Thursday, the 29th of September, I got up early as usual, went to the gym and had a uneventful morning. We started schoolwork after our usual morning schedule once I got home and Kim had left for work, and close to 11 a.m., I felt my first sensation. I was not quite sure it was real labour though because it was so mild and much lower down than I anticipated.

With both Sinéad and Regan, I felt my first signs of labour when I had a “high up” menstrual cramp that slowly moved down during the day. As they increased in intensity and duration, I realised this was probably the real thing, and chatting with Kim on Trillian, I told him that it seemed to be starting, but he didn’t need to come home yet. Even when I did get him to come home, I did not think it would be for a while.

I had a feeling-after reading some information about how the likelihood increases of post partum haemorrhage with more pregnancies-that I should prepare in the event of it, and so put some Shepherd’s Purse tincture on hold at a local health food store. I told Kim he should start planning to be home by about 3 pm so he could pick it up. However, before he did get home I was feeling stronger and more frequent sensations, needing to concentrate and focus each time. I phoned a friend and asked her to pick it up for me, which she did! She is wonderful.

Kim arrived shortly after three and I was in intense labour. I had the bed ready and everything we needed for the birth, put some essential oil on (lavender) though I do not know if it calmed me or not, but oh well. The children, I kept occupied by letting them watch more TV than they ever do (usually two shows a day max, and they are not long shows!). Sinéad had finished all her schoolwork early enough, I had washed the floors (as planned) done my yoga and done other necessary housework, so I was ready anytime!

I got out my big exercise ball and was using that to labour on and it really helped to rock back and forth with the sensations. Still no bloody show and that actually did not happen until very SHORTLY before Aisling was born. Through a few of the sensations, I held onto Kim, and I vocalised as well. I really needed to do this. This really helped. Kim is such a wonderful support to me when I am birthing; he is so calm and focussed and supportive and completely there for me. He’s marvellous.

After a while, I felt the need to get on the bed and did so, hands and knees again, leaning against all the pillows I piled up. Labour was becoming so intense, it was difficult for me to feel centred through them and I even realised then I should have worked on more relaxation, but did a lot of self-talk, which always helps. I was sweating an incredible amount too, and could feel when I hit transition. My body and our baby were sure working hard. Vocalising (very loudly, I am not sure what the downstairs neighbours thought but I did not bother to go and explain later. Sinéad for one, turned up the TV, she told me later).

The sensations were coming right on top of one another, of course, with very little time in between. My waters released (somewhat) and she still had not descended fully (I checked) but I knew it would not be too long. A couple of more sensations and then my water gushed out and there was meconium, it was old and light green though, so there was not a need to worry; however, I did, as I expected it to be fully clear!

I wanted the baby out very soon and began to push (feeling that urge) and Kim thought I was pushing too hard, but I didn’t feel like I was (and didn’t tear at all anyway) and a short time later, Aisling was born. She came out quickly, almost all at once. As always, it was a wonderful feeling to birth my baby. Kim told me we had another girl, and I turned over to take her.

Because of the meconium, I got Kim to suction her, but there was not any need; she was clear. She started to cry right away and we realised that the cord was rather short. I had to lean down to try to nurse her (she was not interested) and wait for the placenta to come out (which it did about 45 minutes later. We clamped and cut the cord about a total of 1.5 hours after she was born, which gave both Aisling and I more freedom of movement.

There was a fair amount of blood after the birth, and my suspicion is that the cord being so short, Aisling pulled it away a bit as she was descending. Nevertheless, it was still intact and everything was fine with it (the placenta).

A little while later, I went to wash off in the bathroom and after doing this and getting out of the tub, I was feeling rather light headed and did pass out, still feeling rather off. Kim helped me to the living room and I lay down with my baby and took Shepherd’s Purse tincture and cayenne in water. They were definitely helping, but I was still weak and so it took awhile to recover from that. (This surprised me somewhat because I did recover so quickly after both Sinéad’s and Regan’s births).

Aisling is a little doll. We are thrilled to have her with us. The birth was very intense, but very satisfying as well.