Lyla’s birth (baby number 3), 5th July 2018
On the day before my due date, I took my son to his swimming lesson and then stopped at a shop before heading home for lunch. At the shop I felt like my waters had possibly gone a bit and rushed home to check. It turned out to be my plug starting to come away and I felt quite excited!
Throughout the afternoon, I began to feel a dull backache which got more noticeable. By dinner time, the ache was coming and going and I felt like it could be the start of labour.
We had previously decided that we didn’t want our older children in the house during my labour as they would be a big distraction, and my in laws were on standby to come & collect them. As it was approaching their bedtime, we had to decide if we were going to call them. I felt like birth was still a long way off and didn’t want to call them, only to find nothing happened for a while. But John persuaded me to call them and I was so glad because by the time they arrived to collect the kids, I was really starting to feel very definite contractions, some of which were coming quite close together.
I had prepared both our bedroom and the lounge, as I didn’t know where I’d feel most comfortable. Our lounge was softly lit, with some LED candles and our birth playlist on the ipod. I had yoga mats to lean on and lots of cushions and towels. We called the midwife led unit as soon as the kids had left (around 8.30pm) just to let them know things were starting to happen so they could tell the on call midwife to be on alert that night (I didn’t want a repeat of birth number 2 where we found out too late that there was no midwife to come out to us!)
We put on a film (Zoolander 2!) to pass some time and get my oxytocin flowing. I couldn’t concentrate much and didn’t want to be sitting or lying down so I sat on my birth ball for most of it, often standing and walking/rocking through contractions.
After the film ended, we went upstairs to bed as I still felt like this was going to be a long labour (the problem with listening to lots of midwives stories about ‘tricky’ 3rd babies!) I tried to get some sleep, so I put my hypnobirthing tracks on with headphones but I just couldn’t lie still. John was just dropping off but I had to get out of bed. I had my birth ball in the bedroom and bounced and rotated on the ball whilst listening to my hypnobirthing tracks and chatting to John. We were both feeling quite excited.
At around 12.30am, we called the MLU again to say things were getting intense, so they said they would let the oncall midwife know and she would come out to see me.
I was really struggling to get comfortable so I put my birth ball on the bed and leaned on all fours into it whilst John applied pressure to my lower back to help sooth me.
Then we heard a loud crack as the combined weight of both my heavily pregnant self as well as John caused one of the bed slats to break!
I grabbed my birth ball and set up camp downstairs instead. As my contractions intensified, I was moving between all fours and standing positions trying to get some relief. I was starting to find things quite tough.
At 1.30am we called MLU again to find out where the midwife was because I felt things had progressed a lot and were told she would be with us very soon. She eventually arrived at 2am. She asked if she could carry out a cervical examination which I agreed to and she told me I was 4cm. I felt totally crushed because I really felt like baby was almost here, yet hearing 4cm made me think I had hours ahead of me!
I remember saying “I can’t do this” with each contraction and it felt like I was saying it for hours.
Suddenly, I felt a shift and I knew this was it, my baby was going to be here soon. My midwife was so supportive and encouraging, and she reassured me that things were progressing and that I was coping really well (even though I didn’t feel like I was!).
A second midwife arrived at about 2.38am just as I was ready to birth the baby. A couple more contractions whilst on all fours, and Lyla Rose Hassett was born into my hands and as I sat back down on the floor she was passed back to me for skin to skin cuddles.
I was totally exhausted and elated and I can feel the tear in my eyes as I write this and remember that feeling when I saw her for the first time.
Yet again, I struggled to birth the placenta, and after almost an hour, I agreed to have the syntometrin injection. With a change of position (I was helped onto the sofa) and a bit of help from the midwife, the placenta finally released, such a huge relief!
Lyla and I cuddled on the sofa and she had her first feed. I felt a huge wave of relief wash over me at the fact that it was all over and she was finally here.
The midwives carried out some basic checks and then they cleared up and left us to it. We finally got to bed, and although we didn’t get much sleep that first night, we couldn’t wait to tell everyone our news, starting with the kids who were thrilled to learn about their new baby sister!