09 May

Lisa’s [third] birth story

Lisa is frequently interrupted by one of her three children.

It started with a few nights of what felt like proper contractions, nice regular intervals, strong enough that I needed to move, for a couple of hours…which petered out just about when I was starting to think maybe I should get up. Very tired, very grumpy. On Friday, the last day of term, the pains continued every 20 minutes or so all morning, through a trip to the market and coffee at Cathy’s house – not bad enough to even make me catch my breath but distinctly uncomfortable. Cameron had his work Christmas lunch so I dropped him into town with strict instructions that he was to have his phone where he could see it at all times, and was not to drink too much. No need though, as I watched Dirty Dancing, had a glass of wine and wrapped all our Christmas presents then went to bed as normal ready for a re-run that night: up at 5 blah de blah.

Very fed up, I texted Verena, our midwife. She suggested I pop in to the clinic later for a spot of reflexology, maybe a sweep, see what was what. Arranged for Sara and Ian to have Maggie and Tamsin for a bit in the afternoon, and, eventually, over we went. Pains were coming and going, nothing to get excited about until we were on our way to the clinic when I found myself gripping the dashboard for a good breathe every 10 minutes by the clock and getting very narked at bumps in the road. Arrived at the clinic, things settled again. Sarah had a bit of a poke of my feet; we were offered a bit of homeopathy (“does it still work if you don’t believe in it?” – “probably not”); tried for a sweep but cervix still too far back. Sarah could see I was starting to get pains though, and suggested I might get hold of a TENS machine to give me a decent night’s sleep if necessary. Drove to Boots; retail park heaving, it being 5 days before Christmas so C had to drop me to limp into Boots then drive round to pick me up; they had none. (Pharmacist – we can’t let you have it until you are 36 weeks. Me, through gritted teeth – I am 12 days overdue and need it now!) Texted Verena who had one in her pocket (?!) and said she’d pop it round later.

Went to Sara’s to collect some very messy children and eat the baking they had done, all the while having pains but not Pains. Fully expecting it all to fizzle out. Came home, had tea – then things started to kick in properly such that I had to walk around and hold bits of kitchen work surface every so often. C put the girls to bed and I texted Verena again. V arrived around 8, having skipped her pudding, to find me kneeling in front of the sofa so I could shove my head in the cushions when I felt the need. She put C straight to work filling the pool and got the TENS machine out which worked like a dream; all backache soothed away. Cameron, all practical assistance, lit the fire. Around 10, we put the hypnosis music on. Very odd effect: drifty drifty drifty then when the track ended, about every 20 minutes, I spring back to alertness. Pool! Hooray. Ahh, relax. Well sort of. You know. Water feels amazing. Second midwife, Sarah, arrives. Hello again. Horrible horrible pain in one hip (which is later explained by the baby keeping one hand up by her face!) and lower back: Sarah rubs it which helps enormously. Starting to get a bit pushy: panicky about pushing too early (see previous births) but hell what can you do. If you need to push you need to push. Also, you puke. And you shout a bit: if you shout too loud then you wake next-door’s dogs! (Sarah says she’ll throw them a bit of placenta later.) Struggling with hip/back pain; gas and air offered and gratefully accepted then everybody went away! Presumably to get canisters from car but C was fannying about with the kettle in the kitchen: I have a very clear memory of shouting to him because a big contraction was coming and I was scared on my own. Lovely lovely entonox. Tum te tum. Still not quite convinced it does anything but it gives a lovely focus. Conversation; V: do you feel you absolutely have to push? me: mmmm (confused mumbling). Next contraction: ok now I am properly pushing. Soon don’t need entonox any more. Midwives can see membranes over baby’s head and I can feel it moving down.

(from my notes:)

01.11 head born into water

01.12 birth of a beautiful water baby!

01.16 Cameron went to wake up girls to meet their new sister. Two tired girls peeped over the pool to say hello little sister and gave mummy a big kiss.

01.25 baby is very content filling pool with poo!

01.36 cord cut and clamped. Baby keen to feed.

Eventually I got out of the pool which is when I realised I had no energy or strength left. Very shaky, very glad for the intensely chocolatey cake the children had made with Sara that afternoon! Cameron took her off for a wander about, during which time he dreamt up a name for her – although we didn’t agree until the next morning. Eventually (after another hour) managed to get rid of placenta, was asked what I wanted to do and said I just want to go to bed! Took paracetamol (better late than never ha ha) Next day, could barely move. Legs hurt from kneeling, arms from holding onto the side of the pool. Girls piled down and into our bed “is the baby here?” – they wanted to call her Lily.

A harder birth than Tamsin, though my shortest. I blame that pesky hand up by her face because she weighed precisely the same (and just an oz or so different from Maggie). First things I noticed: small ears and elegant fingernails (and oh yes it is a girl).

Originally posted on Turquoise