It was Friday morning (my due date!) and my husband Jonathan had left early to prepare for the final rounds of two job interviews. I had a really strong feeling that he was going to get one of them and we would be celebrating that weekend. I felt really excited, content, totally in love and proud of my wonderful husband and on some level ready to meet our baby. I got up, went to the toilet and noticed I had my show. I didn’t think much of it, knowing full well it could take days for anything to start, so I just got on with getting up and ready as usual.
Around lunch time Jonathan came back feeling really good about his interviews so I started to prepare a nice dinner for us. My back had started aching so I felt comfortable being up and about keeping busy rather than watching TV resting. With dinner on I told Jon that I thought things were slowly starting to get going and suggested going out for a gentle walk. During the walk my uterus started to contract nicely and I remember each contraction lasting about eight or nine steps. When we got home from the walk I went to the loo and noticed I was bleeding quite heavily. Worried that I had over done it on our walk I called the birth centre for advice. They suggested I might like to come in for a quick check just to make sure baby was happy. I still thought it would be hours maybe even days before established labour would kick in so decided heading over was a good idea and then we could come back and enjoy the delicious dinner I had prepared.
At the hospital the monitor showed us that everything was fine and baby was happy. My contractions were getting more powerful and regular but I still kept thinking these were just my body warming up for the main event and it could be quite a while yet. The bleeding however had not stopped so I agreed to a vaginal examination. By the time the midwife returned to do the examination (about 30 minutes) I had entered the transition phase. Jon put the tens machine on my back, I was swaying and bouncing all over the place with my eyes closed and riding out each surge as it came over me in waves. Between surges I had the vaginal examination and was in total shock to discover that the midwife could not feel my cervix. It had completely melted away. This was it!
It was now early evening and I was wheeled into the birthing centre as quick as anything. A new midwife got the pool filled up quickly and I got in straight away. As soon as my body was immersed in the water I felt all the tension and the stress of the last hour fade away. With my mantras playing through my phone I bobbed around enjoying jelly babies and sips of water for what felt like ages. I knew my labour had slowed down, but I felt so relaxed and happy and would have got out of the pool if I felt labour had stopped. I practised my breathing and bit by bit, slowly but surely I could feel our baby descending lower and lower through my birth canal. It was amazing.
My waters broke with a pop not long before I felt the sting of his head crowning and then before I knew it he was in my arms. I couldn’t believe we had done it. At 9:20pm on the 10th June 2016 Alexander John Whitehead came into the world and it was the best experience of my life.