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As the dreaded 40+10 was approaching I was trying everything to get myself into labour. Sunday night is curry night in our house so not wanting to take any chances I chose a vindaloo! 5am Monday morning I woke with diarrhoea....the curry had been effective! Amongst all the pooing I realised with excitement that I was having contractions! It was a beautiful sunny crisp January morning. Jon called into work to say he was staying home and the walking began. The contractions were coming and going but I felt nothing resembling pain, just excitement that my baby was finally on its way.

By afternoon we were back home and I was back on the breast pump to help keep the oxytocin and the contractions flowing. I’d just finished a client’s placenta pills so Jon had gone to deliver them and by the time he got home things had kicked up a gear. I called my sister to join us as she was to be my second birth companion. By bed time I was desperate to rest but had left it too late and could not get comfortable. I tried the bath but felt too restricted so got Jon to fill the pool. I was contracting strongly 3:10 and so glad to get in the pool, the water was such a relief. I felt safe. I felt calm. We called the midwife around 4am and she came out to assess me. I was 3cms dilated so she left again (so sorry for not leaving you in your bed Alex!) By the time she returned at 9am I was 5cms. The day progressed in a bit of a blur and by 4pm I as 8cms. I was finding it increasingly difficult and there were some concerns with the fetal heart rate so we transferred into Kings in an ambulance. Not a comfortable ride but the ambulance man soon gave up trying to get me to sit in the seat. All fours was the only option! By the time we arrived I was begging for an epidural. Without the pool I felt lost.

I felt complete relief once the epidural was effective and was very glad of a rest. I was certain I would soon progress to fully but after two hours I was still 8cms. Syntocinon was the next step and I eventually made it to fully. Two hours of pushing and no sign of baby meant we had to transfer to theatre. I remember telling the staff not to prepare for caesarean because this baby WAS coming out vaginally. Finally at 01.50 on Wednesday morning my beautiful baby Rollo was born by forceps. All 3.9kgs of him! Not quite the home birth I had planned but miraculous and magical all the same.

Almost four years later and I still get goose bumps telling my Birthtale. Thanks for reading.

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