17th February 2011 13:31You may see this birth sory cropping up in a few threads, because I am still on a high after having my baby on Saturday night last If you are looking for a positive birth story from a first time mum, read on... WARNING- This is quite long.. Sorry, I got very enthusiastic once the keyboard was under my fingers :-) I was due my first baby on 12/2/2011. In the final week of pregnancy, I was getting really impatient and frustrated. Even though I had nothing to compare it to, given it was my first, I thought maybe I would go overdue and that baby was showing no signs of 'dropping' etc. So, convinced I was in for the long haul, I went out for a little walk at around lunchtime with my DH on Friday 11th. We met some neighbours who all passed comment on how well I looked and how, yes, they agreed I would probably go overdue. Ha ha!!- how wrong they were ;-) At 6pm on Friday 11th, I went to the loo. It was just like any other of my (increasingly regular) toilet trips. I heard an audible 'pop'- It was my waters breaking. I called out to DH to give me a plastic lunch box or something to collect them in so that we could go to the hospital and have a check. He did this, but I still wasn't really convinced thats what it was so after collecting 'the evidence', I actually just poured it down the loo, convincing myself that I was imagining things! I put a pad on and continued to leak for a while, so I thought maybe it was waters after all. I kept telling DH that I though 'something was going down' and he was asking me 'Are you in labour?' and I said 'Well I think I am'. I was having some pain, like strong period pains at this stage. I rang the hospital and the midwife asked me 'Would you like to come in?', and I said 'Well I don't mind. I am having a bit of pain but I can hang out here for a while if you want'. She said she'd need to check me out anyway, so we got ourselves organised to go. At 7.45pm we headed for the hospital. At this stage, I was having stronger pains, though they were still very manageable and I wasn't timing them. Arrived at hospital at 8.15. I was being looked after in the MLU in Cavan. Midwife checked me over, and everything was looking good, although she didn't think I was in active labour yet. She decided to keep me for two hours to see how things progressed and if I was A OK, she'd send me home. I paced the floors of my free private room :-) for about an hour and a half. I was getting pains and they were gradually getting stronger and stronger. DH timed them on the iPhone for about half an hour or so until we got bored of that. I felt I was coping really well, but DH kept saying “If you need to go across the hall (to the consultant led unit for Epidural) then we will go. I will make sure they let you”. I said “NO- Stop asking me! I have no intention of it!!” I really think he was panicking more than I was!! I just put my face in my hands and breathed through the pains, and as each one finished off, I just left it behind me. At 10pm, the midwife examined me- I think she was expecting to be able to send me home as I was coping so well. She asked me how I thought I was doing, and I said 'probably not even started dilating'. Lo and Behold I was actually 5cm!! Into the pool with me where I chilled out and relaxed with the gas and air. Pains were every 2-3mins and I just breathed through them. I found it great to suck on the gas and air and put my ears under the water so that they filled up the way they do when you're washing your hair in the bath; and it blocked out the noise of the midwife and DH talking. Really helped me to relax and focus, because they were chatting away like it was any auld other day! The time in the pool literally flew- before I knew it, it was 1pm and the midwife wanted me out of it. We tried all fours to get the contractions speeding up some more, but I didn't like it really and I actually felt it was slowing them down. Onto the birthing stool with me, and that helped get me to the 10cm at 2am. The midwife wanted me to try pushing on my side or on all fours (something to do with the stool increasing the risk of tearing), but it just didn't do anything for me. So I stayed on the stool and after 30mins pushing, our baby boy was born on his due date weighing 7lb 15oz. They took him for a bit of oxygen and within a few minutes he was crying with gusto and cuddling his mammy. 8 mins later, the placenta was delivered with the help of the injection. I had asked for it to be delivered naturally, but the injection was decided as best in the end because the cord was short and sure I didn't really mind one way or the other. I had a small tear and had to have a few stitches, but nothing major and with the gas and air it was fine. I loved the gas and air on the stitches, it seemed to have an even stronger effect than during labour and I was as giddy as anything! All in all, I have to say it was a wonderful experience. People say to me that it was because I went into the pregnancy with the right attitude that I was so lucky to have what I can only describe as a 'dream labour'. Maybe they are right. I was very positive all the way along. I read the Marie Mongan book on hypnobirthing and listened to the CD about 5 times before I got bored of the sound of her voice :-) . I decided early on in my pregnancy that I wasn't going to get myself worked up about the birth because it had to happen one way or another and we would manage whatever the Gods decided to throw at us. I also decided against a birth plan for the same reason. I really think an open mind is what is necessary in all of this. At the end of the day, mother nature decides and you just have to trust in her. God, I sound like a real 'earth mama', but I'm just a normal girl who had a great experience without over-thinking things and I would do it again in a heartbeat. I'm delighted I was able to go without the epidural, because it meant I was able to move about and do my own thing and was up out of bed an hour after delivery to go for a wee. Also, I could feel a burning sensation when the babys head was emerging, and because I had read about this, I knew what it was and it didn't frighten me. It just made me aware that it was OK to push now. In saying that, I was never against the epidural in the first place- like I say, I was open-minded the whole way along. Had I needed extra pain relief or intervention, I'd like to think I would have approached that eventuality in the same way. I stayed in my private room in the MLU until 7pm the following evening. So I was only in hospital for 17 hours after delivery. Luckily baba had taken to Breastfeeding quite well, so we were allowed to head home with follow up visits from the midwife due the following day and later in the week. Baba is only 5 days old at time of writing, and I've already promised him a brother or sister in a few years. I would have promised him that even 30seconds after delivery to be honest, only I was too busy enjoying him :-) For me, it was a superb experience from beginning to end, and I hugely thank the staff in the MLU in Cavan. If you are near an MLU and have any inkling of using the facility, all I can say is GO FOR IT!!- You might be like me and and up singing their praises from the rooftops and to anyone who'll listen. Sorry for going on a bit. I'm still on a high here! Good luck to one and all in your pregnancies.