Saturday, June 19, 2010

Joshua's birth story (word and picture heavy)

Wow, it's been 2 days since Joshua was born and I'd like to record his birth story here. It was a pretty amazing and intense period of time. He was 13 days over due in the end and born on a Thursday morning at home.
On Tuesday I'd had stop start pains all day, although there were some contractions in there they were all very high up in my back and although very sore didn't develop into anything useful. My midwife called out to me in the evening to check and examined me. I was 3 cm dilated and everything had stopped.
I managed to get some sleep that night (after yet another false start) and Andy and I made our way into the hospital for another check up the next morning.
Everything was still going to plan and the hospital was happy to let me go another couple of days and booked me in for an induction for Friday morning if nothing happened in the mean time.
Once we got home I decided to come to terms with the fact that I was going to have this baby on Friday morning in hospital. Once I made that decision to stop fretting I felt a bit better, being just able to get on with life until then, and if, in the mean time, anything happened all the better.
I took some caster oil (my midwife swears by this), but to be honest I have a very strong constitution and bar a little unpleasantness and feeling very sick after taking the nasty stuff, it did nothing for me.
I took the advice of a dear friend of mine, she said; get Andy to put the kids to bed, you and your mum go for a walk along the beach and pop in for a glass of wine in the local pub. Come home have a lavender bath and go to bed.... I did this and it was blissful I felt so relaxed and snuggled up in bed at around 10pm.
At this point I'd had a couple of niggles but put them to the back on my mind after the experience of the last few days.
At 11.30pm I was woken by a massive contraction. It had me 'chickening' around the bedroom. Andy came up and asked if I was OK, in an abusive way I told him no I wasn't! I had a couple more painful contractions that were maybe 10 and 7 mins apart. I decided then to ring my midwife, she said she'd be over as soon as she could.
Andy and I decided to go downstairs, in the kitchen the contractions were coming thick and fast (as was the abuse I was dishing out to poor Andy). He quietly went off and made me a little nest in the playroom with a shower curtain and some old sheets. He came to get me some water and I said to him that I didn't think Mary (our midwife) would make it in time. I was getting no break between contractions really; I only remember 3 times when I could stand up straight and breath for a few moments before the next one.
We moved into the playroom, it was way too hot and I wanted to walk out again but an enormous contraction had me down on my knees leaning on the sofa, my body needed to push. I was a little scared but knew that if I just listened to my body it would be ok. I also said this to Andy when he wanted to know what he/we should do. He tried to get on a pair of Mary's gloves (it was way too small and broke) and I wouldn't let him leave to get hot water or to wash his hands becuase I knew this baby was so close to being born.
So, there we were a few more pushes and the head was out. Andy was great, really reassuring, he talked me through the whole thing; 'The head's half way out', 'There's dark hair', 'There's a little hand up at the face', 'Here it comes', 'You did it, it's a little boy!'. And there he was delivered by Andy. He gave out a few little cries and I knew he was ok. Andy carefully passed him to me through my legs and as I picked him up the placenta slipped out.
At this point my mum came down the stairs and helped me to sit on the sofa with the baby and the placenta on my knee. We were both wrapped in towels. It was now 12.40am. At about 1am our midwife arrived, she was lovely and very surprised how quick it all was. She helped Andy cut the cord (once he'd stopped shaking and had had a cup of tea!). Here we are just after the cord was cut.
We transferred upstairs and Mary helped with the first breast feed...

The first feed

Once he'd had some boob, Mary checked and weighed him

He was a whopping 9lb 4oz! Which is massive for me... (Rebe was 4lb 12oz and Benny 7lb 12 oz)

Here he is all dressed in his nightie. Look how swollen his poor little face is. Sitting head so far down in my pelvis for so long must've taken it's toll (I know it has done on my pelvis :-)).

Everything was cleaned up, I was checked and Mary was off on her way back home by 3am. We all snuggled down and managed to get a couple of hours of rest before the older 2 woke up and came through.

They were delighted with the buggies that the baby had brought for them and of course they were delighted with their new little brother.

Proud sister having her first cuddle.

So there it is, our unexpected unassisted delivery. It was amazing and beautiful if somewhat intense! I feel very proud of how well Andy coped and I am completely in love with our new arrival.
He's doing great, been a bit windy but fennel tea is helping with that brilliantly. He's sleeping lots (Angel by name angel by nature) and is all round a happy little camper.
I'm also well, still a little tired and my back is still pretty sore, but I know these things will just take time.
I'm so grateful for my mum for being here, she has been such an amazing support and help (thank you Bubs).
Right off to bake a cake now, it's Benny's 2nd birthday tomorrow!!


  1. Oh Laura, this was such a beautiful story- I am literally in tears over here! Thank you so much for posting this!
    I am so happy for you that you had the homebirth you had wanted- that you didn't have to be induced in the hospital. I guess relaxing and accepting what comes is what really helped you.
    I had a feeling that once it really got started for you, it would be fast! How amazing and wonderful that Andy got to catch the baby!
    I can't get over how glowing and beautiful you look in that first picture holding your new little one.

    Happy Birthday to Benny tomorrow!

    And now. . .it's my turn!

  2. Your turn now Melanie, I'm sure it's going to be great...hope the wait won't be as long as mine...that was definitely the toughtest bit. Am glad to be able to start getting back to normal, although I'm really going to miss my mum when she goes home tomorrow. Hope you're well x

  3. Writing your birth story just confirms what a strong, capable you are. You and your husband did an amazing job. Congratulations again.

  4. I'm teary over here, reading your beautiful story. Such a lovely baby. Good work mama, you did it! Happy babymooning!