Posts tagged “birth story

A Birth Story

Posted on 18 September, 2016

At five in the morning on the 30th of May 2016 I woke up feeling odd. I didn’t feel any contractions, my waters hadn’t broken there were no twinges of any kind I just felt like something was going to happen. Being exactly one week overdue I had lived with this sense of imminence for about 4 weeks now and generally nothing happened. But I felt like wandering so I got up and went to the bathroom. After pottering in the bathroom for a few minutes I decided I definitely wasn’t in labour but I wasn’t ready to give up hope just yet. I turned over the toothbrush timer over and stood in the Goddess yoga pose for three minutes while the sand made it’s way to bottom of the timer. After the three minutes I re-assessed. In the mirror I saw a  41 week pregnant woman squatting in her bathroom at five in the morning when she could be asleep or at least trying to sleep. So I made my way back to bed. I sat at the edge of the bed and began arranging my complicated system of pillows which I had patented in late pregnancy to try to sleep. As soon as I sat on the bed my waters broke, although burst is probably a more accurate description. Surrounded by a litre of water I decided to turn on a light. Steve bolted upright as though he’d been electrocuted.After Steve shouted “What? What’s happening? Whats going on?” for a few minutes everyone calmed down and we decided to ring the midwife at the hospital. She said as to relax, have a shower, make some breakfast and then make my way to the hospital in my own time. The midwife said they will confirm at the hospital if my waters have broken or not and in all likelihood I will be sent home again to labour at home.So, that’s what we did. Steve called his parents who came over to wait in the house for Ewan to wake up.  I showered and started to feel the first contractions (about 5;20am), nothing major, they only lasted for a few seconds but it was enough for me to start thinking it was ‘Game On!’ He made me breakfast, stripped the bed and we both went about the house being giddy. I was also relieved. I had been induced three years ago with Ewan and I was excited that labour had started naturally this time.

On my first visit to Cork University Hospital with this pregnancy I had signed up for the Domino Scheme (something that wasn’t available in Cork when I had Ewan). The Dominio Scheme is a midwife led scheme for people who want to have a natural birth in the hospital. The main reason I signed up for it was that if all went well with the labour then baby and I could be home within six hours of giving birth. To me this was ideal. There were moments during the labour with Ewan when I was very glad to have a medical team right there and I was relieved to be in a hospital  but there was nothing about staying in the hospital overnight that I wanted to replicate. The sooner I could be back in my own bed the better.

Another reason I had picked the Dominio Scheme was that there was a small number of midwives so the idea is by the time you get to labour you have met the midwife who will be delivering your baby. But because it’s a small team of midwives who run the scheme there is only one Domino midwife on duty in the hospital at a time. So when we arrived in the hospital, at about half past six in the morning, the Domino midwife was busy helping someone else in labour and no one really knew what to do with me. I was admitted to the emergency section of the hospital and they hooked me up to a trace machine to listen to the babies heart beat. Contractions were getting stronger at this point and I had to be as still as I could manage and that wasn’t easy. After 20 minutes or so they knew baby was doing well and I was free to move around again. Once I had the freedom to move around again I was cheery again and ready to deal with contractions.

Looking back at the first time around I felt a bit conned by hypnobirthing. In hindsight I had really latched on to the premise that pain is a state of mind and with the right breathing and relaxation I could feel the contractions or surges as waves of pressure rather than pain. However, if you have ever stepped into the induction ward in CUMH with more beeping machines than any one room can handle you realise that the pressure to get out of that room does not lend itself to relaxation. So when I did feel pain during my first labour I didn’t put it down to the fact that I was in the middle of a long induced labour. Instead I felt like I was doing it wrong, I felt like I was failing to relax and so this pain was a result of me not feeling relaxed and ready enough. Somehow I had ignored a key piece of information during my first pregnancy. That is labour hurts but the very longest that pain lasts is three minutes and then your body rests. It’s not a lingering pain,it comes in a wave and passes, there are no contractions hangovers after each one. Once it’s done, it’s done. At this point they were lasting about a minute and a half yes they were painful but they were not cripplingly so and every one of these was bringing my baby a tiny tiny bit closer to us. That was my focus. I knew I didn’t want these contractions to stop. I wanted them to get stronger because the stronger they became the nearer baby was. The contractions needed to keep going and I was willing them on.

