Having It All: Faking It

Confessions of @A_WorkingMum

Birth Number One (a.k.a. The Slowest Birth Of All Time)

This long post (sorry) about an even longer labour is written for context.

I really only decided to tell the tale of The Slowest Birth Of All Time (Baby Number One) in order to paint the picture of why I was so shocked to have a speedy Accidental Home Birth (Baby Number Two).

The Accidental Home Birth was quite the shock and by far the more dramatic story. If you are bored and want to get straight to the gory details, forget the rest of this tale and skip to the link below!

(It isn’t as good though if you cheat and miss out the context 🙂 )

The Accidental Home Birth

Prior to The Slowest Birth Of All Time, I had read everything possible about labour.

I don’t mean that I read advice in the manner of a well-adjusted human being.

I mean that I spent my spare time devouring information in a neurotic fashion as though the more time I devoted to my research, the more it proved my love for my unborn child.

Even that is probably an understatement.

More accurately, as I had no spare time, I lay awake at night after my husband had gone to sleep, obsessively researching by the glow of my mobile phone under the duvet in the early hours of the morning.

The onset or labour, what to expect, options for pain relief, national guidelines, evidence-based practice… you name it, I read it.

With hindsight I think I believed that it was possible to approach the “Having A Baby” project in the same way as any other challenge I had faced up until that point.

My plan was roughly equivalent to my general approach to succeeding in life thus far:

  • Do a large amount of background reading
  • Review the available evidence (be it bona fide research, expert opinion, case reports, personal review or anecdotal evidence)
  • Review the source of the evidence and assess it for reliability
  • Make reasoned rational decisions based on mine (and others) review of the available evidence
  • Expect a successful outcome – if achieved, share this information for the benefit of anyone repeating this process
  • If outcome not as desired, submit feedback/reviews to add to the available evidence

Therefore this account is an attempt on my part to share my own experience for general information.

I make no attempt to advise.

My research-based approach to life (or variations thereof) had served me well in passing exams, gaining degrees, succeeding at work projects, career planning, running marathons, buying houses, buying cars, fixing things, planning a wedding, organising large events, planning holidays, planning a pregnancy … for me, this was a winning formula.

I saw no reason to expect labour to be any different.

Towards the end of my pregnancy I even had an hour-long meeting with a consultant midwife – a job description previously unknown to me.

The meeting occurred after I read the NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence) Guidelines and discovered that I could request a planned caesarean section on the National Health Service provided I fully understood the pros and cons of caesarean and vaginal deliveries.

Unfortunately after enough research for a thesis, there seemed to be no obviously compelling superior option.

I took the information to long-suffering husband and asked what he thought.

“I trust you to make the right decision.”

Very occasionally I think that my husband may actually be a genius.

Back to the reading.

I languished over World Health Organisation documents condemning the world-wide rise in caesarean sections rates. I read the reasons why they were higher in some countries than others. I read the arguments for and against.

I eventually concluded that I thought my baby and my pelvic floor would both be safest with a planned caesarean section.

By that point, I was frankly sick of reading about it and was relieved to have made any decision at all.

When I explained my reasoning to my community midwife, she referred me straight onwards.

I fully expected my referral letter to read something along the lines of:

“Dear …., please see this woman who is a giant pain in my arse. She will not stop obsessively reading things and I would appreciate you taking her off my hands. I wish you the best of luck with her.”

(I have never seen my referral letter but if that is what she wrote, I would agree wholeheartedly)

Long-suffering husband and I therefore turned up to meet the gatekeeper of the caesarean section booking list – the consultant midwife.

I took an instant liking to him after he introduced himself and said:

“If you are sure that you want a caesarean section then you will walk out of here today with a date for one.”

I liked him a lot.

This sounded a little too good to be true and my suspicion showed.

He clarified.

“We are in the middle of a deprived area in a city centre.”

Silence from me.

“We are not overrun with women who spend their time reading the NICE guidelines.”

I could see his point.

He then asked exactly what my concerns were.

My concerns were based around a cheerful scenario involving an escalation of interventions.

