So who's ready for all the gory details?! Ok, I'm not really going to go into too much detail, there's not much gory stuff to tell! Also no gooey pictures!
On the 9th February this huge grey box arrived from Water Baby Birthing Pool Hire. Inside was everything I needed for my much dreamed of home water birth. Let me just say how impressed I was with this company! Firstly the offer a range of pools that all cost £90 for five weeks, three weeks before and two weeks after your due date. I love that you can feel free to pick the pool that is right for you without being swayed by the price. The information on the website said they would reserve the pool until you are 36 weeks then they will take your payment and arrange delivery. When the lovely lady who owns the company phoned to arrange this, she was more than happy to keep the pool another week, until I had one more appointment with my midwife to check we could really go ahead with the home birth. When she phoned again after my appointment, she checked whether I was in a good place to give my card details over the phone (I wasn't), was happy to wait for me to phone back with them and arranged the delivery for the pool the next morning. In all of our dealings with Emma we found her kind, considerate and efficient. She even sent a congratulations card after Judah was born!
Once we had the pool we decided to practice inflating it to see how long it would take to inflate. Unfortunately, if you want to practice filling it up you have to buy an extra liner for £25, we didn't do this and I would really recommend doing it! It's good to know how long it will take to fill it, our house has the worst water pressure and we did not anticipate just how long this could take!
Emma would probably not be best please with what we did get up to with this pool! Noah LOVED it! After this picture was taken it was filled with cushions and duvets for a super cosy story time. It was also a space ship the day before I went into labour!
So onto labour...... I woke up on Monday 18th at about 7am and straight away had some bad back pains. Then again 20 minutes later, and 20 minutes later, and 20 minutes later, and so on! In fact this carried on all day. Not particularly painful, but enough to make me stop what I'm doing, and never getting any more frequent. I wasn't sure what to do, whether to ship Noah out, whether to get Thomas to stay home from work. In the end my mum came and got Noah about 4pm and took him home for a sleepover. I was sure it was going to get going soon.
However, after dinner we went for the longest walk around where we live! The contractions started coming a bit more frequently and I couldn't walk when I was having them, but once we got home the tapered off again. I was beginning to worry that it would all stop and I would have sent Noah off for nothing! We phoned the hospital and the midwife said it just sounded like I wasn't ready yet, that it would probably get going in the middle of the night. So we headed off to bed super early to try and get some sleep in. Thomas did but the contractions were enough to wake me up every time. In the end I was tired and fed up, about half 3 in the morning I decided to try a trick I had read on the internet....tweak my nipples!!! Something I read said to tweak them for an hour and it would get going. Well I knew I was never going to commit to that but a couple of tweaks as a cursory 'try'! Well a couple of tweaks and WOOOSH! Massive contractions every 3 minutes!
I woke Thomas at 4am and phoned the hospital. They phoned the midwife who headed out and got to us around 5am. The midwife at the hospital said to wait until I had been assessed by the midwife to start filling the pool. Should have just gone ahead and started filling it really! The midwife, Cathy, was lovely! She started by watching me, then took some obs and listened to the baby's heartbeat. My contractions were pretty painful, Thomas was rubbing my back which really helped, I was either standing or sitting on my birthing ball. I found standing really took the intensity out of the pains but my legs couldn't handle standing up all the time! When Cathy assessed me she took quite a long time over it. My waters hadn't gone and she said she wanted to be sure she was right as the membranes made it trickier. I was 6cm dilated. She later told me I was so calm between my contractions she didn't believe I could be that far along so spent extra time making sure! She said I was a 'tricky customer' as I was handling it too well and she couldn't tell how I was progressing by watching.
She had called for her second to come, with gas and air, and she arrived not a moment too soon. I was desperate for some pain relief. Thomas had started filling the pool after Cathy examined me, but it was way off being able to get in. A contraction started just as Pippa walked in and I was amazed at how quickly she got that gas to me! That was about 6.30am and my waters still hadn't gone. Cathy said once they went things would progress very quickly. I don't think she anticipated quite how quickly!
I never did make it into that pool! I do still feel I got my money's worth though because at the end I had to stand for my contractions and it was exactly the right height to lean on! Suddenly my waters went with a huge gush! Cathy asked if I wanted to get into a more comfortable position but there was no way I could move as I could feel a head. 3 pushes and he was out! That was literally how quick it was! At 7.50am Judah flew into the world. On all accounts Cathy made an incredible catch! I flopped back into our IKEA Poang chair which someone had covered in a duvet and held my beautiful little boy for the first time!
Unfortunately I had to have stitches again, but that just meant Thomas got a really nice long cuddle whilst I got high on gas and air! As soon as I was sorted and Judah was handed back to me he latched straight on and had a really nice long feed whilst everyone tidied up and filled in paperwork around me!
Having a home birth was incredible, once all was done I had a shower in my own shower and got into my own bed (with nice fresh sheets on as I had had plenty of warning). It was just blissful. After the midwives left we got to have a snooze and snuggle with our baby in our own bed, before my parents brought Noah back and peace and quiet was gone forever!
Incidentally, we had no idea what we were going to name this perfect little baby! We eventually managed to get it down to two choices that we both really liked, so we let Noah choose. He's still not 100% sure he's pleased this baby is here to stay, but he does love him very much and is proud he chose his name!
Here I am, covered in boys (in some matching tie dye you may notice, no more white baby grows!). I never imagined I would have all boys, and maybe I wont, but darn it they are something special!