· By Analytics OMG
"Happy due date!" my husband said to me. I could tell he instantly regretted it when he saw the look I had given him.
My firstborn had arrived three weeks early, so I was convinced it would be the same the second time around too. But no, there I was, on my due date, sitting on the bed, with no sign of a baby to come. We had planned for a home birth, but with staff shortages, I had accepted that this would be unlikely, so I packed my hospital bags just in case. At 9am, I went to the toilet and the second I sat down, I had an almighty wave of pain. I grabbed my phone and texted my husband, who was downstairs, "HELP!" He ran upstairs, and by then, I had a second pain. We looked at each other, and he said, "do you think this is it?" I nodded, "Yes, get the tens machine." I moved downstairs to the birthing room we had prepared weeks before. At 9.20, we called the hospital to tell them I was in labour and would like a home birth. They said they would call me back once they found a midwife who could come to my house. The contractions continued for about an hour, coming every 4 minutes. At this point, I turned the tens machine up by one notch and found it tricky to sit on the ball. The only position I found relief in was getting onto all fours. My friend popped in to drop off a parcel that had been sent to my workplace, so I briefly chatted with her between my contractions. My four-year-old also popped in every 10 minutes to see if I "had popped the baby out yet".
At 10.20am, the hospital called back to say no midwives were available. I was told to wait until I was getting three contractions every ten minutes before going in. I texted my midwife and student midwife to say I was in labour, but because no one was available for a home birth, we would head into the hospital when it was time. The midwife called at 10.35, and my husband answered because I was on the toilet downstairs. While she was on the phone, she heard me starting to moo like a cow. My friend was still there, so she ran into the toilet with my little boy. "The baby is coming." I said to them. My little boy got very excited and ran into the kitchen shouting, "mummy's in so much pain!" My husband, still on the phone to my midwife, told her that we would go into the hospital now. "No way, it's too late." I said. He asked if he should run the birthing pool, but I told him it was too late. I had to ask my poor friend to take off my pants and help me up the stairs. With every step I contacted. Halfway up, I stopped suddenly. My friend ran and grabbed some towels and threw them under me just in case something was happening. But luckily, I was able to make it all the way up the stairs and into the bathroom. My first instinct was to get on the toilet, and as I did, I could feel my water sack come out. I grabbed it, and it burst straight onto the floor, all over my friend's feet. The bath had filled up by this point, and I got in with the help of my husband. The midwife, still on the phone, said she had called for paramedics to attend and that she was on the way. Once in the bath, I knew I was ready. I could hear the midwife through the phone shouting, "Don't push! Just breathe!"
I remember thinking, "I'm not sucking it back in. I'll wait for her to get here." But it was too late. I didn't see it happen, but at some point, my husband had put on some surgical gloves (which we had under the sink apparently. Who would've known?) He checked the water, and as I had my next contraction, he could see the head there. The next wave came, and the baby came out all at once, caught by my husband. Time of birth 11.11am. Despite everything happening at that moment, my friend took the most wonderful photo of this moment: My husband, lifting our baby out of the water, exclaiming, "it's a boy!" And me, laughing at everything that just happened.
Our midwife turned up in her flowery summer dress moments later. She apologised for not being in uniform, but I was grateful she had come on her day off. I walked to the bedroom, where I then delivered the placenta naturally, and my little boy cut the cord. After another hour, everything was clean and tidy, and the four of us were in bed in complete shock at what had just happened. My little boy wanted to do skin-to-skin with the new baby. After a while, he said, "right mummy, I think I have transferred him enough skin now!" We fell about laughing. He will be the best big brother, and I guess he was right: the baby did just pop out after all!
Birth & newborn course
The Bump, Birth & Beyond course will educate you and your co-pilot (support person) on what to expect during pregnancy, birth and the first trimester with your new little love.