Name: Michelle Dodd
Story two – Ava’s birth
Did you have a birth plan prepared?
Yes – anything as long as the midwife helped me so I didn’t tear again (I had a 3rd degree tear with my first)
What were your first signs of labour?
I’d been in latent labour for weeks and had been 3cm for a few days but when the contractions started mid morning on Good Friday 2014, I knew this was it!
How did things progress?
I got to the birth suite to be told I was only 3/4cm but given my previous quick birth they said I could stay put and bounce on the birth ball for a few hours to see if this moved things along.
What happened next?
Not a lot for a while – random contractions. Baby then turned back to back which made my contractions go very weird and intense with one long contraction and a short one straight after.
Did you have any pain relief?
I asked for some pain relief when I felt I couldn’t cope and took some paracetamol. Almost straight after I took it things suddenly took a dramatic turn. I just got my leggings on only for my waters to break. The desire to get on all fours overtook me and as my husband and midwife took my trousers off I started to push. Three mouthfuls of gas and air and my daughter was born.
How did you feel when you met your baby?
Relieved and totally overwhelmed. There was meconium in my waters so she had to be checked over and we hadn’t found out what we were having so there were these minutes with her behind me being looked over by the doctors who had been fast bleeped in – and me not knowing if she was a pink or blue bundle!
How was the overall experience for you?
Amazing! I had a slight tear but the difference to my first birth was astounding. We were born so relaxed and laughing and joking in between contractions. It was the most beautiful and empowering experience of my life.
What advice would you offer to other parents?
To go for a midwife led unit and use music or whatever you need to stay active and as relaxed as possible in the lead up to the birth