During 1st stage of labour, I carried on with my normal day!

Mama S – “I took one paracetamol for the ‘tightenings’ and got on with my plans for the day. We went out for lunch at Miller and Carter, watch the F1 qualifying and were visited by my sister with my 9 month old nephew.”

Hi Claire, Happy bank holiday Monday. I wouldn’t have made it to pregnancy yoga today anyway as our daughter decided she wanted to make a swift arrival into the world on Saturday night, one day after due date.

I think labour started around 10am on Saturday morning – I put the ‘tightenings’ down to Braxton Hicks, took one paracetamol and got on with my plans for the day, but I did decide walking the dog was probably too much for me. We went out for lunch at Miller and Carter which I really enjoyed and then went home to watch the F1 qualifying- at which point I decided to time a few of these tightening to check they weren’t regular – they were every 10 minutes! But they still didn’t fit the description of real contractions. It was about 3.30 and my sister was on her way over with my 9 month old nephew to drop some stuff over so it was too late for to put her off. I had one paracetamol and managed to pretend nothing was really happening until they left at 5.15 – my fiancé took the opportunity to sort a few things out whilst I chatted to them, it was a good distraction. 

As soon as they left, we timed the contractions – every 4-5 minutes and phoned the MLU who advised us to stay at home for as long as possible. We put on the TENs machine and I rode out a few hours of contractions in an all fours position on the bed, bouncing on a birthing ball in between. Slow, steady breathing really helped with these contractions. I did get very hot and threw up everything I’d eaten so I’d recommend all the mums have a sick bowl nearby! (Why we didn’t, I’ll never know!) We rang MLU again at 8.30ish as contractions were now very intense and every 3 minutes. They put us off going in (we live three minutes drive away) as contractions were only 40 seconds long, my waters hadn’t broken and I hadn’t seen my mucus plug.

My partner ran me a bath with relaxing oils and helped me to get in. I was worried about not having the TENS machine but I found the water really relaxing in between contractions – almost falling asleep in between each one. The contractions really ramped up over the next hour, lengthening to 60 seconds pretty quickly and I suddenly had the urge to bare down. I did my utmost best not to push but this was impossible! With my last contraction in the bath, my mucus plug got released. We knew it was time to go in. My partner helped me out of the bath and helped me to dress whilst I had a few very strong contractions on the toilet, talking to MLU at the same time. 

Once at MLU around 10.10 we were met by Sabrina and Kay who were wonderful. They listened to me between my contractions every two minutes, working as fast as they could to examine me (I was fully dilated).  They got me into a position on a bed that was good for my dodgy hips, taught me how to use gas and air and started to run the water bath in case I wanted it. I asked to go to the toilet at around 10.30 and my waters broke. They told me I needed to decide if I wanted to go in the water there and then as I couldn’t get in if the head had crowned – after another strong contraction where I couldn’t help but push, they helped me in. The water felt really good and my partner was right in front of me, holding my hands. I continued to use gas and air for the 10 or so contractions I had in the bath. The midwives guided me through pushing our daughter’s head and then told me to try and push even without a contraction as the rest of her appeared to be coming of her own accord – one much smaller push and she rushed out. 

The midwives offered to take our first family photo in the pool and then helped my partner to cut the cord. Dad and one midwife took our daughter to dry her and the other helped me to get out of the bath, and delivered my placenta about five minutes later (I remember no pain associated with this at all). 

Thank you for all the yoga since November – I’m sure it helped my mental well-being throughout the whole of my pregnancy as well as keeping me somewhat fit. I’m looking forward to mum and baby yoga in the near future.

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