Saturday, 3 November 2012

When is a braxton hick not a braxton hick?


When it is very much the real thing! Here is your birth story baby BK...

I made a bit of an error of judgement on Wednesday, but in my defense I don't know how you are supposed to know. Although perhaps false labour is a little less likely when you are 3 days overdue? Maybe I do just like a story a little bit too much...

So after my swim on Wednesday I felt absolutely fine. I did have a few strong braxton hicks late morning but I have been getting those for the past few weeks and nothing different to usual. I had a nap late morning, walked to the post office and got some lunch. Afternoon likewise. 

Now I do remember thinking that whilst watching 'Escape to the Country' 2-3pm (nice houses, never really like the people viewing them) that the pesky braxtons were back and again a bit uncomfortable but nothing out of the ordinary. At about 3 I decided I might make a note of how often they were coming and spent 3-4pm on Google asking, "how do you know if  you are having real contractions" etc. I kind of thought I would from last time but with Mabel my waters had broken. Things like, 'they should go if you have a cold drink and move around', and 'will remain the same strength and not get any more regular' came up. They were about every 12/15 mins but not getting any stronger or more regular and I also read that they could last up to an hour anyway. I discounted them as braxtons and got set up for an episode of 'America's Next Top Model'.

Unable to concentrate on Tyra Banks I rang G Kisby at 4.20pm to check he was on his way home. I wasn't panicked at this stage, I just kind of felt I didn't want to be on my own. We agreed that when he got home we would make a decision on whether to call Granny over 'just in case'. I rang him back 20 minutes later since they were now getting a little more painful to say that I would indeed ring Granny.

4.50pm I rang Granny and asked her to come over, "just in case" explaining that it was probably false labour but we could get a takeaway and at least she would be here in case anything happened. We chatted for a bit then suddenly a huge pop and my waters broke. Luckily I was on the toilet at the time. Granny set off to come and look after Mabel.

I then rang G Kisby in tears. I had a sudden realisation that I was in real labour and on my own which felt a little scary. He was about half an hour a way and kept me calm telling me to ring the hospital and explain the situation, which I did. They basically told me to pop along, they would check that it was my waters then we could come back home again for a while until 'labour was established'. This led me to think there was no rush.

Downstairs I tried to work out how to attach my tens machine (G Kisby had done it last time) and checked I had everything in my hospital bag. But the contractions started to get worse and by the time G Kisby got home at 5.30pm they were getting much stronger. I have recollections of our gorgeous girl getting in from nursery and running over to see me but really struggling not to look in pain. She was looking at me wide eyed as I tried to reassure her through gritted teeth lent over the side of the sofa. G Kisby again was brilliant and logically asked me what needed doing and attached my tens machine. Realising Granny wasn't going to get here in time I called our NCT friend Michelle who was amazing and despite having a toddler herself dropped everything to dash round in about 10 minutes.

He told me to ring the hospital again to explain that with traffic at rush hour it was going to take us too long to get to there,
"But they will ask me about how regular the contractions are and we haven't even timed one yet" I replied
"O.k lets do one now then" he suggested
 We did. It was just 2 minutes apart. I kind of realised then that this was not good.

In the meantime a flaming Asda shopping delivery arrived so I went upstairs to get out of the way. 
"Sorry mate you're just going to have to dump it there, my wife's in labour," G Kisby explained.

By the time he got upstairs I had rang the hospital who, despite me saying they were 2 mins apart, suggested I still tried to get to Huddersfield birth centre instead. I know that they must have people arrive far too early in labour all the time but surely an error of judgement? I was all set to get in the car and was just looking for a jumper to put on when my contractions changed and I realised with complete panic that I was at pushing stage.  

5.50pm and I am sat in our spare room,
"Oh my God babe it is too late, I think I am at the pushing stage" I shouted to G Kisby who promptly decided we were ringing an ambulance.
At this stage I was very much still expecting to get into said ambulance and go to the hospital. G Kisby phoned 999 and was talking to a lovely calm operator who reassured him she would talk him through the entire process.

"You need to lie down on the floor" he told me
"I can't babe, I need to sit here" I replied
"No you need to lie down, they are telling me you need to lie on the floor on your back"
I did as I was told (a first there I thought, credit to me)
"Right clean towels" he repeated and grabbed the pile of white (yes white) sheets from the top of the wash bin. They had just been taken off our bed that morning (G Kisby informs me afterwards that he didn't actually think a baby was going to be delivered on them, they were just to keep me comfy). The lady at the end of the phone must have smiled as I chirped up with,
"Er babe I think we need to use clean towels, get some out of the cupboard".
Somehow we still ended up with white ones, not ideal but we hadn't really planned for a home birth.
She also asked him to find a safety pin (?) and get me to undress from waist downwards
"Any ideas?"
"Er no" I replied
"Don't think we are at that stage yet..." I heard him respond to a question she must have asked. All I was thinking was,
"Oh no, this is not good. And I was thinking my yoga poses weren't attractive. I really do not want G Kisby having to go down that end during labour"
But at the same time,
"Not really sure I have much choice here. This is bad. This is really bad. This is taking my lateness to a whole new level"

"How long until they get here?" was all I remember saying repeatedly, sensing that every contraction was getting scarily close.

