This is the birth story I wrote for my daughter, so it's a bit sentimental. I've added some medical details at the end that may be of interest to you.
My sunshine Jane, your birth was my favourite.
From 37 weeks onward I had contractions off and on. Sometimes they would last for 2 or 3 hours. Everyone was convinced you would come early.
At 40weeks, 4 days at 10pm I started having contractions. It felt like it could be the real thing so I went to bed to get some rest.
At 1am I woke up. They were getting more intense, and I got up to time them for a while.
At 2am I rang the MW. The contractions weren’t as intense as I knew they would get, but they were consistently 2 -3 minutes apart. The MW wanted us to meet at the hospital at 3am. I ‘knew’ it was too soon to go the hospital, but it would give us time to drop Elizabeth at your grandparent’s house.
We arrived at the hospital and things slowed down. The MW checked me and I was only 3cm. She did a stretch and sweep and had me walk the halls to see if we could move things along. She suggested I could stay at the hospital but that they would want to start talking induction in a few hours or go home and have a bath.
At 6.30am, we went home. We should have gone to your Grandparents, rather than going home, but we didn’t. We should have turned around half way home, when things got intense, but we didn’t. When we got home, we should have turned straight around, but we didn’t.
I got in the bath, it didn’t help at all. I had a kind of sleep.
At 8.15am I woke up, and we timed contractions for 15minutes. They were a minute long.
At 8.30am I got in the shower.
At 8.45am my waters broke, and for a moment it gave great relief. I called to your dad to ring the MW to say we were coming back, and then I felt the urge to push. I told him to tell the MW that you were coming now. In that moment, I realised you were coming, at home, in the shower, with just me and your Dad.
Your father and I had a conversation with the MW over the phone that revolved around me trying to make it clear to everyone that you were coming NOW. Not in an hour, not in 30minutes, but right now.
At 8.50am Your Dad hung up and rang an ambulance.
The ambulance dispatcher talked your father through how to catch you, and what to look out for. He had me get out of the shower and onto the floor. There was panic, there was disbelief, and then there was reminding myself I had done this before.
At 8.55am ambulance officers arrived, I have never felt such relief as I did at hearing those sirens in the distance. I was between contractions, and we laughed and introduced ourselves. You were head out and they encouraged your Dad to stay where he was and continue the delivery.
At 8.58am you were born. Six contractions, and less than 15minutes after I felt the urge to push.
Your father was the first one to hold you and to touch your skin. He passed you to me, and we snuggled on the bathroom floor. You were perfect and it was beautiful.
We shared your birth with an ambulance officer who had never attended a birth before, and another who had only been at two. They were so good-humoured and professional and lovely, it was a pleasure to have them there.
Your birth was frantic and frightening and over-whelming, but you knew you were ready to come. Your father kept us both safe, and you and I both knew what to do. We did it together, and then you were in my arms, tiny and unconcerned and lovely, my little sunshiney girl.
Baby was born around 2 hours after active labour was established. I completely missed all the markers of how far along I really was. In hindsight by the time I got into the shower it was all to late to get to the hospital anyway.
Weight: 10lbs 2 oz. No stitches were needed.
Took 6 pushes to get her out, although the early ones were really me holding back from pushing.
APGAR score was 7 at birth then 10 at the second one (although the ambulance officer said she didn't make any noise and I'm sure I heard her cry as soon as she was born. DH can't remember either way)
Ambulance officers cut the cord maybe 20minutes or so after she was born, after they'd observed baby and given us a few minutes to snuggle and nurse. Then they got me up off the floor and into the shower.
MW arrived around this time and helped me deliver the placenta in the shower. They checked me out, and the baby.
Ambulance took me to a local birth centre where we stayed for a couple of days. Before we left I gushed some blood so they MWs gave me a shot of synotocin?
DH and MWs cleaned up the bathroom. DH followed us to the birth centre later after he'd put on a load of laundry, finished up cleaning, and had a minute to facebook his adventures :-)