Standing circling my hips was the most comfortable position for me and labouring in that position was really managable. By now it was about seven o’clock in the morning, maybe later, Steve and I waited in the emergency waiting room while I held on to the flip lid of a bin during contractions! I wasn’t in any rush to go back into the emergency room so this limbo while they figured out what to do with someone in the Dominio scheme when there was no Dominio midwife suited me perfectly.

We spent our time between contractions talking about how Ewan would be delighted showing his grandparents where we keep the breakfast stuff  and then we made awkward conversation with a couple from Mallow who wanted to know if I thought this was the real thing or a trial run. I thought this better be the real deal because I was doing great at this but if this was a trail run and some elaborate water prank played by Steve  then I was going to be in trouble  when it came to the real thing. At about half seven or so the midwife in the emergency room called me in to do an examination. I think the intention had been to send me home to labour,  which I would have been happy with because our conversation with the Mallow couple had come to an awkward close when I started to ignore them. When she did examine me she panicked, “You’re four centimetres, you shouldn’t be here at all, you need to go down to the labour room.” I laughed at her tone. She sounded like I had deliberately tricked her. It had taken me two days to get to four centimetres in my first labour so to be sent to the labour ward after only two hours in labour made me very happy indeed.

I decided to walk down to the labour ward rather than get the lift. This really worked. With each step I could feel the contractions getting stronger by the time we got down to the labour ward the contractions were a lot stronger and coming faster together. It was twenty to eight and I was told that although I wanted to use the pool I would have to wait for the Domino midwife to start her shift at 8. Waiting for her to start her shift, do whatever paper work was needed and maybe examine me before I could get in the pool meant the pool was seeming further and further away and it all felt like needless red tape. I replied without a shred of politeness “Could YOU not fill the pool!”. Not my finest moment but Steve reckons she took it well and ran away with sufficient speed. I never saw her again but she did fill the pool.

In the next few minutes I got two pieces of good news. First the midwife coming on duty was Linda. I had met Linda at the Domino Scheme ante natal classes and she had won me over by bringing baked goods to the classes and generally being a wonderful warm person.She is one of those people who you just know you can trust. She is warm and calm and the midwife I had clicked with the most. The relief to know it was her that was going to be there to help deliver my baby made me feel so glad that I had chosen the scheme and excited that everything was slotting into place. She started her shift early by which time the pool was ready and the water was warm.

Getting into the pool was heavenly. All the good things you hear about labouring in water are true. The warmth of the water is so relaxing. Being in a room without machines, with mosaic tiles and dimmed lighting makes you feel like you’re on a weird spa day rather than in a hospital. But for me I think the reason I enjoyed getting into the pool was the feeling that I had made. I got to the end of the pregnancy without pre-eclampsia, I had got to the end of the pregnancy full stop. I was in labour, this baby was coming. The early miscarriage before this pregnancy made me doubt this pregnancy for a long time. But my body had done it. It had carried a health baby to full term whose heart beat was measuring consistently strong  and regular. This was a body I could trust. I was with the man I trust implicitly and when I opened my eyes after each contraction they met the eyes of the midwife who  I had wanted to be here ,who I trusted. I felt safe and ready.

