Little Man M (LMM) finally arrived on the scene one month ago, one day shy of 2 weeks past my estimated due date. Although he seemed perfectly content in utero, when he did decide to make his worldly entrance he wasted no time and I delivered under an hour after arriving at the birthing center. There wasn’t even time to fill up the birthing pool, but I did almost have a water birth of sorts….
I had resigned myself to the high probability of another induction but then over the Easter Bank holiday weekend I woke up to what I thought was the tell-tale “show.” I never had one with LLC, but the blood tinged look and semen-like smell (gag, but yes I did smell it) whispered that this could, maybe finally, be the real deal – hurrah!
Just over an hour later the contractions began, and after three hours of increasingly intense contractions at home, we headed for the birthing center. LLC stayed at home with Aunt M, my sister visiting from New York. Of course we had to get stuck behind a learner driver en route, but aside from that and the damn multitude of speed bumps in our area, we arrived at the hospital without incident and even managed to find a parking space (thank you Bank Holiday).
At this point the whole affair took on a surreal feeling to me, as if I was watching myself from a parallel universe. I made it up to the birthing centre, stopping intermittently to do my yoga breathing through contractions. I swear they are a form of hypnobirthing in them self. They admitted me to a room quite quickly, but there was little sense of urgency, probably because I was pretty quiet and calm and not making a fuss even though the contractions were frequent and strong.
After taking my blood pressure, temperature and feeling the position of the baby via my tummy the midwife asked me for a urine sample. She left the room promising to return in ten minutes. And it was then, on my own bar Chris, while on the toilet in my delivery room struggling to pee without success that I had a massive contraction and felt the baby’s head crowning! It was impossible to resist the pressure to push and I instantly felt that memorable burn. I felt a little scared, mainly because my waters hadn’t broken, I had no idea if I was even fully dilated or if I was pushing too soon and doing myself harm. The suddenness of it all shocked me and for a moment it looked like we were going to be plunging our baby out of the toilet! Not exactly the water birth I had planned.
I told Chris he better buzz the midwife who dashed in, took one look at me and said we had to move to the bed in the adjoining room but I was not going anywhere. The next thing I knew she and two others were rolling out towels and helping me onto the bathroom floor to deliver on all fours! One of the midwives coached me through my pushes, I pressed my hands really hard on Chris who was squatting down in front of me (fortunately he only mentioned the pain of that after the birth) and after three pushes LMM slipped out. It was quick and intense, and I was a bit in shock but so happy and relieved when he gave a huge scream and they passed him through my legs and into my arms.
LMM was born at 12:53pm – our parking ticket was for 12:05pm. Chris got to cut the cord this time, I delivered the placenta naturally and I had lots of skin to skin with LMM.
“Well that was pretty easy,” said Chris. “We’ll have to go for a third now.” The cheek. It was a good thing I was high on baby love at that moment.