Due date: 27.02.18

Birth date: 02.02.18

Weight: 7lb 11oz

Length of labour (if you can remember): 8 hours from first contraction to birth.

Baby number: 2

How did you feel during pregnancy?

I felt mostly tired, it was tough being pregnant and having a toddler at home. There was no time to rest, and at the time I was teaching Reception 4 days a week and that was really tough. With my first pregnancy I really suffered with pelvic girdle pain. So much so that I found it difficult to walk very far and sleeping was impossible. This time round I decided to buy one of those massive pregnancy pillows and it changed my life! The pelvic girdle pain was so much more manageable and I was able to get a bit more sleep (in between toilet trips and toddler wake ups!). I felt so much happier being pregnant the second time round though, I knew what to expect and it wasn’t such a shock to find out I was pregnant unlike the first time! 🙈

What were you most looking forward to?

I think the thing I was most looking forward to (hopefully) seeing my firstborn bond with the baby. It is always a bit apprehensive as you hear stories of the first child getting jealous and not liking their sibling. Luckily we didn’t have that at all and our firstborn absolutely fell in love with his little brother. It makes your heart so full seeing how much love he had for him. It was the sweetest thing!

What did you do to prepare for the birth of your baby?

I’m a bit fan of Yoga so really enjoyed continuing this and going to pregnancy yoga classes. It was a way to feel more centred and positive and let go of all the stresses of pregnancy.

Your labour story:

After having a very long and tiring labour with my first I was hoping that this labour would be different. Nothing went the way I thought it would and it took me a long time to come to terms with the fact that I didn’t get the birth I wanted. I was very determined that I wouldn’t go for the epidural this time as I wanted to have a natural birth and if possible a water birth. I was overdue with both my boys and after having a sweep at 40+1 weeks that didn’t work, I asked if I could have another sweep later that week. So I was booked in on the Thursday (5 days overdue) to have another one at the hospital. There is no way to describe sweeps other than absolutely horrendous. After examining me the midwife was unsure if she could even perform the sweep as my cervix was still closed up. But she said she didn’t want to me go home with nothing, so she went for it. 😩 It was the mother of all sweeps. I remember her saying she’d had a 100% success rate with women going into labour after her sweeps and so I had better not let her down!
And I didn’t let her down! That night I went home and bounced on the exercise ball for about two hours, and went to bed.
I woke at 3am with a contraction, I went to the toilet and noticed I’d had ‘the show’ so I knew this was it! At 3:20am I had another contraction and after that they came steadily every 10 minutes. At 6:30am I woke up my husband and little boy and told them baby Henry was on his way! At 8am I had a bath and being in the water really helped to relax me. I was concentrating on breathing through the pain. Whilst I was in the bath, I had lost track of time and when I got out I realised my contractions we’re only 2 minutes apart. We arrived at the hospital at 10am and was surprised to see the same midwife that I had with my first baby. She was amazing at helping me to relax as every time I had a contraction I was tensing up into my shoulders. She used her hands to press either side of my hips and massage my back and it was so amazing. I was getting my husband to massage my lower back during contractions and she showed him how to do it this way and it really helped the pain. She then examined me and said I was only 2-3cm dilated. I couldn’t believe it! In the space of a few seconds I went from feeling so excited to feeling so down. I had flashbacks of my first birth when I wasn’t dilating and the labour just went on forever. Luckily, as she was examining me, my waters broke and I immediately went to 4cm dilated and classed as in ‘active labour’. The pain was a lot more intense after that. The contractions were coming fast and I was just in this zone where I couldn’t really speak or do anything. I was still in triage at this stage waiting for them to send me to the birthing room. I do remember the midwife asking me what type of pain relief I wanted and I just started listing what I’d had with my first birth even though on my birth plan I’d said I wanted a water birth. (I didn’t think they’d let me have one as I had Group B Strep and had to have antibiotics in labour but I’d put it down anyway!) She suggested I have a water birth and I was thrilled as I didn’t think it was an option. As it happened I never ended up having a water birth as not long after that conversation I vomited and it was all very quick from that moment on! Looking back now I realise that was the ‘transition’ moment where your body starts pushing. I had the biggest contraction I’d ever had and my only reaction was to scream… really loudly. I was still in triage at this point. We had been at the hospital for about an hour. Who knows what the poor pregnant ladies that were outside in the waiting room must have been thinking. Almost immediately another midwife appeared and said, ‘ok let’s get you into another room!’ 😂 I was led down to the birthing suite rather than the labour ward which was amazing as it was a lot less ‘clinical’. She asked me what position I wanted to be in and I said I didn’t want to lie down. I couldn’t lie down anyway. The only way I could cope was leaning over a chair with my husband rubbing my lower back. Then the midwife asked me to kneel down and lean on the bed. I was having gas and air which helped a lot to focus my breathing. I remember telling the midwife that I needed to go to the toilet and she told me I didn’t need the toilet but that my baby was coming. I realised then that I was actually pushing my baby down! I didn’t even know I was doing it as I had never felt that sensation before because I’d had an epidural the first time. My body just took over and I was pushing for the life of me! The midwife just kept talking to me calmly and telling me to trust my body. I felt the ‘ring of fire’ and that was my baby’s head out! He started crying with just his head out before he was even fully born! Then the next push and he was out and straight onto my chest. Henry was born at 11:21am. 11 minutes after we got into the birthing room! Nothing will ever compare to how exhilarating it felt knowing that I’d just given birth on my own without any drugs or intervention! I felt like a superwomen! I thought to myself, if I can do that I can do anything! I was so happy that I was able to do it, I finally got the birth I wanted and I had my beautiful baby boy!

How did you feel at the first sight of your baby?

I don’t know if you can even put it into words. It’s literally so much love that just floods over you immediately. It’s just the most special thing looking at this little life that you’ve created.

What 3 pieces of advice would you give your pregnant self now?

Not to worry so much – everything works out in the end and worrying about things doesn’t change the outcome!
You don’t have to do everything! It’s ok to say no, take some time to be you and recharge.
Learn to trust your body because it can do amazing things!

How was that first week for you?

I loved the first week! We were all in the newborn bubble and so in love with the new addition to our family. It was a relief not to be pregnant anymore and actually be able to sleep! Even though Henry was waking every few hours at night I was getting more sleep than I was being pregnant! I was so happy and didn’t think I’d get the ‘baby blues’ this time but I did get a bit tearful and emotional on day three when my milk came in. I don’t even know why now. Having a baby is such a life changing experience – even if you’ve done it already! We were all so in love and Henry was such an easy baby. I felt relaxed as I knew what I was doing this time. It really is so much easier the second time round!