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The Birth of Ruairí

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Thursday 25th April, currently 3 days late and getting very fed up. My first born was two weeks early so I had been expecting an early arrival again which had been causing a bit of stress waiting for this time!
I went to see my amazing reflexologist the night before to work on relaxation techniques and stimulating pressure points to encourage baby to join us! She is also a midwife and a beautiful person and helped answer so many questions and tell me the position of my baby the whole time
which was so calming! I had been doing my yoga exercises and birth positions that I learnt with my yoga teacher every evening and practicing my breathing, so I was feeling very prepared but also a little anxious.
I went for a sweep at 10.30am on the Thursday as I was worried about being forced into an induction later on, meaning I might have had an instrumental birth, another fear of mine! I felt quite twingy before and immediately after the sweep but only in the sense of the braxton Hicks I’d been having for the last few weeks.
I picked my son up from pre-school at 3pm and as always had the braxton hicks that I regularly get in the car so didn’t think anything of it.
A neighbour invited me over for a cuppa around 4pm and I remember complaining that the braxton hicks were actually a bit more painful than usual but didn’t notice any pattern to them or think much of it. She gave me half a cider and two paracetamols as I was starting to notice them as uncomfortable! It couldn’t hurt I thought! Then she noticed I was leaning forwards and rocking on her counter… “I think you might want to ring your husband,” she said! So I calmly phoned my husband around 5PM and asked him to leave work when he could, but quickly corrected it to “can you leave now?” Knowing he was 30 minutes away.
My neighbour kindly put some extra dinner on for my son and he ate with her children and he was super happy with them all. I phoned my mum and asked her to leave right away as she was 1.5 hours away. When my husband got home we timed the surges and I was having around 3 in 7 minutes, over a minute long. We phoned labour line and we they told us to come straight in. We said goodbye to our son who was happy playing with his neighbours and grabbed what we needed from home! Not before chucking the washing in the tumble drier and a few other things, not realising how close I was!
We left our son at our neighbours house, he was totally relaxed and unaware of the situation and my mum picked him up and brought him home to sleep when she’s arrived around 7.
We had made an oxytocin playlist of our favourite songs that all meant something to us or reminded us of something; which we had blaring in the car! I felt like the surges were only a minute apart in the car, and had the thought that we might not make it but tried not to get into a panic, stayed calm and breathed through each surge; inhale 1234, exhale 123345678! My Husband was trying to count with me and I remember telling him to shut up as he was counting wrong and confusing me! We had a giggle about it! Which was really nice and relaxed me! He kept reminding me to do my jazz hands through each surge and not tense! Also made us laugh! Phoned mum to give her an update (she was also in the car) but as the surges were so regular, my husband had to keep filling in bits of the conversation whilst I focused on my breathing.
We got to the midwife lead unit about 6.45PM and I was examined at 6cm. I was calm and breathing through the pain, I just kept trying to think of it as pressure and not pain and that it was purposeful; for a reason. I used all the tips I learnt in my hypnobirthing course and I’m convinced this is why I was so calm and relaxed. Although I remember being quite shaky on arrival and saying I was suffering from adrenaline but the dark quiet room that was all ready for us with candles on and pool filled, plus our relaxing labour playlist (also reccomended in the course) soon helped set the mood and remove the stress of the journey and the fear of not making it on time. They asked me if I wanted to get in the pool but as I only had the pool as pain relief I wanted to wait until I needed it as I used it too soon for my first birth and didn’t progress and got cold and had to get out.
I would not get on my back at any point (as per first labour) or on the bed and remained on all 4’s and stuck to the birth plan which they respected and didn’t try to interfere or examine me again. My Husband asked them to bring in a birthing ball as my favourite position was leaning on that at home! In my head I knew being like this would avoid him turning back to back in labour, which is what I was so terrified of (as per first labour).
It was around 7pm I think when I said that my body was pushing and they just let me get on with it.. I had no control, it was just taking over; I could actually feel my baby coming down the birth canal; it was very very intense but also amazing. I had since asked for gas and air and it really helped me control my breathing in and out. It was nice to have it this time as I was vomiting so much last time I couldn’t have it.
I remember needing a wee but couldn’t get up as the surges were so close together so the midwives just got me a bedpan but that’s all a bit of a blur but I know I had no control over weeing or pushing at that point. I mildly pushed with my body but didn’t really need to; it was just doing it.
I then had this wave of realisation that if I didn’t get in the pool that he would be born outside the pool, which is not what I had wanted. I then asked to get in the pool and they went to heat it up for me.
When the pool was ready I went to climb in and with one leg up on the step and my waters exploded everywhere on the biggest surge I’d ever experienced! Luckily my Husband had just taken his shoes and socks off, just in time! My husband was amazing with his encouragement and reminding me to breathe and not to tense, he barely got to use the cheat sheet I had laminated for him but he knew most of it by now anyway! In fact, we barely had time to use any of the tools I had prepared but he made sure to spray the room mist I had made from the oils that my reflexologist had been using in my reflexology and relaxation sessions and kept reminding myself of my affirmation “my body and baby know what to do” so I trusted my body and let it take over! It was so empowering and raw.
I felt like he was coming and sure enough, nearly as soon as I got into the pool his head was nearly out and widwife told me to feel his hair, which was so surreal. I remember being in the zone and deadly quiet the whole labour apart from a few moans in the last few surges and a very brief moment of doubt and disbelief that he was coming now and that I was doing everything right, but was quickly reassured by my Husband and the midwives that I was doing amazing and to trust my body and instincts! Then his head came out, which wasn’t even as bad as I had thought and was an amazing relief of the pressure! A few surges later his body was here and I was able to reach down and catch him in the water, he was born at 7.19PM (19.19 angel numbers) on 25/04/2024.
I couldn’t believe in less than 3 hours from first definite surge that I was holding my baby and the absolute shock and elation that came over me! I was sobbing, my husband was crying and we even brought the midwife to tears! Which apparently doesn’t happen very often!
I felt some after pains and wanted to get out of the pool to birth the placenta which was a little sore and was taking its time so opted for the injection to help it along! We then had a look at the placenta (and so did my mum on FaceTime) and also checked to see if it definitely was a boy!
I didn’t realise his arm was above his head when his head came out; causing some second degree tears but in comparison to birthing an OP baby in my first labour it was so much easier. The stitches were fine, I was just relieved to have it over as it was zero to 1000 so quickly so my body felt a little unprepared, like doing a Maarathin in a sprint. I face timed my sister whilst having my stitches which shows how unstressful that was! I think I just felt so proud of myself and my baby for doing this all so quickly and whilst it was dramatic and intense, my son was sorted at home, I was prepared, my husband was amazing, the midwives were amazing and me and my baby were amazing; it was so beautiful and empowering at the same time!
My previous birth was traumatic because my baby was OP and born OP, he was stuck and I was put on my back in the labour ward and pushed for an hour and a half, it was desperately painful and I had an episiotomy and he was pulled from me. I owned this birth, trusted my body and let it do its thing, I birthed my baby myself, the right way round and in the water, everything I wanted. I write this 3 weeks later and am still flying on cloud 9 and buzzing as I right this.
Thanks to the amazing community I came across during this experience.. we couldn’t have done it without you xxx


the birth of ruari