My vivid imaginings took me to a long labour with a struggling baby, followed by emergency forceps, large episiotomies carving up my pelvic floor, then a stuck baby requiring an emergency caesarean section and being left with both an abdominal wound and a lifetime of incontinence, prolapse, perhaps an incisional hernia thrown in for good measure, if not a bowel injury, a stoma, and a brain damaged baby.

It was all very optimistic.

I decided that if I must be in any way sliced and diced, I liked the idea of everything happening in a planned, orderly fashion in the cold light of day, with our baby being closely monitored at all times.

He nodded empathetically and summarised that I was worried about all complications of all emergency interventions.

This seemed about right.

“You know, there is another option which avoids all of those interventions.”

I was all ears.

“Stay away from obstetricians.”

I was momentarily confused.

How could I have a planned caesarean section without an obstetrician?

“You are healthy, slim, very physically fit, you have a very low risk pregnancy and an excellent chance of having an uncomplicated labour requiring no interventions at all. I would recommend that you consider labouring on the midwife-led unit.”

That idea threw me for a minute.

I had done so much reading to prepare myself for every possible worst-case scenario that I had almost forgotten about the option that the baby could potentially make its way out of my body without leaving a trail of destruction in its wake.

“Don’t get me wrong – if anything out of the ordinary happens, you absolutely want an obstetrician. But in a straightforward labour with no complications, you have a much higher rate of intervention on the obstetric-led unit compared to if you remain on the midwife-led unit.”

My sceptical face re-appeared.

“They are right next door to each other, you know, the midwife-led unit and the obstetric-led unit. If anything went wrong they would just wheel you straight next door.”

Still not convinced.

“Would you like to see for yourself?”

Yes, I did want to see.

He took us for a walk and sure enough there was one calm, casual unit run entirely by midwives right next door to the obstetric-led unit with the lovely shiny monitoring machines, the good drugs, the epidurals and the operating theatre.

I gave it some thought.

I did so like the scientifically reassuring idea of every twitch being monitored and explained. I wanted charts, graphs, reassuring beeping sounds and a lovely planned delivery where I felt in control.

“Another thought…”

He looked at me cautiously as though expecting a punch in the face.

“You will probably want to move around during labour as you are used to exercising a lot. I don’t think you would like being restrained to a bed. A very good form of pain control for you would be to consider going in the water.”

For a moment I thought my head would explode.

Surely this man was not seriously suggesting I consider a WATERBIRTH?

I had come to meet him to arrange my dream of a planned, scientific, safe caesarean section, and he wanted me to hide from the obstetricians and have my baby in a bath? Possibly with dimmed lights, music, probably throwing in some chanting and whalesong for good measure?

I thought that he may well have lost his mind.

And then, out of nowhere, this man worked his magic.

He reeled off the most incredible back catalogue of statistics.

This man REALLY knew his stuff.

Years’ worth of departmental audits. Studies. Reviews of their hospital data.

He soothed me with cold hard numbers and they were like music to my ears.

Numbers that no amount of 2am reading would ever have given me access to.

Percentages of women who had tears in all settings, episiotomies in all settings, complications of all kinds…this man knew it all. There was no question I could ask him that he did not know the numbers for.

And all the numbers boiled down to the same concept.

If you have a problem during labour – you want an obstetrician ASAP.

If you have a perfectly normal labour, DO NOT GO NEAR AN OBSTETRICIAN. They will intervene early because that is what they are trained to do.

So there I was, unexpectedly agreeing with this man that in order to try to avoid all complications I would try a waterbirth in a midwife-led unit. The whole idea just seemed so … uncontrolled and unpredictable.

I could never have imagined me agreeing to such a plan.

I was deeply suspicious that he might have played some kind of Jedi mind trick on me.

  • Perhaps he had reassured me that I could have a caesarean section just to relax me, to then sell me this idea of a waterbirth?
  • Did he have a sales quota on waterbirths?
  • Maybe shares in the company who made the bath?
  • Perhaps he had no intention of ever booking me in for a caesarean section?
  • Perhaps I should call his bluff and make sure it wasn’t just reverse psychology?

