I had my 39 week midwife appointment on November 15th when I was 38+6. Everything went well at that appointment. The midwife said that baby wasn't engaged but that it most likely wouldn't happen until I was in labour. My dad had predicted that baby girl would arrive that day and I mentioned this to the midwife and she said that she didn't think labour would happen soon. I was convinced it wouldn't.
The next day I turned 39 weeks. During the day everything was very normal, until 5pm. Tea was almost ready and I started having pains. They were really irregular and not too painful at this point. I honestly thought they were braxton hicks, then the pain started to travel down the front of my legs. This happened in Parkers labour too but I still refused to believe I was in labour. I carried on with tea and started our evening routine.
By 6:30pm we were putting the kids to bed, the contractions were still quite irregular and I decided to get in the bath. I figured that if they were just braxton hicks then a bath would stop them. My first few contractions while in the bath were so far apart then they became more regular. By 8pm I was fed up of the bath and decided to phone the birth centre. My contractions were lasting 40 seconds and coming every 8 ish minutes. The midwife said it sounded like proper labour and to get back in the bath. She told me to phone back if the contractions became too painful to talk through or if they started lasting for 60 seconds. I jumped back in the bath and actually had to get out after half an hour as I really felt like I needed to move around. An hour later I phoned the birth centre back. The contractions were a lot more painful and coming every 2/3/4 minutes. We also called my dad who came over to watch Paige and Parker who were sleeping. While we waited for my dad to arrive I was bouncing on my ball.
We arrived at the birth centre at around 9:40pm. The midwife was alone so wanted to check me, if I was in active labour then she would of needed to call the on call midwife to come in. She checked me at 10:10pm and I was 2cm, fully effaced and baby girl was fully engaged. The midwife gave me a little stretch and sweep. At 2cm I wasn't in active labour but because this was my third labour and I was contracting nicely the midwife didn't want to send me home for fear I'd give birth really quickly. So we were allowed to stay in the room, use the pool and just continue. I was due to be checked again at 2:10am as they can only check every four hours. The midwife left me and mark for an hour and then came back to check on us. The contractions were getting more and more painful and she knew that I was progressing, so much so that she then called the on call midwife.
At around 12:30-1am I was starting to get tired. I really wanted to know how far along I was but she couldn't check me yet. She did say she thought that we'd have a baby by 3am. Apparently while in labour there's a purple line that appears and progresses as you dilate so the midwife knew I was progressing well without checking me.
|Last bump picture, I dropped so much during the start of labour.|
The midwife checked in on the heartbeat every 15 minutes and everything was fine. Baby girl was moving up a storm and all my stats were always spot on. I was in the pool for the most part and the midwife just let me get on with it which was lovely. She really stood back and watched. She let me and Mark work through each contraction as a team. He was such a lovely support. The midwife advised Mark to make me some toast to give me a little energy boost as I was pretty tired but I didn't manage to eat it all.
At around 2:05am in between contractions I had the urge to talk to my belly, seems a little crazy writing that now but at the time it felt so natural. I said "ok baby girl, we are doing so well but mummy is getting tired. If you could come in the next 5 minutes that would be amazing".
We all laughed afterwards!
Around five minutes later the midwife was out of the room. I had a contraction and felt baby girls head. The midwife came back into the room and I told her I thought I could feel her head. During the next contraction she looked and confirmed what I already knew, she was coming. She listened to me! During the next two contractions I pushed when my body told me to. Just before her head came out my waters broke. The midwife then started saying that during the next contraction I was to slowly breathe her out but there wasn't time. I said "I can't, she's coming now" and sure enough Harleigh was born at 2:20am. She was born in the same pool as Parker and weighed the same as him too at 6lb 14oz.
She was born into the pool and the midwife told me to reach down and get her. I was looking in the water saying "where is she" I reached down and picked her out. I love that the midwife didn't touch her or I. She trusted me and my body to know what I needed to do. She let me reach down and pick her up out of the water. I love that I was the first to touch her.
I placed her straight on my chest and couldn't believe that she was there so quickly. We waited a little while for the cord to stop pulsing but I told them I thought the placenta was coming. I felt like I knew my body so well during this labour, it was amazing. They were then a little concerned about my bleeding as the pool started turning red so Mark quite quickly cut the cord and had skin to skin with Harleigh. I then got out of the pool to deliver the placenta which came very quickly.
Everything was ok with my bleeding and they weren't concerned. In the water there just looked to be a lot more blood than there actually was.
We were left to bond with Harleigh and I was checked to see if I needed stitches. She came that quickly that I did need a few stitches. An hour later I was all sorted out and Harleigh had her checks and got weighed.
Mark had to leave then and go back home so it was just me and Harleigh. I got showered, moved rooms and had some food.
Giving birth is such a high I couldn't sleep at all. I laid in bed and rested but just watched Harleigh sleeping.