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Last week I gave birth for the third time, all my births have been water births, all have been without pain relief and 2 out of 3 have been at home.


This baby was 8 days ‘overdue’ which was to some extent good because our kitchen extension was also running late. But I also found that I focused too much on the ‘due date’ and then started counting time, waiting and wondering when they’d arrive. I found it hard to relax as I was so big and uncomfortable but I wish I tried harder.


In the 5 days before going into labour I was having quite a lot of braxton hicks and feeling of dull aching in my lower stomach. Every time it happened I went to bed thinking tonight is the night and then i’d wake up in the morning feeling both relieved and disappointed at the same time when they hadn’t arrived.


Anyway on the 24th May I woke up in the morning and knew something was going to happen and that today was the day. My husband dropped the kids off at school and nursery and when he came back I instructed him to get the pool ready. I also told him not to tell the builders (who were finishing our kitchen downstairs) what was going on as they as I really wanted that kitchen finished!


At around 11am my contractions were becoming closer together, the midwives arrived and I got in the pool. Getting in the water for me was such a relief - the feeling of the warm water surrounding my body and having the ability to move around freely felt so good.


As I entered the transition stage my contractions were getting a lot stronger, shorter and closer together (there might have been some swearing) but I kept focusing on my breath (with my eyes closed) and got through it.


Then next the pushing bit - and when you know you are on the home straight. Up until this point everyone in the room had been fairly quiet but then came the welcome sounds of words of encouragement - and in my head was telling myself yes I can do this. And of course I did.


Our son was born around 1.30pm - conveniently timed for school pick ups. I remained in the pool for the delayed cord clamping then shuffled to my bed for some newborn cuddles and for the delivery of my placenta.


I feel very fortunate that I have had positive birth experiences as I know many women don’t. Things that helped me were that I practiced pregnancy yoga and hypnobirthing. Plus I put in a lot of preparation time into all my labours - learning and reminding myself of what was going to happen to my body at each stage. I would definitely recommend preparation to everyone.

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