I could not help but concede that the ideal solution to my fears would be my baby emerging in a healthy condition whilst my body remained intact without any interference from anyone.

I tested the water, so to speak.

“Okay, if I agree to the waterbirth, I don’t want to be induced when I get to 10 days overdue.”

He smiled.

“No problem.”

He remained polite and cheerful.

“Would you prefer a planned caesarean section if you are overdue?”

Yes, I thought I would.

He whipped out the diary and wrote my name in, booking me in for my caesarean section at ten days after the due date.

And so, our unusual birth plan was agreed upon.

Plan A) A hippy waterbirth with no interference from obstetricians

Plan B) A planned caesarean section if anything deviated from the norm or if I were ten days overdue.

Fast forward to Birth Number One.

Day 1 – Thursday (Due Date minus 2)

Contractions started.

I painted my toenails in preparation.

I then had a sudden moment of madness and went to the beautician for a last minute leg and bikini line wax, realising that I may not have time to do this for months to come.


My beautician does take satisfaction in inflicting pain. It makes her eyes light up.

Her eyes were truly sparkling that day as she observed that “everything was just soooo swollen down there” and that it was really going to hurt. She was right.

Given that under normal circumstances I am not an idiot, I am not entirely sure how I made the decision to spend an hour of pre-labour having hairs ripped mercilessly out of a part of my body being compressed by a tiny human being beginning its descent.

Nevertheless, I did make that decision and underwent one hour of torture followed by an evening of increasingly strong contractions.

I stayed up through the night, calmly pacing, deep breathing, and feeling quite proud of how well I was managing my labour.

Day 2 – Friday (Due Date minus 1)

Regular, painful contractions. Three every ten minutes according to the App on my phone.

Long-suffering husband and I made our way to the hospital exactly when the guidelines told us we should.

A midwife examined me.

Verdict: 2cm dilated.

“Oh yes, things have definitely started. You are 2 cm dilated. We don’t admit you to hospital until you are 4cm dilated so here is some codeine.

Go home, take the codeine, and come back tomorrow.”

We went home.

For twelve hours I paced slowly around the living room timing my contractions – still three every ten minutes.

I lay awake in the bath all night timing the contractions – still three every ten minutes. Long-suffering husband boiled kettles as I used up all our hot water.

Day 3 – Saturday (Due Date)

Back to the hospital in the morning.

Examined by a midwife.

Verdict – 3cm dilated.

The advice – here is some codeine, go home, come back in 24 hours.


24 hours of regular contractions had managed to produce nothing more impressive than a 1cm increase in the size of the opening in the middle of my cervix?

“Is there any chance you could just admit me now? I’ve been in labour for two days with no sleep, we must be nearly there. I am getting pretty tired.”

She smiled cheerfully at me.

“Actually, you are not in labour.”

I stared blankly at her.

I had been having regular contractions for 48 hours and there was a 3cm hole in the middle of my cervix.

How exactly was I not in labour?

I enquired. (Probably not very politely)

“Oh, everything up until 4cm dilated is called pre-labour. Active labour is from 4cm – 10cm.”

I was aware of this terminology from my obsessive reading but failed to see how it was in any way relevant.

“Yes,” I said through gritted teeth, “but it doesn’t actually FEEL any different, does it?”

She looked confused.

“The rest of my body doesn’t know if my cervix is 3 cm or 4 cm dilated. My uterus has been contracting for 48 hours and I would still like to stay in hospital to have this baby.”

She looked even more confused.

I clarified through gritted teeth.

“I. Don’t. WANT. To. Go. Home. Unless it is with a baby!”

Suddenly she understood where I was coming from.

“Oh no, you don’t want to stay here! Research has shown that Mums are far more comfortable labouring in their own homes than in the hospital.”

I sighed.

It is very difficult to explain your point of view when every two minutes you have to stop to deep breathe your way through a contraction.

Whoever these well-adjusted women were who were far more comfortable in their own homes, I was not one of them.

I wanted to be here, in the hospital, close to the experts.

