Holly's surprise arrival
Today’s a good day for blogging for me! Firstly, I got my first ever article published on Britmums: Being Me, Being Mum and here I have a fine lesson on how to deliver a baby from my pal, Lucy. You may be wondering how I know so many people who have accidentally ended up giving birth on their bathroom, but it’s just luck I guess! Unlike Bethan’s fantastic labour and birth story, where she had the help of an ambulance man (even if he didn’t really know what he was doing), Lucy’s baby came in such a hurry that even the emergency services couldn’t get there in time. And so, Lucy’s husband, Graham, had to learn how to deliver a baby on the job!
Get ready to laugh and cry again, this story is amazing!
How to deliver a baby in an emergency – Holly’s surprise arrival!
I have been meaning to do this for ages, and as it’s almost Holly’s Birthday it seems fitting to share the story now.
We had a lovely little boy already and decided the time was right to go again. I had had a bit of trouble first time around as I had gestational diabetes and a super long labour that ended well, with a perfect 9lb14oz baby, but a LOT of emotional and a bit of physical scaring to go with it.
I thought things would be a bit easier second time around, and had read a lot of stories so predicted the birth would be about half as long as the first, so just the 1 day then.
I managed to avoid getting diabetes this time round and generally felt super. We didn’t find out what we were having but I was quite confident I was having another boy. I was also fairly sure he would be a week early, like the first, so would arrive between Christmas and New Year. I had readymade Xmas dinners in the freezer just in case!
Xmas came and went and the worst snow since forever arrived. Everyone went back to work and nursery, and I spent days and days and days in the house, waiting for someone to arrive. I was too scared to go out in the snow and ice alone, and spent my time answering the phone every 10 minutes to family members assuring them that they hadn’t been forgotten, we just have no news.
I actually quite liked that time and look back at it fondly, it was as though someone was looking down knowing that this would be the last time I would be pregnant and I loved it, so gave me a bit of bonus time.
10 days after my due date I had a rather intrusive and uncomfortable sweep and a threat of induction!
The next day I needed to walk and the weather was awful so the Metro Centre seemed the best option. Even on a good day that’s enough to start a labour, surely? It was quite amusing to see the look on the faces of people who asked, “When are you due?”
“Last Thursday!” I’d reply!
Several times over that period I had Braxton hicks, and a couple of times I would think this is it. I’d get an early night, and wake the next day without a baby!
That night was similar; I had a bounce on a big ball for a bit, and sent a text to my dad, as a pre baby-sitting warning. And went to bed. After a couple of hours it was obvious it was the real thing. I took a paracetamol and tried to sleep, as did my husband.
I called the unit and was told, as the contractions were 7 minutes apart I should sit tight and rest. We both slept in between contractions, and this time we both had an idea how to feel with the pain having both gone to prenatal yoga! My husband really was a star.
The contractions got a bit closer together and a bit more intense so we called again, the same advice. I remember saying to myself, “Come on, Luce, if you can’t cope with it now how will you cope when things really kick off?”
At about 5am, so about 7hrs after things started, I stood up for the first time. This was the start of the most surreal experience I will ever have.
My waters broke, which was a shock, but just a glass or so of clear liquid. Immediately followed by an awful feeling of discomfort, I just thought if I could be sick, and go to the loo I would feel fine to carry on, so off to the loo I went. At the same time my husband called the hospital, again! Now in hindsight I can see how silly this was, I had read all the books, and already had one baby. But it only occurred to me at the same time as the midwife on the phone said, “And where is your wife now? Does she definitely need the loo?” We were told to come in ASAP.
I realised what was happening, managed to get on to my hands a knees and let out a yelp of, “Argh, the head is coming.”
That was the perfect moment at 5.40am that my 3 year old son opened his door, sat in front of me and said, “Whose head mummy? Not my head”
And Graham said, “I’ll call us a taxi then, shall I?”
I still have no idea how we did what we did but Luke was taken downstairs and fireman Sam put on loudly, Graham then plugged his phone on to charge??? And 999 were called. I was still on bathroom floor and just kept thinking, “Hold on to that baby, Luce, wait for someone!”
Baby had other ideas and in the bathroom with my wonderful man and another man at end of the phone telling him how to deliver a baby, our second child arrived.
I have a blur for a minute but poor Graham was instructed to give baby a rub and tap on the feet to encourage the first breath. This was definitely the worst part of the whole event. Our perfect little baby let out that cry and was passed under my legs. At the same time Graham told me it was a girl. I think I let out a cry of delight!
That was the moment 2 ambulance men arrived. Thankfully.
They asked Graham if he wanted to cut the cord, which he did, and was then told to put some clothes on. I looked at him and hope I will always remember him standing in his pants with some socks on, looking quite silly. I was able to dress our little daughter and was then helped to my feet.
Christmas dressing gown on I came downstairs to see my dad in the hall and introduced him to my girl. I walked out in the freezing snow to the ambulance and lay on the bed. Graham carried the baby and I was asked if I could do with a bit of gas. It was well received. I hadn’t felt a bit of pain until that moment, which I now believe was the body’s way of dealing with a shock.
A very shocked Graham walked in front of me into the hospital and was almost pounced on by a receptionist shouting, “You can’t take that baby out of here.”
The poor guy couldn’t get his words out quick enough but she soon saw what was happening. I was taken into delivery, checked over and delivered the placenta. Our perfect girl, Holly Kitty, was delivered by her mum and dad at 5.50am, weighing 8lb12. And by 7am I was showered, dressed and feeding. It couldn’t have been better.
After an hour or so Graham got the bus home, buying bacon on the way and made sardines for him, Luke and my dad, who couldn’t believe what had happened. My very helpful dad said he hung out the washing Graham had left out… It turned out Graham had had time to strip the bed but failed to tell my dad it wasn’t wet washing, those were the waters! Poor dad. There really wasn’t any other mess it was amazing.
It is my darling girl’s 4th Birthday on Friday (a monster theme – it was Spiderman last year!) and we are amazed everyday by her.
Proud Dad: I delivered her, you know?
Thank you soooooo much, Lucy, an incredible story…especially given Luke’s Birth being such a drawn out affair. I shall bear this story in mind with my second, as your first sounds spookily like mine! Also that receptionist needed a bop on the nose. Did she not know to expect a man in shock carrying a baby?!