Our birth story- meeting Matthew.

Our sweet baby boy obviously takes after his mama and hates being late; he arrived into this world in dramatic fashion on his due date; the 17th June 2016. There was certainly no hanging around with this little one.

00:40 on Friday 17th June. It all began with a bang, well more of a pop really… I felt what I thought was baby giving me a right old kick in the side, followed by a ‘pop’ and a trickle of water. I knew immediately then that my waters had broken. Eagerly, I rolled out of bed and went to the bathroom to check. More fluid started trickling and then flowed out… This was it! Baby was on his way.

I called Donal and told him that this was it… And from here, everything went so quickly, it’s almost a bit of a blur. My first contraction began 10 minutes after my waters had gone. The second came at 00:53, only three minutes later! A million thoughts started flying around in my head… “Go to the hospital when contractions are less than 5 minutes apart!”  What? How is this possible? I was rather surprised that they had started so rapidly as I thought we’d have a lot of time to relax at home. The following few contractions continued in similar fashion. They came every 3-5 minutes, very intense and lasted between 30 seconds and 2 minutes.

How would I describe a contraction? It’s unlike any pain I’ve felt before. Like a powerful surge or wave of electricity coming from deep within; taking utter control of my entire body. As I felt one approaching, I would assume an ‘all fours’ position and remember my breathing skills that I’d been practising through hypnobirthing and yoga. Deep, slow breaths got me through each surge. I do believe that focusing on the fact that we’d be meeting our baby imminently made each contraction that much more bearable.

After only around 5 contractions, I knew we had to get to the hospital as soon as we could.My goodness, what a journey that would turn out to be… It took a rather long time to get into the car. (Thank goodness Donal had found a parking spot in front of our building!) I endured around three further contractions on the way to the car; even one in the elevator.

Slowly, I got into the front seat of the car, and we were off to Newham University Hospital. The journey is only around 10 minutes, but alas, our dear boy wasn’t going to wait that long. I felt an intense need to bear down and the next thing I knew; baby’s head was on its way out.

Just around the corner from the hospital; I lifted my pelvis up, pulled down my leggings and in a flash, I was holding a pink little baby in my arms. He was crying and looked healthy, so I simply wrapped him in my shirt and held him tightly in my arms, relishing the precious moment that will certainly change our lives forever.

That moment is still surreal and I cannot believe he arrived the way he did. At 01:45, Donal and I became parents to a sweet little soul and we couldn’t be happier.

Donal stopped outside the main entrance and sprinted (barefoot!) to call the midwives. I sat quietly in the car, just staring at our little miracle until I spotted the midwives running out to me, wheelchair and equipment in tow.

They checked the baby and administered the anti-d injection (due to my blood type being A negative.) The placenta was delivered in the car a few minutes later and new daddy Donal cut the cord.

We were transferred into the midwife- led unit where Donal did skin- to- skin with our boy while I got stitched up. It felt like the longest half hour or so of my life, all I wanted to do, was go back to our room and hold our son.

Baby was checked again and his APGAR score was a perfect 10. We held him together and embraced as our family had grown. We looked at his perfect little body, and admired his sweet smell and everything about him. We knew then, that his name would be ‘Matthew’, our little gift of God. My heart just bursting with joy.

And so, our journey of parenthood begins. I have no doubt that it’s going to be one heck of a ride.

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