Liam's older brother Joshua was born at home on 20 March 2003 three days before his Estimated Due Date (his birth story is here http://joshuasbirth.homestead.com ). He arrived 5 hours and 59 minutes after my waters broke, my plug came away and contractions three minutes apart started. We were expecting a similar birth for Liam, with the possibility that the labour may be shorter.
My pregnancy had flown by with no problems or concerns. We were being cared for again by Debbie and midwifery student Sallie (now in her third year)
The Longer Version (starting 8:15pm Monday 23rd August, 38 weeks pregnant)
I was finishing off the last of the ‘must do scrapbooking’ on 23rd August to get Joshua’s scrapbook up-to-date for before Liam arrived. I knew what scrapbooking wasn’t done before he arrived probably wouldn’t get done for a long time! I was standing at the printer when I left a gush of liquid – enough to soak through my jeans. Given that it was another two weeks until my EDD, I was somewhat surprised.
I rang our midwife Debbie who told me that Liam would probably be here within the next 24 hours. Brendon went off to buy milk so the midwives would be able to have hot drinks for what we assumed could be a long night. We tidied up and unpacked the box of stuff we had put aside for Liam’s birthday. All that we then needed to do was set the birth pool up.
At 10:40pm I lost some of my plug, but was still waiting for the contractions to start. When I went into labour with Joshua I lost some fluid, the plug away and contractions started 3 minutes apart. He was born 5 hours and 59 minutes later.
We went to bed, but I couldn’t sleep so came downstairs and watched some of the Olympics. When I woke at 1am I started having BH contractions about every 8 minutes. They were not uncomfortable – I didn’t need to get up and walk through them. I dozed for another hour on the couch then woke at 3:30 to another series of regular BH contractions (7 in the hour).
At 5am I had a big contraction that I needed to walk through, and another big one at 5:22am. I then dozed again until 6:30am when Joshua (17 months old) woke up
We rang Debbie and let her know what had been happening during the night. Brendon rang and cancelled his appointments for the day then dropped Joshua off for his scheduled morning with his home day care provider, Jo. Brendon and I went for a short walk hoping it would get things started. They didn't.
Debbie and Sallie arrived at 11am. They booked me in for a scan at 2pm to check how much fluid was left. They weren’t sure if my waters had broken or if it was just a leak. They told us about the possible need for antibiotics if I hadn’t gone into labour by that night, and what we would do if I still hadn’t gone into labour by the following morning (36 hours after the leaking).
The scan didn’t tell us much since they didn’t know how much fluid there was before my leak or how much fluid I had lost. The scan predicted Liam to be 6lb 1oz. We rang Debbie who asked us to meet her at the Delivery Suite at the hospital for some non-stress monitoring. I had a few more contractions. The monitoring showed that Liam was doing fine. Debbie found a specialist to see us who was sympathetic to our wishes to have another home birth. After an examination where she could still see some plug it was decided that I’d only had a leak rather than my waters breaking. This was a relief to hear – no more urgency and pressure to go into labour before interventions may have been needed.
I had a short sleep at 6pm and had semi regular mild contractions every 10-20 minutes until I went to bed at 9. I had a contraction strong enough at 1am that I had to get out of bed and walk through it, then went back to sleep until the next one at 1:22am. I decided to get up and go down stairs. I got the fire going again, then watched the Olympics walking through the contractions that were now about 11 minutes apart. They were strong enough that by 2:30am I woke Brendon and told him to come downstairs once he’d woken up properly. We started to fill the pool at 4am. The contractions were about 9 minutes apart now, but were still mild. I dozed off on the couch at 5:30am and when I woke at 6am the contractions had stopped, then were irregular and spaced out again.