Birth of my first baby had been wonderful experience so I was really excited about going into labour again. The anticipation increased as due date got closer all the while knowing very well that baby might not come at 40 weeks exactly.
A week before the due date, every night strong period cramps would kick in and I would go in to relaxation mode, breathing and relaxing, hoping for the cramps to get stronger, telling myself: “My body will give birth in its own time”. I would be so relaxed that I would fall asleep.
I was also waking up to strong period cramps every morning but throughout the day they would calm down.
The day I noticed some bloody mucus I felt that it might be “the day” since the surges were also the strongest they had been. I carried on mentally relaxing and breathing through them, with the mantra: “My surges are natural, as normal as breathing”.
Just to be sure everything was fine husband and I decided to pop to the Barkantine birth centre that afternoon since we had a scheduled check up that day too. Having been checked I was told everything was fine and I was potentially in early labour, and just wait perhaps another day or two and eventually labour would kick in. My husband was sure I was going to go in to labour that night.
My two year old daughter was at my parents and we needed to drop her stroller off. On the way to their house we felt peckish so stopped over at our favourite breakfast place where I could feel my surges getting stronger and they were becoming a lot more regular, all the while I told myself: “I breath fully with each surge and go in to deeper relaxation”. I assumed these would fizzle out like they had been doing past few days. Husband made a quick call to his mother back home. I could feel the surges coming as waves all the while enjoying my chicken pasta.
My husband could see me getting totally focused through each surge which I think made him sure baby would be arriving very soon. We quickly popped to my parents where my two year old was so pleased and she could see me breathing through my surges.
My daughter was breathing through them with me, telling me to relax (my mini birth partner, bless her).
Each surge felt like my baby was getting closer and closer, and this made me that much more excited. What really helped at every surge was the standing sacral release exercise husband and I learnt from Spinning Babies site, which helped relieve a lot of pressure off my back.
My husband prepared the front passenger car seat with layers of blankets in case my waters broke on the way. I found this a little amusing. At the same time I really didn’t want to go anywhere as it was distracting me from my focus and peace of mind, I felt comfortable thinking of home or my parents house. I told my husband to wait for a bit and we could leave in half an hour but he insisted we get going to avoid traffic, so I got in the car.
I really didn’t want to be sitting but as we drove I put in my headphones and turned on my hypnobirthing track, feeling myself relax. Wasn’t long before I felt as though I was floating. My husband held my hand, we both were thrilled to meet our baby.
Having arrived at the birth centre the midwife was happy to check me again and she found that I had dilated 2-3cm with my surges coming regularly. They were happy to keep us in and see how labour would progress.
As we walked in to the birthing room, suddenly an extremely strong surge wave came across me which made me throw up my lunch followed by another surge which resulted in my waters breaking (luckily I was on the toilet by then).
The surges felt so powerful I plumped myself on a huge been bag with my head in my arms totally in my zone, telling myself: “My relaxed body is like a welcoming cloud for my baby”.
I then began to feel the urge to push. I left my body to do what it needed to do, at that point I wanted to go in to the pool.
As the pool was being filled my husband was extremely affectionate; his smile, his words, his confidence in me reassured me that we were in this together. As soon as I got in the pool it wasn’t long until the surges were helping me breath out my baby. I felt his head followed by his shoulders pushing through and as I turned around to sit on my back his legs followed. The midwife helped me bring him up to me.
Everything in that moment froze as I held him, bringing him close to me, watching him peacefully taking in his surroundings.
I placed him gently on my chest, and watched him as he felt secure close to my heart beat. I felt my husband’s hands on my shoulders, we were calm, our baby was calm and we stared at our little miracle. We felt complete all over again and in that moment I wanted to give birth again to feel that high once more.
Mayda lives in Ilford and is a PhD student in biomedical engineering and a mum of two. Her eldest daughter is two years old and her baby boy was born in July 2018.