Cassius – A Birth Story

Cassius has now been in our lives for two weeks, TWO weeks! Pretty crazy that I should only be 36 weeks pregnant at this point! After what felt like a whirlwind of a birth and whilst it is still pretty fresh in my mind I thought I would write a post about the birth!

Thursday 4th January, I was feeling a bit iffy as I had been having some tummy cramps. I assumed as I was 34 weeks (exactly) that it was a combination of feeling constipated and braxton hicks. Plus the fact baby had been sitting pretty low since my 28 week check up and I’d had pains like I’d been riding a bike every day! That morning my midwife came to see me for a check up… I had been transferred to the home birth team as I had requested and because I was having a textbook straight forward and healthy pregnancy. I was asked during the check up if I was feeling okay, I mentioned the pains down low and asked the midwife if this was because of how the baby was lying to which she replied “more than likely”.

As the day passed I continued to feel pretty iffy. I went to my parents house as it was my little sisters birthday. I was still getting these pretty intense pains and at times they were really catching my breath. My mum even said to me “last time you were like this you were going into labour with Aoife”. As a side note, I gave birth to Aoife at 36 weeks (exactly!). Anyway I was getting tired so I drove (!!) home to get Aoife settled and myself into bed, this was about 8pm. When I got home I started to worry the pains really weren’t going away and I had taken paracetamol which didn’t even touch it, every time I drifted off I was being awoken again by these pains and I kept needing to go to the loo. Alarm bells began to ring about 10ish I told Luke I thought we should go to the hospital and get the pains checked out. I rang the MAU and they confirmed to come in and get checked out. I rang my parents, as I was in no state to drive and Luke can’t drive we needed a lift to the hospital and someone to watch Aoife. Unfortunately, my parents couldn’t as they had had a drink for my sister’s bday. We rang Luke’s parents his mum can’t drive and his dad had had a drink! So then we rang Luke’s brother who thankfully could help us and luckily only lives round the corner. He collected Luke’s parents to come and watch Aoife and came to pick us up. By this point I could barely talk through the pain and they were coming thick and fast. I was terrified, my baby was only 34 weeks! I honestly must of gone into shut down as I still, despite the strength of the pains, refused to believe I was in labour.

When we arrived at the hospital at about 11.35pm, which is luckily only a 5/10 minute drive away, I was sent up to the Maternity Assessment Unit. I think we spent all of 5 minutes in there before someone came to say they were taking us up to see a doctor in the delivery suite as it looked like I was in “quite a bit of pain”. There was me thinking I was keeping it subtle haha!

When we got to the Delivery Suite I sat for a couple of minutes on the exercise ball. I was so uncomfortable. The pains were becoming excruciating and I hadn’t had any paracetamol since 8pm! I was asked to remove my leggings and underwear, again probably a sign people could tell things were happening quicker than me! A doctor came in at around 11.50pm and examined me… now he is when Luke and I really went into shock… the doctor then says “okay, so you are 9cm dilated”. Luke and I looked at each other and laughed, all I could say was “oh shit!”. We let our parents know what was happening! My mum couldn’t believe how calm I was when I rang saying “yeah, so it turns out I am in labour and i’m currently 9cm dilated”.

The next bit seemed to happen in a big blur. I was very conscious of the fact that I was about to give birth and had to calmly, mentally prepare myself whilst in the midst of panic! The first thing I knew was I did not want to give birth on my back! The midwife was great and moved the bed into a position so I could kneel right up and lean against it. She then offered the gas and air but already being as into the labour as I was I couldn’t concentrate on using it! I think I had about 4 puffs in total. The urge to push happened quite quickly, it felt heavy and difficult but my waters hadn’t broken yet (much like during Aoife’s birth) so I was pushing to break those.

I attended pregnancy yoga during my pregnancy which aids in teaching breathing techniques that can be used in labour. I did my best to keep my breathing calm but given the circumstance it wasn’t the best. I was very aware of keeping the sounds I was making low, whenever I could feel myself about to go into a highpitched squeal I gave myself a mental slap round the face and ended up mooing into the bed! Literally, mooing is the only way I can describe it!

My waters broke and the relief was instant, Luke said my body sort of relaxed once that was done. Now here is the crazy bit! 3 minutes after my waters broke, I could feel the head and gave push. Out came the head and ridiculously quickly followed his body! He was out in pretty much one push and then I could just hear him screaming away! Cassius was born at 12.21am on Friday 5th January… about 45 minutes after we arrived at the hospital.

I feel very happy with the birth experience. I think it helps that midwife I had was great! I was a little disappointed I didn’t get my home birth but because I had such a positive birth experience I don’t feel too bad about it. As you can tell from the photo below I was feeling pretty emotional afterwards!

Thank you for reading 🙂

I’ll talk more about settling into the newborn period in another post!

Siobhan x

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