Birth Story Of The Week – Bryony and Francesca

I hope I’m not the only one counting down until the schools go back. It’s been a wonderful Summer, but my goodness does a certain 6 year old need some structure and routine. She certainly has been testing mine and my husbands nerves over the last few days. It’s been another busy week at work, had a beautiful home birth in the early hours of Thursday morning. Despite the birthing pool having a slow puncture, the woman did a sterling job and was pretty chatty throughout the whole labour. She even insisted on me eating a Snickers bar if I was peckish to increase my my energy levels! Amazing!

This weeks birth story comes from Bryony Mama to 2 girls and who writes the fabulous blog lovebryony, check out her Instagram photo bunting, genius! Bryony sent over her birth story which was pretty exciting as I kind of have a Twitter/blog/Instagram crush on her, she has over a thousand followers on Twitter, that’s major in the blogging world (note to self; must tweet harder).

Blog: Love Bryony

Twiiter: love-bryony

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“In April 2010 me and Dean were 11 months in to our relationship, we were happily living together and blissfully unaware of the fact that we’d accidentally made a baby. After a week of ‘random’ sickness and exhaustion I took the plunge and peed on a stick, it told me I was pregnant and so began our journey from cohabiting boyfriend/girlfriend to fully fledged grown up couple.

8 months later I was 39 weeks and 1 day pregnant, and sat on our stairs watching our kitchen being built through a cloud of dust. I felt agitated, not just because I was living in a building site at full term but also because my hips hurt, my tummy itched and my boobs weighed a ton. I had a little silent cry and took a glass of ice cold water with me to a warm bath.

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At around midnight I popped back downstairs to say goodnight to Dean and his helpers, and headed to bed exhausted and ready to evacuate this baby. Up until this point I’d been pretty calm about giving birth but that night I sat in bed and sobbed. Eventually Dean came to bed at around 1:30am and I started the nightly fight with our kitten to get him off the bed. He seemed particularly interested in getting between my legs and no sooner than I’d got him on the floor I heard a loud ‘pop’ and felt a huge gush of water right where he’d been pawing away.

Thanks to the Niagara Falls type episode going on down my thighs I was pretty sure my waters had broken and shakily called Dean in to the room. The next 2 hours were a blur of calling the labour ward, double checking my hospital bag and mentally preparing myself for the long labour I’d been warned by so many friends to prepare myself for.

Despite a lack of contractions we headed to the labour ward to get checked over, once there a lovely midwife checked my pad and had a quick rummage around. I was barely 1cm so she told me to go home and await the start of labour. At around 7am we headed home and popped to Tesco on the way to stock up on energy tablets. I asked Dean to go in on his own as my waters were still flooding out with every move. While he was gone I felt my first tightenings. 3 minutes later I felt another round. 90 seconds after than a third came… And didn’t go away.

It was a bizarre feeling, I kept waiting for relief from the tightenings in my back but none came. I climbed in to the back and knelt over the baby car seat. By the time Dean came back I was really uncomfortable and just wanted to get home.

We drove home at about 5mph (!!!) and as soon as I got through the front door I crawled upstairs to the bath. At the time I was mortified, I couldn’t believe that I wasn’t coping at all! I sat in the bath with the shower on my back and hummed through my weird long contractions.

At around 9am it was too painful to sit down so I lent out of the shower and over the sink. At some point my knees buckled and I slipped causing a lot of noise which had Dean running up the stairs. He called the labour ward again, I spoke to them but the midwife said it sounded like I was coping fine so told me to stay at home until my contractions ramped up.

As soon as I put the phone down I just knew I had to get the hospital. I could feel the transition that I’d been told about. My head felt cloudy, the pressure was getting lower and lower and I could barely keep my eyes open. Dean helped me in to some clothes and out the house. As he got to the car I felt a huge pressure in my back and then nothing, I passed out on to my side. Dean threw his jacket over me and called an ambulance. Within 3 minutes paramedics had arrived and lifted me in to the house.

I can’t praise them enough, they did some quick checks and asked me how I felt. I hummed in reply and then made a mooing sound. The paramedic turned to Dean and told him we either needed to get upstairs and have our baby at home or get in the ambulance right then. Dean took one look around our half finished, dust coated home and pointed at the ambulance.

Minutes later we were at the hospital and being handed over to the two most amazing midwives, they immediately put a probe on baby’s head and asked me if I felt the need to push. I nodded and the trainee midwife showed a shell shocked Dean how to help me lift my legs back with each push. A few minutes later her head was out, the midwife helped me feel my baby’s head with my hand and that gave me the energy for the last few pushes. At 10:42am on December 8th 2010, a 6lb 15oz baby named Francesca Jean Elizabeth Barry was born in to the hands of our wonderful midwife.

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Without a doubt that was the scariest, weirdest, most amazing and beautiful morning of my life (although the birth of our second baby comes very close to topping it!). I remember kneeling in the hospital shower an hour and a half later and realising I’d done it all without pain relief. I felt like a woman warrior.

Looking at my cheeky, gorgeous nearly 3 year old now I can’t believe she was ever that tiny, squashy newborn.”

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