Nancy’s due date was 6th October and, of course, the day went past with baby still lovely and cosy in my womb! I never had any expectation that my third baby would be early or on time, with Ella being 8 days late and Sienna born 12 days late after being induced. And it worked out well that Nancy stayed put. Sienna was poorly with an ear infection and on antibiotics. I was full of a cold. And just felt pretty rubbish and exhausted, and not ready to give birth just yet.
I’d had lots of Braxton Hicks over the final few weeks of my pregnancy, and did occasionally wonder if this was ‘it’, but carried on regardless and the days kept passing. I was due to be induced on 17th October if baby had not made an arrival by then.
On the afternoon of the 15th, I started to feel a little funny. I picked up the girls from school/pre-school and we got in the car, and I had a really intense pain in the top of my leg. It was making it difficult to drive. When we got home, I just didn’t feel right. I definitely wasn’t having contractions but was having random pains in my leg and my tummy felt a bit tight. I had a feeling that it wouldn’t be too long before I went in to labour. The trouble is, you wait so long, that you start to ignore the signs! I’d had no show or anything else that suggested it was imminent.
That night, I woke at 3am with a pain in my tummy that felt very much like a contraction. I’d been there before in the middle of the night with Braxton Hicks, so tried not to get my hopes up, but decided to start timing the pains as they came and went. They were ranging between 7 and 10 minutes apart and I soon decided that this was definitely it, and no longer a false alarm. I decided to stay lying in bed as I felt if I got up and moved around, things would start to progress, and I was happy for it not to progress until everyone was up for the day.
At 5.45am, Sean woke and I told him I was in labour. Sure enough, as soon as I got up, the contractions edged closer together. Sean had brought home the keys for his site, as he was sure nothing was going to happen until I was induced, and so had to go back to work with them. The girls got up, we decided to break our rule of no iPads on school days, and they sat quietly on the sofa, while Sean headed to work and I breathed through my contractions in the kitchen. Up to this point, they really hadn’t been too painful, but I was starting to have to really focus on my breathing. In between contractions, I got the girl’s things ready for the day and got them some breakfast. They had no idea I was in labour!
By around 6.30am, the contractions were about 2-3 minutes apart. Sean still wasn’t home and I was worried how fast things were going to progress with it being a third baby, so rang him to see where he was and to ring his mum to say he’d be dropping the girls round to her. By 7am, Sean was home, dressed the girls and got them to his mums. He came back and we rang the hospital who suggested we come in to see how far along I was.
With Ella’s labour, I’d say the worst bit was the car journey. I hated every second of it. So, I was really worried about getting in the car. Actually, it wasn’t too bad at all. I only had about 3 contractions during the 20 minute journey and managed to breathe through them all without too much struggle. I was adamant that I wasn’t going home to go back though, as I didn’t want to put myself through another car journey!
With both girls, I had to deliver them on the labour ward rather than in the birth centre, due to my thyroid, induction and both being big babies. But, my consultant had put on my notes this time that she thought I’d be ok in the birth centre. I was really excited at the prospect of giving birth in a less medicalised environment and, hopefully, in the pool. I was examined by the midwife at about 7.50am and she found me to be about 3.5cm dilated. She said they’d usually suggest going home, but as it was a third baby and the other two labours progressed quite quickly from 5cm, she was happy for me to stay, thank God!!
She did seem concerned about me being on the birth centre rather than labour ward due to the predicted size of Nancy, and did warn me that I may have to be moved. But for now she was happy for me to stay where I was, especially as I was the only person giving birth in the birth centre that morning. She said she wouldn’t start running the pool until I was further along, to give me the highest possible chance of giving birth in the water.
Over the next hour, I’d say I coped pretty well. I was breathing through contractions, though each one was getting more and more intense. After about 50 minutes, she asked if I’d like some gas and air, and it definitely made a difference. I lay on my side, puffing it through each contraction. At around 9am, she said she’d examine me again to see where I was up to and I was 5cm, so she decided to start running the pool so I could get in for some relief. It was at this point that I started to ‘moo’ slightly during contractions and get a little bit pushy. The pool was ready after about 20 minutes and I climbed in and started to feel even more like I was pushing during contractions. Within 5 minutes I was definitely pushing, there was no holding it back. I felt Nancy move down and, much to my surprise, her head move out and then back in again. A couple of minutes later, at 9.29am, Nancy was born in the water. The midwives broke my waters just before she came out.
I pulled baby out and up to me and we laid together in the pool, skin-to-skin. I realised then that we still didn’t know if we’d had a boy or girl, so had a look and was so surprised that it was another girl! I was almost convinced she’d be a boy! Once it had stopped pulsing, Sean cut the cord (which he hadn’t done with either of the other two) and Nancy was taken off me while I clambered out of the pool.
Sean had skin-to-skin with Nancy, while I was given the injection to deliver the placenta. After it was out, I was checked over and thankfully had suffered no tears or grazes. Nancy had skin-to-skin with me then for a couple of hours and fed off and on throughout it. She then had her checks done and got weighed. She was a somewhat hefty 9lbs4! Though, as with the other two, it was more length than chunk!
Whether boy or girl, we had no idea what we were going to cal the baby. We decided to give her the nickname Nancy until we had settled on a name, but within an hour we decided Nancy was perfect for her.
We hung around at the hospital for a few hours before we were released home with our new bundle. We got home around 2.30pm, which was perfect timing as it meant Sean could pick up the girls from school with them having no idea that their new sister was waiting at home for them! They had such a lovely surprise when they got in, though were definitely a bit bewildered at first. They’ve been obsessed with her ever since!
Nancy’s first days went really well. She fed almost non-stop, but I’d been there before so was expecting it! Unfortunately, she fell ill on day 6 but will cover that in a separate post.
Overall, the birth was amazing and I somewhat enjoyed it! It was so surprising how she was suddenly there, it really did feel like she came out so fast. And I loved having her in the water. It was my easiest of the three births by far.
She’s completed our family and we all adore her so much. Our little Nancy Eve Flynn, born Tuesday 16th October 2018 at 9.29am.