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The birth of Arabella

 
I'm sitting here with our 3rd precious little girl snuggled into me.  I'd quite forgotten how wonderful it is to have a newborn baby.  Arabella Betsy Blossom timed her arrival perfectly.  Matt had taken Hope and Hattie to his parents Friday evening in anticipation of me going into labour over the weekend.  I'd spent much of Friday on all fours and on the ball doing hip circles, but there was no sign of baby changing her posterior position.  At 2am Saturday morning I awoke with contractions.  The contractions were the same as the strong Braxton Hicks I had been experiencing for the last month, but this time I was pretty sure this was the start of the real thing.  I realised the back pain had gone and for the first time I felt a kick much higher up to my left side, it seemed like the baby had changed her position.  After about 90 minutes of contractions between 8-10 minutes apart I had a bath.  Afterwards I went back to bed.  At 5.30am the contractions subsided a bit, so I managed to get 2 hours sleep in before they started again.  The contractions continued throughout the day, but very erratically, varying from 2 minutes to 25 minutes apart. Matt kept suggesting I phoned Bracken, but it was hard to judge when to contact them as the contractions were so irregular.  I didn't want to go in and then be sent home, but more importantly I didn't want to end up giving birth on route.  I agreed to phone them when I next had 3 contractions 5 minutes apart, which proved just right.  We left pretty much straight away.  As soon as I got into the car they were between 1 1/2 to 3 minutes apart.
On arrival to Bracken I immediately asked if the pool was free. Yes.  Fantastic.  At last a waterbirth was insight.  We waited for the midwife Chrissie to come and assess me, but due to all the paperwork , it felt like an eternity waiting.  I so desperately wanted to get into the pool.  I envisaged the baby coming before the pool was ready.  I agreed to an examination as the contractions had been so erratic up until the last 45 minutes that I had no idea how established labour was.  I was 5cm dilated. Great I could relax, there was time to fill the pool.  The sound of the water running was music to my ears.  Once ready, we were taken into the room with the pool, it was lovely, it was just beginning to be dark outside, the lights were dimmed and beautiful calming music was being played.  At last, for my 3rd and final birth, I had got what I had always wanted, the birthing pool.  As I submerged myself into the water, I felt so relieved to have made it there, now I could relax.  I breathed through each contraction. I'd had Entonox with the other 2 labours, but this time, just concentrating on the breathing was totally effective.  After about an hour in the pool I sensed the familiar rectal pressure.  The midwife was great, very unobtrusive but gently encouraging.  I braced myself for a difficult hour, half expecting this baby to become stuck like the previous 2.  I didn't dare believe Chrissie when she said the baby was almost there.  But after less than 10 minutes our beautiful baby was born.  Chrissie caught her in the water and lifted her up to me.
I then had a natural 3rd stage.  I sat in the pool cuddling our baby, cord still attached, this was so lovely, no pressure to get out of the pool, just enjoying bonding.  Arabella then had her 1st feed.  53 minutes later, still in the pool, the placenta was delivered. 
The birthing pool was just fantastic, it made the entire birth experience so wonderful.  During the 2nd stage I was able to alter my position so much more easily in the warm water, which I'm sure made for a much quicker and easier delivery.
I'd like to say thank you for all the advice and preparation you gave throughout your sessions, it definitely contributed greatly in making the birth so very perfect and special.
Take care and thank you once again.
Love Helen xx