Jacob Edward Sylvester Simpson (Jake to his friends) arrived
this morning at 7.14am after a labour of four hours ten minutes
(and a pre-labour of nearly 12 hours!), weighing a stonking
Let's see - lots of pacing yesterday, and started timing
contractions in the afternoon about 5pm. Called up hospital
at about 9pm and they said my contractions weren't regular
enough and it could be 48 hours yet! Had a bath, strapped
on the tens machine, had supper, Jo rubbed my back a lot while
the contractions finally got stronger. He said afterwards
it was his job to keep me out of hospital for as long as possible!
We tried lots of different positions to get through the contractions,
but I really wanted to be upright during them, so ended up
mostly facing the wall, arms folded, forehead on forearms,
breathing. Each contraction was lasting for between six and
ten breaths and I quickly worked out that once Id got to breath
six, the worst was over. Jo just stood by me and breathed
through them with me - it was so much easier to cope when
he was next to me, having that moral support.
We finally went in at about 2am.
Getting out of the house was fun. Got up from the bed, had
a contraction in the hall, two in the front garden, one next
to the car before we set off. Three in the car. Had Tens machine
on permanent 'boost' by this stage.
Got to hospital about 2.30am and getting in was the same
as getting to the car - we parked, I got out, had a contraction
against the railings. Jo moved the car. Got nearly to the
door of the hospital and the security guard came to open the
door, and I stopped and had a contraction. Another one half
way down the hall. Another one in the corridor of the labour
The first thing they wanted to do when we got in there was
monitor me; they strapped me up to a machine to monitor my
contractions and the babys heartbeat, but they let me stay
upright while they were doing it, thank goodness. They were
supposed to monitor me for 20 minutes but I only managed 10
before I really needed a poo. That took a good 15 minutes
as the contractions kept on getting in the way. It must have
been about 3am or 3.30am before I was examined and told I
was only 2cm dilated - thought it could be a 2001 baby after
all! Felt very disappointed.
Things get a bit blurry after that... I was fairly out of
it fairly quickly, but we had a fantastic midwife who just
stayed in the background and who read my birthplan and took
it totally seriously. My waters hadn't broken so she ran me
a lovely hot bath (wasn't allowed in the pool cos I wasn't
5cm) and I think I got in there around 3.30am. Wonderful!
Acupuncturist lady (Alison, my hero) turned up about 4am,
most impressed that we'd let her sleep for so long, and shoved
loads of needles in my ears. Jo was being totally heroic as
well - he and Alison where by my side in the bath, and Jo
learnt so quickly from what Alison was saying and could really
help me. I had lots of instructions dont fight it let it happen
think about going downwards. Slept between contractions in
the bath - the peace between contractions was wonderful in
the bath, although the pain of the contractions wasn't as
good as out of the bath. But the time just whizzed by - I'd
nod off, wake up for six to ten breaths, then nod off again.
I don't think I was totally conscious during a lot of the
contractions either. I remember it being 5am, and 6am.
The midwife said she'd come and examine me again at 5.30,
but I think it was closer to 6.15 by the time she actually
did. I was all set to be told that I was 3cm, but actually
I was 8!!!! Was thrilled. That's when I dared ask Alison whether
the baby would be born this year, and she said definitely.
So I asked what time it got light at the moment and decided
that we were going to aim for that! I also asked Alison if
I was in transition, because just for a moment I felt really
Was still in the bath when I was convinced I wanted to do
a poo, and shouted out during one contraction 'I need to push'.
That was a bit scarey because even in my state I knew it wasnt
good to push too early, but Alison just encouraged me to listen
to my body and push if I wanted to.
So we had to make the move from the bathroom across the corridor
to the waterbirth room. I didn't care about being covered
over although they wrapped a towel around me as there were
two ultra-orthodox rabbis pacing the corridor!
The pool was only half full when I got into it, tap still
running, but it was lovely being able to submerge my tummy.
I think we got into it about ten to seven or so, and all I
kept saying was that I really wanted to do a poo! Thats the
baby, the midwife said. Time check: no earlier than 6.45am
So this was Second Stage. Was screaming with each contraction
- had these huge where I'd indulge my hysteria by screaming
blue murder for the first half, then forcing myself to be
calm for the other half of them, but I was feeling a lot more
alert between pushes. I remember saying, I feel like opening
up not like a rose, though, and Im getting that splitting
in two sensation a bit.
The midwife suggested when I got into the pool that perhaps
I'd like to use gas and air for the second stage (I'd had
absolutely nothing up until then - didn't want to be fiddled
with!), but the idea of concentrating on anything other than
holding onto the edge of the pool/Jo's hand was far too much
Jakes head came out - I was on all fours at that stage, and
Jo said he could see his face underwater, just looking a bit
bemused by it all. They checked that his cord wasnt around
the neck Then I had to move over to a squat and sat there
for a moment or two, watching the back of his head, waiting
for the need to push again. Quite disconcerting seeing this
little head underwater! Then last push and out he came. It
was only then that my waters actually broke! (the show came
about two minutes earlier!)
We sat in the pool for a while - Jo was crying and I was
just thrilled that the pain was over - amazing birth, but
boy did it hurt like crazy!
Had physiological third stage - I told them in my birth plan
that if Id had a drug-free labour, I wanted a drug-free third
stage, and with a bit of active pushing (rather than the spontaneous
stuff earlier) out it came, although I didnt see it.
Second degree tear - ouch - they even suggested I might want
gas and air while they did the stitches, but REALLY!
We think Jakes going to be extra lucky in life - they say
being born in your waters means youll never die by drowning,
and also there was a knot in the cord, which can be a cause
of stillbirth, but he was absolutely fine and totally chilled
throughout the whole labour.
I got my six hour discharge so we were back in the car and
coming home exactly 12 hours after arriving in hospital.
When I got out of the pool and they had a look to inspect
the damage, I was genuinely quite surprised to be told that
I'd torn. Yes, delivering the head hurt a lot, but it's impossible
to say whether the pain was tearing or whether it would have
been better or worse without the tear. ANd I'd much rather
have a good healthy baby and an easy birth, albeit torn, than