You can read part 1 of Tyler's birth story here.
Thomas was born ten days 'late' on December 19th 2008. By my estimations I reckoned he was due around the 16th, but being a first-time Mum and not appreciating how much importance was placed on that date, I never argued with the midwives when they selected the date based on the 12 week ultrasound. It was only when we reached that date that I realised what a mistake that had been. Although willing to listen to my requests for no mention of sweeps or induction, I began to get pressured into agreeing to growth scans and was told that I only had two weeks and then my home birth request would not be granted. Two weeks took me to Christmas Eve, which I'm sure helped them decide to go off call for me :) Luckily for me, I went into labour on the 19th.
This time round I decided I wouldn't take too much notice of the 'due date'. I didn't tell many people what the date was, I had just decided that my baby would most likely be born in mid-December. Officially the UK date was set (via ultrasound) to December 10th; unofficially by my estimations I put myself closer to the 14th, and this is what my brilliant midwives agreed to.
As mentioned in part one, Thomas began to get more loving and more clingy towards me in the week before Tyler was born. I was very uncomfortable in my ribs and woke up a lot at night. I didn't want to believe something might be happening, because I knew how impatient I had become with Thomas! I also wanted to relish in the simplicity of our life as a family of three. More and more I was beginning to remember how much of a life change having Thomas was, and I just wanted to hold on to our life of peaceful evenings and family dinners for a little bit longer!
Mum and dad arrived on December 6th so we had a few days to take them around Frederick and introduce Mum to Target :)
On December 9th I woke up feeling crampy. With Thomas I had thought I was in labour two days before he was born which turned into nothing so I wasn't going to get excited this time round. We decided to go to downtown Frederick for the morning and by the time we got home, I was more convinced that things were happening although I wasn't in any pain. The cramping feeling started to feel more contraction-like around mid-afternoon but it still wasn't painful and I knew this kind of feeling could last for hours or days so at 6pm we went to the local Italian for dinner. I'd told David contractions were every ten minutes or so and got him to download an app on his IPhone as I was starting to get curious about the timings. We looked at the readings around half an hour later… 6 minutes, 6 minutes, 6 minutes, 6 minutes, 6 minutes… oh, maybe something was definitely happening! We came home and as my Dad went to bed, his parting words were "this baby isn't coming tonight".
I went upstairs to kiss Thomas goodnight and told him that when he woke up, his baby brother might have arrived. He was very excited! I took out my gifts from my Glasgow Blessingway, my bracelet and labyrinth and crystals and lit the candle my good friend Caroline had given me. I got in the bath around 9.30pm. The contractions were the same but I just felt like having a break and knew this early on that they would most likely stop. I was OK with that, I just really wanted a bath!
[very weird for me as I don't like baths!]
As anticipated, everything stopped. I got out and sent a message to Nannette (midwife!) to tell her that things were progressing but I still had a way to go so I was going to bed to rest. Off I went at 10.30pm.
I woke up at 11.15pm. The contractions were stronger now and I was having to breathe through them. They were still erratic though, varying from 6-8 minutes, never any shorter. David wanted to phone the midwives but I was sure it was too soon. We were lying in bed, me on all fours, breathing into the pillow each time a contraction came. I held Davids' hand. He stroked my back. Then I cried. I remember thinking "I've got hours to go, how can I do this?" (ummmm, hello transition!). It hurt but the gap between contractions made it OK. Thomas's labour had been ten hours of unrelenting back labour, with wave upon wave of contractions. This was so different.
Just after midnight a pretty painful contraction hit. David insisted on calling Nannette even though I was still unsure. She said she would come over and would be about 45 minutes.
A couple of minutes later, another big contraction came and POP went my waters! I ran to the bathroom, shouting at David "My waters just broke! Wake up my Mum!". The next part is a blur. I was sat on the toilet and felt this incredible urge to push. I got off the toilet and squatted by the sink, moaning and panting, trying desperately not to have this baby. This was an absolutely perfect example of the fetal ejection reflex at work! David was putting the futon mattress down on the floor in the bedroom (nothing like being prepared in case of a quick labour!), my Mum was next to me saying "don't push, don't push", I put my hand down and I could feel the top of the baby's head poking out. I held onto it (haha, what a sight!) and waddled to the mattress and kneeled with my head on the bed. Another contraction came and I couldn't stop it, I told my Mum I was going to be sick, but out came the head instead. There was no pain at this point, that had stopped as soon as my waters broke. I felt so calm, so in control, I could feel everything. David looked down to see if he could see anything and said "the head's out!", whoops, seemed I'd forgotten to mention that! The next couple of minutes were incredible. I felt a movement and shouted at David to stop touching the baby! "I'm not!" he said. Then again, another movement - "DON'T touch him!", "I'm not!!". A few seconds later, and out came Tyler, into his daddy's hands, 12.48am - maybe twenty minutes since my waters broke. He had been moving himself, rotating his shoulders and turning in the birth canal, and I felt every single part of that journey. David passed him to me, through my legs, and I held him to my chest. My perfect baby, 10lb 3oz, 21.5 inches. My perfect birth. On his official 'due date', the day of the lunar eclipse AND a full moon. I am blown away.
The placenta came away very quickly, maybe 5-10 minutes later, and we saw the true knot in his umbilical cord. Tyler was already breastfeeding when Liz (midwife!) turned up five minutes later. I couldn't stop apologising, I was so sad that after all these months they had missed out on the birth! Liz just looked at me and said, "this birth happened exactly as it was meant to". I know she was right and I am so grateful they were there just after Tyler was born, to check him and to check me, and that they were there on the phone with David, telling him what to do while my Mum sat with me. Their help and support and aftercare were invaluable and I love them :)
My dad was downstairs waiting for the midwife when he heard the cries of a newborn baby :)
Thomas slept through the whole thing…