I was convinced I might be doing something wrong and that perhaps I would miss something vital that I had failed to properly research. I wanted to stay there near the people who actually knew what they were doing.

I sat there, unmovingly.

The midwife took pity on me.

“Why don’t we keep you here until this afternoon. I will find you a room, you can have a membrane sweep if you want, and then we can re-examine you later and see if you have reached 4cm.”


I think I loved her.

Right up until the membrane sweep that is.

Now, for anyone who has not come across a membrane sweep, I will not enter into detail here lest I put you off.

You will not be surprised to learn that I had already read the (unconvincing) explanation of how this technique was supposed to work to bring on labour more quickly and the (poor quality) evidence supporting it, but by this point, I did not care.

I would have agreed to anything at all that stood the slightest chance of speeding things up.

One membrane sweep and six hours of pacing later (I was doing shuttle runs – I really wanted to make sure I was doing it properly), I was re-examined.

Verdict: 3 AND A HALF centimetres dilated.

I very nearly shouted in the midwife’s face…

“What the actual FUCK?? Your fingers do HALF CENTIMETRE sizes now? Three and a fucking HALF? Round up, you miserable woman, ROUND YOUR MEASUREMENT UP! How the fuck is that not FOUR? JUST ADMIT ME TO THE HOSPITAL!”

She smiled sympathetically at me and I knew what was coming.

“Here is some codeine…”

“Yes, yes, I know. Take the 24 hours’ worth of codeine with me and go home.”

We left, with me muttering darkly about how they must be REALLY short of beds.

Another night with no sleep, three contractions every ten minutes.

All. Night. Long.

By now I was so tired that I slept through a few hours of them on the sofa with a hot water bottle.

Day 4 – Sunday (Due Date Plus One)

I woke up on the sofa, unsurprised to discover that I was still having three contractions every ten minutes.

Convinced that I had the world’s slowest cervix, perhaps totally unresponsive to hormones, I decided it might be another week before I met my baby and started mooching about the house doing normal activities in between contractions.

Every now and again I would lean on a chair, deep breathe for a minute, and then carry on.

Long-suffering husband was watching me with a strange expression on his face – a mixture of exhaustion and curiousity.

“So…are they the same as yesterday, or any stronger?”


“The contractions, are they any worse?”

I had lost the ability to make comparisons.

“I don’t know.”

He continued.

“Do you think you will have the baby today?”

“What? How am I supposed to know that?”

“Well….I technically can’t start my paternity leave until the baby is born. So if you are not going to have the baby today, I will have to go into work tomorrow morning.”

His observation was not particularly welcome.

I decided that it was not helping the situation so ignored it.

At 4pm nothing had changed.

I was still in pain and my 24 hour supply of codeine had run out.

I phoned the labour ward.

“Hi, I have been in every day. I am always in pre-labour and always get the “have some codeine and come back” advice. Can I please come in and pick up some more?”


“Well….describe the pain to me.”

My patience was wearing thin but I tried to answer as honestly as possible.

“Constant pain in my lower back with regular contractions.”

She hesitated.

“That doesn’t sound like labour pain to me … so I wouldn’t be happy to just give you codeine. Maybe you are suffering from pubic symphysis discomfort.”


I had been having contractions for four days, had been examined three times where the dilatation of my cervix had been 2 cm, then 3 cm, then 3.5 cm, and now 24 hours later, she thought my pain may be due to some other totally unrelated condition and NOT LABOUR?

“I suggest you come in and get assessed.”

We returned to the hospital.

By now I was pretty pissed off with whichever genius had designed the entrance to this hospital.

It is a WOMEN’S hospital, full of women in labour.

Who the FUCK designed the entrance so that the only way for cars to drive to the front door was over a succession of speed bumps?

A man, no doubt.

A man who has never and will never have to suffer the pain of driving for the FOURTH time over the collection of speed bumps whilst sitting on top of a head trying to (very slowly) force its way out of his vagina.

I screamed at long-suffering husband to slow down and to stop racing over the speed bumps, when I suspect he was driving at the speed of a snail.

I began pacing the waiting room.

