I began having more serious Braxton Hicks a week before Esther arrived so was expecting an early labour. The waiting was hard as I had hurt my lower back and found moving around painful, I wanted to go for long walks but couldn’t even walk to the gate!
Regular contractions started on Friday night (3rd October) and were exactly 30 mins apart all night long. I managed to sleep in between but the excitement was also there preventing deep sleep. My midwife had scheduled an appointment with me on Saturday morning and he arrived to do all the necessary checks. We decided that established labour was not far off but he still went back home as the contractions were 30 mins apart and not too painful. As soon as he drove out the gate, the contractions dropped to 20 mins apart. By 2pm, bored and wanting something to happen, I rang my mum for some company and distraction. I hobbled down the hill and back again. Contractions still 20 minutes exactly. Mum left at 5.30pm and my sister Ness arrived to provide more distraction. We spent an hour designing her husband a business card in between contractions (getting quite strong!)
At 6.30pm I rang the midwife with news that the last 3 contractions were 10 mins apart, he said he was on his way immediately, I was in denial as I thought that was a bit rash but didn’t argue (I could always send him home) As soon as I hung up they dropped to 5 minutes and were very strong. Rang my mum and asked her back and organised for Ness to stay on to look after the other 3 children as planned.
Started washing dishes and cleaning up (this was a home birth!) Got into the birthing pool at 7pm only to find my next contraction dissappeared which confirmed to me that I wasn’t in labour! Liam (6) found his Lego boat and we played boats together in the birthing pool for a while.
Back with gusto at 7.10pm and within a few contractions I’d settled into a serious 3 minutely pattern with contractions lasting 1.5mins and really strong. The water bath was amazing relief, and I was completely fear and stress free dealing with each contraction by concentrated breathing. My husband, David, was an incredibly strong tower of strength to me as he held me and kissed my shoulders and prayed through every contraction. It was a beautiful time of closeness for us. I’ll treasure the memory. Mum was kept busy boiling water and keeping the bath at 37*C and bringing hot washers for my lower back. Matilda (8) was buzzing with excitement and expectancy. My dad arrived just 15 minutes before the birth and all three of our children were nearby when our baby was delivered into the water at 8.30pm. I scooped her up into my arms and we all erupted with tears of joy when I said “it’s a girl”
The next couple of hours evaporated as we all adored her and thanked God for such a blessing. The nicest thing for me was going to sleep in my own bed knowing all my children were safely tucked in bed without a care in the world and that I didn’t have to go anywhere. Blissful sleep followed.