Posts Tagged ‘homebirth’

Squishy’s Birth Story


I’ve been meaning to post Squishy’s birth story for ages, but everyone’s been ill & I haven’t got round to it! Today I had to tell someone the brief version of her birth (breech, quick) and I was surprised how gutted I felt when I didn’t get much of a response. To be fair it was an older man (the osteopath) and her birth wasn’t the reason I was there! But it brought home to me how proud I am of it…even though it wasn’t really in my control. I wrote this birth story when she was a day old, and I’ve just edited it a bit…this is how she was born…yes it was out of my control, but I’m proud of how I handled it.

Squish’s Arrival!

It was all a bit quick so it’s still a bit of a blur. Our daughter arrived yesterday at 4.41am. 7 lb 4 oz. Here’s how it happened…

I woke up at 2.50 with what felt more contraction-like than the mega-long brackston hicks I’d been having for a week. The next one came at 3am & was really quite strong, so I knew it was really happening. Remembering Twink’s birth when I got all excited & got up really early, I tried to go back to sleep, but at twenty past three my waters broke so I woke Hubby up to fill the pool (which I’d insisted we inflate the night before). Contractions continued every 10 minutes, but were WAY more painful than I remembered from last time. I finally called the labour ward just before 4am…& the midwife on call phoned me a couple of minutes later…& it was my named midwife!!! I was so worried about getting a midwife I didn’t relate to…never thought I’d actually get my lovely named MW for the birth…but anyway, I was a little distracted by the pain by this point to be grateful for that. I also tried to call my best friend who was supposed to be my birth partner, but she didn’t answer.

I got DH to put the TENS machine on my back as the contractions had suddenly gone to every 5 minutes…from this point they just sped up (I know all this because the iphone really does have an app for everything…including labour!), so at twenty past they were 2 or 3 minutes apart & I REALLY didn’t think I could handle it for much longer…the TENS was now just on boost constantly. At some point in the next few minutes I realised I was needing to push…so I started trying to convince DH. He blatantly didn’t believe me…was very calm…”yes dear, don’t worry, we’ll get the pool filled, I’ll help you in, your bff will get here, the midwife will get here”…I think he thought I was panicking. Which I was, but I was also right! I insisted he call the MW a few times to find out where she was & to hurry her up, but there was absolutely NO sense of urgency in him! He didn’t even tell her she needed to hurry! He got through to my bff at some point but he didn’t hurry her along either!

So I’m leaning over the pool (from the outside), staring at the water that half filled it. I really wanted to be in there as I knew it would help with the pain, so I felt a little sad about that, but I was distracted by trying to convince DH that the baby was going to arrive any minute, & that I could feel the head (so I thought!)…he didn’t even feel the need to check!! Still, he let me squeeze his hand to death each time I had a contraction (& pushed!). He kept trying to get me to be quiet as Twink was asleep…but it’s actually lucky I wasn’t quiet as my bff was outside having a last cigarette (naughty girl!) when she heard me & rushed inside (I’d at least managed to convince DH to unlock the door…that’s nearly a miracle if you know him…he’s a little security conscious!). According to my phone the last time we called the midwife was 4.36am, so my bff came in some time after that. She was a little bit shocked to say the least, but she did realise that the baby was about to arrive, & she got in place to catch it…next contraction had her screaming ‘it’s breech, call an ambulance’…DH just carried on having his hand squeezed to death!…then the midwife came through the door, & Squish was born with the next contraction & my bff caught her at 4.41am.

Sadly, although my bff can tell a bum from a head, she isn’t so accurate with the boy/girl thing…so we thought Squishy was a boy for the first few minutes of her life! Squish was screaming her little lungs out about the whole thing, & we were all a bit in shock (including my lovely MW…her first breech birth & she only got to watch!), but she had a bit of a feed after about 10 minutes, & we just sat & cuddled while I waited desperately for the placenta to be delivered. Except it took a long time to arrive…after an hour and ten minutes I decided to have the injection as it was apparently (sorry if tmi!) half way through my cervix & was VERY uncomfortable. By 6am I was in the shower & by half past I was in bed, leaving the MW to write up her notes (which were almost entirely a work of fiction…I could have told her when I was in established labour by my contractions as I had all the info on an iphone app, but I was lying in bed trying to sleep) & my bff & DH fighting over newborn cuddles.

Twink was pretty oblivious to start with when he woke up…he just ignored her. But before long, he gave her a couple of kisses, & even included her in the family nose check (the nose was the first body part he could identify, so every now & then he insists on touching his nose, then mine, then DH’s…it might be silly, but the fact he includes Squishy, really makes me feel that he knows she’s part of the family). Today he’s also started to come up & cuddle her when she cries…so utterly adorable!

Phew…sorry it’s so long…think it took longer to write than it actually took…& if births get quicker each time, I probably won’t even have time to get out of bed next time!!