G Kisby, still in his work clothes, started to roll up his sleeves (oh my God) and replied to the question,
"Er no I can't see the head"
He was stood at my knees and glanced down.

"How long? Are they close?"

6.05pm. I hear 2 paramedics coming up the stairs,
"Oh o.k are we delivering? Get the mat pack Ian..." I heard one shout
I think it was only then I realised that we were definitely not getting to hospital.

6.15pm a gorgeous (if a little larger than normal) baby boy is placed on my tummy. G Kisby was TEN minutes off delivering our second child. Still in a white vest top with a non maternity bra, lay on our bedroom floor. One of the most surreal and amazing experiences of our lives. He was a little blue so they did some nose sucking and a few cries were soon then replaced with contented little noises (is there any sound more gorgeous or unique than a newborn's little murmerings?) The shock / shaking of labour first time around was replaced in this one with a massive sense of relief and complete adoration. I had worried it wouldn't be as special and it was different but not in a bad way. I enjoyed those first moments more because I could, first time you have the shell shock and 'first timeness' which is so unique, second time you can properly relish the moment and strangely I was less scared. I remember G Kisby beside me saying,
"We have a baby boy. Babe we have a baby boy" in complete amazement.  

The room was dimly lit, the floor may have been uncomfy but it was our floor (I have no idea how but there wasn't a mark - G Kisby's towel laying OCD came good) and the paramedics were absolutely brilliant. The midwife since told us that they were probably panicking inside since this is not something that happens as often as you'd think but outwardly they were so calm, so reassuring and just brilliant. I remember apologising as they walked in and then asking if they had every delivered a baby before,
"Oh yeah, you are absolutely fine" they replied whether true or not. 

We had to wait for an hour or so for the midwife to then arrive so we all sat around, drinking tea, they were like some sort of double act. Certain things make me smile about it all now, like G Kisby asking after one went to grab something from the ambulance,
"Is everything o.k downstairs?"
To which one replied,
" I don't know I haven't really checked. It seemed o.k though"
He clarified,
"Oh no I meant downstairs, you know in the lounge, we have a toddler down there"
Ha ha. And yes, in answer to the question, everything miraculously is o.k downstairs. I have no idea how because our baby was a huge 11lbs.

I gave birth to a flaming toddler. 

And afterwards I had a bath. Mabel was able to come in and meet her baby brother, give him a bedtime kiss and have her Daddy do her bedtime as normal. We got pizza takeaway (Granny arrived after a ridiculous 4 hour journey on the M62 so it was lovely that she was there) and spent our first night together as a little family rather than stuck in a hospital.

Yes I realise there are a lot of 'what ifs' (not least the fact that most 11lb babies don't come out so easily so it could have been really bad) but I would now definitely recommend a home birth. Which, lets be fair, is pretty much gonna happen again if we have any more since I clearly labour quickly. 

I'd go so far as to say that being late and unprepared was yet again not a problem...(I joke Mum, obviously)

And everyone loves a good story.

Welcome to the world baby Wilf...we are so glad you are here and love being a family of 4!
(More pictures and apparently G Kisby's version of events to follow...)


  1. Congratulations! I am so glad you and the baby are okay. The picture of Nelly and the baby is precious. What an experience you had and what a birth story to tell him when he is older.


  2. Oh my goodness! What a tale to tell. I'm so happy for you. Congratulations on becoming a family of four!!

  3. I loved reading this tale...even though I knew it already!
    OCD came good, though I wonder if deep down he was worried that noone would be putting away the fridge stuff in the Asda delivery?!!
    Love you family of 4
    fee x

  4. Many many congratulations, I'm so glad your little baby Wilf arrived safely. Gorgeous picture of Mabel with her new brother! You are a brave lady, very well done :)

    Caroline xx

  5. Oh my goodness!!! 11lb????!!!! That's insane!!!
    Welcome to the world baby Wilf.
    Mabel and Wilf. Sounds like a clothing label for kids - love it.
    Many many congratulations hun x x x x x x

  6. This is a wonderful story :) Congratulations, two of mine we're born at home, I had very quick labours and my other half was nearly in the same situation, so next time........
    Love the name :)

  7. How fabulous and well done you! I've had a 10lb baby in the safe confines of the hospital, wouldn't have been able to deliver him on the bathroom floor! Am full of admiration for you all ... a lovely story and congratulations xxx

  8. What a beautiful story! And your baby is gorgeous, a very large bubba to be sure! Well done and congrats to you all.
    Take care,
    Sarah xox

    PS found you via your sister's blog "Chipper Nelly" and I love your blog - am now following along <3


    Reached your good news through Fee's blog, 11 pounder, unbelievable, I will never tell my 9lb 10 labour story again! Gorgeous Wilf congratulations to you both

    Love Tracy, Graham, Tamsin and Jude x x x x

  10. Wow! I had to laugh at the downstairs bit! I worry about home-births too, with my last (2nd) I was dilated past 6 before labor ever began - I had to jump in the car with the first contraction. That said, my babies were around seven lbs. I have no idea how you managed 11!

  11. Hi, What an amazing story, really lovely.
    Just had to read this tale after popping over from Fee's blog.
    congratulations. x

  12. Eek, I read this post yonks ago, but I've just popped back to catch up with you and suddenly realised I never actually commented.

    Goodness you gave that babe a fascinating first day ;)

    Congrats to all x