After an eternity or two, a midwife took me into a bay and hooked me up to a monitoring machine to see if I were actually having contractions.

Her eyebrows shot up.

“Those are enormous contractions!” She proclaimed.

Long-suffering husband looked suddenly very interested.

She showed him how big to expect them to be on the graph. She assured him that mine were as big as they got and that I was definitely in labour.

He looked thrilled.

“Ooooh, look at that one, it’s enormous!”

I glared at him.

“I know.”

“Well it was hard to tell what was going on before. Now I can see it all.”

The midwife left for a moment and then my waters broke, flooding the assessment bay.

The midwife returned and examined me.

“Seven centimetres dilated,” she pronounced.

I was ecstatic, as was long-suffering husband.

He because he could message his colleagues and inform them that yes I was actually in labour and he would not be going in the morning.

Me, because I was FINALLY being admitted to hospital and would be going home with a baby.

The relief was overwhelming.

Something was actually happening. No more limbo.

We were admitted to a room where I paced for an hour until the room with the birth pool became available.

I then found myself floating around in an enormous tub like a giant whale.


It was by far the best pain relief of everything else I had tried, floating around gently in the warm water. There were twinkly fairy lights on the ceiling. No whalesong or chanting.

Long-suffering husband leapt into action, mopping my brow and feeding me an iced fruit smoothie through a straw like a pro.


We were assigned a very young midwife.

She showed me the chart where she had to write down the baby’s heart rate every so often and explained the protocol.

She asked if I would like to try some gas and air.

Why not?

10 minutes later I was floating around the water, as high as a kite, giggling.

I couldn’t even feel the contractions any more. In fact, they seemed to have faded into the background and almost disappeared altogether.

The midwife checked the baby’s heart rate – still completely normal.

She re-examined me and prounounced me FULLY DILATED.

I couldn’t believe it.

“Any minute now, your baby will float to the surface of the water.”

Alarm bells rang.


I had read about waterbirths, watched videos of waterbirths, and had never come across the idea that the baby would simply “float” out of me.

I looked at the midwife more closely.

  • She really was very young.
  • How young, exactly?
  • How many babies could she possibly have delivered?
  • Was she in fact a student?
  • Did she actually know what she was doing, though?

I applied some willpower and had a few stern words with myself.

  • Do NOT ask this woman if she is sufficiently qualified.
  • Remember that she is following an evidence-based protocol written down on a piece of paper in front of her.
  • It is irrelevant how young she is or how many babies she has delivered.
  • If anything deviates from the norm on her protocol, she will call someone and all will be well.

An hour passed.

The midwife informed me that I could now try some gentle pushing. Nothing happened.

Perhaps I was superwoman. I was so in the zone that I was totally pain-free and the baby would just float out of me after all.

The baby’s heart rate was remained perfectly normal.

The protocol told her that if nothing had happened after two hours from being fully dilated, she should call an obstetrician who she duly called around 2am.

The obstetric registrar arrived and unceremoniously kicked me out of my swimming pool.

All of a sudden the bright lights were on, the music was off and I was shivering on an examination couch, dripping water all over the floor. The magical spell was most definitely broken.

She, looked at my chart, sighed and called the midwife over. She explained:

“She is not fully dilated at all. She is still 7 cm. The same as when she was admitted seven hours ago. She has failure to progress.”

Ah. Perhaps I was not superwoman after all.

Perhaps my contractions were pain-free not because of my incredible pain threshold, but because they had in fact stopped when I got into the very relaxing water.

The midwife looked embarrassed.

“I’m so sorry,” she said to me, “I made a mistake.”

She looked like she might cry.

I smiled reassuringly at her.

“These things happen,” I said.

I was most surprised to hear those words coming out of my mouth, but discovered that I really didn’t care. She was only human. These things do indeed happen, no harm had been done, and she was clearly mortified.

“What’s the plan?”

“We transfer you to the obstetric-lead ward and start a syntocinon drip to re-start the contractions.”

I felt very calm.

I had read all about this and had received a recommendation from an obstetrician friend in case this situation arose.

“The induced contractions are the really painful ones, aren’t they? If the baby is stable I would like an epidural before the drip.”


