I woke up from what felt like the deepest sleep to the sound of Mr Willetts declaring “dinner is served!”…reminding me of Lumière from Beauty and the Beast. At that point I remember feeling a sharp pain in my lower tummy. I convinced myself it was hunger pains and waddled on down for dinner. As we sat at the dining table going over the events of the day I felt a little dazed as I was secretly in my head keeping an eye on the clock timing what I began to realise were the beginnings of my contractions. I was so calm because I was finally getting what I wanted not only a baby but a home birth. (if you’re induced you have to have the baby at the hospital… if not you’re free to have the baby wherever you please).
I managed to wait until after dinner and everything was packed away and Mr Willetts and his mum were sat comfortably on the sofa (me on the birthing ball) to tell. them that I was almost certain we were having contractions. With that Mr Willetts reluctantly stood up from the sofa (after asking if we needed to go to the hospital yet… keeno) and began writing down the contractions on the back of a piece of paper. In hindsight I dont know why we didn’t just use the app I’d downloaded for this exact thing. Nothing much happened after that with the contractions only lasting short periods of time and one in every 20 minutes we all decided to go and try to get some sleep.
Obviously no sleep happened. From 11pm until 6am on Friday morning we religiously wrote down the contraction, tried to keep our eyes open and played Outnumbered on Netflix in the background. Mr Willetts and I agreed at 6am we’d call the midwife again. (I think at that point out of kindness I wanted the midwife to have a decent nights sleep if no-one else was).
The contractions started to heat up a little from that point. Now the only way I can describe the pain is like a strong period pain routed right in the bottom of your tummy.
For the next 9 hours I paced around the house practising the hypnobirthing techniques I’d picked up from this amazing book “Your baby, Your birth“. If you are pregnant and take nothing else away from this blog… GO AND BUY THIS BOOK. It was given to me by my lovely sister-in-law and although sceptical at first I learned so much from it. More than I realised until I was in the thick of labour.
If I could give away4 top tips from this book it would be:
1.Make your own rules and stick to them
2.Breathe THROUGH your contractions
3.Don’t be alarmed if your birth plan takes a different route but stay in control
4.Dont listen to any birthing stories before you have your own. Positive vibes around childbirth is ESSENTIAL
Anyway, back to the labour. I turned out to be completely different in labour than I expected. I had decided in my head I would be this out of control crazy woman, screaming from the rooftops and having to apologise to the neighbours afterwards. Turns out I was the complete opposite.
I managed. In the face of an audience which consisted of 3 midwives, my mother in law and Mr Willetts to remain calm, command the room and even laugh at times in between contractions. I gave myself a bruise on my forehead because the only way to get through a contraction was to push my head into the side of the door and grip to the door handles on either side. I also got to have about 10 baths which if you know me, you know I LOVE a bath. Mr Willetts sat right by the bath at all times slowly pouring warm water over my bump.
I had spent hours upon hours on my maternity leave putting together a playlist of songs I wanted to listen to throughout. Some upbeat, some calm and some that made me feel delight (including our wedding song and Superbass by Nicky Minaj). When it came down to it the only thing I wanted to hear was silence.
I had also spent a considerable amount of time on the birthing ball preparing for baby Willetts arrival.. if I had a knife I would have put a hole in it right at the beginning. Instead it was used a between contractions as a conversational tool to convince me to give it a go (not helpful. Don’t be as forgiving as me. If you don’t like something tell them you have no reason to be sorry for offending someone).
Throughout these 9 hours I just seemed to be a cycle of deep breathes, water being poured over my tummy in the bath (thanks Mr Willetts), a conveyor belt of selected drinks and ALOT of bananas. I remember 3 specific moments…
- Absolutely losing my shit because I had previously asked Mr Willetts to contact my sister in law to let her know how I was getting on and as I scoured the room I caught a glimpse of him appearing to film me. I exclaimed “Get the F*&K off your phone right now”. Mr Willetts laughed and walked away. returning sheepishly when that contraction was finished.
- Walking down the stairs only to find the 3 midwives, my mother in law drinking tea eating biscuits and nattering away. I remember standing at the door head to the edge thinking very quietly they were so engrossed in conversation about god knows what, I’m not sure they’d even notice if the baby fell out at this very moment. Also, I wish someone would offer me a biscuit.
- The moment we were stood in our spare room which was precariously covered in meters and meters of workmans plastic and the Midwife telling me it was time to push. Th audience were read and all I saw was a sea of excited faces. In that moment as the midwife read out the notes she was making I remember the time was 2:05pm and without thinking I said out loud “my nephew was born on a Friday at around 3pm… wouldn’t it be great if they were born at similar times”
Little did I know we still had a strong 12 hours left to go…