If you haven’t already, then you can read part one of Hugo’s birth story here.
I had forgotten what wonderful stuff gas & air was. It definitely didn’t make the pain of the contractions go away but it really helped take the edge off of them. It also just gave me something else to focus on. Which by this point, I really needed. All of my hypnobirthing seemed to pay off too and I felt like it really helped me control my breathing.
It didn’t seem like long before Kate was asking if she could examine me again as they felt things were progressing well. I felt a little disheartened when she told me I was still just 3cm dilated. I really expected to be more as things felt so intense. Kate also gave me another extremely painful sweep. I think I chugged on so much gas and air that I felt like I wasn’t even in the room anymore! Once that was all over with, we headed back downstairs. I was sure I had hours and hours ahead of me still.
Once downstairs again, I kept active by bouncing on my ball by the window in the living room. Josh and Char made everyone some food. I remember asking what the time was at this point and I couldn’t believe it was already 7.15 pm. My contractions were getting a little closer together so it was agreed that after we had eaten I could finally get into the birth pool.
I think it was about 7.45pm when I got in the pool. The feeling of the warm water surrounding me was amazing. I felt weightless and found it so much easier to change positions and get more comfortable. Things get a bit blurry from here. I remember leaning over the side of the pool on my knees. The contractions were so strong and I was trying just to keep my focus on breathing through them using the gas and air.
Char put some lovely instrumental playlist on in the background. And I declared I was feeling a lot of pressure down below. The midwifes told me to just go with my body. So I did. They said I should probably take my knickers off. But I couldn’t. So I think Josh cut them off. Oh so glam.
I remember suddenly panicking as the realisation that I was about to have my baby sunk in. I must have said ‘I can’t do it’ a million times over. Pretty sure I even begged for a C section too.
Another contraction took over. I pushed. And then my waters broke. Two maybe three? more contractions and his head was out. I could hear someone say they could see his little rosebud lips.
One more contraction and Hugo was born into the water at 9.16pm. They told me to pick up my baby and I was just in total shock. I scooped him up out of the water and brought him up to my chest. I was the first person to touch him and it was the most amazing feeling in the world.
I couldn’t believe he was here. That I had done it. That it had all happened so quickly too! He was finally here, safe in my arms and he was already SO loved.
We sat in the pool together for a while and I remember just staring at him in utter amazement while hot salty happy tears rolled down my face. Nothing can ever prepare you for that rush of love you feel when you first meet your baby.
Josh cut the cord and shortly after I got out the pool and slowly made my way into the living room to deliver the placenta. I felt extremely weak and was very aware that I was losing a lot of blood.
It wasn’t long before I clocked the worried looks on the midwives faces. And the next thing I knew one of them was calling for an ambulance. I heard her tell them I was having a ‘PPH’. And I just knew. A post partum hemorrhage. I had the same with Bella and I knew that meant I was going to have to be transferred into hospital.
I desperately tried to tell them I was okay. That I felt fine. I ordered Char to fetch me some lucozade and a cereal bar. But I think my pale face, low blood pressure and the fact I was starting to slip in and out of consciousness gave it away that I definitely wasn’t okay.
At some point I delivered the placenta. I’m not entirely sure when. The paramedics arrived and promptly got me hooked up to a bag of fluids. I helplessly watched on as Char snuggled Hugo and Josh dashed around the house putting the last few bits into the hospital bag I had prayed I wouldn’t need.
After what felt like the bumpiest ambulance ride EVER we arrived at the hospital. We were greeted by a lovely team of midwives who got me settled into a room on the delivery suite. I had to have bloods taken 6 hours post delivery to check my haemoglobin levels. Thankfully they hadn’t dropped too much and because the fluids had helped me to perk up massively they were happy to let me go home again.
Despite desperately not wanting to go to hospital, I really am glad I went. I felt so weak post delivery and I definitely needed the fluids and some extra rest. We were looked after amazingly and were back home again within 12 hours.
My home birth was everything I had hoped it would be and even though things didn’t end as planned, it was still an amazing birth experience and I am so grateful for the wonderful care I received both at home and in hospital.
Char captured some beautiful photos just like she did with Bella’s birth and I will treasure them forever!
Hugo James William Lee. Born at home on 18/06/17. Weighing a healthy 9lbs.
The final piece to our puzzle. <3
*Birth photography by Charlotte Rawles Photography*