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The birth of Laniya

As I paced down the lane, I was thinking I'll never give birth, I'm destined to be pregnant forever. Then I went to bed very teary at 9:30, shortly after I started having a few 'twinges'. I promptly went to sleep! At 11:30 I woke up with strong 'twinges' approx 20 mins apart then by 1:30 every 5 mins getting much stronger I woke Graham and he started to fill the pool. We called the home birth team and unfortunately they were held up and not able to get to us but asked us to go to the birth centre in Northampton. By this time my waves were ever 3 mins, lasting about 40 secons to 1 min each, the car ride was horrendous but I got a through by focusing relaxing my shoulders and jaw with every wave.

We arrived at the birth centre. They bought me into a wonderful birth room with low purple lights and music. I instantly relaxed, then they took a look at my notes, conferred outside and then promptly said I couldn't stay as I was 'high risk'.  For just a bit of background on me, in 2000 I had a cesarean birth, 2004 a vbac, in 2005 I lost a baby at 20 weeks, delivery natural. I had a home birth in water in 2009, and lost a baby at 22 weeks in 2015 but delivered naturally. For this pregnancy I was given a diagnosis of gestational diabetes although I never had any high sugar readings through the whole pregnancy and controlled it through my diet and exercise. I had been in constant contact with my consultant and the heads of all the departments in the hospital to make sure if I did need to go in that everyone would be aware that I could use the birth centre. They, however, did not agree. At this point after swearing a bit and declaring I was going home again, I focused all my attention on slowing down my labour until I could be 'safe' to give birth. Meanwhile Graham was 'negotiating' with the midwife running the center.  She was adamant I was not staying, so the options were, go home and wait for a midwife on the home birth team to be available,  which may not happen or be too late. That also meant another car ride home eek! Or transfer to labour ward! The place that reminded me of the horrific experience I had with my first baby. So from my point of view neither was an option. Then I had a huge wave and I realised I wasn't going to do the car journey again so labour ward it was but I told them only if I could get the birth pool room otherwise I wasn't budging. Deal done we headed down to labour ward.

I knew there would need to be a little give and take for them to do what I needed, so I allowed an examination, I was only 4cm which didn't help but I knew what I needed to do. My waves were coming again fast I was hanging from the side of the pool squatting, swinging, dancing and making quite a lot of noise! The pool seemed to take forever to fill. Then finally I was in the water, soft, smooth, relaxed and suddenly very tired. My waves continued, some were little, some strong and powerful. I agreed to be monitored ever 15 mins as I had declined continuous monitoring and as I said compromise rather than fighting was the order of this birth. I found myself falling asleep in between waves and then had a thought! I could try to sleep now or I can get on with having this baby then properly sleep later, so that's what I did. I moved into a squat position woke myself up, examined myself and I could feel I was mostly dilated and baby's head was nearly ready to be in the birth canal. Then the song from the Birthlight conference entered my head, if you want to move the baby move the mother if you want to move the baby move the mother if the baby gets stuck gets the mother up if you want to move the baby with mother. The images of Barbara Harper getting us all up to sing filled my mind. This resulted in me spiralling from hips through my trunk to my shoulders and singing internally to myself through the next very strong door waves. Then at last the moment I had been waiting for, the urge to bear down came and bear down I did, with strength I never knew I possessed! I reached down to feel to of baby's head, then with a little push her face, which was a bit of a shock, I did panic a bit and pushed the rest of baby out quickly. I brought baby up and kept the bottom half in the water as I wanted to meet my baby and have a minute before discovering together with Graham that she was a girl. We actually had to ask the midwife to confirm it as we looked at each other and said to the midwife 'is that a girl?' She confirmed and we were both in shock! After 3 boys I never expected a girl. She was so alert and started hunger cues bringing her hand to her mouth within 5 mins, she latched and fed helping her placenta out swiftly. After getting out the pool we lay together and she discovered how to move to my breast again and fed for about 30 mins then fell asleep. I could not stop looking at her.

Although my birth wasn't textbook perfect and had a few ups and downs that's what makes it more special as together we overcame all the obstacles and together we birthed naturally and at our pace. She is now a very calm baby very alert and just beautiful and amazing. I'm looking forward to all the adventures this little girl will bring and have fallen so deeply in love with her it's like we have been together forever already. 

Emie Kitson
Birthlight baby swimming, aqua yoga and baby yoga teacher

Emie has previously written on how baby swimming helped her