I woke up at 5.20am on the morning of Wednesday 6th June with some niggles, got up for a wee and a drink and came back to bed. This wasn’t this first time this had happened but I had a feeling this may be worth paying a little bit more attention t.o. Not for any reason other than maybe instinct. I lay dozing on and off and when Tim got up to get ready for work, I got up and asked if he’d be able to call in as, although I knew nothing was imminent, I didn’t really feel like being on my own. He gladly did and we went back to bed where Juno was sparko. At 07:02 I text my Mum to say that we were niggling as she was going to be having Juno but to still go to work as nothing was happening soon & I’d let her know when things ramped up. I also text my doula, Lisa to let her know but again, that I didn’t think it was imminent and that we were just going to chill and rest up as we’d been discussing only last night on the phone!

Tim got Juno ready and gave her breakfast while I stayed in bed watching TV and they brought me in some toast and juice – I didn’t eat during Junos labour and I’d made a mental note that if we got any warning this time, to try and eat so I had some energy should it go on a bit! We’d agreed that if it happened in the day time, that Juno would go to Tims Mum who would have her until my Mumsy could get home from work so he made the call and arranged for her to be picked up about 10.30am. I was still in bed and when she came running in the room to say “Byes” and give me the biggest hug and kiss, I did have a bit of a tear in my eye thinking that not only was this probably going to be the longest I’d ever been away from my baby & the first night she’d stay away from us if it went on past her bedtime, it was also very possibly the last time I was going to see her without her baby brother being here. She was happy as larry though, off on an adventure and that was the most important thing to me at that point. That my baby was ok.

At 10.08am we text Jane, our amazing MW just to say I was niggling but that nothing was happening & it was really just to let her know as we thought maybe tomorrows appointments may go by the wayside!

The rest of the morning, and day really, was spent with me in bed, reading, watching TV, nodding off and with Tim making snacks, tidying up and between, coming in to lay in bed with cups of tea. Another thing that we wanted to do and had spoke with Lisa in depth about, was conserve energy as labour had been so long with Juno, it was the exhaustion that had made me decide to transfer, not the “pain”, I coped well with that, I was just absolutely totally shattered! Little did we know that this was going to be a good call to make! J was still with Tims Mum but was on her way to my Mums by this point so I was happy that she was still having a great day, being spoiled and was her usual chilled self.

Jane had asked us to keep her updated so at 14:26 we text her just to say they were coming a bit more frequently but we weren’t timing or anything & we were fine. At 15:46 she called to ask if we wanted her to pop round, Tim spoke to her as I was having some food, & I said I was fine & she really didn’t need to. She was finishing at 4pm & practically driving by our door so said she’d stick her head round just to say hi. At 16:15 she arrived & asked if I’d like her to do an internal to check if anything was happening. I’m not a huge fan of them but I was curious as to if this was it it or not! I lay on our bed & a few minutes later was done & sat up fully expecting to hear we were 1/2 if anything – what she actually said was we were 7cm and “soft & squishy”! We couldn’t believe it! I text Lisa who was in as much shock as we were, and we agreed that she’d head off and hopefully she’d make it in time for Herbs arriving but even if not, she’d come just to see him.

We hadn’t blown the pool up never mind filled it as we really had no idea we were getting on as I was barely stopping talking during the (what we now know were!) contractions. Que an hour or more of what I found to be the hilarious running round of Tim blowing up (by hand he has told me I have to add – in 12 minutes, all thanks to his muscle!!!) & he and Jane trying to fill the pool. I was pottering about, putting toys out the way, getting drinks and just enjoying it all, trying to take in as much as we could. It was a totally different experience so far to Junos labour, not least because the first we knew of it with her was my waters going and contractions starting really intense instantly whereas this time, my waters were still intact for now. Jane called Deana, the 2nd MW, who had a student with her. We were asked if we minded her being here and we decided it was fine.

At about 6pm Deana & Ruth arrived and took over filling the pool which was just needing topping up a little to hit the 37 degrees so I could get in. I was still just mooching around the living room and when I went to take the TENS pads off (I’d put them on about 3.30pm just to see if I’d liked it as I hated it with J and kept it on as it was a nice sensation!), Jane was in fits as it had been on totally the wrong place so wouldn’t have been doing anything at all to help me!! I got in the pool at around 6.30pm and it was lovely, the feeling of the water and the warmth was so relaxing and I remember just smiling. Tim asked if I wanted my music on and I did so he put on one of my favourite albums, Angels and Airwaves I Empire.

