I woke up and just knew by the end of the day I’d have my baby. I went to the toilet and had a “show”. I was getting slight cramps that seemed like period and I carried on with my mother duties. I have a seven-year old who thinks she is 21 and a 12 year old daughter who seems to be going back in age.
We all got ready to leave the house but the cramps were getting intense. After dropping off my eldest daughter I stopped at my dad’s and he drove us to take my youngest girl school. Meanwhile, I was still getting some pains and just breathing through them and trying not to overtly think about it. I got back to my dad’s place, he came to check on me in the living room and said: “You need to go hospital now!” I had a midwife’s appointment at 1pm that day and wanted to hold out for that. It was still 10.30am and I decided to go home to rest and bounce on the birth ball.
I couldn’t get much rest as the contractions really got stronger now. I was home alone, but tried not to worry much and managed to watch one hypnobirthing video before calling my husband to let him know we will probably need to go to the hospital in a couple hours. He said to keep in touch as he was working locally.
After a lot of panting and breathing I grabbed my children’s stay-over bag, my notes and made my way to the appointment. I got my sister to meet me there as she was supposed to look after my eldest two while I am in labour. I kept contracting but at irregular intervals. Contractions were really taking my breath away. As contractions were intense and coming every 4 minutes, my midwife said: “You are going to have your baby today!”. As I got up to leave with my sister I felt another sharp pain. My baby was really ready to meet us.
I waddled to my car with the help of my sister and drove home. Driving actually helped to ease the pain. I called my husband and could barely talk. I said: “Come as soon as you can!” He told me he was far away and he would get to me by 5pm which was almost three hours from now. I decided to wait for him.
The more I tried to move and keep myself mobile the more intense the contractions got. I was really trying not to panic myself. Being home alone and in labour was just not exciting any more and I was really starting to feel exhausted. I looked at the clock, it was fast approaching 4pm. I kept trying to distract myself with TV, my phone it wasn’t working and it was annoying.
Finally, my husband arrived. He looked shocked. I could barely talk. The journey to the hospital was hard, I felt every little bump during contractions. I was also starting to feel sick. When we arrived to the hospital they asked for my notes, urine sample and if I was having a birth centre birth or labour ward. I squeezed my husbands hand as that’s all I could really do.
We arrived at the birth centre and it was fantastic! A birthing pool, two friendly midwives and a sofa. I looked around and could feel contractions shifting to my back. Midwives had started running the birth pool. Just by looking at me and counting the contractions they assumed I am in active labour. After 15 minutes I managed to get on the bed for the midwife to check my dilation and I could tell from her face I wasn’t far along. It was 1cm. I was extremely disappointed. They kept saying it is still really good and I was contracting well. They suggested to go for a walk and eat something. They were supposed to reassess me in four hours. We were sent to a smaller room. It was 7.30pm and me and hubby decided we’d try and walk. I got as far a the reception. It was too intense. I’ve never had a back labour but I’m sure I was getting it. So we waddled back to the smaller room. My hubby prayed while I continued to breath deeply and imagine baby coming down the birth canal.
This was enough for my husband and he went to call the midwives. They came and helped me as I was kneeling over the sofa. We got into the previous room and it was now 8.45pm. They didn’t check me, just ran the birth pool. My husband helped me in and the relief was instant. Of course, I was still labouring, but much more calmer. The midwives didn’t interfere at all, just kept monitoring baby’s heart. It was getting so intense, my hubby asked me three times to try the gas and air. In my birth plan I said no to any drugs but against my better judgment I tried the gas and air. It was disgusting. I started to feel sick again. Midwives said my waters have gone and it is going to get more intense. It certainly did, I tried moving around the pool with no real difference.
It was 10pm and I started to shout: “I can’t do this!” My husband was whispering: “Come on, Aaisha. You come a long way. And then I felt the baby drop and the head was trying to appear. I said to myself: “I can do this!” I turned around on all fours and pushed. They told me they can see her head. I was trying to push some more, but, without realising, I was holding my bowel tightly. So I gave it all in the next push and had a bit of poo. Midwives directed me to push slowly to avoid tearing. I found out latter, I didn’t tear. Two more pushes and baby was out! I was so tired I couldn’t even look at her. I had to lift baby myself as it was a water birth. I was trying to show my husband the baby to find out the sex but he couldn’t see! Finally, I opened my eyes to see the most beautiful baby girl. I couldn’t believe after all that time in my tummy I finally met my beautiful Aatifa. Alhamdillah (thank God).
Aaisha lives in Croydon with her husband and three daughters – Rayhanna 12, Layla 7 and Aatifa born in July 2018.