Although it was my second pregnancy I was apprehensive about the birth as my first hadn't quite gone to plan. On that first occasion, the water birth at Melton had been superseded by an induced labour (he was 14 days OD), ending in theatre with a ventouse and forcep delivery, leaving me with a nasty third degree tear and substantial blood loss.
I was still trying to be positive for the second time around and this time I was planning for a home birth!! But when it came to being 11 days OD (my cervix had still been tight shut at the 8 day membrane sweep) I started to fear the worst. Then 3 days before going into hospital I was kept awake by mild contractions, which disappeared in the morning, but then picked up again later that afternoon. (Apparently your hormone levels are higher in the evening).
I still couldn't quite let myself believe it was happening, but at 7pm I decided to call the folks to collect George (my first: 2 ½ yrs). Whilst waiting for them I was swaying on the back of a chair, humming and trying to catch the end of Coronation Street - George joined me as I told him I was practicing my yoga!
By 8:30 pm George was gone, the TENs machine was on, and my contractions were now only 4 mins apart. Jon decided to call the midwife (I was still half expecting another false alarm), after 30 mins of an engaged tone we finally got through - she was on her way!!
At 9:15pm the midwife arrived, and at 9:30 when she examined me I was already 6cm dilated - yippee!! It was really happening!!! She set up the gas and air and the humming was taken over by deep breaths (I was still standing and swaying). The second midwife arrived and soon the contractions really racked up, Jon was frantically massaging my lower back and I was grunting and groaning like a wild pig!
I soon began to feel the head pushing down and I went down on all fours to start pushing. At 11:10pm, baby William was born (10lb 12oz what a whopper!!!) - seeing him with all the goo and cord still attached was magical!!! (the first time I saw George he was all clean and dressed in white). Amazingly I needed no stitches and by 1:30am we were all tucked up in bed.
I found the yoga really helped, I tried a number of positions, but standing (swaying my hips) and all fours were the two that worked best for me. I also found that the humming really helped in early labour and Jon was thankful for the massage techniques he'd learned at the Saturday sessions.