I'm so in love with this story, and so, so proud of how Becca and Ross worked as a team for Rowan's birth. Reading this makes me all goose bumpy. Ross and Becca attended my Margate group course and I watched at they unpacked and made sense of Erin's (their first daughter's) birth. I could almost see the self belief come back to Becca. That no she had not failed the first time, and yes she absolutely could aim for the birth she wanted again! (Ray)
Both my births started the same way - with sunshine and ice cream! So true about Oxytocin and feeling good! I was 40 + 2days. Ross, Erin and I had spent a lovely day in Broadstairs making the most of our last hours/days as a family of three. We walked on the beach, Erin went on the trampolines, we visited Morelli's for ice cream sundaes. Afterwards we went to the bandstand and listened to some live music. During the music I started to feel really uncomfortable sitting down and had to get up and move around. We left the bandstand around 3pm to come home and I was having quite intense Braxton Hicks. The car journey home was really uncomfortable!
The Braxton Hicks continued until about 6pm when I had what I thought might be the first surge during dinner. Ross put Erin to bed and I phoned my mum to say I thought things might be starting. Ross rearranged the bedroom ready to put the birth pool up and we called our doula Lucy to let her know what was happening. Ross was discretely timing surges as I didn't want to know, and we put on the affirmations, some nice smells in the oil burner, fairy lights and candles.
We called Lucy back about an hour later as they had reached 2 in 10. We called the midwife and they suggested that I take paracetemol and try and get some sleep. They asked us to call back when they reached 3 in 10. I took 2 paracetamol and got into bed and was immediately out of bed with the next surge as it was pretty uncomfortable. About 8pm we called our doula back and suggested she should head over. Lucy took about 45 minutes to get to us and in that time the surges were coming thick and fast. I used deep breathing and quite a lot of growling and groaning to counteract the surges. I found that placing my hands on the end of the bedframe and bending forwards at the waist took the pressure off my pelvis. As the surges became more intense I used louder, deeper noises to ride through them. Lucy arrived and once she saw where I was suggested we call the midwifes back immediately, she was worried they wouldn't make it in time! Ross and Lucy set up the pool and began to fill it.
Erin woke up about 10:30 because of the noise and Ross called his mum to come over and look after her. I told Erin mummy was ok and that her baby sister was coming, when my mother in law arrived she took her downstairs to watch cartoons. I asked that all the lights were turned off as I found the light distracting and we carried on with just the oil burner candle lighting the room. I'd started to think that I wouldn't be able to keep this up but didn't say anything. At one point my surges slowed slightly, I had a brief panic as i had been transfered to hospital during my first birth due to "failure to progress". Lucy and Ross reassured me that my body was just giving me a little break and the next surge came back strong. The midwife arrived about half 11 and Ross showed her our birth plan that we had written out. The Midwife was great and respected the fact I didn't want any Vaginal Examinations. About this time I asked if the pool was ready, as I was really ready to get in! The midwife was having some difficulty seeing so I asked ross to light another candle, but I immediately asked for it to be blown out as I found the light too much. The midwife carried on by the light of mobile phones.
Around midnight I got into the pool. After a short while I voiced my concerns that I couldn't carry on and I asked for some gas and air. Lucy said to Ross that she thought this was transition. There was some trouble getting the gas and air ready and before it arrived I felt intense pressure and a stinging sensation. I remember shouting "Stingy" to let everyone know what was happening. This was the amniotic sac appearing as my waters hadn't released. The midwife asked if she could burst them, Ross ran through the BRAINS with Lucy and felt it was the right thing to do. I was pretty out of it and just agreed with whatever Ross said.
The gas and air finally arrived and I managed half a puff before the next surge took my breath away and I felt the urge to push, at this point I remember thinking "I've just done a great big poo" and Ross said the doula fished out a few. I remember shouting "PUSHY!" and then Rowan's head emerged with her fist, supergirl style (known as nucal arm). Rowan turned and sat there for a few more surges, several times she tried to pull her arm back in. That was uncomfortable! The midwife asked me to stand so she could check Rowan's heartbeat, but I shouted no! At this point I asked Ross to catch Rowan as I knew I wouldn't be able to. One final surge and she was out.
I remember everyone saying "she's here, she's here" but I just stayed where I was for a moment as I felt a bit overwhelmed. I gently rolled over and Ross passed her to me, although it was a bit tricky with the cord still attached. Erin was still awake so she was brought up to see Rowan whilst she was still in the pool. After 10 minutes in the pool with Rowan and was gingerly helped out and onto the bed to enjoy a golden hour with Ross, Erin and Rowan in bed.
The midwife offered the injection for the third stage and we reiterated our birth plan that we would wait for an hour to see. After an hour the cord has stopped pulsating and Ross cut the cord, and the midwife and doula helped me to the toilet to see of gravity would help the placenta be delivered. It wouldn't come so I got back into bed and it was delivered within the next hour. It wasn't as bad as I thought it might be. The second midwife turned up at the same time and the placenta was checked, once all was fine Lucy took the placenta to prep it for smoothies. I had a second degree tear and stitched at home due to the nucal arm delivery. I made full use of the gas and air for this bit.
Having a doula is great. She cleaned up everything and brought us tea and had some great techniques to help during birth. Because of this we could concentrate on enjoying our precious first moments with our baby.
Rowan was born at 1:40 am on Sunday 21st May, it was everything that I wanted from my birth. After my first birth I felt dejected, like I had failed. Before I attended the hypnobirthing classes with Ray I had already given up thinking I could achieve this and that I would have to settle for a hospital birth. I'm grateful to you, Ray, for giving me the confidence to try for what I really wanted.