After nearly 3 weeks of having our beautiful baby girl in our life, I wanted to share my birth & labour story. It is a long one but I wanted to make sure I wrote all the details down for my own memory, as it is such a big part of pregnancy. The scariest, but also the most amazing thing that brought our beautiful baby girl into the world.
If you follow me on social media and have been reading my pregnancy updates then you’ll probably know we were slightly expecting me to go into labour early, both being early babies ourselves, but Florence was clearly too comfy so I ended up going past my due date. Now, let’s get started before I start rambling…
At 2 days overdue I went to my midwife appointment and was offered a sweep, which is an internal examination where a midwife sweeps around your cervix in an attempt to bring on labour.
I accepted and was told that if the sweep was effective it would work within 72 hours but that it doesn’t often work for first-time mums. When my midwife performed the sweep she was a little bit shocked as I was already 1-2cm dilated, which was great news and she immediately said she’d be very surprised if I got to my induction day, which was booked for when I would have been 12 days overdue.
Following this, we walked home and had a lovely chilled evening before heading to bed. Throughout the night I woke up every 30-45 minutes with period type pain which I assume was the start of early labour for me.
At around 7-7.30 the following morning, as Luke was about to get ready for work, my waters broke. I realised this when I moved and felt them literally gush onto the bed – not quite like in the movies, but it was definitely a gush that went everywhere (oops).
At this point, I was more in shock that it was actually happening, the big moment I’d been waiting for was finally here! I was definitely in labour, and my baby girl was on her way out to meet us.
Luke stayed home with me and as the day went on the regularity of my contractions increased, but I was able to breathe through them. However at about 4-4:30, they got to the stage of being unbearable and I knew I needed to be seen and checked out by a midwife.
I called the labour line and was told the New Forest Birthing Centre (my birthing location choice) was closed, so we had to head down to Broadlands Birthing Centre instead. Not the start I had imagined! Which did throw me, but needs must and I was too busy concentrating on my contractions to really think about it.
Upon arriving at the hospital we were led to the birthing centre and they checked how far along I was. It turns out I was still only 2cm dilated at this point. My first thought was if I’m only 2cm dilated now, how on earth was I going to cope when I got to 10cm and how long was it going to take!?
As I wasn’t coping as best as I could have it was at this point I was offered pethidine which I gladly accepted. As we were too pre-occupied with getting to the birthing centre, we also realized we had left my hospital notes back at home, Literally, the one thing we needed to bring with us, with all my preferences noted, so typical us lol. Luckily, our friend collected these for us.
I don’t really remember the pethidine helping that much, but it did allow me to rest to an extent between contractions alongside the gas and air which I used during. I was in a lot of pain with my hips too so one of our two midwives started massaging them using some aromatherapy oils, which massively helped to reduce the pressure on them.
At about half 7 I was reassessed and it turned out I had already progressed to being 5cm dilated, so in less than 3 hours I had dilated a further 3cm!
Soon after this I was already feeling the urge to push but was told that I wasn’t ready and to try not to push. I couldn’t control this and felt like Iiquid was going everywhere every time I needed to push. The contractions had definitely upped their game.
It was at this point I wanted to get into the water, but because of the pethidine, they wanted me to wait as it can make you sleepy and lightheaded. I didn’t feel sleepy, but was closing my eyes as I was attempting to breathe through each contraction, sometimes succeeding and sometimes screaming my head off like a crazy person, particularly through the urges to push. It was my way of coping.
Luckily, Luke was amazing and persuaded them I was fine and ready to go in the pool so eventually, I was allowed to go into the birthing pool at around half 8. Once I was in the pool, I could immediately feel the release of some of the pressure. I carried on breathing and screaming through each wave of contractions and the urge to push, I started to really feel like I couldn’t do it. I have no pain threshold whatsoever.
A little bit later on, to everyone’s surprise, our baby girls head popped out, shocking the two midwives as they really didn’t think I was ready and kept telling me it was too early to push.
I couldn’t believe it and was asked if I wanted to touch her head before pushing again. My answer? No! Were they crazy!? I thought it would distract me.
I carried on pushing and our baby girl was born shortly after at 10.13pm, less than 3 hours after being told I was 5cm.
She was pulled out of the water by the midwife and handed straight to me; I was instantly a mother to our beautiful 8lb 2oz baby girl, Florence, and we were a family of three.
Giving birth is one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life, but it is also one of the most amazing things that brought us our baby girl into the world. Just writing this and reading over it is making me emotional all over again, but I did it, I really did it.
Florence is now 20 days old and is doing amazing. She has been exclusively breastfed since day 1, a journey in itself, not helped by the fact that she had a tongue tie that needed to be cut but wasn’t discovered or cut until she was nearly a week old.
The amount she has changed and grown already is absolutely incredible, she has super strong long legs like her daddy and has already grown out of newborn clothes. Her face looks more developed and grown up, and she is super alert with shiny bright eyes and unbelievable strength. She also loves to try to stand up when we’re holding her up even though she looks way too tiny to be doing this.
I honestly can’t believe our baby girl is here, and that just a few weeks ago she was in my belly.
Welcome to the world baby Florence.
We love you.