I want to update properly but I'm having a difficult time at the moment. So here's a story you might want t0 read in the meantime.

On Sat 5th Jan, I was determined to get things going, so DH and I spent 3 hours shopping around the City Centre, me power walking everywhere. My constipation was still pretty bad so I was hoping it would help get something moving. We got home; I was shattered but no movement of any kind. So I juiced 2 pineapples and a mango (yum), and drank the lot in almost one go (2 pints!)

About an hour later I needed a wee, went and realised that I desperately needed a bm. I pushed so hard it hurt, but there was some success. At the same time, I bled a little and felt a strange kinda clicking in my pelvis every time I pushed.

Anyway, maybe ½ hour later at midnight, ctx kicked in. I couldn't sleep through them and they were about 8mins apart. I woke up DH and he started to get the lounge and pool ready, knowing we should have enough time.

I was drinking like a fish and after about 2 hours went for yet another wee and lost my plug (very clear mucus, streaked only with bright red blood), ctx were approx. 5-6 mins and my word there was no question I was in labour by then. DH called the midwife but it was so icy outside that it was going to take her a while to get there. That wasn't a problem though, I had my TENS machine when I was ready. At this point the ctx were just really uncomfortable but still didn't hurt (mind over matter I think...)

The midwife arrived at around 3:45am, just after DH had finished getting the pool all set up and the whole of the lounge ready. There was plastic sheeting covering the whole floor, with loads of towels and old blankets. I asked MW to check me to see how far I was as ctx were so uncomfortable and I wanted to see if it was worth using the TENS yet. She couldn't reach my cervix!! The examination was sooooo painful, but my cervix was completely posterior and no telling how dilated I was.

I thought stuff it, let's go with TENS on low, which worked surprisingly well, with DH watching me to press the button for ctx so I wouldn't have to worry about it. She checked me again about half an hour later approx 4:15am and I was roughly 3-4 cm - hooray!!! I could finally get in the pool. OMG sweet relief - it seemed to take away so much of the pain it was untrue. I was breathing steadily and concentrating so hard through every ctx, but it felt like nothing was happening - I couldn't feel baby moving down or anything and was getting verrrrrrrry tired. The water was so warm and soothing but making me a little sleepier than before (I hadn't slept since Friday night!!)

By 6:30am and 6½ hours of established labour, I became very close to thinking I was fighting a losing battle and started to beg for some kind of help. I kept apologising to DH saying I felt like I'd thrown all our hard work out the window by wanting to go in for an epi, but that I was just desperate for help. MW offered to check me again to make a decision - I was 6-7cm!!! I couldn't believe I had made it that far and decided (with renewed vigour!!) that screw this - I was almost there and I knew I could do it. I started on the gas and air and could feel that I might just get to the end.

I soon hit transition - I don't remember much about it, but DH and MW say it was very clear when I was there. I only remember doing weird things like trying to dry off the side of the pool (with a wet hand), and wondering why one of the light's on the ceiling was more yellow than the others (it wasn't...) and instructing DH to stand in an exact spot at the side of the pool so I could go to him or move away as needed...it was very surreal but that's all I remember of that.

I was micro-sleeping between ctx at this point; the "sleeps" felt like ½ hour each but DH tells me they were minutes if not seconds, before being woken by the next ctx. They eventually took the gas and air off me because I wasn't using it, and pushing stage began :shock:

At 10:30am-ish I wanted to start pushing so MW checked me one last time and said she could easily feel Mocha's head 'right there' (about 2cm inside. DH got in the pool and stood behind me, holding me up under my arms while I squatted in the water. The pushing was IMMENSE but the MW were fantastic, not touching me or interfering, using a torch and mirror to observe, telling me how to push past the Ring of Fire and get the head out. I reached down and could stroke the top of Mocha's head and knew I was so close. DH got in the pool with me and held me up while I squatted and pushed – it was unreal, reaching down and feeling the head come out. Finally after an hour of much guided pushing, out came baby Mocha at 11:32am! Labour had lasted approx. 11½ hours. He was GORGEOUS, eyes open and alert, not crying, just gurgling out water, very peaceful. I was so surprised he was a boy! He's called Noah Franklyn.

DH cut the cord and I got out for my natural 3rd stage which was great too. Unfortunately, no one had anticipated baby being quite so big, and I ended up with suspected 3rd degree tearing (hence the trip to hospital). While the MW was assessing me at home, I was out of it on gas and air, DH came back downstairs and announced his weight to me – 10lbs15oz!!!! I nearly had kittens on the spot (which probably would’ve been easier…) At hospital they kept us in because they were all so concerned with the size of Noah (by rights he should have gotten completely stuck with shoulder distortia), whether my SPD was going to be an issue and wanted to make sure he was feeding properly – it was a day before he decided he was going to latch on. Now he feeds like a pro :)

He’s eating and sleeping well, still trying to work out some kind of pattern, but he did well for his first night at home. I’m so proud of myself to be honest – we followed my entire birth plan to the letter, and even after ending up in hospital we got some of the best lactation help we could ask for.