It was my due date with my second baby and late at night when contractions started regular but not strong until late in the next afternoon when it was time to head into Birthcare. My independent midwife rang ahead let them know we were on our way in. Upon arriving a lovely Birthcare midwife met us on the birthing level as my midwife wasn’t quite there. She settled us into a room where my midwife joined us not long after. After a quick check and finding out I was sitting at 6cm my waters were broken and things slowly progressed. Over the next few hours of walking the hallways around the birthing rooms and resting in our room the contractions became stronger and closer until I felt walking was not helpful and was ready to hop in the birthing pool which had been prepared for me. I spent the final stages of labour in the birthing pool with gas for relief when the warmth of the water no longer was enough as the contractions intensified.

It was nearing 11.30pm when I felt like the pain was unbearable and realised we must be nearly there. As it became time to push a birth care midwife came in to help both my husband replacing cool cloths and the midwife – it felt very calming and empowering having both midwives there and a real sense of being able to have the birth I was hoping for; a birth where I could follow the leads my body gave me without interference. At 11.57pm my little 7lb14oz girl, Rebekah, made her way into the world and was brought up to my chest ready to have her first feed. We cuddled and kept skin to skin throughout the third stage of labour, Rebekah suckling away to encourage the contractions. After the placenta was birthed and we’d had a few more cuddles I was shown to the connected bathroom to shower while the midwife checked Rebekah over and dressed her in her first outfit we had ready. After leaving the shower I was greeted by another friendly Birthcare staff member waiting with a wheelchair to whisk Rebekah and I off to our postnatal room and check whether there was anything I needed. It was exactly what was needed after a long labour and a late night; a nice hot toasted sandwich, a cup of tea and lovely one on one personal care which continued throughout the rest of my 3 nights at Birthcare.

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