5 days before my due date I woke to what I thought was my waters leaking but I wasn’t sure so I spoke to the MLU. They asked me to keep an eye on it and to go and call them back at midday.

I went out shopping and I was starting to feel some tightenings around my bump. Me and my husband were starting to feel excited but didn’t really discuss it much as we knew that we could be in for a long wait or that it could be a false alarm. I was still leaking so at midday I called MLU again. We still weren’t 100% sure if it was waters but they asked me to go in for an examination around 5pm. My mother in law and sisters in law were supposed to be taking me out for lunch and they arrived about 12.30. We told them that things might be starting and my husband said he didn’t want me to go too far away so we went up to a Garden Centre 5 mins away. We walked around and I was feeling stronger contractions fairly often and was breathing through them. My inlaws were worried we should go home but I insisted on staying for some lunch in the café (after all, if I was in labour I needed to keep my energy levels up!) After lunch we headed home for a cuppa. The contractions were pretty strong now and I was really beginning to feel them. I had to excuse myself at one point and go upstairs and lean over the bed to relieve some pressure during one of the contractions.

Once my inlaws had gone, I got my tens machine on and bounced on my birthing ball for a while chatting to my husband. We were so excited but feeling pretty calm. I went upstairs for a lie down & put my hypnobirthing tracks on my ipod.

At about 5pm my husband said we should head into the MLU so I got ready. I was still feeling ok at this point, even managed to do my hair and makeup in case this was it! He loaded our bags into the car and we drove the 15 mins to MLU. The unit was fairly quiet & we were asked to wait in the assessment room where I had to give a urine sample. We waited a bit longer and then I was strapped up to the monitor. The midwife realised I was having contractions and said she’d examine me. I was only 1cm dilated but as she examined me she swept me to 2cm. She said my cervix was paper thin. We were then told to go home for a few hours.

Jen at MLU breathing through a contraction

Jen at MLU breathing through a contraction

It was around 7pm when we left and my husband wanted to get some food on our way home so we stopped off to pick up a pizza. Since leaving the unit, the contractions had started coming thick and fast and they felt painful. I struggled to breathe through them and was beginning to doubt my ability to cope with labour as I thought this was only the beginning.

When we got home my husband ran me a hot bath and I got in, he poured hot water over my back but I was in a lot of pain and I was starting to feel like I needed to push. This really scared me as I didn’t think I was anywhere near that stage. He called the MLU and told them we were coming back in and they tried to put us off as we’d only been gone 1 ½ hours. He put me on speakerphone with the midwife and I’m not sure what I said or what noises I was making but she agreed we could go back in! He helped me out of the bath and got me dressed in between contractions. I waited while he loaded the car back up, I was on all fours on our lounge floor and remember telling him I really needed to push. In the car, I travelled on all fours on the backseat and it was a really tough journey.

We arrived at the hospital at around 9pm and walked to reception, stopping each time a contraction came. We were taken into the same assessment room and the midwife examined me straight away and to my relief, she announced that I was fully dilated!

I started to use the Entinox whilst the midwives got themselves ready (as we were only in the assessment room & they seemed a bit taken by surprise!)

I stayed on the bed and began to push. I found this stage very hard as I had forgotten all my hypno teachings re breathing etc! At one point the midwife said babys heart rate was dropping. This made me focus as I really didn’t want them having to intervene. So after a bit of guidance from a midwife I finally got the hang of it and pushed the head out. The body followed soon after. I have never felt such a strong rush of emotion and I cried when my husband told me we had a little girl. Ella Nancy was born at 10.17pm.

She was lifted straight onto me and I just gazed at her in amazement. I think my first words were “I can’t believe she’s mine” We had some skin to skin time, my husband also had some while I was tidied up. Ella was placed back onto me and we had some help to latch her onto my breast to have her first feed.

Our beautiful , wonderful baby girl

Our beautiful , wonderful baby girl