I never tire of a home birth, but a surprise home birth is something else entirely! I can’t deny it makes for a great blog post but for everyone involved for a few moments I bet there was sheer panic, followed by an overwhelming sense of ‘we’re so lucky it all worked out OK’! Kate’s story is much the same – high drama followed by what must have felt like such a surreal calm. Enjoy, it’s a good ‘un!
Kate’s Surprise Home Birth
I’m never entirely sure how to feel about the birth of my second child… shocked, delighted, horrified or just confused. In fact in just the way that a “normal” childbirth can feel like an out of body experience, the experience I had makes it hard for me to believe it ever really happened to me at all.
Our baby boy was due on the 26th May. He was our blessing after a miscarriage the previous June at 8 weeks. My pregnancy had been normal and I was well apart from feeling tired juggling work and a 2 year old.
My eldest was a good first birth. The labour was relatively short at 11 hours and I was already 6cm when arrived at the hospital. It had all progressed quickly until the pushing stage, when we did need a bit of help. But with the aid of an episiotomy he was out and all was well. Therefore I had no real worries about childbirth with my second but due to needing some assistance at the end I knew I wanted to give birth in hospital where help would be on hand if needed.
In my final midwife appointment before having my second. The baby had turned himself out of optimum position and had disengaged. Though I suspected this would probably mean he’d be late I left my midwife telling her I was hopeful not to be back next week at 40 weeks! I also told her my mum’s second labour had been super quick only just getting to the hospital in time and delivering my brother’s head whilst still in the corridor! “That might be you too,” She said half jokingly. We both laughed, I thought it’d be highly unlikely!
The next day I felt compelled by the need to clean again. So excited by the arrival of my new steam mop (you know you’re old when this happens!) and with a co-operative 2 year old, I set about steam mopping the whole house. Come the afternoon we headed over to the playground as I felt a bit uncomfortable, a few Braxton hicks and wanted to let Aaron burn off some steam.
The rest of the day was a normal blur of dinner, bath then bed for Aaron. After which we settled down to watch Eurovision. About half way through (about 9.30pm) I felt a bit uncomfy again. I got up to go to the toilet then came back in to tell my husband I was going to bed. As I began to tell him my waters broke. Had I not just been to the toilet I’d have thought it was just an accident!
I phoned the labour ward straight away who asked if there was blood, discolouring etc…. as I had none of this and was having no contractions I was told to ring back when contractions started but if nothing had started by the morning to come in and get checked over. Both Lee and I thought we’d most likely be going in the next morning. However, we rang my mum and dad to let them know as they’d be looking after Aaron and my dad would be driving me in as Lee doesn’t drive. They decided to head down to us and stay the night just in case.
My mum and dad arrived at 11. I still hadn’t had any contractions. At 11.30 a few wiggly small ones started so I decided to get to bed so I could have some rest before what was likely to be a long day the next day. When I got upstairs the contractions suddenly intensified, coming one on top of another and incredibly strong. I told Lee to time them. They wars coming every two minutes and lasting 50 seconds. I rang labour ward again. A not so sympathetic midwife told me that labour can start like that, so I should take some paracetamol and have a bath and ring back in half an hour if things hadn’t changed. Having been through childbirth once before I had a good idea that this strength of contraction was not normal so told her in not so polite terms where to stuff her bath and paracetamol, explaining I’d rather be walking around.
As soon as I got off the phone Lee watched the next two contraction, one on top of the other as I swore and said I needed some gas and air. He insisted I ring back and say we were coming now. I rang back and told the midwives we would be on our way. They agreed it was fine. I put the last bits in my hospital bag then felt the urge to have a poo before we left. Maybe that should have been the warning sign…. Once on the toilet it began to dawn on me that the pressure was not a poo. I steeled myself and plucked up the courage to feel in case there was a head, which of course there was! I told Lee I could feel a head and after realising I didn’t mean moving around in my belly he paled and asked if he should ring an ambulance. I replied yes and he made the call.
Aaron sleeping through everything!
At this point everything became a total blur, like a movie, not my life. My mum came and told me to get off the toilet. I remember being quite stubborn about NOT wanting to do this. I did after some insistence and moved onto the bed, which my mum had covered. Lee was on the phone being talked through the delivery. What I remember is 3 big pushes, the urge to push was just so great and then our little Daniel arrived at 12.15am on 19.05.13 . What Lee remembers is tellingly mum to be quiet and the panic of realising the babies cord was around his neck and listening to the advice about what to do. I suspect in the end it was a lot more stressful for him than me!
Daniel being checked over.
Shortly afterwards the ambulance arrived, they checked us over, let Lee cut the cord and tried to get the placenta to deliver. 40 minutes later the midwives arrived who finally delivered the placenta, once I had the syntocin injection. They gave us the all clear to stay at home.
I remember looking round the room 3 paramedics, 2 midwives, lee, my mum and my dad all drinking tea at this point while I held our newest arrival. It felt like a dream. Once the paramedics and midwives left it was so peaceful being at home and wonderful being snuggled up in my own bed. Incredibly, Aaron slept through it all! You can imagine his surprise at waking up to a new baby brother the next day.
Aaron meeting Daniel with his grandma
Thank you Kate!
Isn’t that an amazing story? I particularly loved how relaxed it was afterwards, everything OK and all the people you love around you. But nonetheless, it’s still a somewhat terrifying experience to go through. To go from nothing to baby within the space of an hour. I totally get what you mean about it being out of body!
And, here’s the gorgeous little fella on his first Birthday in May looking like he’s still in a hurry to get somewhere!
Daniel’s first birthday