I had a completely different birth to the one I had in mind. I wanted to have a natural water birth at home, but ended up having a C-section due to my baby being in an undiagnosed breech position. Albeit being an emergency cesarean it was a wonderful experience and I look back to it very fondly.
I had a very straight forward pregnancy which meant no scans past the 20th week. My midwife who I also did a hypnobirthing course with inspired me to have a home birth. I felt happy with this decision and couldn't wait for the big day and to meet my baby. On May 21st, just under three weeks before my due date, my waters broke. I had been working from home that day (luckily) and was in the bathroom when it happened. I couldn't believe the amount of water, it just kept coming and coming! My husband was home and got a bit nervous, I however was calm and felt ready!
We called the homebirth team and a midwife came out to examine me. She told me to all was well and I should just do what I felt like doing and call again when I had strong contractions (I didn't have any at that point).
My husband went out to get some food and I sat on the birthing ball talking to my baby.
My contractions started about 4 hours after my waters broke. I felt like my bladder was in fire, that's how I remember it. We tried to sleep but when I went to the toilet I noticed that the colour of the water on the pad had changed to green, a sign of meconium in the water. Within a short space of time the pads were drenched in meconium. The midwife came shortly after we called them and examined my belly again. That's when she said it. She asked if anyone had ever wondered if my baby was breech. I said no, only a few days earlier the midwife had told me my baby's head was engaged. My bump had always been very hard though and I must have had a lot of water. Due to my waters pretty much gone at this point, the midwife could finally have a good feel and noticed that what we had thought was my baby's head, was her bum. My contractions had stimulated her bum to poo. On the plus side her pooing wasn't a sign of distress, her heart rate was fine and so was my blood pressure. The midwife recommended us driving to hospital to get a scan and other tests done to confirm my baby's position
We arrived at LGI in Leeds around midnight. Claire, the midwife who had come to our home and diagnosed my baby's breech position, was awaiting us on the materiity ward. The scan confirmed my baby was breech. I was not too disappointed at this stage, I was "in the zone" and felt like whatever had to happen would happen. All I cared about was that my baby was well. Claire came back with the surgeon to brief me about my options. She said I could either have a c-section or try for a natural birth. She would however not recommend me having a natural birth as it was my first baby and my contractions weren't getting stronger very quickly. I was only 2.5cm dileted at this point and my water had broken 8 hours earlier. Together with my husband we decided to have a caesarian. I didn't want to risk anything and felt like I didn't have to prove anything to myself or anybody. I was a bit sad at how different things were to how I had envisioned them. I was lying on a bed in hospital, attached to machines, in a bright, soulless room, when I wanted to be in the comfort of my candle-lit home.
It took another two hours or so until we went into theater. Due to my baby's heart rate and my blood pressure being all good nobody rushed us about and even though it was an emergency c-section it didn't feel like one.
My contractions were getting little bit stronger and I remember saying "it is all in vain" as they weren't getting me any closer to meeting my baby. I was feeling a bit low but then we were prepared for theater and it was going to happen, they were going to deliver my baby.
My husband left the room to get ready for theater. He was really excited. I was very calm and felt like I had put the well-being of my baby and myself into the delivery team and that was all I could do. I was wheeled into the room adjacent to the theater to be given the epidural. It all goes into a little blur here but I remember it feeling great, the pain was gone in an instant and my legs felt warm and wonderful. I was asked to move my legs and even thought they didn't feel numb I could not move them one millimeter.
I was moved onto a different bed and wheeled into the theater. The team put the music on that we had brought, my husband was right next to me holding my hand. I had my eyes closed and was very inward. I didn't notice the amount of people in the room that my husband now talks about. I remember feeling my baby leaving my body. It was like a weight being lifted, I felt no pain, just excitement. My baby Alma didn't scream and I didn't see her as the pediatrician took her to the side for some tests. I remember those seconds felt like the longest in my life. My husband was over there with her and smiled, so I felt like she was ok, but I just wanted to see her, wanted to hold her. Then they came over and put her on my chest. She made the most heart-melting little groaning noises and I felt such a strong feeling of having to protect her it nearly broke my heart. I spoke to her softly and she turned her head to see where our voices were coming from. It was wonderful. I will never forget how soft her skin was and how wonderful she smelled. When she looked me in the eyes I would burst into tears. It felt like she was looking right through to my soul. (Her name, Alma, means soul in Spanish).
In the weeks following the birth of daughter I would sometimes cry about not having had the birth I initially intended to have. But with time I got over it and could appreciate the positive experience we have had and that my daughter and myself were well.