Jessica’s Birth


My memory of Jessica’s birth is a little faded after so many years, so please excuse it being a little ‘basic’. I had an awful time when I had been giving birth to Sean that dragged on for nearly three days, so decided that perhaps a homebirth would be a better second-time-around.

On Friday 25th March we picked up the video camera to film the birth and I said to my husband Stephen that we had better get it out and make sure we knew how to use it etc just in case I went into labour that night. We went to bed and I was convinced that if we made love I would go into labour. Afterwards I lay there with my bum on pillows trying to keep everything in there! I had a few contractions straight away and thought that I had better get some sleep just in case something was happening. I went straight to sleep but woke at 1.20am with a contraction, it was strong enough to get me out of bed and walk around. They were coming every 6-7 minutes and lasting about 45 seconds.

I waited an hour and rang our midwife Fiona. She told me to go and have a bath and see if the contractions stopped. First, I rang my mum and dad to let them know that I thought I was in labour (mum was 5 hours away) then off I went. Shortly after getting in the bath the contractions intensified. I stayed there for a while, but they were getting so strong that I thought I better get out because I was afraid she was going to be born in there! I had to wake Stephen to help me out, he was very unimpressed! He had just worked 12 days straight and really wanted to sleep, so getting woken at 3am was not his idea of fun.
I rang Fiona back and asked her to come soon. I also rang my mum and dad as they had been sitting there having a cup of tea, my mum eagerly anticipating the birth and had her bag packed and ready to go.

Fiona arrived at 4.30am and the VE showed I was about 6cm dilated. I was pretty happy with that as I was coping really well with the contractions. Fiona suggested I watch the video of Sean when he was little to see if that would get things moving, so we sat there watching him for a while. The contractions continued and after another hour I started rocking with them while I was leaning on Stephen. By this stage I couldn’t talk through them, which pleased Fiona as she knew that meant the birth was a lot closer.

At 7.30am she did another VE and I was 8cm. She offered me an ARM (artificial rupture of the membranes/ ‘breaking the waters’) to get the job done, which she did at 7.45am. What a lovely feeling it is to have that warm water running out of you! By 8.45am I was on the floor leaning over pillows on the couch and rocking with each contraction, they were strong and I was getting a little fretful and noisy but I don’t remember ever feeling out of control with them. At 9.10am I started pushing, the contractions got very strong at this point and I can distinctly remember yelling “I can’t do it, please don’t make me do it!’ Fiona told me to hold the noise in and use that for pushing, which I did and at 9.28am she arrived. She was passed to me through my legs and wow what a feeling that was to finally see her!

I was suddenly very uncomfortable and insisted on turning around, but what an effort this was! Watching Jessica’s birth on video still makes me laugh at how I looked attempting to do this! Jessica’s cord was very short, and I could feel it pulling. Eventually I got myself settled and sat holding her while I tried to deliver the placenta, with Fiona pulling and me pushing like mad it eventually came out about 30 minutes after she was born. I was upset that mum had not arrived yet but finally just after the placenta came out, she arrived at the door to see her beautiful granddaughter.She came straight over to me, where I was still sitting on the floor having a nice hot milo and gave me a kiss and told me she was perfect. My mum died just over two years later, and this is one of the memories that so often comes to mind when I think of her and that look of pure joy she had on her face.