Guest series: My positive birth story #17 – Jo (Pickle & Poppet)

This week, we have a story from Jo, over at Pickle & Poppet. She experienced a lovely water birth with her second child, and couldn’t have been happier with how it went. Over to you, Jo!



I remember when I fell pregnant the first time, I didn’t really think too much about the labour. Who would? I was so excited about being pregnant, I didn’t want to think about the end until I absolutely had to. This was not the case when I fell pregnant with my second – I started planning straight away. I had to.

Firstly, she was due on the bank holiday weekend. We live about a twenty-five minute drive from the hospital, but with bank holiday, traffic it can be A LOT longer, as it is the main route to the coast. Secondly, my first had been three days of contractions and back to back, and the only thing to help was water. Unfortunately, being overweight with him, I was not allowed to be in the pool.

At the first midwife appointment for our daughter, we were told that all was fine and I was allowed to have midwife-led care. The midwife explained to me that this meant that I was able to birth in the midwife unit rather than the delivery suit, and suggested that we go for a tour to have a look around.

It was amazing! There were birthing pools and low lights with fairy lights around. It couldn’t have been more different from the delivery suite if it tried.

My plans have always been “deliver the baby safely”, but you have a picture in your head of what you would like. I had decided that I would love to be able to use the pool for pain relief. I wasn’t sure how I felt about delivering in the water and said I would go with the flow.

Apparently only about 4% of babies are born on the due date. My first was late, so we expected the second to be late. Nope. Due date came and so did the contractions.

We made our way to my parents’, as they are closer to the hospital, and it was a worry I didn’t want to have. Besides, it meant Reuben would get more attention.

I spent the day walking and eating when I could. It felt like every time I went for a walk, the contractions stopped, which was frustrating. So much so, I was getting annoyed and told everyone I was going home; I’d had enough. Obviously, they talked me around and so we stayed where we were.

My mum suggested I have a soak in the bath to relax a bit, which I did. I got in the bath with some really low lights just at the time that a thunderstorm started. I lay relaxing, watching the lightning across the sky. It was lovely.

Then I felt a pop. I had my waters broken the first time, so was unsure whether that was what it was or not.

I called to my hubby to come up and said I thought my waters had broken. He asked what I needed and so I said I needed my stuff from the car. I have to laugh, as he had to go out in the sideways rain to get my things, the little lady was already running the show!

As my waters had broken, we called the hospital; they said to stay at home until it was too much, and then to go in. I am still surprised as to how much the intensity of the contractions changes when the waters break. When it got to a point that I wanted pain relief, we called up and went in.

We got to the midwife unit and were shown our room. The midwife examined me on my request – 3cm dilated.

Er, are you sure? was all I could think. I knew with Reuben I took about an hour a centimetre, so thought this was going to take forever. The midwife asked what I wanted for pain relief. As I was only 3cm, I decided to hold off and took some paracetamol. The pool was then being filled, even that had lights that changed colour.

When it was ready, the midwife said I could get in, but did say my contractions might slow down. They did. I didn’t want to get out, as I was managing in there. But I also knew if I didn’t, then I was slowing things down, so I got out. Within minutes the contractions rushed back. I was expecting to be examined again; it felt like I was always being checked with Reuben, but she didn’t. I kept pushing through the pain.

That is until the pain stopped and I fell asleep.

As odd as it sounds, that is exactly what happened. I said I was tired and I snoozed for about twenty minutes. No contractions, just relaxation. I have since read that this is actually quite a common experience, and it is your body’s way of getting ready for birthing. It needed to be ready, as when the contractions came back they were strong and fast. I said to the midwife I was ready for the gas and air. She suggested getting back into the pool as it had helped, so I did.

She knew. I didn’t but she did.

I was in there a few minutes and my body started bearing down. What I loved was that being in the water made it easy for me to move around into the best position. The midwife told me to stop fighting my body and go with it. It didn’t feel like a long time at all until I was being told to pant rather than push, and then there she was. Delivered up onto my chest. My little water baby.

It really was such a great experience. To be able to go with the flow of what my body wanted.
 I also only had one examination – this lead me to believe that I wasn’t dilating quickly. Because of that, I didn’t want to have the gas and air until I needed to. I delivered our baby on two paracetamol. No pain relief and no intervention, and I believe that is because we were in the midwife unit and in the pool. If anyone is considering a pool birth, my only advice is to do it if you can.


Thanks so much, Jo, for sharing your lovely story! Stay tuned for Sumra’s second birth story, next week! (Please note that submissions for this series have closed.)

About Jo

Jo is a 33-year-old wife to Sam, and Mummy to Reuben (4) and Jessica (1). Pickle & Poppet is her little space to write honestly about their life and adventures. By day, she works in insurance and so her blog is her release; it’s something for her, that she enjoys and hopes others enjoy reading it.

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About The Author

Mini Mummi Blogger

Mini Mummi Blogger is a first time mummy to a beautiful baby boy. Currently on maternity leave, she is looking to put her writing/publishing experience to good use through her blog, helping other mummies navigate through the wealth of often conflicting (and, sometimes, even discouraging) information out there about pregnancy and motherhood. She believes that every mummy knows what’s best for her own baby – even first time mums!

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