Lola's Birth Story
Pregnancy was just as unkind to me this time around as it was when I carried Jackson, but things were still different; this time I was looking forward to the birth from day one!
As a new HypnoBirthing® teacher I enjoyed relaxing with my clients as I led them through their hypnosis sessions although with hindsight perhaps being a HypnoBirthing® teacher put a bit of pressure to perform on me!
In any case, from the beginning I was adamant that my “due date” of 21/01/11 was way off- I told those who asked that I expected to have Lola in the first week or two of January- it was in my head from the start that she would gestate for 38 weeks just as Jackson had.
I was right- at 36 weeks or so Lola turned herself and my body spent the following days giving me little signs that she was coming imminently; practice surges, ligament twinges... On Friday 7th January 2011 I threatened our builder that he needed to finish plastering Lola’s room as I was starting to have irregular surges, but just as when I laboured with Jackson there was no other sign but a sense of confident excitement building.
That was early afternoon I think and when Chris came home I told him that things might be happening. He believed me immediately this time! He got Jackson to bed and started arranging the living room and setting up the birth pool. As is standard HypnoBirthing® practice it was down to Chris to time my surges and so he called the midwives when I began surging every four or five minutes. As I expected, my surges were powerful but comfortable, and I was happy to continue listening to my ipod relaxation tracks until the midwives turned up. When they did, Chris explained things although they were already experienced in attending HypnoBirthing® women and in fact, one of them had come from a HypnoBirthing® earlier in her shift!
Whenever the midwives came over to check things, Lola’s heart rate was absolutely steady and relaxed (my relaxed uterus and intact amniotic fluid making the surges comfortable for her), and by ten o’ clock my cervix was opened enough (5cm at that point) for me to get into the pool. At some point I instinctively changed my breathing pattern to the Birth Breathing that we teach in HypnoBirthing®; again I felt very comfortable, and the surges felt different, so I held my belly and visualised my breaths making a “J” shape; it all seemed too easy at this point, as though nothing was happening, so I commented to Chris that I thought things were slowing down- I was wrong! Suddenly I felt an urge to bear down, which panicked me a bit I admit (which is why we have prompt cards for Dads to remind them that this point often comes as baby is being born, so that they can keep Mum calm!)
At this point Lola’s membranes released in an underwater “pop”, just as it had happened with her brother, and I realised she really was coming, so I kneeled up and leaned on the side of the pool to get ready. A few more birth breaths and she was crowning- I was completely shocked and my calmness was replaced by nervous panic as I forgot what to do next! The panic continued as I reached down and felt Lola’s head and my perineum stretched like a balloon; I convinced myself that I couldn’t “do it” and immediately I experienced pain for the first time in the labour as the urge to bear down again took over. (I should say at this point, I’m a complete wuss with pain!) Chris and the midwives were wonderful and were telling me to expect this feeling and relax; to let baby come out by herself. But it was too late in my head, so I asked for entonox, as I expected to tear. Thankfully, the midwife had left it in her car, so as I experienced my fourth or fifth urge to bear down and she went out the front door, suddenly Lola’s head was released and with a very satisfying feeling, the rest of her slipped smoothly down into the pool, where she was caught by Chris and me. My yelp of panic had woken Jackson up, so Chris brought him down to meet his little sister; he was very surprised to see a swimming pool downstairs but nonchalantly pointed out “baby- lola”.
I perched on the seat in the pool and put Lola on my abdomen so she could breast crawl and within a few minutes she had her first feed. She didn’t cry and was as strong and alert as Jackson had been, turning her head to look at me as I held her in the water.
We waited until I couldn’t feel the cord pulsating and Chris then cut it. Once Lola had finished feeding she went to him whilst I waited for the surges to restart so I could birth the placenta. It seemed to take a bit longer than it had with Jackson, but again, the midwives were onboard and there was no mutterings about Syntocinon drips to get the placenta out- a few birth breaths and it slipped out easily and painlessly.
After all my anticipation and expectation of another second degree tear, I was wrong- apparently just a couple of little nicks and no need for sutures at all- proof that birth breathing definitely works!
Our family unit is now complete; Lola was born at about 1am
on Saturday 8th January weighing 6lb 10oz but a rather long 44cm (I wondered how she folded up inside me!). She’s a calm, contented week old as I write this, such an easy baby and just like her brother did, she falls asleep in the bath.