The next few hours were spent just relaxing in the pool and even laughing with Tim and the MWs. At about 8.30pm Lisa arrived which was lovely as I knew Tim had someone looking out for him now too. Nothing much really happened from here on in for a couple more hours, I had no VEs, baby was happy as larry and I was getting by happily. At about 11pm (I’m guessing, could be well out!) I was hanging over the edge of the pool and said “Any chance of some pain relief” and laughed but a little while later I remember saying “Seriously, any chance?!” Jane got some gas and air and I knew from J it did nothing to help with the Contractions in terms of stopping the “pain” but it does give a distraction, and something to bite on! Things had ramped up a gear at this point but we now know it was all to do with Herbs turning so I was getting pushy feelings to help him shift but obviously not the full on. My waters were still intact and I really needed a wee but couldn’t get more than a teeny bit out. I decided to let Jane have a feel to see what was going on and my bladder was full to bursting. Combined with my waters and my cheeky cervix, Herbs has disengaged! I had a catheter put in to empty my bladder and try and give him some more room and that was the first point where something really bloody hurt but it was because I had a contraction while Jane was in there still and I, from memory, really wanted her to stop and I just heard Lisas voice say “I think she’d like you to stop doing that now” and I could have kissed her! Tim had left us to this part, I was on our bed and there were too many people down the business end for his liking!!

At various points I was in the bathroom leaning on Tim and Lisa in turn or the sink swaying. Then in the kitchen for a little bit as one of the MWs needed the loo! In there I remember saying “So, this Meptid then, what does that do?!” – I knew I couldn’t have it and I also didn’t want it but I wanted them to tell me that. Lisa & Jane were both “Nope, not for you lovely!” I’m not sure exactly how long that period lasted, I was drifting off to my own little world as much as I could. In fact, at one point I suddenly realised the SMW was talking to me and I was totally ignoring her – It was lovely. Tim had gone for a lay down on our instruction and I heard Lisa say to her that I’d asked not to be spoken to too much at this point as I found it quite distracting last time. She finally shhhhut up! In the kitchen she also kept asking me if it “felt different” and I barked that I didn’t know any more – she’d been asking for ages. She finally got it and said “well I won’t ask that any more”….finally

We headed back in the pool which was lovely, no idea how long I was out for actually…..Tim will know and Lisa but neither are here to ask! In actual fact, writing this, I don’t remember getting out the pool again but unless this next bit happened before I got back in (again, they will know!) then I must have. My waters still hadn’t gone so we decided to break them. I lay on the sofa and the next thing I felt was them go and then this feeling which I thought was Janes hand holding something up there so asked/shouted at her to move them! It wasn’t though, it was finally his head and me feeling it properly for the first time. Problem was there was still a little bit of cervix in the way and every time she let it go, it came back. I thought this meant something was happening so made them go wake Tim up! Of course it wasn’t so bless him he was sent back to lay down and conserve energy!

Back in the pool the surges were ramping up but I still had no real urge to push, it just felt like my body was doing what it knew it had to and I was happy to let it, as were the MWs. It was getting light again and so the curtains were closed to keep it as dark as possible and we had no lights on bar the TV which may have been on in the background still. Again, not sure how long this all lasted but I remember Jane asking me if I had any desire to push yet and me saying no, I just felt like I needed to get through these surges and let him work his way down and they were happy with that.

What seems like minutes later but was probably a fair amount of time, I was hanging over the side of the pool & I was saying “I’m going to have a poo!!” I knew I wasn’t, or hoped I wasn’t at least, and that it meant he was on his way but I still didn’t really have any pushy urges like you expect. What feels like seconds later but again, was probably quite a while, I just looked up and said to Lisa “his heads out” at that Tim walked in and bless him had the foresight to film it so we have the whole delivery on film which is amazing. Once his head was born I didn’t really have another surge and I moved from a kneeling position to a sitting one at the other end of the pool but nothing. I could hear Deana, the other MW, say 2 minutes….3 minutes…..4 minutes……5 minutes and I wasn’t panicking as they were calm but I was thinking bloody hell boy come on!! We’ve managed this much, don’t make it a drama now!! In the end I had to stand up and just over 5 minutes after his head was born, I got a teeny pushing urge and thankfully that, along with the gravity and the size of the lad (!) brought our Dude earthside. Jane caught him and it was all she could do to keep him from just falling into the pool the poor little man!! The initial comments were all about how I’d carried a baba that size – he did look big! He was born at exactly 4.20am – 12 hours from when Jane had popped in and I was 7cm.

