Jo and Faye

When I had my last check up before my due date, the midwife told me that my baby was not engaged yet. I was worried that she was going to be late and had to be induced, but the midwife assured me that it could happen anytime and that I needn’t worry.

I woke up feeling a bit uncomfortable on the morning of my due date, and it was unlike anything I had felt before. However, as it was just a mild discomfort, I dismissed it as one of my usual pregnancy aches and pains.

When evening arrived, there was still no sign of Faye. To ease our nerves, Jason my fiancé suggested that we pay a visit to cinema after dinner and to the cinema we went. In the cinema (despite sitting in premium seats!), I felt very uncomfortable. I was glad to be home when the film finished so that I could lie down. I had a feeling that my bump was really pressing down by now. That was when I thought, perhaps the baby is finally engaged?

I was in bed by 11.30pm but I woke up about 2 hours later feeling that in every position I turned and tried to get back to sleep, I was still uncomfortable.

By 1.30am I realised that I was starting to have contractions. That was when Jason downloaded an app to time the time between my contractions and their duration. By 2am the contractions were quite close together; and I remember thinking, “This is nothing like how it’s described in textbooks!” There were no long gaps between each contraction; they tended to be quite close and a bit erratic.

By 2.30am, the contractions were quite strong. Jason called the hospital and the midwife suggested that I should take a warm bath and some paracetamol for pain relief. She told us not to go to the hospital just yet as the contractions had only just started; she assured me that they can start off quite strong and do tend to slow down after a while.

The warm bath did help a little, it was very soothing. To be honest, nothing can relieve the pain when contractions come. It was more of a case of making it as comfortable as possible. I found being on my fours was the most comfortable position, I was in that position whenever contractions started.

By 3am, my contractions were coming thick and fast, I had a show when I came out of the bath. Jason called the hospital again. The midwife said that we could go in, but there was a possibility that we’d get sent home afterwards.

We set off at 3.30am after getting the car ready (the car had a slow tyre puncture!) and the journey to the hospital was the most uncomfortable part of it all. I was kneeling down on my fours in the back seats. The winding country lane to the hospital made me swish around a lot!

When we got to the hospital, unfortunately part of the car park was cordoned off so we had to park quite far away from the hospital building. I had a contraction whilst walking towards the hospital and I was firmly holding onto Jason’s shoulders. This was a position we learnt from the Birth Matter antenatal class, and we had practised it at home many times – I just never thought that we’d have to use it in a public car park! I could really feel her head between my legs by now and at one point I thought I was going to give birth right there and then!

It’s 4am by the time the midwife gave me my assessment. I had several contractions already whilst she was preparing. She observed that my contractions were not very strong although I felt differently… Then she was shocked when she gave me the internal examination. She said the baby’s head was nearly out. She asked if I could feel her fingers, I said yes and she told me that that was where Faye’s head was!

We moved into one of the rooms for my labour. It was a very comforting environment with an ensuite bathroom. I was on my fours again, purging onto the side of the low bed with Jason sitting next to me. The midwife put a mirror on the floor so that she could see. She said Faye had a lot of hair as she could see it from the mirror. Jason also took a look too.

I started pushing as the urge of her coming out was insurmountable. Although at one point, I could feel the risk of a tear and stopped pushing as hard. The midwife noticed that and told me to keep pushing. I obliged and screamed and cried ‘It hurts!’ Then before I knew it there was a ‘slush’ and she was out. I didn’t feel her head nor her shoulder. I just feel something sloppy and slippery come out. The midwife told me that she came out in her sac, and my water never broke. Faye was born at 5.01am.

The midwife followed my only instruction in the birth plan, which was not to cut the umbilical cord until it finished pulsating. She asked Jason to do the honours and he did. She gave me Faye and placed her on my breast. She started sucking straight away and I was so overwhelmed with joy.

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