Squishy’s birth was much more intense than Twink’s, and as she was breech, the number of things that could have gone wrong makes my mind boggle, but I’m still glad I was at home & I will still plan to be at home the next time I give birth. With established labour only about 20 – 25 minutes long, there wasn’t enough time to settle in and enjoy it like there was with Twink…I had to concentrate very hard to cope with the contractions. I know birth is just one day in a child’s life, but you know what? I am still bloody proud of my body for delivering my daughter safely at home, with no help other than the TENS machine and my husband’s hand to squeeze.

Still wish I could have had a swim in that pool though!

Things I worried about before becoming Mummy


During my pregnancy, and even before, there were many different things that I believed erroneously or worried about unnecessarily. True, many of these things are problematic to other people, so I’m aware of how lucky I am, but as worrying about these things didn’t have any effect at all, I do wish I’d saved myself some stress.

  • Giving birth at home without drugs. Before having Twink I didn’t know anyone who had given birth without at the very least having pethadine (/meptid), so I worried a lot that I was being naive to think I could cope without. It turns out that giving birth wasn’t a horrible ordeal to get through, but an amazing experience that I’ll always treasure.
  • Breastfeeding is difficult, needs working at and involves overcoming pain. Oh, & you’ll leak almost constantly. This was true for almost every mother I knew at the time. It turns out Twink knew exactly what he was supposed to do…even trying to latch on through the tankini top I was wearing in the birth pool! I didn’t have any trouble at all breastfeeding until I fell pregnant again. And I rarely leak. I wore breastpads for a week with Twink before realising they weren’t necessary, & I haven’t bothered this time…not even when I had the whole day away from Squishy when I went to London…not even one leaked drop…I know, I know, I really am a freak! True the early days were mostly spent on the sofa catching up on my DVD box sets with Twink attached, but that was the hardest bit…being stuck on the sofa while Hubby brought me drinks, food and changed the DVD! It’s a hard life ;-) Squishy did find it a little more difficult getting the right latch, but still, aside from a slight soreness (nothing that was even visible), it was easy. Which probably explains why I’m still feeding Twink over 25 months later! National Breastfeeding Week
  • I wouldn’t cope without sleep. I’ve been an insomniac since I was a child, so perhaps I’d been in training for this all my life, but despite Twink not sleeping for longer than two hours (more usually just one) until he was nine months old, I did cope, and actually the worst bit was just before it got so much easier. I think he woke up half hourly during the nine month growth spurt and I nearly lost it…but worrying about his sleep didn’t change it at all…he just did it in his own time.
  • That I absolutely needed a flash travel system. With hindsight I wish we had bought one of those car seats that converts for an infant and then a toddler…lugging the baby car seat around was torture, and Twink hated being in it, hated being in the pram and hated being in the pushchair…if only I’d known about slings before he was born, and had the confidence to just buy one and wait until later to get a pushchair. I would have waited to buy a pushchair until he could go in one of those incredibly small, lightweight, umbrella collapsible ones. My expensive Bugaboo Chameleon may be gorgeous, but it’s a pain getting it into the car and it’s only been used with the carseat or the pram a handful of times. I spent SO long researching the ‘right’ travel system for us and in the end I got it wrong, & now I’m stuck with it as it was so expensive.
  • That I would need to get my baby into a routine at some point. I was told repeatedly that it was all very well me feeding on demand and letting Twink sleep whenever he wanted to when he was very little, but I really needed to get him into a routine before he was two or three months old. Hubby and I aren’t very routined people. Ask anyone…we’re almost always late (even before we had children) and we rarely know what we’re doing more than a few days ahead. When Twink was born, Hubby was working for himself from home, so his day would start when he was ready, and finish when he needed a break. Sometimes he would take an hour or a day off to do something as a family. Weekends were frequently the same as weekdays, so we literally had no pattern to our days at all. The idea of imposing a routine on ourselves, let alone a baby was terrifying to me…I honestly didn’t know how I would cope. I read all the books (no, really…all of them!) on various routines, and all of them made me want to scream…for a start they all wanted me to start my day at 7am. SEVEN A.M!!!! Hubby usually started work some time after 9am, and he’d generally only have been awake for half an hour. Twink was happy to laze in bed with me until 10 or 11. Back then, 7 am was a whole other world for us. And as for the rest of the day the routine books were planning out for me? I still don’t understand how people manage to leave the house if they’re following those routines. They just really weren’t for us, so I worried that I was doing something wrong or damaging my son in some way by not imposing any sort of routine or pattern on him. Yet again, it all fell into place by itself…after we started solid foods, we had a bit of a pattern, and much later (9 or 10 months old) when we introduced breakfast, we even started getting out of bed around 9am!
  • Cosleeping is evil and I would have a fight to get him out of our bed. Think I’ve covered this at the end of another post already…it’s just wrong!

All worrying did was cause me unnecessary stress. I really wish I’d just relaxed more when Twink was little and enjoyed it. Instead I was so worried that I might be doing something wrong…actually all I was doing was responding to my child in a way that suited my family. I think I’m more relaxed about it this time round…this is what I do and it works for us…I’ll worry about it if or when it stops working.

So what do you worry about? It can’t just be me having random worries about everything (I’ve not even covered everything here…but it’s getting late & I want to go to bed!). Are there things that you now kick yourself for worrying about? Or did worrying about something actually help you sort out a problem?

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