I was actually a bit sad to leave my hippy water-dwelling with the twinkly fairy lights. I had enjoyed my time there… free from contractions, being pampered, and getting high on totally unnecessary gas and air.

It had been a significant improvement on the four days of pacing around the house like a caged animal.

I smiled and waved encouragingly at the despondant-looking midwife.

“A few more vaginal examinations to practice for me then,” she said forlornly on my way out.

“Don’t worry, you will be fine!” I said.

It didn’t seem in the slightest bit strange at the time to find myself offering words of encouragement to the young midwife.

The next step – the obstetric-led unit.

As I had originally envisaged I found myself surrounded by medical equipment and beeping monitors. It was just as soothing as the hippy water-room in its own way.

We were told that everything being monitored appeared completely normal so we should await an anaesthetist for my epidural.

An indeterminate amount of time later the anaesthetist arrived. She was very cheerful and appeared somewhere in the region of twelve years old.

“Hello!” she said, “I’m here to do your epidural.”

I had another stern word with myself.

  • Do NOT ask this woman how many epidurals she has done.
  • Do NOT ask her if she is sure she knows what she is doing.
  • Do NOT ask her if there is someone more senior nearby, supervising her.
  • She is going to be doing this epidural anyway so shut up and don’t put her off.

My talk to myself worked.

I managed to keep my mouth shut, smile, agree, sign the consent form without asking any awkward questions, and say nothing during her ministrations to my spine.

Her epidural worked beautifully.

Now pain-free, I slept peacefully until the morning despite the ferocious syntocin-induced contractions displayed on the monitor.

Day 5 – Monday (Due date plus 2)


I awoke to find a crowd in my room – the Monday morning ward round.

I was re-examined and found to be still 7cm dilated despite good contractions.

A brief discussion followed.

Apparently my baby’s head had fully descended but could not get out because my cervix was stubbornly refusing to finish dilating.

The consultant advised a caesarean section that morning.

I signed the consent form.

As they were leaving the room I woke up enough to ask some questions:

  • “Is the baby okay?”

  • ”Does the monitoring show any sign of distress?”

  • “Is there any alternative to the plan for a caesarean section and what are the risks?”

One of the registrars stayed back to answer my questions. She started speaking when out of earshot of her boss.

“The baby seems fine. There are no signs of any distress at all. Yes, there is an alternative, you could continue waiting for your cervix to dilate and there is no risk to doing that at this stage. There is a risk to doing the caesarean section though. Because your baby’s is so low down, we are going to have to pull the baby back up again to get it out. There is a risk of damaging your baby’s neck by doing that. The decision of whether to do the C-section or wait is yours. The consultant is only advising the C-section because this has been going on for some time, not because there is any evidence of risk to the baby yet.”

Oh crap.

I wished I had never asked.

I looked at exhausted, long-suffering husband.

Whilst I had finally managed a few blissful hours of epidural-induced sleep, he had been sitting bolt upright in the straight-backed wooden, chair, starving.

“What should I do?”

I can’t actually remember what he said.

We decided to wait.

I heard the registrar go outside and tell the consultant that I didn’t want the caesarean section after all and that I would like to wait.

He was annoyed and said very loudly that if I didn’t want to take his advice I didn’t have to.

“Re-examine her in two hours’ time,” he proclaimed from outside the door. “If she is not fully dilated, do a caesarean section.”

I went back to sleep.

11 am

2 hours later I was re-examined.

Verdict: 9 centimeters dilated.

The registrar was quite excited at the progress. Contrary to the previous plan, she reassured me that there was still no sign at all of any distress from my baby and if I wanted to wait another two hours I could.

I went back to sleep.


2 hours later I was re-examined.

Verdict: fully dilated.

It was a minor miracle, but I was so tired I didn’t really care any more.

I asked what happened next.

“It’s best if we wait for two hours before you push.”

I went back to sleep.


The midwives woke me up.

It was time to push.

I couldn’t really feel anything thanks to the magical epidural and had to put my hands on my stomach to feel the contractions to know when to push.

