I went into spontaneous labour at 41+5w. I woke up at 6am with mild contractions and wasn't sure if I was actually in labour as I'd experienced a number of "warm ups" that had lasted hours in the weeks leading up to birth. My contractions were coming every 10 minutes from 6-8am, so I started to believe it was labour. I began to start preparing the birth space slowly and getting the bassinet made etc. I was just breathing through contractions with no trouble up until midday. then the pain started to intensify and i could no longer talk through the contractions. At 1pm I started bouncing on my fit ball, using techniques and playing heavy metal very loudly in my headphones. By 2pm I called my private midwife again to let her know that the contractions were getting quite painful, but were still only 5 minutes apart. She listened to me moan through a contraction, told me I was doing amazingly and said to call her again when the contractions were 3 minutes apart. An hour later, at 3pm, I called her again saying the contractions were very painful and 3 minutes apart. I was starting to feel out of control with the pain and asked my midwife to come. In the meantime, my husband had set up the birth pool and made sure all necessary supplies were nearby.
At 4.30pm my midwife arrived (much to my relief!). She asked me if i wanted a VE to check progress, which she usually wouldn't offer, but thought it might ease my mind seeing as i'm a Midwife myself. I was screaming through contractions by this stage and lost in the fear and pain and couldn't get into a happy place. I was so worried i was still very early on in labour, so I agreed to a VE. My Midwife assessed me as being 7cm, and decided that active labour had established around 3pm. After the VE I got in the shower and sat on a fit ball with my student midwife by my side. I lasted 2 contractions before i decided to get out as the steam was making me feel lightheaded and i was really worried about slipping on the fit ball. So I went back downstairs.
I sat on my fit ball again downstairs and listened to music, still screaming through every contraction. I was upset that I couldn't relax and get into a meditative state as i'd practiced for so many weeks in the lead up to birth, but the intensity of the contractions increased so rapidly. By 5pm my husband and midwife were filling the birth pool....or attempting to! The hose attachment failed and flooded the laundry, then we ran out of hot water. So my Midwife was hurriedly filling pots of water on the stove! This worried me as I had my heart set on a water birth and was really wanting to get into the water soon. Finally the pool was full enough and warm enough for me to get in around 6pm.
The water was amazing! I found only one position that I was comfortable in and stayed there until birth. I was upright on my knees, leaning over the edge of the birth pool. By 6.30pm I began involuntarily pushing. The sensation came on fast and strong. I wasn't actively pushing much at all - my body seemed to be doing all the work naturally.
By 7.38pm my beautiful son Dane was born! :)
He came out a bit floppy, pale, and silent. After a few minutes we realised his umbilical cord had been tightly wrapped around his neck (which both my midwife and I had missed when we first checked). Once we removed the cord from around his neck, he improved and began to cry. I had a physiological third stage where my placenta remained attached to Dane until after the placenta had been birthed. Third stage lasted 1.5hours. My EBL was 100ml, with an intact perineum.
Baby weighed 3115g at birth and was super adorable!
My student Midwife took plenty of photos of the birth for me, which i really appreciated! I felt physically and mentally in shock from having such a quick labour and birth (3.5hrs in active labour, 1hr for 2nd stage) and was incredibly shocked by the intensity of the pain! But looking back on the experience over a month later, I feel so grateful that I managed to have the intervention-free home water birth I always wanted, and feel incredibly proud that I got through labour and birth with no pharmacological pain relief :)
Birth story and photos shared with permission.