Friday, 24 July 2009
Emma's birth story
I had been having mild contractions late in the evening for several days before Tuesday, but they always went away when I went to bed. I could tell my body was getting ready for labour, though I didn’t realise quite how ready it was until the day of Emma’s birth.
Over the course of Tuesday morning, I had enough random mild contractions to make me realise something might happen today. I rang Mark to ask him to come home from work and to get my mother-in-law round to look after the Podlings. Both of them needed to travel for over an hour to get here and my midwife had warned me not to hang about getting to hospital once my contractions were regularly five minutes apart.
Once Mark and my mum-in-law arrived, I relaxed. I was still having very mild contractions, but they were very irregular and far apart. I was getting worried I’d wasted everyone’s time by dragging them over and that it would all just come to nothing. Things changed rather rapidly at about half past three. I suddenly had three slightly stronger contractions that were five minutes apart. I rang my mum to let her know that we would probably be heading to hospital later and whilst on the phone to her my waters broke in rather dramatic fashion. I hung up the phone and Mark called the labour ward to let them know we were on our way in.
I was, not to put too fine a point on it, a trifle damp following the rupture of my membranes, so headed to the kitchen to get changed. I didn’t make it any further. The contractions had suddenly upped their intensity quite spectacularly. I managed, with help, to get my trousers on and then had two incredibly strong contractions right after the other. I suddenly thought that there was no way I was going to make the 15 minute journey to the hospital. Then I realised I couldn’t even walk to the car, I just couldn’t move. Then…I needed to push. Somebody called an ambulance, but there just wasn’t time. I could feel the baby coming. Mark and my mother-in-law just managed to get my clothes off as Emma made her way into the world. Mark caught her as she was born, with me, still standing in the kitchen, supported by my mother-in-law. Ten minutes after my waters had broken, my baby had been delivered in our kitchen by her Daddy…it was a bit of a shock!
Mark and mum wrapped the baby in a towel and sat me down in a chair. At this point, my midwife and an ambulance man burst in the front door, a mere five minutes after we called them, but too late!
Things calmed right down after the birth. They helped me into the playroom, where Mark cut the cord and the midwife checked me and Emma over. Everything was pronounced fine, so we didn’t have to go to the hospital at all. Despite the speed of the birth, I didn’t even need stitches.
Before long, I was sat up in the playroom, nursing my baby and drinking tea. It was wonderful being at home straight after the birth and I can certainly see how a planned home birth might be a wonderful experience. My one regret was that due to the speed of the birth, there was no chance to get the Podlings out of the way and they saw the whole thing. Tom seems to have taken the whole thing in his stride, but it was rather more distressing for Lily. I would never have chosen to have the children present, especially at such a young age. Thankfully, it doesn’t seem to have affected their love for Emma as they both think she is wonderful.
Despite its intensity, it was a really positive birth experience and the fact that Emma was delivered by Mark makes it extra special. He was so calm and took it all in his stride. I am so proud of him! Just when you think you couldn’t possibly love anyone more than you already do…! Honestly, words aren’t sufficient.
I would like to end this (rather long!) post by saying a special thank you to both my wonderful husband and my much-loved mother-in-law for their support during the birth and afterwards. I couldn’t have done it without you!