It’s been ten weeks since Kit arrived and I thought this time round I’d find it easier to pen how he entered the world…guess what? It’s not! No matter what your birthing experience is like, having to process such a monumental, life changing moment, is difficult. As you know, Luna’s birth was far from blissful. I actually felt traumatised for months afterwards and in a constant state of shock at what my body had gone through. Then as any new mother knows, you have to find every piece of strength inside to look after the tiny human that’s staring back up at you. I’m happy to say that Kit’s birth was a much calmer and more enjoyable experience.
It was Thursday 26th of April, I was 40 weeks plus 1 day and I took myself off to have some reflexology and acupuncture. At this moment you’ll do anything to get things moving and from the last time I knew this would do the trick! Literally as I sat down and the lady started working on my feet, I had my first surge. Over the next hour, the griping pains kicked in and I felt confident things were beginning to happen. I called Dozza to come and collect me, I got home, got into my comfies, lay on our bed hugging my pregnancy pillow and mentally prepared myself for what I thought was immanent.
The weeks prior, I had been doing Hypnobirthing with this incredible lady called Rosie. She gave me some wonderful techniques on how to cope with the waves of pressure that were building internally. I had found peace and calm, going to my happy place, the beach in Kenya which my house sits on, watching the sunrise, and breathing in and out when the surges were at their peak. It was lunchtime and the contractions were slowly increasing from every 13 minutes to every 7 by 4pm. I called my mum and sister, in a fuzzy haze of excitement and told them we would probably be leaving for the hospital in the next few hours. By 8pm I had re checked my hospital bag, Luna was sleeping soundly in her cot and we had called the Royal Surrey to tell them we would be on our way shortly…then something funny happened, something that I didn’t see coming at all. I began to feel incredibly tired. It was a tiredness that I’d never ever experienced before. I remember saying to Dozza at about 10pm “I’m exhausted, can I go to sleep?” which was weird because at this point the surges were every five minutes and I should have been feeling ready to give birth! I shut my eyes and the next thing I remember was checking my phone, it was 5am and nothing. No surges, no pain and definitely no baby! I got back on the phone and called the midwives. My labour had stopped and I totally fell apart. I literally couldn’t stop crying, it was horrible. All that disappointment and confusion on what was going on smacked me like a ton of bricks…at this point I couldn’t ever see myself delivering our baby. Apparently in the early phases of labour this happens loads but I genuinely hadn’t expected it, and I didn’t know what to do next. The midwives were AMAZING and told me to have a bath, try and have some food, stay put and get on with my day as much as I could.
My husband deserves a medal at this point, I was incredibly deflated and anyone who’s been through this will know how it feels to get so far and then have an empty space in front of them. I think I got a hundred kisses and cuddles off him during this part of the day and just as quickly as it disappeared, at 1pm on Friday 27th April we were back in! I spent the afternoon, bouncing on my big ball, walking around, playing with Luna and refocusing on the birth. It was happening!! Flash forward to 5pm, my surges are coming thick and fast, every five minutes, when we realise that we didn’t have any Goats milk for Luna. Dozza jumped in the car and rushed down to the supermarket to pick some up. During this period (he was only gone for 25 minutes), the contractions had gone from manageable to off the richter scale and coming in virtually every three minutes. Never have I been happier to hear the key in the door and see him rush in…it was time to go.
The facilities at the Royal Surrey are seriously good, all of the birthing suites have got a pool, bean bags, exercise balls and the most wonderful team of midwives on hand to get you through any hour of the day. With Luna’s birth, after being in labour for 30 odd hours I was only 1cm dilated. You can imagine how delighted I was, after the initial examination, to be told I was 4cm dilated already and things were speeding up quickly. I’m going to be totally honest here, I actually didn’t know what sort of birth I wanted. In my last experience I had all these plans; in the water, no drugs, no problems and it ended in an epidural, forceps, episiotomy after three days. This time round I went in with an open mind, an open heart and a feeling that I would make a decision in the moment, based on what was going on right then and there. I want to be honest with you again now. Some women deal with pain better than me. I found the surges really tough to cope with, incredibly painful and I just didn’t want to go through all of that again. We were told, if we wanted an epidural, now was the time to have it. I looked at Dozza and in my mind contemplated trying to do it naturally again like last time. He said nothing but knew what I was thinking. It was 8pm and time to call the anaesthetist. I was having an epidural. Looking back, I’m so glad I made that decision, it was absolutely the right one for me.
By the time Dozza had gone and come back after moving the car, the epidural had been done and I was lying in bed feeling very serene. For me, having the epidural gave my mind the space to focus on what I was about to do, rather than not coping with the pain of the surges and freaking out about the birth. This is a very personal decision, as decisions in labour are, and you do what works for you. Listen to all the stories, the good and the bad, and make a choice you feel is right in your birthing journey. This is the best advice I can give you.
At 10pm, two hours after the epidural, I was 8cm dilated but my waters hadn’t broken. I couldn’t quite believe this as with Luna, they broke as my first surge appeared. Our wonderful midwife Rati had left us alone in the room, when I began to feel tired again. I’ve got to admit, in this moment I felt a little odd. Sick and a bit dizzy, I shut my eyes wanting to sleep. A few minutes later this massive explosion happened, it was so big I nearly jumped off the bed! Dozza was obviously a little concerned as I started to say that the baby’s head was poking out. I mean, its laughable really…I kept saying it “Go and get Rati, the head has come out!!” The baby’s head hadn’t come out, my waters had gone in monumental fashion! The only way I can describe it is, it was like someone had fired a ball at my bum, hard! I used to think the way waters broke in the movies was a load of rubbish but I can confirm, they sometimes do go like that!
Soon after that at around 11pm, I was told it was time to start pushing. Rati was consistently calm, completely in control and such a wonderful presence in the room. She gave me clear instructions, ”When I tell you to push, you push. When I tell you to stop, you must stop”. Energy was flowing through my body at this point, I was fully charged and ready to meet our little boy. After an hour of pushing there was a problem with Kit, he started to turn and go spine on spine just like Luna did. They called the doctor in who said unless I got him out in the next five minutes, it was going to be a forceps and episiotomy delivery again. I really didn’t want this to happen. They say you find super strength in labour, like something bigger than you takes over…I pushed and pushed and just like that his head came out, followed quickly by the rest of him.
It was over. He was here. This little messy ball of yumminess was placed on my chest, screaming and covered in blood but perfect in every way. Relief and overwhelming joy flooded the room and weighing 7lbs 11ounces, Kit Peter Doran Jones was ready to start his journey in the world.
The aftermath was a different picture to last time, thankfully…yes I came away with a second degree tear, meaning a few stitches but they healed quickly. More importantly the over riding emotion was a really euphoric birthing experience, it’s what I had longed for. I have coped so much better with the whole thing and to be honest with you, I barely think about it and if I do, its only good thoughts. I guess what I’m saying is, the wounds heal, and the challenging memories fade and if like me, you had a bad time the first time round, I promise the second time will be different, different and much much better.