging 2 stress balls together to handle the contractions. We got to the hospital at 1:30am and the told us the labour ward was full. This was a blessing in disguise as we got put in the Family Birthing Centre. I had wanted to go there all along but it books out so quickly so we didn’t get a place.
My midwife, Rose was amazing! I told her my concerns from Roman’s birth and she did a fantastic job making sure I had the labour I hoped for.
Rose suggested I hop in the shower to see if that helped with the contractions. I spent the rest of my labour in the shower leaning on a fit ball while I kneeled on the floor. Rose guided me through pushing, telling me when to push and when to pant. I remember feeling so tired and that I couldn’t go on, but instinct takes over. All the power from you body is incredible. After an hour at the hospital, Ted arrived at 2:30am, caught by hubby on his way out. He weighed 4.02kg (8lb 14oz) and was 54cm (21.25″) long.
I was able to deliver the placenta naturally, so Ted got that extra dose of all the wonderful cord blood, while feeding. After that, I cut the cord and we had another feed and a cuddle in bed.
I did come away with a tear, but almost no blood loss. I was too excited to sleep afterwards, so rested in the bed while Ted and Hubby slept.
One thing that I believe helped so much with my labours is the book Birth Skills by Juju Sundin. The book is full of techniques to help you cope with contractions. She discusses ways to distract you from the pain. I think it worked fantastically and several friends have also used the birth skills to great effect. The stress balls was one of them. If you’re pregnant and are wondering how you will deal with labour, I would highly recommend this book.