26 October 2016


 So today is the 25th October 2016, it's my due date and i'm starting to type up my birth story. It's been 9 months of waiting for this moment and i'm overjoyed, overwhelmed, in awe and still shocked over the labour and everything leading up to this moment now. I'm full of emotions and crazy feelings and I cannot believe the story i'm about to type.
It's not how I expected my labour to go and I cannot quite believe it still. It is a magical story and one that i'm glad I can document and share, as it will be something I can look back on, Brad can look back on and Iris can look back on, just like Lucas' birth story.
This is the story of how our beautiful daughter, Iris Raine Walters, came rushing into this world and made her grand entrance, quicker than you can ever imagine.
We had all these plans on filming parts of labour for a birth vlog and getting some really special pictures for us too but everything went a little crazy and we didn't manage to get anything.

I woke up at 3:45am on Saturday morning, i'd had a sweep Thursday at 11am, and had run out of hope that it was going to work, with only losing my bloody show, I wasn't feeling very hopeful and had no significant signs that labour was starting. I had been waking up around 3/4am, for a few days and struggling to get back to sleep after. I started texting my dad, who was at work and just generally chit chatting, I watched some youtube videos, I browsed facebook and felt really grumpy that, 2 hours on, I was still awake and we were heading into Lucas' wake up time.
My mum had been away for the week and was landing back into the UK, and had put up a facebook status' stating that I was allowed to go into labour now. I laughed, and Brad woke up around 5:50am, and we chatted and I started to get tightenings.  I started tracking them and after laying in bed for a while, they started to ease off. I thought, here we go again, just like before they're stopping and starting. I decided to try bouncing on my birthing ball and dancing to some cheesy pop tunes. This seemed to bring the tightenings back on, so I spent 5 hours bouncing on the ball, tightening and feeling uncomfortable, and decided to go downstairs and potter around and do some tidying. I called my mum at 12 and told her I was contracting regularly but not to tell anyone as I was convinced they were going to ease off and stop again and didn't really believe I could be in labour.

I called the labour line at 12:30 and they said to track them for another hour and then come in if I needed too. I didn't feel there was any rush, I could bare them and they were mostly just annoying and I could talk and move through them so continued to get on with my day, move around, tidy, play with Lucas, watch tv, ect...
My mum and her partner turned up to mine around 3pm, and the tightenings were getting more and more uncomfortable and I would have to stop talking and move occasionally onto my knees to rock back and forth. So at 4:20pm, we called the hospital and agreed it was time to go in, get examined and see what was happening. I still wasn't convinced I was in labour, and assumed we were going to end up being sent home. We set off ready to have a baby anyway, just in case.

When we arrived we were hooked up to a monitor, Iris was all happy but my contractions were barely there. They were painful when they came, but they were now so sporadic, I don't think they thought we were in labour properly. They checked my stomach and couldn't feel her head or her shoulders, so we headed down to have a scan to check where they were. Thankfully, wedged completely in my pelvis and ready to go. 
I asked the doctor about a water birth and sadly she told me it wouldn't happen and it was for mine and Iris' safety, which I will always take doctors advice on, even if I don't totally like it. 
We then headed back to the labour room and were getting ready for me to be examined. 
I didn't want to be strapped to the bed during labour as I hate being restricted and really wanted to move around through the pain, so they agreed that after my examination, I could get up and try and get my waters to break by bouncing on a ball.

I was examined and they said I was 2-3cm dilated, so we were told I wouldn't be leaving the hospital without my baby girl. It all became really surreal and we were getting the ball ready, the mat ready so I could go on all fours and strapping me up to keep an eye on her heart rate. 
Once I was in a comfortable position, there was an issue, her heart rate was showing as dipping and we didn't know if it was a fault with the machine or if she was in fact in danger. I was told I had to get back on the bed and to make sure she was okay. It wasn't comfortable and I really didn't like it. I started needing the urge for some extra pain relief by this point as being strapped down and limited to movements became rather uncomfortable and annoying. They said i'd have to stay like this for 4 hours until my next examination, but then they would break my waters and they would put a clip on her head so that I could get up and move around. 4 hours strapped to a monitor on a bed, waters to be broke, it wasn't what I had planned but her safety was my main priority. I started on gas and air around 20:25 and it made the pains a bit more bearable. 

I put my headphones on for hypnobirthing, but kept getting spoke to so had to keep taking them off to answer questions, and it threw me out of my zone completely. I would say it may have been a coincidence but whilst listening to hypnobirthing and puffing on the gas and air the pains weren't as bad and I could manage them. I guess its to do with the fact I was really focusing on my breathing and listening really careful to the affirmations.  

