The birth experience
For every pregnant woman, the culmination of nine months of pregnancy is the actual birth - and most are filled with a mixture of excitement and trepidation. Despite all of the best laid plans, the birth doesn't always follow the path you imagined - but as we discover with Nathalie's story, the only thing that really matters is the safe arrival of a beautiful, healthy baby.
Having a routine midwife appointment at 39 weeks, I took my husband with me as I was worried about driving alone. I’d been having these tightening feelings since the early hours of the morning that day but didn’t think too much of it. The midwife felt my stomach and proclaimed “those are contractions!” She said she wouldn’t be surprised if I was to see her later on in the labour ward which scared me a bit! Being the 29th December, I still had my Christmas decorations up and had a list of things to do before baby so we went home and took all the decks down and worked our way through the list.
By 7.30 pm the tightenings were a lot stronger though bearable but by 11.30 pm I couldn’t handle the pain anymore and off we went to the hospital. I was examined but at only 1 cm dilated, I was sent home with a couple of pain killers to “take the edge off and make me drowsy so as to hopefully rest” (I don’t recall them doing any of the above!)
Baby turned out to be back to back and as a result my contractions were intense in my spine, I actually don’t recall any feeling in my front just the back. At 4.30 am we went back to the hospital and being 5 cm, I was admitted to the natural birth centre. I submerged myself into a hot birthing pool with gas and air and felt incredible with my LED candles and Enya playing (lol!) - Our baby was on the way!
Some hours later (at around 10.30 am), it became apparent that I was incredibly dehydrated due to the temp of the pool being too hot and baby’s heartbeat had gone up from 135 to 175 so I had
to get out of the water. Finally, at 1.33 pm, we welcomed our baby girl Roxie and were incredibly lucky to take her home that same day at 5.30 pm!
At the time, my birth seemed traumatic but I now realise it was very straightforward and I’d do it all again tomorrow! I hope to be able to stay in the water for any future babies we might have as it was a really peaceful and beautiful experience and I feel that had I stayed in the pool to birth, it would have been an easier push at the end.
That said I’m not in a hurry to do it all again just yet - motherhood is very hard and I’m still getting used to it all!