It was the most amazing feeling. I just said “we did it” and looked for Tim who, god love him, looked as terrified as he did when Juno was born. It suddenly all hits him and he just needs 5 minutes so he went to get some fresh air and make all the phonecalls and we got comfy in the water again. It just felt like such a lovely time, everyone was happy and I was sat in our living room in our home holding our brand spanking new baby boy and I was bloody proud of myself. Tim came back in and we sat in the pool for a while having cuddles and waiting for the cord to stop pulsing. When it did, we asked Lisa if she’d like to cut his cord (Tim isn’t down for that sort of thing!!!) and she happily did. 

When that was done, Herbs went for cuddles with Dadad and I got sorted. We had planned on going for a natural stage 3 but as it had been such a long journey, and fairly hard work for my body with him being disengaged, back to back etc, we decided to have the injection. I got out the pool and over to the sofa where I lay feeling the happiest I’d felt since the first time I’d held J – it’s a different kind of happy, one you don’t get very often but I am super thankful to have felt twice in my life. I could hear Tim talking to Herbs quietly at the back of the room, telling him all about his big sister and how much fun they’d have and my heart melted a bit. Our boy was here and we were a little complete family of 4.

My placenta delivered perfectly and apparently it was huge! No wonder considering the size of the boy it had been nourishing for 9 months! Once all that was done it was time to see if the boy was a boob monster like his big sister and we were not disappointed! Straight on and away he went and stayed there for a good 20 minutes or more. It was so nice to have that again too, lovely snuggles. Lisa was making tea and toast and Tim was sat just behind me on the sofa and watching the pool which was emptying out into the garden. It was about 5.15am by now and light outside, I could hear the birds starting and all these people were buzzing around and I was just sat there taking it all in…..some moments I’ll never forget.

It was then time to weigh the boy and he came out at what they said was 9lb 4oz – the next day when Jane came back she said he’d actually been 9lb 6oz! They checked him over and he was perfect. Deana & the student MW left about 5.30am and Lisa wasn’t far behind. We tried to make her stay for some sleep but she wasn’t having it! It was just us and Jane left & I was sent into bed with Herbs while Tim finished tidying up & Jane done some paperwork. She came in to say the GP would be out later and she’d be back tomorrow, give hugs & say bye. Tim saw her out & then came into the bedroom where we were & that was it – we were in our bed, in our home with our new baby son. It was just as we’d wanted, the only thing missing was our Juno. We sat in bed talking it all over, both too wired to sleep & now that it was just us, Tim relaxed and his excitement kicked in! It was just after 6am. By 7am, he was sparko as was Herbie but I just couldn’t get off, I was high as a kite! I just lay there looking at my boys & replaying it all in my head.

At about 10.30am the phone went and it was the GP who got here about 11am. She seemed a little bit like it was a pain for her and didn’t seem overly taken with the fact he’d been born at home….or with his cloth nappy. She then told us she had 3 kids, 2 elective c-sections……no surprise to her we were total weirdos! He was absolutely perfect but she said she thought she could hear a slight murmur in his heart although it could be that the valves hadn’t closed properly yet as they can take a few hours and she shouldn’t really see him before 6 hours old…she knew when he’d been born, she could’ve come any time that day! We’ve since had it checked & he doesn’t.

Tim then headed off to get Juno from Mums. I was so excited to see her! When I heard them pull up I got butterflies in my tummy & I could hear her shout Mum! She came running in the bedroom, jumped up on the bed, Herbie was on my lap, pulled my top up to kiss baby as she always did & suddenly realised there was something new here. She just beamed and shouted “baba”! It made me cry a little seeing both our babies together for the first time. A moment we’ll remember forever. Tim & I just looked at each other and smiled. This was it. We were a little complete family. This is where the fun starts!!