The night midwife came in just after 20:30 and they were handing over to her as I puffed away and the day midwifes left. The new midwife explained a lot to me and then at 20:40 she asked me to stand up to go to do a urine sample for her, she said as i'd be strapped to a bed for 4 hours and then i'd be examined. As I stood up I said I was getting a contraction, Brad handed me the gas and air and then I realised it was more than just a contraction. "My waters are about to break" were the final words I said before I drenched my feet. Thankfully there was no where near as much water as there was when my waters broke with Lucas, it wasn't niagra falls this time. She got me to wee in one of those paper hats, really classy, and then stripped me off, put me in a gown and I hopped back on the bed. 

At 20:50, she did another examination and I was 4cm dilated, I was finally in established labour and she put a clip on Iris' head and the pains started coming quick and fast. I was hanging off the bed by this point, getting rather irate with being told to get on the bed better, when all I wanted to do was be comfortable and to do what I needed to do. I then started to realise these pains were unbearable and asked for more pain relief. Brad started to read out the epidural and remifentinil side effects and benefits, as I could not look at the paper, and that meant I could then decide which one I wanted. I was becoming closer to agreeing to an epidural at this point as I couldn't control the pain or my body. I kept telling Brad, I couldn't do it, I absolutely couldn't and I needed something stronger.

She started prepping for me to have my canular put in for safety reasons and for the pain relief, and I said "I need to push." It was questioned whether I needed to push or if I just wanted to push... I couldn't control the urge. This freaked me out as less than 10 minutes earlier I was 4cm dilated and I couldn't imagine the damage I could have caused myself.
She started putting the canular in my hand when I pulled my hand away and said "I need to push, i'm pushing" and both Brad and the midwife kept telling me to stay still and I kept insisting the I needed to push and that I was in fact pushing.

By this point its 20:50 and i'm just puffing constantly on the gas and air. She examined me and through a fuzzy head, eyes and ears, heard her say to Brad, "Can you please push that button there, she's fully dilated and ready to push" Shock hit me and also the pain. I was still hanging off the bed and all these midwifes came in. The midwife took the half inserted canular out of my hand and helped me move to a better pushing position.
I pushed and pushed through the pains and contractions. She told me I needed to push her out on the next push as she was getting tired and that sparked something in me. Finally in a huge push, she came out in that one whole push. No head and then body, she just sort of flew out. I couldn't believe it.
The only thing I could say was "I was only 4cm, I was only 4cm?" I then apologised for screaming when I pushed her out... I felt a little silly but you lose control of your body and make the strangest noises in a bid to handle the pains.

She was placed on my chest, something that never happened with Lucas, and Brad got to cut her cord, something else he wasn't allowed to do last time. It was amazing.
Once I delivered the placenta, Brad made a 'classic Brad' comment and said "We're not taking that home," and that was the end of the placenta story.
I needed 3 stitches and had a couple of grazes but that was about it. So not too bad. weeing afterwards was hideous and I cried.

Iris Raine Walters was born Saturday 22nd October 2016, at 21:15pm weighing 6lbs 15ozs. From established labour at 4cm dilated, I was in labour 35minutes, I cannot believe it, especially as my body would technically recognise this as a first labour experience. She's an absolute dream, she's beautiful and is breastfeeding really well. We spent less than 24 hours in hospital from arriving in labour to being discharged and it felt amazing to be able to get home to my little boy and start our lives as a family of 4. She's changed our lives again and has made everything utterly perfect. Her big brother is already so protective over her already. When she cries he comes over to make sure she's okay and he spontaneously kisses and cuddles her, it's utterly perfect and we're all in this bubble of wonder and amazement and awe.
Never in my life have I felt so content, happy and in love with my little boy, my baby girl and my wonderful fiance.

Without Brad's support I wouldn't have got through the labour like I did. We decided last minute to keep it as just us two, we wanted it intimate, calm and I was in so much discomfort I just wanted to bury my head in Brad and labour. It was the most painful, perfect experience of my life and i'm overjoyed I got my successful VBAC.

Thank you to anyone who left kind messages, support and congratulations, we really appreciate it! I really am so blessed and lucky to be a mummy, let alone one to two beautiful children. I really am glad I am on this motherhood journey and so glad that I get to do it with my best friend, rock and soul mate, Brad.

Thank you again!
So excited to continue to document this journey and Iris' journey and also Lucas' transition to being the most amazing big brother, that he is.