Born at home
Unassisted Vaginal Birth After Caesarean
On Wednesday we went to the Lincolnshire Show, and I spent all day complaining that I should have worn easier shoes, that I had backache and that there was too long a walk between loos… By the time we got home I was hot, cross and kn****d…
I had a bath, cleared up all the junk we had taken and went to bed with a hot lavender pack on my aching back.
About midnight I woke up with RAGING backache and sat on the loo for ages contemplating the wisdom of a 4th pregnancy. There were trickles of fluid, but I really wasn’t convinced they weren’t wee, so I ignored them.
By about 3 am I had mild, irregular contractions, but I was sleeping in the gaps so put it down to having done too much during the day.
By about 6 am I was up, cleaning the dining room of builders’ dust and feeling antsy, but not really sure why (I am quite good at this denial thing). It was quite clear, looking back, that I was labouring. I have never had the urge to get out of bed and clean. This was followed by a desperate urge to eat chocolate cake, and the solution seemed obvious. Of course I should bake one. At 6.45 am. Yeh. OK, I don’t usually do that kind of thing, but it seemed so logical. I was desperately nesting, but blissfully unaware of what was going on in my head.
All day I had bunches of contractions, they would be every 10 mins for an hour or so and then go away. I trickled fluid on and off for most of the day, but never enough to really convince myself that it was my waters, I think that I was reluctant to admit to the ticking clock, so I ignored it.
I got my first clue that things were really happening when the smell of our BBQ made me feel sick rather than starving, which it usually does. Instead of eating I went and sat in the bath in the dark and felt very, very mellow.
I then spent the next few hours alternating between the bath, the loo and pacing the sitting room, probably a good thing that it involved lots of stairs! We put the kids to bed and I started to relax. I went back to the bath and things began to hot up. By about 9pm I was having contractions that made me stop, but they were still very irregular, starting, getting mean and then going for ages. By 11 they were taking effort to breathe through, but I was relaxed as they still weren’t regular enough to time, every three mins and then not one for 15 – 20 mins, so I was convinced that I had ages to go. I really appreciated the gaps because I was finding things hard work. By 11.45 I had had enough, I was telling DH I should have just booked the ElCS, etc. etc. and suggesting that I couldn’t cope.
I should have realized, but since the contractions didn’t feel ‘pushy’ at the end I thought that I would have to go a while before transition. I was getting seriously worried about how I would cope with the rest of labour when everything stopped. Silence. I hung onto DH for about 5 mins waiting for another one, but nothing. We decided to sit it out for an hour, I would lean on my ball and rest, DH would try to sleep on the sofa, and if nothing restarted we would go to bed.
After about 10 mins of trying to balance on my birth ball, trying to stop it rolling away with elaborate cushion arrangements etc. I slung it in the corner and piled all the cushions on the coffee table and lent on those. I guess within seconds I was asleep, and it was bliss.
Just before 00.45 I woke up with a sharp pain, and a desperate urge to push. I squatted to try to stand and yelled at DH to ‘wake up, were having a baby’ his reply ‘I know, you have been at it all day’ and he shut his eyes again. I yelled (probably screamed, coz it felt really good) ‘NO, NOW, you are going to miss it’, and there was a head, and within two pushes a face, he paused, his eyes staring deep into mine, then hands and a body. DH was kneeling, phone in hand, wondering whether to catch his baby, call for help or tell his mother. I caught the body, which did a curious somersault and the loops of cord he was wearing like a feather boa just slipped over his head. I sat back completely dazed and feeling like I could do absolutely anything. I have never felt so powerful, so invincible, so amazing. I sat and gazed as our new baby gasped, mewed and then rooted and latched on. After about 10 minutes the cord was white, but as there was no placenta yet we left it. I half heartedly fancied a lotus birth, but wasn’t especially committed, my only wish really was to bury the placenta in the garden under a tree.
It took about 3 hours for my placenta to arrive, but there was little bleeding and I felt fine, so I fed and waited. When I got irritated with the feeling of the now cold cord I went to the loo. As soon as I emptied my bladder the placenta came – guess what had been holding it up! There was a bit of a gush of blood with the placenta, but it stopped almost as soon as I realized it was happening, so no worries there!
I had toast and then a bath and it was wonderful to then head for my own bed.
I was in bed, bathed and refreshed before dawn, and I was woken by my three big children crawling into bed to see their brother. Just perfect.