From here time does that odd paradox where the hours seem to wheeeesh by but at the same time I was aware that things are happening slowly. From getting into the pool at about ten past eight in the morning nothing felt rushed, no one pointed to the clock things just went the way they went. The trainee midwife was excellent at reading the babies heart beat while I was in the pool I was free to move as little or as much as I wanted. The policy of midwives on the Dominio scheme is to let you lead. If you and baby are doing well then they just go with it. So when I wanted to get out of the pool she helped me out, when I wanted back in she helped me in. When I wanted to suck on the gas and air tube as though my life depended on it she helped me out. This might seem like a small thing but having the freedom to move around, squat, stand, move in the water,  felt really good. Having had my first labour as a two day event with a lot of time being glued to the bed when I needed to be monitoured it made me feel in control and at ease to move around as and when I wanted . It also helped me relaxing knowing I didn’t need to be monitored to the same degree. They checked the baby’s heartbeat  with a mobile device  so I didn’t have to be hooked up to anything.

During the labour not much went on in my head. Other than thinking how much I liked the water all I kept repeating in my head to breathe out longer than breathing in. Most breathing techniques can be summed up with that and it worked for me.  I had practiced lots of breathing rhythms with both yoga and hynpobirthing but during labour I found counting too annoying and also I got frustrated if my breathe didn’t make the designated number. I also stuck with one image of blowing a bubble very slowly and very carefully. In the ante- natal class Linda (the same Linda who was smiling at me from the edge of the pool)  had given us all bubbles and tasked us to blow the biggest bubble we could. The slow long breath that you need to blow a decent bubble was perfect for labour and who doesn’t like bubbles!

And so that’s how labour went, me breathing long breathes imagining bubbles, warm water in the pool, labouring on the toilet, labouring on a mat on the floor on my hands and kness, squatting,leaning against an excercise ball, some empty wretching,a relaxation CD, sucking on the gas and air tube with determination, banging the gas and air tube off the side of the pool to get the water out, the sound of running warm water against my back and a lot of hip circling and moving, and when I needed it Steve’s hand in mine. This was going better than I had hoped but at some point I started to notice that time was ticking on and I wanted to know how close I was. Linda asked if I’d like to be examined and I jumped at the chance. This was at about 2:45 pm and I was fully dialated. She said I could feel the top of the head on the next contraction. When people told me that midwives offered that I always thought why would you want to do that but this was my ninth hour of labour and feeling the top of the baby’s head was literally like feeling the light at the end of the tunnel. As I felt the head I started to think that this was it. The baby was coming. I thought once I could feel the head that one or two more pushes and baby would be in our arms but that wasn’t the case. I was out of the pool and squatting on a mat. Waiting for contractions to come felt like years and they were so brief I felt let down. I knew I needed long contractions to get this baby out but baby seemed perfectly happy to stay where he or she was.

Then came a series of contractions running into each other like backed up traffic. One after the other. Still squatting I tried to stay with each one. I was thinking everything at this point. I was listening to Steve’s voice and thinking he sounded excited and nervous. I was thinking of Ewan and how he changed our lives. I was thinking of my friends not so pleasant description of her birth. I thought of a blog about a woman who spelled the names of her children in her head during each contraction. But when it came to the end of her labour she couldn’t remember how to spell their names or barely think what their names were. Then I felt a burning sensation  and I thought of the song Ring of Fire. Then I remembered it was by Johnny Cash. I sang it in my head. “It burns burns burns the ring of fire”. At that strange moment where the pain was intense I had that clarity. It sounds mad but remembering the words, the singer, the title made me feel in control. I am here.  The pain hasn’t won over and made me lose my words. I’m still here. I’m so close to having my baby here and I can feel it all.

I was holding onto a pole which was by the steps into the pool. With my feet pushing down into the mat on the floor I raised myself slightly and squatted down again. This baby was coming. Voices raised, I squeezed the metal pole and handed myself over to the surges. Linda said in the next contraction your baby will be here. She said she would help me lift the baby to me. I don’t know how she said it or what noises I made in return to let her know I was ready but with the next surge my baby slid from me and I raised her body to my chest.I remember the movement of it. I couldn’t say how Linda had helped me or who was sitting, standing, squatting where but the sensation of losing the baby from my body and with one swoop feeling her delicate weight against my chest was breathtaking. She was here. It was without question the fullest I am ever likely to feel in my life.  Our baby was here.