The two midwives spent five minutes explaining that I would have to work hard at the pushing because I wouldn’t be able to feel much. They were very cheerful and chatty.

“Who painted your toenails?”


It was the middle of the afternoon, the sun was shining brightly through the window, I had had about 8 hours sleep in the last five days, and I thought I was hallucinating.

“Your toenails. Your nail varnish looks nice. Who painted them?”


“Did your husband do them for you?”

My husband with the aversion to feet? You must be joking.

“No. I painted them myself after my contractions started. It seemed important at the time.”

“Oh well… you will be absolutely fine then.”

Had I missed something?


They nodded wisely at each other.

“If you managed to bend down and paint your own toenails then you will have no problem pushing out this baby.”

“Right, let’s wait for the next contraction. Here it comes. PUSH!”

I pushed obligingly.

They started having a discussion with long-suffering husband about my baby not having much hair and all three of them went to have a look at its head between my legs. Surreal.


I pushed for a second time and out he flew at 3.10pm.

Five days of waiting then two pushes and it was all over.

Surprised that I was seemingly no longer required, I picked up my camera from the bedside table and took some photos of this baby who was still attached to me.

It seemed the obvious thing to do at the time.


He was placed on my chest for some skin-to-skin time, weighed, admired, and we were left alone.

I slept.

Some time later I opened my eyes to find the consultant midwife standing next to me. Apparently he liked to follow-up on the women he had met with to discuss their experience.

  • He reminded me that my plan had been to go for a caesarean section immediately if anything abnormal happened.

Oh yes.

  • However after signing a consent form to do exactly that, I had then changed my mind and did not want the caesarean section.

Oh yes.

I couldn’t really remember why I had decided any of the things I had decided over the past five days to be honest.

I was too tired.

“So,” he said curiously, “overall, were you satisfied with the experience?”

Absolutely YES, I assured him.

  • Healthy Baby.
  • Healthy Mum.
  • Did anything else really matter?

He smiled and left.

To continue to Baby Number Two – The Accidental Home Birth, click on the link below:

The Accidental Home Birth


  1. I can’t get over that they let you have codeine! In the U.S., we can’t even take Tylenol/Advil during labor. Most intense pain of my life!

    • workingmum

      15th March 2017 at 11:16 pm

      OMG. What are you allowed to take then?! We are allowed paracetamol, codeine, and then they will give you morphone in the hospital. Just not allowed anti-inflammatories. I had nothing for baby number three and thank goodness for being in the water, it was sooo painful whenever I got out!

  2. I was in labour for 22 hours and it drove me half mad. I have nooo idea how you pushed through!

    PS – you were right! I shoulda read this first to get context on whhhyyy it was so diff when u had ur boy on the bedroom floor!

    Much love xx

    • workingmum

      15th March 2017 at 11:17 pm

      Lol. Thank you for the reply. And for making it through suuuuch a long post. Well done on YOU for pushing through! I am so bad at trying to be concise. I guess I kept going because there isn’t much choice, is there?! Thanks for the comment 🙂

  3. Omg you are such a warrior. You handled this so much better than I would have. I had a scheduled induction and now I couldn’t imagine having a baby any other way.

    • workingmum

      15th March 2017 at 11:18 pm

      Thank you…I am not sure that I handled anything particularly well but all worked out in the end! It’s funny isnt’ it, whatever happens, you can’t imagine it ever being any other way! 🙂

  4. WOW! I think you’re “longest labor ever” was worse than mine! At least you got codeine LOL I was finally induced almost a week past my due date. I had been having mild contractions for two days, then they induced me, I was in labor for the next 26 hours (I got an epidural pretty early on though thankfully) and then my son went into distress when I tried to push so I ended up needing a C-section =( But I wouldn’t change a damn thing LOL all of it brought me my perfect little nugget. Thank you for this beautifully honest post!

  5. Wow! One of the most hilarious birth story I have read in a long time!! You are awesome!!

  6. my first was a C-section, so when it was time for my second I had no idea what to expect. I decided on a VBAC and he came surprisingly quick for being my first labor.

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