Introducing… and our birth story

So happy to welcome our baby daughter Willa Blue Atkinson on Wednesday 21st September at 4.09 am weighing 8lb 12oz.

That was the final big bump picture!

After a sweep appointment on Tuesday lunchtime, and a bishops score of 5 which wasn’t exactly that hopeful, by 10pm that evening I suddenly started to feel some sporadic contractions when I went upstairs to bed. 

At that point I downloaded a contraction timer app and started to time them. They started at 8-9 minute intervals and lasted a bearable 50 seconds and then started becoming more frequent. 

I had a good idea that this might be ‘it’ so I tried to keep active by getting out of bed and running a warm deep bath and playing my hypnobirthing relax MP3. 

I managed to stay in the bath for a good hour or so until after midnight when husband finally peeked into the bathroom and said he’d call his mum who was on stand by! 

By 1 am I managed to get dressed, brush my teeth and get all the essentials for the hospital. I called the Delivery Suite and let them know I’d be on the way and that I really wanted to use the pool, which was fortunately free. 

I was left to my own devices to keep up momentum, and gently rolled on a ball propped against some pillows on the side of the bed with my headphones on, and hypnobirthing MP3 on repeat, trying to breathe through the contractions which were becoming more powerful.

By 3 am our midwife Nicole came in and did an examination which showed I’d effaced really well but was only 3cm dilated, I must admit I felt disappointed as I felt that I must be at least 7cm by the strength of the contractions!

At this point Nicole started to run the pool for me, as I was starting to feel more pain and didn’t want to lose the control that I’d been maintaining. The pool felt like bliss initially and was so warm. 

Very quickly my contractions picked up pace and intensity and after two strong ones which I struggled to cope with, I suddenly felt a massive pressure and my body started to want to push. Calling the midwife I was concerned that it was too early to be pushing as I had only measured 3cm half an hour before, but Nicole was great and said to go with what my body was telling me to do, so I went with it. 

Very quickly I felt a very strange feeling between my legs, which was the amniotic sac, still intact, which had popped through- I did have a feel and it was really odd, thicker than I imagined. After that, I felt her head move down and knew I needed to get her out and not chicken out of the burn!

It took two very big pushes to get her head out, and I remember thinking, ‘warrior woman, just go for it!’ and a further two pushes to get her body out. Sweet relief. My husband tells me I said ‘thank fuck for that’ but that’s terribly rude!! 

I reached into the water and pulled her up into my arms. There was no blood and she was already a nice colour so looked less alien than many newborns. I had to check that ‘she’ was indeed a ‘she’ and yes, she was. 

Chris cut the cord and we had some skin on skin before having to get out to deliver the placenta. Very quickly I was contracting painfully again and had to get out of the pool to the bed. I delivered the placenta quickly and painfully but it was quite broken up and not in tact, so another midwife was called in. 

In labour at midnight!

I received a second injection to expel anything left inside but they still weren’t happy and I continued to bleed heavily. The midwifes fetched the doctors who palpated my uterus heavily and also had to draw out the remaining blood clots which wasn’t the most fun I’ve ever had at 6am. I was hooked up to an IV and they took about four goes to get a canular in my veins, so I have very sore hands today. 

Freshly hatched into the pool
View of the birthing pool

Luckily the drip worked to contract my uterus and expel any nasties, along with the palpating. I had to stay on the bed for a few hours until the bags emptied and had a catheter temporarily fitted. Not the best but Willa latched on immediately so we had lovely skin to skin whilst this was all going on. The great bonus to her quick and smooth birth was that I had no tears so didn’t require any stitches or intervention in that way. 

Heading home! proud Dad

Apparently after a quick birth and especially a third or fourth pregnancy this is more common, but it wasn’t alarming and I was really well cared for. Once the drips and catheter were removed I felt fine and was able to have a shower and freshen up. We were taken to the post natal ward temporarily and were allowed home that day. Our pregnancy diary complete and our beautiful daughter safe in our arms.

Willa Blue Atkinson
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