Katie's story - Jacob's birth

I was nervous about the birth of my first baby from the moment I found out I was pregnant and those nerves came and went in waves throughout pregnancy. At times I would read a book about natural birthing or listen to hypnobirthing positive affirmations and feel great; whilst other times all the worries would flood back in.

I did pregnancy yoga and an “active birthing workshop”, which definitely helped me feel prepared and like I could just take it bit by bit. However by the end, it was really just knowing, after speaking to many other mums, that whatever happened I would recover and most importantly, I was just desperate to meet my son!
My contractions started around 1:45am, the day before my due date. I wasn’t sure at first if it was the real thing, but timed the contractions and they kept coming every eight minutes. It was manageable in bed at that time, so I set myself little milestones, and decided to wait until 5am to wake up my husband, Jon, and then I’d try to hold out another hour before getting up.

By the morning, the contractions were more frequent and I was needing Jon’s help - making him put pressure on my lower back every time they came. I spent most of my time kneeling and leaning on a chair, on all fours, or standing and leaning against the wall. Jon had some urgent work he wanted to finish before the baby came. He had meant to do it over the weekend, but ran out of time and I had said, ‘don’t worry, I really don’t think the baby is coming imminently; you’ll be able to do it tomorrow’ - whoops! So all morning he was alternating between his laptop and then running over to press on my back every 4-5 minutes!
Around 11:30am, we called the Birth Centre to tell them I was in labour and ask about a little blood I’d noticed. They said not to worry about it, and to wait until my contractions were regular - three in 10 minutes. A couple of hours later, we timed them to be at this level so called back. Of course when we were on the phone, there was a big gap with no contraction! The midwife said to wait until we had regular contractions (three in 10 minutes) for an hour consistently. All afternoon things kept getting more intense, but the contractions didn’t become any more regular - sometimes they were short and frequent; other times they were less frequent but lasted for two minutes. 
Around 5:30pm, even though the regularity hadn’t come, I was keen to just go and get checked out by a midwife since I’d been in intense labour for so long. I feared we were going to get sent home again from the hospital, as I know many first time mums do, however we decided to go in anyway. Getting in the car and to the hospital was really tough. I had several contractions just getting out to the car, and in the short distance from the car to the Birth Centre entrance at the other end, had to stop four times for contractions! The midwives saw me coming, as I laboured leaning against the wall at the entrance to the centre.
When we got inside, they checked me out, and it turned out I was fully dilated and the membranes were starting to push out - we’d come just in time!
The midwives said they would break my waters and then the baby could come very quickly. I had a little swig of gas and air, which I barely noticed, but otherwise there was no time for pain relief or for Jon to even get our bags from the car! In the end, it wasn’t actually so quick. I went into the pool for a couple of hours to finish labouring and start pushing, but baby wasn’t quite ready to come out. The midwives helped me into some different positions - on the birthing stool and then eventually on the bed with my legs pushed back. I kept apologising for how long it was taking and saying, ‘I just don’t know how he’s going to come out’! Finally, after about three hours of pushing, baby Jacob arrived just before 9pm.
I couldn’t believe it! The feeling of relief was overwhelming - I was just so grateful that he was out! I was so happy that I’d not been sent home, and that it had actually been fairly quick overall. And, most importantly of course, I was in awe at the incredible baby boy that they immediately placed in my arms. How had I made this beautiful being?! It was a moment I will never forget.