Both my mum and my sister had had really quick and easy births so I assumed that it would be the same for me. In fact my sister had my niece in 42 minutes from start to finish. With my older daughter I had already begun to dilate some days before and the doctor was confident that I would have the baby by the weekend. Now my husband Mark had hired a trailer as he wanted to clear up the garden so he wanted to be sure that I would deliver before the weekend so he could make the most of it and not lose his deposit! The weekend came and went and still no baby and he had lost his money. So we go to the hospital at the start of the week to be induced. The doctor broke my waters at about 8am and told me he would see me in the afternoon for baby delivery. He leaves us with the midwife and you could tell she was nervous – we were her first patient on her own as she was fresh out of training school. Anyway she could not get the machine to provide the IV induction to work (medical induction works two ways – through an IV or through a pessary inserted vaginally) and was trying to find a third machine to use when my contractions started. I could feel the contractions which were like a bad annoying period cramp. I bounced on the birth ball and sat on the bed and was just trying to get comfortable. I was lying on the bed with my feet on the pillow when I had a BIG contraction and I said to Mark that I either needed to push or to poo! He told the midwife who was really blasé and said that it was too soon. My husband has three children from his first marriage so he’s been to a labour before and he had to get quite stern with the midwife in order to get her to do something. They turned me around in the bed and she had a look. With a panicked look she phones the doctor as she can see Henley’s head! The doctor sprints in from his office and tells me to push and three or four pushes later out she comes. I had a few stitches but no pain. One hour and twenty minutes after my waters are broken and labour begun I held my daughter for the first time. I had no medication, she was with me for lots of skin to skin. I got up, had a shower, walked to my room from the delivery suite and started to get unpacked and felt great! Not sore, not tired – just really good. I had a midwife try and get me to sit down but I felt absolutely great.
With my second daughter Ava we had now moved to Bahrain I decided that I would try and give birth quietly as according to my husband I was a bit noisy with Henley! With both girls I was six to seven centimetres before I was induced and with both of them I dilated over a week or so with no pain or discomfort. I had been advised to tell my doctor in a future pregnancy how quick I was as any future labours could be even quicker! I went for my 38 week check up and I was dilating. I was monitored and had no contractions so I went home. I went back for another check up about a week later and was again monitored and this time I was contracting. We had a chat and the doctor said that she would feel more comfortable if we can induce me as this baby was on the way but with me having so little pain there was no gauge as to when I would deliver. We agreed that I would come back later for induction so I went shopping and picked up some stuff from Pottery Barn, collected Henley from nursery, had some lunch, arranged the babysitter and for Mark to meet me at the hospital. I did all that whilst in active labour, with no pain. I got to the hospital and they asked me where I had been as they were waiting for me to start! So they broke my waters and she was there 38 minutes later. Still painful period cramps, I did use oxygen but other then that no real discomfort – just the need to push or poo! Two pushes and she was there. We had phoned my friend in Dubai to tell her I was going in and she opened a bottle of champagne to celebrate – she only had time to drink a glass and I’d had the baby!