Ted's Birth Story

 Kate Bean for Elke Hasner Midwife

Kate Bean for Elke Hasner Midwife

As I went 12 days over on my first, I wasn't surprised to find myself 9 days over this time around. We had sent Eva to granny and grandad's on Friday night, hoping it'd trick my body into going into labour as she was taken care of. No such luck alas, but we went for dinner in Kinsale, we got a great sleep and went for a lovely brunch afterwards. Midwife (Mary) arrived Saturday morning to check that all was well. She checked me for the first time and said she'd do a sweep if she could. Turned out my cervix was shortening a bit but still firm so she didn't do a sweep. She reckoned we were looking at at least another few days. Induction likely at the end of the week if things didn't happen, which I wanted to avoid obviously!

We had a normal eve - dinner, put Eva to bed, watched some TV, then cramps started when I was sitting on the ball around 10. They started to change and get regular and I text mary around 11pm. She rang to see how I was and said to see how things went for the next hour, they might just peter out. At 12 they were regular and 6 mins apart. I put the tens on at this point after Dan suggested it - I hadn't found it good last time, just annoying. My god it was fabulous this time!! Mary said to give it another while. At 1am they were 3-4 mins apart and fairly intense. She said she was on her way, we had also rang the granny and grandad flying squad by this stage and had woken eva so she wouldn't be freaked out when everyone arrived. Have some surreal memories of playing duplo in the front room and having to step out for the surges!

Soon enough Eva was gone and I relaxed and things kicked off to the next level. Was on the ball leaning over an armchair when Mary arrived at about 2am. She was so quiet and unobtrusive, after a hug hello she just brought all her stuff in and got set up while I suppose watching me and seeing how things were going. After a while she suggested checking me to see where we were. Dan was busy setting up the pool, moving extra furniture out of the room etc. we went up and she checked me, she didn't talk in centimetres but from what she showed me with her hand i reckon I was maybe 4cm. I wasn't disappointed, I was glad that things were underway! We went downstairs again and soon the pool was ready, I think I got in about 3am. It was so gorgeous i nearly wept with relief (actually cried getting into the pool in the hospital when having Eva!!). Dan had lit all the candles and put up the vision boards, it was a lovely chilled dark space, really quiet and calm.

Second midwife arrived at 4am (fidelma) and she was so lovely, I'd never met her before but she gave me a big hug and told me what a great girl I was - just what I needed to hear, it was gorgeous! I went from regular contractions to feeling like I wanted to bear down soon after that. Spent a while in the pool like that and then Mary suggested getting out and letting gravity help a little. My waters still hadn't broken and she said when they did it would all happen quickly, the head was right down. Every push I was willing the waters to break and they wouldn't. When I got out of the pool, I could feel my waters hanging out, still in the sack (tmi but it was a bit mad!!) I tried standing for a while but wasn't loving it so we tried the birthing stool which was fab. Probably started pushing around 5, waters didn't go til after half past (felt like approx. 1 million years!) pushing the head out was something I'll never forget but manageable at the same time. I had the epi by that stage on Eva so it was amazing to feel it all happening, feel him moving down and turning etc. it was crazy, no matter how hard the pushing was, in between the contractions we were having a laugh right up to the end! I was sitting on the stool just in front of the couch, with Dan on the couch behind and I was leaning back into him. All of a sudden the head was out and my gorgeous boy slithered out all in what seemed like one go. It was 5.55am on April 24th, 2016. He'd arrived in time for the census!

Straight up onto my chest, I'll never forget the delicious hot wet feel of him on my tummy! I was nervous of the cord being short but it wasn't so we got a great cuddle and it was all a bit of a love blur for a while. I didn't see it but Dan did, he was born "with a cowl" or with some of the amniotic sac stuck over his face. It's meant to be really lucky and there are lots of interesting superstitions and old wives tales about it! (My aunt was born with one and she's a healer, allegedly attributable to the cowl!)There was a big gush of blood just after he came out and as he was big mary was worried about blood loss so gave me the syntocin injection. I had planned on a natural 3rd stage if I could but didn't care really and this was deffo the safer option! We waited for the cord to stop pulsing and then Dan cut it (we also didn't get this on Eva as she'd swallowed meconium). He took him into the kitchen for snuggles on a rocking chair while I delivered the placenta - easily in the end- on my couch! Ha! A bit surreal really! I needed stitching and Mary suggested doing it straight away as I wouldn't want to face it later.

So Dan came back in with our prince and we all sat together on the couch while I was being fixed up. Used the gas and air for the first time and loved it - had made me sick on Eva! We decided on his name at this point, but it had always been the front runner really. It's Dan's dads name and we just love it. Afterwards I took him again and we had our first feed which was lovely. We were comfied up with blankets, cozy socks, a hot water bottle, clean Jim jams and Dan made tea and toast for everyone. So savage! Fidelma headed home then and Mary went up to bed for a few hours. She wanted to check on my bleeding later so rather than drive home and back she just stayed which was lovely. We'd an hour or two with just the 3 of us and then Dan's parents brought eva back which was gorgeous. At 20 months she could have gone either way but was so excited to meet her brother.

Dan's family were due at 11 for coffee anyway, I really wanted him to say nothing and just let them arrive to a lovely surprise but he told them at the last minute, he didn't want them going Into shock! It was lovely, didn't consider cancelling them for a minute. We knew they'd want to call anyway and we were on such a high it was probably the best time for them to arrive! We kicked them out after an hour or so and had a snooze on the couch. Then mary got up and checked us again and we transferred upstairs to bed for the afternoon. Eva stayed with granny and grandad again as we all needed some sleep, we had another snooze, got up for pizza and some TV in the evening and back to bed again. It was a gorgeous day.

10 days over in the end, not far off 10lbs, 100% perfect, our little Teddy bear.

Niamh, West Cork