Written by Thomas’s mum, Barbara
The labour with my first child Stella had been long and difficult as she was born posterior, and when I became pregnant with my second I immediately wondered if I was going to have another posterior baby, and whether it would be just as difficult second time around. These worries got worse when Jan confirmed at 37 weeks that yes, my baby boy was also posterior. Jan helped me with a very basic birth plan, which was essentially “stay active and upright during labour, and try and avoid having my waters artificially broken to give him the best chance to turn during labour”.
I went into labour early in the morning when I was 41 weeks exactly, and laboured at home through the day. By 2:30pm Jan assessed my cervix at 3cm, and warned me that as this was my second birth, when things really started happening they would probably happen fast. Being a bit silly, I had my doubts that anything would be fast, as it all took so long last time.
I continued to labour through the afternoon, dancing around my living room with the TENS and loud Kylie Minogue on the stereo. I called Jan at about 4:45 to say it was all getting a bit much and could she please take me to hospital now? She later told me she’d heard from my tone of voice that she needed to be quick! We were in hospital just before 6pm and I was assessed as being 7cm dilated. I thought this meant I had maybe 3 more hours of contractions to go. Jan knew better, or suspected as much.
Lo and behold, after a very intense half an hour standing up and leaning on the bed breathing in gas through each contraction, all of a sudden I was pushing! Two contractions later, Thomas arrived very quickly and was caught by the hospital midwife and placed into my arms while I was still standing up. I then clambered onto the bed and he was placed onto my tummy as his cord was too short for him to reach up to my chest. Once the cord had finished pulsing I cut it myself, then Thomas and I snuggled amidst all the happiness of everyone in the room before he found my nipple and started feeding.
Thomas’s hospital birth was amazing, everything I could have asked for. It was attended only by midwifes, the lighting was low, and I was fortunate enough to have had the most fantastic support person in Jan, who guided me through each contraction, kept me focussed, and gave me the confidence to trust my body.