• Nicki Layton

Part 3 - A Father's Day tale continues - Saturday...

By Kaz Layton

I’ll be totally honest, I don’t remember a lot about Saturday. I feel a bit guilty about it but you might in some ways take it as a positive. I’ve little flashes of moments but if you looked at it as a percentage, 98% of it was totally uneventful. We kept the blinds down and the lighting soft so time didn’t really have any meaning. The Wise Hippo music was on in the background which sounds like it might be annoying but honestly it kept the whole atmosphere really relaxed. The midwives came and went and came back again, they checked the baby’s heart rate, checked on Nicki, all going fine it was just a bit of a slow birth. This was all totally normal, oh and by the way by this point we had no idea whether Nicki’s waters had broken. Did you know that?? A lifetime of watching films had made me think it was the first thing to happen. Apparently not (Hollywood has a lot to answer for!) Nicki’s waters didn’t break until very late into the birth and I know that because I did it with our doula! By using a “rebozo” from Jane's bag of tricks we did an abdominal lift which helped our baby into a better position which put pressure on the cervix and consequently broke Nicki’s waters!

And staying on that subject, we knew from the Wise Hippo course that waters breaking later on is totally normal too, nothing to get too excited about, just another step in the journey. We were nice and relaxed … and at home…

We were also tired, there is no getting away from the fact that Nicki was getting more tired as the hours went on, she was burning as many calories as she could take in which is why it was important to keep getting food and water down whenever possible but there was never any point of concern. I do remember one particular moment when I fed her a fig, I don’t know if she thought she was getting some chocolate and the flavour was a shock but she looked at me with wide eyes and a look of “don’t you dare try and sneak in any more figs!” Out went the dried fruit and in came whatever else we’d had in the bag of tricks. Snacks doesn’t sound like an important part of the birth planning but your taste buds go mental and you’ve no idea what you want to eat in that moment but it’s important to keep trying. If you look at any ultra-sporting events like 100 mile races the runners will tell you they crave the weirdest things at odd points in the race. Make no bones about it, this is an ultra-event and as such let them eat whatever they want (and try and eat something yourself whilst you’re at it!)

Back to the birth, Nicki was doing fine, she wasn’t in any pain, she took each surge as it came and either myself or our doula was with her at all times. As Saturday started to merge into evening we were probably more in the birth pool than out of it to help take the pressure off the body. I do remember filling up buckets with warm water and trying to take out the cold but realistically I should have bought a water pump, we just hadn’t thought it would go on for this long and so didn’t think we’d need to be filling the pool up any more than once. No matter how good your plans are you’re likely to come up against something you haven’t thought of, the main thing is not to panic and just deal with it as logically as you can.

On very little sleep after 2.5 days to me the most logical step was running back and forth between the sink in the kitchen and the living room with a big pot, probably not the most sensible thing to do but we got there in the end!

As Saturday night closed in and we entered the third night we tried to get moving around a bit more to help the birth along the way. Walking up and down the stairs, sitting on the loo (yep that helps!), wiggling hips … all helped move things along in a nice natural way. Still at this point Nicki had not had any pain relief, just breathing and water. They just weren’t needed.

Night turned to day … and the sun was starting to rise on Sunday morning… today was the day our baby would be born…

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