“At 3am on Tuesday morning, I woke up to a trickle of water running down my leg. I instantly knew my waters had gone. Once I stood up there was a bigger loss of waters. Even though this was baby number 3, never had my waters gone before I was in active labour, so this was a bit of a surprise. I had no surges at this point, but due to previous labours being fast I rang the labour ward to seek advice. They asked me to come in as I was 40+12 and given my previous history. At this point I clearly told them if possible I wanted use of the pool. They explained that someone was in it but I was next in line.
When we got to the hospital, they took my notes and birth preferences straight off me and read them before even asking me any questions. I found this really helpful for keeping me focused. After reading my notes and birth plan, they said due to my history they would like me to stay at the hospital but I was free to go out and about in the grounds, as I wasn’t in labour. I agreed with this as I knew once things started I wouldn’t get back in time! I then asked again about the pool and they reassured me that as soon as it free we would be moved into that room even if I wasn’t in labour. This really helped me relax, so along with going out for a walk we used our time to listen to our scripts, watch rubbish on netflix and basically just chill.
I am not going to lie I did get a bit restless during this time as nothing was happening, but I trusted my body would know what to do. However, by about 2am on Wednesday morning there was talk about me being induced as my waters had been broken for nearly 24 hours and I still didn’t have any signs of surges or labour approaching. Luckily, we had an amazing midwife who respected our wish for my natural waterbirth if possible and agreed to leave it a few more hours to see what happened. With this I went to sleep feeling relaxed.
About 4.30am I woke up and said to Andy, ‘please can you fill the pool?’ (it takes about 20 mins to fill). He looked at me as if I was crazy: I was still not having any signs of labour! Anyway, at 5am I started with little twinges again – nothing major but I told our midwife who said great just trust your body and go with it.
The next bit does follow true to form! At 5.05am I got in the pool: even though my surges had just started I knew baby was coming, and fast… Elsie entered the world at 5.36am! Even the midwife told me she was surprised at how fast it happened and her notes at 5.30am said “Mum says she is ready to push but I am not sure she is actually in established labour as yet”. Even though it was a quick labour it was the most positive experience!
Three key reflections for me are: 1) Trust your intuition and your body: no-one knows it better than you. 2) Practice your hypnobirthing techniques so they become second nature. I thought they had gone out the window with the speed of the labour but Andy told me after I was just “doing them” and was focused. I was just too in the zone to notice! 3) Make sure you’re clear with your wishes, it really does help both you and your midwife understand your stand point.”
Huge congrats to Emma and Andy on the birth of their baby girl, Elsie. It was an absolute privilege to teach you both.