Birth story – Alexander the great (and late)!

For our first child, Mia, we had a home birth using a birth pool for relaxation and pain relief and it went very well so we planned the same for our second baby. We were especially impressed with the pool we had hired so we had bought one exactly the same to make sure we had it for this birth.

Our main problem was what would happen to 18-month-old Mia when I went into labour. We wrote down a few numbers of people who had said they would look after her for a few hours and hoped that the new baby would arrive in the middle of the night!

Mia had arrived on her due date and I was convinced this baby would be early, I was due on the 1st June so I put up the birth pool in mid May and arranged time off work safe in the knowledge that I could sit out in the garden and wait for the baby to arrive in late May right? WRONG! It rained day after day and all I could do is look at the birth pool whirring away for the best part of a month before I finally got sudden severe contractions at 5 in the morning on June 12th.
I rang the midwife, put on my TENS and then, knowing our daughter would be up soon, I called my friend Sue to come and get her. Unfortunately as she answered the phone another contraction hit me and I threw the phone at my partner Steven. He failed to grasp the severity of the situation, as the birth of our daughter took ages, so he had a little chat and told Sue it would ‘probably be today’ and he would ring her when our daughter was up and dressed! As a result by the time Sue arrived to get Mia I was in the birth pool chugging away at the gas and air in a little world of my own!

The water was wonderful and as I had delivered my daughter successfully into the water I was keen to the same with my son so I started to push at about 10 in the morning. When I still hadn’t produced a baby an hour or so later the midwives started getting cross and told me to get out the pool and get more active. This wasn’t something I was keen on doing but they eventually coaxed me out of the water and made me walk around a bit. They also took away my gas and air for some reason and I’m still not sure why that was!

At about 11am I found myself on the sofa being told by the midwives that my pushing was ineffective and if I didn’t buck my ideas up they would take me to hospital. This seemed to be the threat I needed so I knelt up on the sofa, hung round my partner’s neck and pushed as hard as I possibly could. At 11.41am Alexander Dominic Licciardi was born weighing 8lbs 2oz (quite a shock after Mia only being 6lbs 2oz!) and he was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.

The wonderful thing about being at home was the fact that about 20 minutes after Alex was born I was eating tea and toast and on the phone to my mum! We had the afternoon relaxing and trying to get the hang of breastfeeding and when Steven fetched Mia back at 5pm her baby brother was sleeping in his baby hammock and it was the beginning of a beautiful, loving and at times very comical relationship!

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