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Friday, 27 June 2008

Mathillda's Birth Story

This birth story was written the day after I had her on the 4th January 2008 - reading it back now makes me want to do it all again, watch out David!!

"The WONDERFUL birth of Mathilda Alice at 01.50am yesterday morning. Weighing a petite 6lb 6oz.

Well....................what can I say? One of the first experiences on my doula journey and training was the debriefing of my first two births. I started to learn why I had the bad experiences I did and yearned to have a chance to do things differently.

I was 41 weeks on Thursday and in my attempt to avoid any threat of induction I went for a sweep. I had been niggling on and off for a few days and wasnt too suprised to hear that I was 2cm and very soft and favourable. Midwife gave me a "very good, thorough sweep" and I left already feeling crampy.

This continued throughout the day but was barely uncomfortable - I went out for lunch with David and kids, did some shopping, some housework (cleaned floors on hands and knees as midwife had mentioned position felt fine but head was possibly slightly posterior) and at 7.30ish I started to feel what I felt were more like isolated contractions as opposed to cramps (I was round at a friends watching the kids play in the snow!).

I found it easy enough to ignore these and didnt dare think that I was going into labour naturally as I didnt want to get my hopes up!!

I made bolognaise sauce, watched a DVD (knocked up funnily enough!) and just kept very active. Looking back I realise that I didnt sit down or lie down for the entire duration - I instinctively stayed upright and just moved freely.

At 10.30pm I was starting to register these contractions as slightly painful and need to concentrate on them when they came - mainly by leaning over birthing ball or doing a hip wiggle!

At midnight they really notched up, it was only at this point I would ever say there were really very painful but when it came it came, I rang the hospital and midwife urged me to come in when she heard me have 3 contractions in the 5 minutes I spoke to her!!

Called in Francesca to come and be with the kids and Nicola, my birth partner arrived. Off we went to hospital, I leaned over the back seat of the car on the way in, repeating the mantra "I can do this, I can do this" with each contraction.

On arrival to hospital I just wanted gas and air!! I was examined at 1.20am and was 5cm dilated and was then moved into the delivery room, I agreed to go on the monitor for a few contractions and the very first one we listened into the heartrate was quite low (early decelerations) straight away talks of transferring to main hospital began. The contractions suddenly changed and I was getting a long painful contraction immediately followed by another peak and what I now realise was a pushing sensation. Midwife had another peak and the head was crowning! I went from 5-10cm in less than the time it took to change rooms and get on the bed! The decels were because the head had descended so quickly.

I barely remember pushing, it has been documented as 5 minutes 2nd stage and I can remember my body doing it all for me, none of this chin on chest stuff I just breathed through the sensation and helped body along. I had a VIVID experience of transition whilst all of this was happening and it was like fireworks going off in my head, all massive intense bright colours!

I looked down and Mathilda sailed out in meconium waters and promptly pooed - I thought it was me until someone pointed out otherwise!

DH cut the cord and I popped her on my chest, she rooted and latched herself on within a few minutes and started feeding really well.

The placenta took 15 minutes, 3 times longer than the delivery of baby!!!

Midwife checked me over and announced I just had a graze and no need for stitches!

Within an hour of arriving at hospital I was having my after birth cuppa, gazing at Mathilda and in utter disbelief that I had such a wonderful time.

The difference in how I feel after this birth compared to my other two highly medical inductions is amazing - my "bits" dont feel any different, I dont feel like I have been run over, yes I am tired but also euphoric and so damn PROUD of my body.

My perception of the whole labour and birth is completely positive and looking back I think I was awash with endorphins/oxytocin as I didnt really feel any of it as painful, just very strong.

Anyway, Im sure you have heard quite enough about that, just wanted to get it all down as it really was such an important experience to me.

Thank you to everyone whose input has helped me to finally have the birth experience I have craved xxxx"

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