I wanted to write and tell you about the magical and exciting day you were born. You were quite a surprise to us really.
You were due on Saturday the 7th Feb, so I thought I'd have at least another week to be able to finish packing my hospital bag and sort out the house, we still had alex the builder in the house finishing jobs, but thankfully he had finished your room on the Friday.
In fact I was so sure you'd be be late that I convinced your dad that we should go on a baby moon the week before your due date and promised him I'd pick something close to London.
I'd wanted a full hypnobirthing experience and was hoping a trip to Rye would give me some good inspiration for the calm birth I'd planned in my head (you, unbeknownst to me had other plans!)....
So off we went on Saturday morning, I have to admit I had been feeling a bit crampy from an acupuncture session I'd had on Friday, but was still sure you wouldn't arrive early. We had a lovely walk on camber sands beach and then a lovely meal that night. I went to sleep while your dad stayed up late to watch the Super Bowl (think he regretted later missing out on that sleep).
The next morning we woke up quite late so nearly missed breakfast, but I was hungry so I rushed down to get us a spot, we had a good big breakfast! As we ate I had three period pain like cramps in a row and joked that I could be in labour.... And then when we were heading up to the room I felt a trickle of water coming down my leg.
I gave your dad a look but carried on. The next flight up it was accompanied with another pain and more water. I turned round and said 'love, I think I am actually in labour'.
I made it up to the room to discover I had my show, so we phoned the birth centre where we planned to have you, they told us to monitor the colour of my water, get a hot water bottle and keep track of your movements. I panicked because I hadn't felt you move so I lay on my right side on the bed because you'd always moved in my belly when I did this, finally you kicked after a couple of minutes and we relaxed a bit. But not for long because soon another surge came.
Your dad left me in the bed to get a hot water bottle and the car. We fled out of the hotel and I got in the back seat so I could stretch out if I needed to.
At this point my contractions were about 10mins apart which felt doable for a while, it was such a sunny day and we were driving through these lovely fields of sheep and streams which was really helping my hypnobirthing visualisations.
I was so excited and it felt fairly manageable really.
SURGES IN THE CAR
An hour or so in, things started to speed up with surges at about 3mins apart, I couldn't talk during them by this point so when I got a surge I'd wave to your dad and when it was over I'd open my eyes so he could time them. I found it helpful to sing along to the radio during them which your dad thought was hilarious, me singing the sultans of swing with my hand in the air.
Finally I started seeing familiar buildings so I knew we were at least entering London, surges were 2mins apart lasting a minute which is beyond the point that they tell you to go into hospital.
Your dad called the birth centre to say that things were happening really quickly and that we were now heading straight to the hospital and not home.
FINALLY, WE MADE IT TO HOSPITAL!
The surges were so close that I now only had about a 30 second break of consciousness between each one, I had to talk really fast to get anything out. Finally we arrived as I just started to feel the need to push. It was a bit stressful, I wanted to jump out of the car and the emergency parking spot was taken so we got a bit stuck. It got freed up and we reversed in.
I flew out of the car, knowing I had 30 seconds before I'd get my next surge, found a wheelchair and sat in it, slightly scaring a poor man as I did so.
I closed my eyes and went into myself and when I opened my eyes next I recognised the birth centre corridor and felt the biggest sense of relief. Which was great as I'd read loads about how your surges slow down when you get to hospital as you get tense, but I think in the end I felt the complete opposite.
They examined me as your dad went and moved the car. This was the worst bit really, I couldn't get comfortable at all. It was worth it though as she then told me I was 8cm dilated! What a relief that I was that close.
I managed to get a bit comfy in a bean bag and was given gas and air which felt like heaven! I had 2 more surges and finally your dad was back. The pool was ready so when my next surge stopped I striped off and got in. It was amazing, the weightlessness, the soothing warmth and the feeling of having my own little bit of private space.
GIVING BIRTH IN THE POOL
As soon as I got in I wanted to push. I was in the pool for 2 hours, but it only felt like half an hour, when the senior midwife arrived and started putting in her plastic apron and gloves, I knew I was pushes away from meeting you. it was so exciting and gave me the energy to keep going. I remember auntie Lily coming in halfway through not realising she was entering 'the room', I could hear her go 'O my'! And whisper, 'I think I'll go now'.
Your dad was amazing and made sure I had the gas and air, told me how well I was doing and was mopping my brow as I felt so hot in the face from all the breathing.
The longest part was when you were crowning. I'd push and you'd crown but then you'd slip back in, the midwife was laughing because when she kept checking your heartbeat, you were so chilled out and calm it was like you just weren't that bothered.
The birth pool tap was still flowing and helping me to think of my waterfall visualisations, but it was getting quite hard.... I think I got a bit fed up of all the pushing and decided to go for it like crazy! Finally your little head came out, but your chin got stuck. One more push and your head came, then the next your whole body came out.
It all felt so incredibly quick! The midwives helped me to pick you up out of the water. You cried instantly but it wasn't too long before you calmed down and we're looking at us trying to work out what the hell had just happened to you?
LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT
It was a little miracle, there you were, 'flip' after all this time, finally ready to say hi.
You were incredible, it was love at first sight. You were so calm and intrigued by us, and us by you, but also so right and familiar.
Like a long lost friend.