She was born at 3:33pm on the 30th of May and weighed 9 pounds 1 ounce. But at the time we didn’t know any of that. We didn’t check what gender she was, no one weighed her, we didn’t even marvel at the red hues in her hair. Instead we reacted to the the changing tones of voices. Linda and the student midwife Sarah were rubbing her briskly. Freya was quiet and blue. She didn’t cry. They shook her hands, spoke loudly to her and rubbed her back vigorously. At first I didn’t pay much heed but as they continued doing it I looked at Steve. He too started rubbing her anxiously. She was now a purple colour and still did not make a noise. I thought she was just calm. I wanted everyone to stop. But the longer the jostling continued the more my mind started to wander to where I wasn’t allowing it to go. Within moments she gave me what has since become her trademark face of pained irritation. Through rose tinted glasses I saw her as annoyed by the fuss but perfectly calm and well. Steve later said the change of tones was because she seemed listless and her colour was not good. But within moments she made the noises they had wanted to hear. She coloured as she was meant to and she lay on us.

Everything seemed to stop after the birth. There was no medical team around. Freya wasn’t taken from us to be weighed or dressed. Linda left us to it and Steve and I held her for two hours on the floor of the pool room. It was bliss. Our baby girl was here.

To hold her undisturbed for that long without having to worry about getting her dressed, moving ourselves or do anything other than gaze at her was a joy. Life has moved up a gear since she was born and time to stare at her uninterrupted is brief. Steve and I seem to be constantly busy but for those first few hours we had nothing to do but hold her and gaze at her.

In time we made our way for me to get stitches then up to the ward to wait for discharge. The nurses on the ward were fantastic at lining up all the right people so that Freya and I could get every check that was needed and we could go home as I had wanted.

We said goodbye to Linda and at 10:00pm we left for home. As I walked to the car it felt surreal only hours before Freya had come into the world now we were bringing her out into the night. It was a balmy night and I felt glad that her first introduction to the world was one of heat and comfort. We drove like elderly snails home and made ourselves some breakfast. it’s hard to know what to eat at half ten at night when you’ve just had a baby. Ewan was with his grandparents and we stayed up as long as our tired bodies let us stare at her.

Every morning of her first week a midwife from the Dominio Scheme called to see us. When I signed up for the scheme my main concern was getting home quickly after the birth. What I hadn’t planned for or thought about was how nurtured I would feel after the birth. Being visited every morning meant that any little niggles or questions that I had about Freya or myself were dealt with. She was so well cared for and checked by this community of women that I partly wanted to keep them around. But when Friday came I was ready to say my goodbyes to the morning visits and settle into life as a family of four. A family of four. I still get a kick from saying that!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Birth Story

Posted on 16 April, 2014

Firstly, let me say when I was pregnant I read a thousand birth stories, well maybe 50, but I read a lot. I was always a bit nervous when I would get half way through and things would take a turn for the worse. 

So before I start let me say that in this birth story there is unexpected blood, things do take a turn, what I expected to happen didn’t happen but it all ends well.

If that doesn’t sound like your cup of tea or you’re heavily pregnant and want only read things about babies floating to the top of a birth pool after a few gentle breaths I completely understand, I can highly recommend closing the computer and having a ginger tea with a slice of lemon cake instead.

For those of you that haven’t clicked away here we go. Let’s get comfy.

16/04/2013

This day last year it was two days before my due date and I went for a run of the mill appointment at the midwife outreach clinic. The appointment started off like all the rest until they checked my protein levels, they then started to focus on my blood pressure and my swollen ankles. The midwife then called for a second midwife. They announced to me that they strongly suspected I had pre-eclampsia.

After a million birth stories and nine months of google I was familiar with pre-eclampsia. For those of you that aren’t wikipedia says

 “Pre-eclampsia or preeclampsia is a multi system disorder characterized by high blood pressure and significant amounts of protein in the urine of a pregnant woman…If left untreated, it can develop into eclampsia, the life-threatening occurrence of seizures during pregnancy… part from Caesarean section or induction of labor (and therefore delivery of the placenta), there is no known cure. It is the most common of the dangerous pregnancy complications; it may affect both the mother and fetus.”

