Flashback Friday – My First Birth

Flashback Friday, Personal

On Tuesday, it was 2 years since my first birth so I thought I would write a post about his wonderful entrance to the world in honour of him and his 2nd birthday!! Happy Birthday wee man! This is for you and your beautiful mama who allowed me to be a part of this amazing moment in both our lives!


keep calm and trust your instincts midwife midwifery

It was the end of my second week in my first ever labour ward placement and although I had seen a few vaginal births, I hadn’t conducted one myself before. I had no idea that it was going to be today. At handover, my mentor and I were assigned to a room with a labouring woman who was admitted from home in early labour not long ago. We went into the room and introduced ourselves to the woman and her partner (for confidentiality reasons, I won’t name them but let’s pretend they’re called Susan and Robert) and took the handover from the night shift midwife.

Everything was going lovely and Susan was using the gas and air through contractions. We listened in with a handheld doppler until we noticed a dip in baby’s heartbeat and put her on the continuous monitor to get an accurate assessment of baby’s wellbeing. They were a few dips with the contractions so we kept her on the monitor but brought in a birthing ball for Susan to use and she was finding it uncomfortable to lie on the bed – who wouldn’t though, right? She sat on the birthing ball still using the gas and air and we were still able to monitor baby so it was a win-win for everyone! I made Robert a cup of coffee and brought in some toast and fresh iced water. Susan was quite comfortable on the birthing ball and Robert was very good by her side. Between contractions we got to chat and know each other better. This was their second child – they had a 3 year old boy at home.

Susan was admitted to the labour ward at 3cms dilated because with her last child, her labour went quickly and the couple were pretty shocked by it all so this time, they came in early for extra support. They told me they didn’t know what sex their baby was and had gone back and forth throughout the pregnancy on what they thought they were having. It was refreshing because all the other births I had been at, the couple knew what they were having so I was also getting excited as to whether they were having a boy or a girl.

As the dips continued, my mentor asked Susan if she was feeling any pressure down below or an urge to push at all. Susan said she didn’t feel an urge to push but was feeling a lot of pressure in her back passage (which turned out to be a baby) so my mentor asked if she would like to be examined to assess her progress because the dips with the contractions could be a sign of labour progressing well and baby descending into the pelvis. Susan agreed and positioned herself on the bed for an examination. My mentor examined her and said she could only feel a tiny rim left of her cervix and that baby’s head was well down in the pelvis. Susan and Robert were a bit shocked with the news of hearing that birth could be very soon as it had only been 4 hours since she first came to hospital. We reassured her that we would be there beside her and encouraged her to use the birthing ball again as she was most comfortable on it.

My mentor got everything set up for delivery and no less than 10 minutes after the examination, Susan said she suddenly felt the urge to push and quickly climbed onto the bed and gripped the pillows while Robert held the gas and air for her. We reassured her that baby was going to be born soon and to breathe long and deeply through the contractions and to just go with her body. She took some deep breaths and calmed down. My mentor told me to get my apron and gloves on so I washed my hands and put on sterile gloves just as Susan said she could feel ‘it’ moving and it was sore. She changed positions on the bed but obviously couldn’t get comfortable as you could see a small part of baby’s head. We encouraged her to go with her body and just do what it told her and we would guide her. Robert was holding Susan and comforting her. With the next contraction she literally just breathed out baby’s head and then moments later, out breathes the rest of baby. We lifted baby up on to mum’s chest for skin-to-skin and placed a warmed towel on top of baby. It was such an emotional moment! I won’t lie, I could feel my eyes watering just watching Robert and Susan crying over their beautiful baby.

After the initial shock of having a baby less than 5 hours after coming in to hospital, Susan asked if it’s a boy or a girl. To which Robert just perfectly replied – ‘look under the towel sweety’ THE BEST RESPONSE EVER! And low and behold, they had ANOTHER BOY! That revelation just made us all emotional as their little boy at home had been going around telling everyone he was going to have a little brother and telling everyone what his name would be. What a perfect ending! The placenta showed signs of separation and the cord had stopped pulsating so we clamped the cord and Robert cut it (something he never got a chance to do last time because it happened so quickly and everyone was in shock) and Susan pushed out the placenta also which was just lovely.

My mentor and I tidied up and cleaned the bed with fresh pads and assisted baby onto the breast for his first feed! He was a cheeky monkey and decided to do a little pee as we got him changed into a nappy but oh well, good for you wee man! He went on the breast beautifully and just went to town getting his breakfast! Once he finished, we weighed him and he was a cute little 7lb 14oz (close to my birth weight). Robert dressed him an got him looking all cute in his first outfit and Susan got up for a shower while my mentor and I finished the paperwork.

It was honestly the most amazing and spectacular birth I have seen as she just breathed through those contractions and then a little baby came out! I will always remember that birth and that couple and I hope that wherever that family is now, they are happy and healthy and I’m sure they celebrated little man’s 2nd birthday in style!

Have a great weekend y’all!

RebeccaJane xo

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