At 6:30am on Sunday 12th March I woke for the day and went down to the kitchen to prepare breakfast. At about 6:45 I felt a contraction but didn’t think anything of it as I had been having Braxton hicks for the past few days. 7am I felt a small gush which I thought could be my waters (turns out it was). I decided to have a bath I thought if they were Braxton hicks then the bath would make them ease. They carried on so I started to time them in the space of about 45 minutes they went from 7 minutes apart to 3-4 minutes apart. At 8:30 I rang the hospital to let them know what was happening they then told me to wait an hour and call back to let them know how I felt then. So that’s what I did, I tried to eat breakfast but couldn’t. I Sat on a towel on the bathroom floor, timed contractions and began to think about getting ready to go to the hospital. In the space of that hour my contractions had become more painful and were now 2-3 minutes apart.
After calling the hospital back they told me to come and be checked but if I wasn’t progressed enough they would send me home. So at about 10:30 Daniel packed the car and I got dressed and headed to the hospital. The drive is only about 15 minutes but I remember it being the worst drive of my life and to top it off we had one of ‘those’ drivers in front of us driving 10mph! I am so thankful it was a Sunday because the hospital car park was empty whereas usually it’s manic. We parked and started the long walk to the birthing centre (I gave birth in a birthing centre attached to the labour ward in a hospital). It is at the far end of the hospital so it took a while to walk there. People walking past were wishing us luck, one lady asked me for directions! Of all people to ask! Once we arrived there the midwife showed us to our room and checked to see how dilated I was. I was 3cm dilated and she said they don’t normally keep you until you are 4cm but I was completely thinned out so she decided to keep me in anyway. She encouraged me to take a bath or walk around the hospital, I opted for a bath. I must have sat in there for about 3 hours where the contractions got very strong.
Once I managed to get out the midwife brought me a birthing ball which made things more intense. I asked if I could try some gas and air but she said to stick it out longer until I was in established labour (above 4cm). I reluctantly agreed and moved to sit on the beanbag. After about 15 minutes I felt as though my body was starting to push so I asked her to check me, she didn’t want to check me early but I explained what I was feeling so she agreed. I was already 9cm! I remember her keep saying but you don’t look like you’re in labour, she laughed and asked me if I wanted gas and air now (in the end I barely used it) and started to fill the pool up ready for me to get in. With every contraction now my body was pushing. Getting into the pool was an amazing feeling, all of the weight lifting off me and knowing that when I got out I would have done it, I would have given birth to my baby girl. I was so excited. After about 2hours at 4:25pm Saskia Rose Gomes came into this world, I can’t even begin the describe the feeling when I pulled her out of the water and onto my chest. It didn’t feel real. I looked up at my husband who was just in awe of her and I felt complete happiness. I’d done it! I had given birth with no pain relief just using breathing techniques and making sure I was in control the whole time. After the delivery of the placenta we went back to our room and I held her properly and got to feed her, she latched on straight away and started drinking. We were told if she had another feed without any problems we could go home later that night, which we did. At about 10pm we left the hospital and brought our baby girl home.
Thankyou so so much to Amy for sharing her incredible story! You can follow more of Amy’s motherhood journey here.