Everything I had heard was equally as blunt and negative. I was told I would have to go straight to hospital, do not pass go, do not collect €100. (I’ve added the monopoly reference, they were much more poker faced).


So off we went. I was regretting not having eaten before the appointment but other than that I was feeling pretty positive.


Yes, I possibly had pre-eclampsia but this is the end of the pregnancy, if I had to get it late pregnancy is better than early pregnancy. Plus they are not ignoring it, there are no unknown complications. They know what is happening and they are acting fast. Great, lets go.


So we went to the emergency room of Cork University Maternity Hospital as instructed. They did further tests, Steve and I had oat bars from the shop because everything else was closed and they confirmed I had pre-eclampsia. I was told they wanted to keep me in hospital and they applied a gel to try and get things started.


I was moved to the induction ward and we started the “wait and see if labour starts” game. I call it a game but it really just involves, walking when they make you, reading and chatting. Steve was sent home at 11 o’clock and I settled in to my bed in a 5 bed ward filled with beepy machines and extreme heat. I was a bit worried that I would have the baby before Steve could make it back. Ha, I really didn’t have to worry about that!


Steve came back first thing (17/04/2013) and we waited. I had some pains throughout the night and I was feeling very capable of managing this pain thing! They encouraged me to walk but not to leave the ward, so with ankles the size of small countries I waddled my way up and down the corridor. In between we sat and chatted, I preferred this part to the walking.


Everyone in the induction room went to have their babies. I waited. New people arrived and they too went to have their babies. I waited. The midwives were lovely and everyone was very calm. I was feeling giddy but I wanted everyone else to stop leaving to have their babies. They reassured me that the baby was doing really really well and we all waited. 


Later that morning I started to feel a few more pains, stronger than before but still very manageable. As the pains increased I felt more excitement. We talked with the midwife and agreed that I would have a shower sitting on the birth ball for a while and then move to the birth pool.  In Cork Maternity Hospital they don’t allow you to give birth in the birth pool but you can labour there as long as you agree to come out when they tell you too, no messing! Strange and false advertising with the name “birth” pool but either way the idea of a shower and the birth pool felt like heaven. 

As I stood up to go to the bathroom Steve noticed that I had bleed on my dressing gown. We called the midwife and she said it was a small amount of blood that it was fine and she would go to get the birth ball for me to sit on in the shower. Great. A little scare but okay the plans are still the same.

I then went to the bathroom and a very large clot of blood came away. Now I was frightened. I called Steve. We both stood over the toilet bowl looking at it. We debated whether or not we should call the midwife to look or flush and tell her. I decided to face the weirdness head on and Steve called the midwife. The three of us stood for a second looking at the toilet bowl. 


Then the midwife moved quickly. “Wait there, I need to get someone”. Steve and I stood nervously waiting. She arrived with more midwives. Then they all the midwives moved quickly. They decided a doctor was needed. Now the doctor, three midwives, a junior doctor, Steve and I were gathered around the toilet bowl. 

I was moved back to the bed and hooked up to machines for monitoring. The shower dream was gone. 


I was then told they needed to break my waters. This was done very badly. I was frightened at this point. What was happening? They were focused on moving things on but I wanted to know what was going on? The doctor who did the sweep to break my waters was ill-mannered and she took several abrupt attempts before managing to sweep my membranes. She did not explain why this was suddenly urgent and she was not gentle at a time when a little care was needed.


I told her that she had hurt me, gave her a stern “oww” and my trademark evil eyes. If you have ever been on the receiving end of my evil eyes you’ll know what I’m talking about! I never saw her again. 


So with my waters broken the birth pool dream was gone and the machines beeped on. 

