Alex was born in October 2012, three days before his due date. Harrison was only six or seven months old when I fell pregnant, but other than lots of sickness, it was a relatively straightforward pregnancy.
I was monitored continually throughout this pregnancy because of the previous problems with Harrison. I also had several growth scans because Harrison was so tiny at birth, but Alex seemed to be doing perfectly fine. I worked full time up until 35 weeks, which gave me a few weeks to relax (as much as you can with a toddler!) before he came along.
My due date was less than a week after my birthday, and we kept joking that I would end up in labour on my birthday. My birthday came and went and no baby. I had a midwife appointment that day and she thought I would go overdue as he wasn’t engaged or showing any sign of coming anytime soon – can’t say I wasn’t relieved at that! My blood pressure was fine, so I was allowed to be booked in for a water birth. On Sunday, two days after my birthday, we went shopping to Merry Hill so I could spend my birthday money. Merry Hill is a good 45-minute drive away but as the baby was apparently so comfy, we thought it would be fine. As soon as we pulled up and got out of the car I didn’t feel too great – slightly sicky and just not quite right. I ignored it and carried on. I managed to go and get the boots I wanted before I realised I just wanted to go home – very much unlike me!!
We got in the car and started off towards home, getting stuck in traffic on the motorway. I had a bit of a tummy ache, which felt more like I needed the loo, but crampy back. I didn’t think much of it, especially as I am prone to backache, but now I realise it was most likely early labour. Five minutes away from home, Graham had to pull over and I threw up everywhere – making me even more sure it was simply a bit of a bug I had. We got home and cleaned up, and I had a hot bath which eased my back a little. Graham sent me to bed for the afternoon, so I dozed on and off, again not thinking it was anything to do with baby.
That evening, Harrison started crying – it turned out that he had a bit of a throat and ear infection, so Graham decided he would sleep downstairs with him so I could sleep. At 10pm, I’d just watched X-Factor on catch up and realised that every so often my tummy was cramping. It took a good hour or so before I realised I was in labour. I called Graham upstairs and told him, and we gave my mum a ring to let her know things had started. At about 1am, they were getting a little bit more painful, and we phoned my mum to come over, more to look after Harrison so Graham could look after me. Like with Harrison, most of my contractions seemed to be in my back (although Alex wasn’t back to back), and Graham pressing on the bottom of my spine during a contraction seemed to help. We phoned the delivery suite but because they weren’t particularly regular they told me to stay at home. I tried to have a sleep, but was woken up at 3am by my waters exploding. My contractions still weren’t regular, but something in my head told me I needed to go into hospital. We phoned the delivery suite again and told them we were coming in.
We got in the car at exactly 3.56am (I remember looking at the clock!) for the journey which took about fifteen minutes. My mum was waiting for my sister in law to drive over to look after Harrison, and then was going to come over to be my second birth partner. I hobbled up to the suite and was booked into the lovely room, with twinkly lights and a lovely big birthing pool. The midwives seemed in no hurry to fill it up – which I( later found out was because they didn’t think I was in full labour. They didn’t do an internal check, just timed contractions which were still short and irregular. They left us alone for a few minutes and I used the birth ball to try and ease the pain. A few minutes later, that familiar urge to push came. I told Graham to find a midwife, who came strolling in. I told her I wanted to push and I don’t think she actually believed me. She finally gave me an internal exam to find out I was fully dilated and the head was visible. Graham phoned my mum and told her to get there quickly. I begged for the birth pool but was obviously too far gone for that. I couldn’t even have gas and air as Alex was about to make his entrance. Two or three pushes later and our second beautiful son was there. It was 4.48am – good job we’d gone in when we did!
My mum got there about ten minutes after he was born. He weighed in at a decent 8lb 3oz and was perfect. Because he had arrived so quickly, I had a bit of a nasty 2nd degree tear, which they thought at first may need surgery. Turns out a few stitches under my favourite gas and air would do the job!
I’d desperately wanted to breastfeed Alex, and luckily he took to it almost immediately with very few problems. We had to stay in until the following evening because I had a high temperature, but was then able to bring him home ready to meet his big brother. That beautiful little baby is now almost two, and about to become a big brother himself