I’ve had my birth story written down for over two years now. So I thought it was about time to share it, before Noah becomes an adult! Noah was originally due to be born on my Dad’s Birthday 17th of May (2013); so Grandad was very excited! However, my due date was set back twice throughout my pregnancy! And actually he didn’t arrive until very late on the 28th of May at 11:02pm. Making him a Gemini. Much better than a Taurus which he would have been if born on his predicted birth date.
With my labour I had no expectations; I wanted my birth to be as natural as possible. I didn’t go to any birthing classes and didn’t read up on labour. Didn’t watch programs about it; I only started watching OBEM after Noah’s birth, I couldn’t bear to watch it beforehand. I liked the idea of the unknown and letting nature take its course, I didn’t want to be presented with any fear. To be fair, I was pretty naive about the entire thing. The only thing that I had gathered was that labour was going to hurt, quite a bit, and obviously I was 100% spot on. I had the attitude ‘how hard can this be? Millions of ladies do it’ and just went with it.
I started getting early contractions on Sunday (26th May) I spent Monday having about ten baths at my mum’s house, each lasting about 30 seconds (not exaggerating). Trying to ease the unbearable pain, and failing. The pain was awful but welcome, it meant I was so close to meeting my baby boy. I got booked into the Natural Birthing Suite at West Suffolk Hospital, a unit ran purely by midwives. A unit where you couldn’t have an epidural or drugs, simply just ladies labouring their babies naturally.
I was already 7cm dilated on arrival at hospital . I have never made such a scene in a car park in my entire life. We got to the birthing suite and met my midwife, who I’d never met before. She mentioned the room with the birthing pool was free if I wanted it. I hadn’t planned to have a birthing pool but as it was available I thought why not!?
My labour went to plan, which was ‘no plan’. However, it went on for over fifty hours. Noah’s heartbeat was always spot on, labour carried on and on. Even to the point of exhaustion where I thought Noah had already been born. I demanded the midwife tell me where she’d put him! I laboured through three different shift changes and ended up having three different midwives. But most importantly I had my mum spoon-feeding me a Müller Corner yogurt whilst labouring in the birthing pool – pure bliss.
Noah was finally born at 11.02pm on Tuesday night weighing 9lb 8oz (OUT of the birthing pool, on the floor, with one of my legs over the midwives back – honestly, it’d be perfect OBEM material, I could be a celebrity). He was a big baby (explains the time he took) and he’d got a little too comfy! My mum cut his umbilical cord. I’d lost a lot of blood at this stage and everything was quite a haze.
Noah was put to the side wrapped up, whilst they stopped me haemorrhaging. I thought there was something wrong with Noah, but the midwife quickly explained that Noah was absolutely perfect and that she just needed to put him to the side for a moment. Now her main concern was myself losing too much blood. I remember the midwife using her buzzer, a lot of other health professionals were now in the room. The placenta came out (won’t go into that) and I only just managed to get away with not having to have a blood transfusion, phew! I remember fainting twice the following morning, flat on the floor (once in the hospital shower!) due to low fluid levels and blood loss.
After those few moments of madness Noah was laid upon me. I wish I could relive those feelings of first meeting him every moment of every day, his eyes were open, he was staring straight at me, and there it was, that feeling of absolute pure love beyond measure. And about one minute after being placed on me, Noah wee’d over me. Just keeping it real here.
He also straight after birth latched on me to feed, so that was easy. That is how and where breastfeeding began, he made it happen. I hadn’t necessarily decided that that was going to happen with feeding, but I’m so glad Noah did. That bond of being your baby’s comfort and nourishment is so rewarding. A bond Noah and I both struggled to break when it was time to start weaning. A bond uneasily broken for any mother and baby.
Those first moments of motherhood are raw, the biggest slap into reality you could ever have – where truly nothing else matters but that life you’ve just created. Your protective instincts are on the highest alert and there’s an overwhelming sense of responsibility. Motherhood, it’s hard, it can be challenging, but you literally have never felt so much for something or someone, ever. It’s incredible.
Anyway it turns out I was right, I didn’t need a class to tell me how to breathe etc. You just know what to do and how to breathe; after all birth is natural. The only piece of advice I had and took on board before labour was, ‘when the midwife says pant, pant!’. I think generally that is all you need to know. Everything else just happens and I survived happily just on that.