The wonderful midwives explained the situation to me at this point. I was in a bit of a head spin so I don’t recall exactly (Steve is much the same but recalls that things suddenly seemed serious rather than just slow).


The gist was my pre-eclampsia wasn’t going away and while baby was doing great for the moment they would be happier if things were moved on. Bleeds like these happen but they can’t be sure that everything will remain okay for the baby which is why they prefer to move things on. After they broke my waters we waited. I was trying to stay relaxed at this point. 


I had read so much about the ideal gentle birth, the nasty big hospital interfering in what should be a natural process, doctors scheduling unnecessary caesareans so they could leave in time for golf games. I think this gave me a prejudice against the doctors. When the doctors were around I felt things were serious. I felt at risk of being whisked to theater when there wasn’t a real needed because the hospital would prefer if I moved on. 

The reality was that this wasn’t a nice and easy birth. It wasn’t horrific by any means but I needed to be in hospital. I remember thinking that if I had seen that blood clot in my own bathroom while I waited to get into a birthing pool in my sitting room I would have completely freaked out. I was glad I was in the hospital. When the midwives were around I felt their confidence, I felt their experience, I heard their reassurances, they explained how well the baby was doing and slowly I started to feel safe again. 


As the theme of the story is waiting, we waited. It’s still the 17/04/2013 some time in the day. There were more pains. I insisted that Steve count aloud to five for five in breathes and again to five for my out breath through each contraction. I’m pretty sure this made us the most hated people in the 5 bed induction ward (oh yes we are still there) but as everyone kept leaving to have their babies I had little sympathy for them! 

The pains were increasing but there was no progress other than that so after a few hours they hooked me up to a drip of synthetic oxytocin. I was hopeful that this would be the final push needed. Prior to the drip I would say I was in intermittent discomfort. They were definite labour pains but they were very manageable.

Once the drip started the pains got much more regular and stronger.They were no definitely pains not discomforts. I thought well this had to be it. This had to be the real deal. They left me alone (hooked up to monitoring machines) for a few hours and just looked in every now and again. This was reassuring .I thought the bleed panic had worn off and we were back to waiting and seeing (while being monitored and hoping the drip was going to do it’s job).

It was a number of hours later (late evening on the 17th of April ) and they decided to see how many centimeters I had dilated. The pains were strong and I was extremely hopeful. I had moved from discomfort on the night of the 16th all the way through the night to now strong pains late on the 17th. I would have guessed, never having a baby before that I must have been about 5 cm. The midwife checked and announce I was 1 to 2 cm. 

I dismissed the one cm announcement that was clearly a lie! But only 2. My heart sank. I was exhausted. I was now awake for over 36 hours. Sleeping with the contractions now was not an option. I was happy to hold out if I felt I was nearly half way but at 2cm (ignoring the possible one) there was no way I could stay awake long enough to get all the way to ten cm, particularly if it all went this slowly.

From that point on I tried every pain relief they offered. Gas and air, sure, pethidin sure, tens machine, sure. Thinking back I was choosing the epidural but I didn’t want to be the first one to mention it. I wanted to sleep so badly. The thought of the epidural would wave over me at every contradiction but I didn’t want to say it.

I had said I was open to whatever way it would go but when it came to it I wanted to be the bravest of the brave, I wanted to have my baby naturally, I worried that as soon as I had the epidural they would decide that I should have a caesarean section. I wasn’t in the birth pool like I had hoped, I hadn’t even showered like I had wanted to, the monitors beeped constantly and as I looked at my hands and legs swelling even further I didn’t want to be the one to say hit me with the good drugs please. 

But sure enough another a few hours later and 40 or so hours of being awake they came to measure me again and I was still 2 cm. Eventually, another while later they offered me the epidural. I looked at Steve and asked what he thought. Whatever you want was the answer and I thought yes I really really really want the epidural. 

And then it happened. It didn’t hurt like I had thought it would and suddenly no pain. We were moved to the delivery suite, finally goodbye to the 5 bed ward with beepy machines I’m off to have my baby!

Well not quiet but either way I was out. I was assigned a midwife, so there was no more sea of faces. Gerti was my lady. She was my gal. Having never met her before I came to trust her completely. She was a lay everything out and get everything ready just in case kinda gal. She brought me iced water that was like the nectar of the gods.  We talked and she relayed our agreement “we don’t want a caesarean but if the baby or you gets in trouble we may have to”. I signed forms to say yes do whatever you need to do. She explained how the pre-eclampsia might effect the baby and explained about how I was doing. 

In summary baby super good but this can change fast with pre-eclampsia. As for me well my blood pressure was high, I was swollen like a balloon but nothing was too worrying but they were keeping a really close eye.  She was as straight up as they come. No dancing around the issue with Gerti. She was also warm and encouraging.

It was now the wee hours of the 18th of April and I could get some sleep. Sweet sweet sleep. I went to sleep and I was dilated 4 cm. I woke up many hours later to be 8cm. Great Gerti said “let’s get ready to have your baby”. She prepped the tray for surgery just in case.

I thought you had to be 10cm I exclaimed thinking that she had forgotten this important fact. “You will be by the time we are ready”.

Yikes it’s go time.

Steve had slept on the most uncomfortable seat beside me but had been revived by the tea and toast Gerti had brought him. So we were both ready. We looked at each other in that raised eyebrow, wide eyed let’s go kind of way and it suddenly it all got exciting again. More midwives arrived. One for the baby another for the post baby stuff and of course my Gerti. Gerti told the doctor that the baby was doing fine so we were going to try and do this without a caesarean but the surgeon should be ready. The doctor was happy to follow Gerti’s lead and left us to it.

All of a sudden it was pushing time. Gerti asked me to put my hand on my leg and push. I remember looking at my swollen arm and leg and being horrified. I had been swollen before but suddenly I looked like I was hooked up to a helium machine. Trying to ignore my giant rugby legs I pushed as I was told. I leaned into Gerti and I squeezed Steve’s hand. Gerti was incredibly supportive and when one of the midwives returned and asked how I was doing she said amazingly, she is a fantastic pusher and it’s all happening nice and quickly. 

I was elated. Whether or not she meant it I thought I’m doing it right. I’m doing it right! 

And so in what felt like ten minutes (apparently an hour from the first push) there he was. A beautiful baby boy. Cleaner than I thought he would be, not a girl like I thought he would be, making a little cry like I longed to hear. 

Now a year later I am welling up with tears but at the time I didn’t cry at all. This is from a lady who cried at a baton twirler in Britain’s Got Talent!

At the time I remember feeling really calm and confident. Much like when we found out first that I was pregnant. I didn’t feel the cinematic rush I just felt secure and strangely practically minded. Here we are the three of us. Great, let’s do this family thing! 

After a bit of time of him lying on my and me and Steve staring intently at him they took him to weigh him and make sure all was well. They weighed his 8 pounds,9.5 ounce body and counted his fingers and toes out loud which I thought was very cute!

In a flash he came back to us wrapped in his crocodile baby grow with his tiny baby hat ready for us to stare at him intently all over again. About twenty minutes after he was born I breast fed him and luckily he was enthusiastic about his food and it all went well.


There were no Devandra Banhart Lp’s swirling in the background, I didn’t give birth in a birth pool in my sitting room, there were no doula’s, there were plenty of machines, there were drugs and a catheter yet somehow it all felt so natural. 

I was unlucky to be a little unwell but I was lucky enough to have a team of people at hand who cared for me and my baby who were willing to wait but acted when they needed to.

Gerti’s shift was finished but she waited around to make sure everything was okay before she left. She was amazing, a force of confidence and I’m forever grateful for her support. But not as grateful as I am to have had my ever calm Steve by my side and a new baby Ewan who waited until it was exactly his due date to greet us. When the panic set in the outside world he just stayed calm and waited until I was rested before making his entrance. 

The perfect gent from the start, just like his Dad.

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