The tale of Charlotte’s birth – I was really unsure as to whether or not I should share this on the blog. Partly because it’s a very personal thing and secondly as I wasn’t sure it would fit with the country lifestyle blog theme I have gone down. But after speaking with the lovely Emma from My little country life (find her blog here) she made me realise that sharing it wasn’t just for everyone else but a way for me to remember my experience and show others that birth can be positive and go pretty much according to plan, despite all the horror stories you hear. 

So here goes. The lead up to Charlottes arrival was relatively uneventful I didn’t have any warning signs at all. In fact that weekend was pretty standard, on the Saturday I had treated myself to getting my hair done whilst on the Sunday we had to sort the sheep having arranged a buyer for two of our ewe lambs. We set off nice and early to collect them in, separate and then made the journey only 20 minutes away to deliver the girls to their new home. Following this, we saw to the ponies, drenched the rams and walked the dogs it was a pretty active day for an almost 38 week pregnant women. That evening though, I remember feeling really calm and relaxed thinking everything was pretty much ready now for baby to arrive. I’d had some lovely conversations with family, was looking forward to my last week at work and generally just felt at ease. Little did I know things were about to get real! 

Matthew was supposed to be staying away for work on Monday and had a seriously early start, so we headed up to bed a little early that evening, snuggled up and to be honest I don’t even remember my head hitting the pillow. But at 12:40am I was rudely awoken to a warm, wet feeling. Jumping out of bed, my only reaction “Oh sh*t, I think my waters just broke” I waddled quickly to the bathroom trying to minimise any mess. Whilst I was dealing with that situation, Matthew was dealing with the fact I hadn’t actually packed my hospital bag… whoops! Charlotte’s was ready to go but he set about ticking off the items on my ‘To Pack’ list – at least there was a list 😂 he also packed an overnight bag for himself and the dogs too! Honestly I don’t know what I would have done without him. He even managed to put the isofix base in the car at 1.30am in the morning, I mean my hero!

Having read many birth stories (I loved reading them as I felt that they prepared me for every eventuality) I thought I would have sometime before contractions started and the main event kicked off. So I took two paracetamol, padded up and jumped back into bed (with new sheets don’t panic) to try and get some more rest. How wrong was I! Within a few minutes, contractions began and not only did they begin but they were 5 minutes apart and around 40 seconds long straight away (I lost my my mucus plug shortly after contractions started). For the next few hours I went through the motions of trying to sleep, curling up at the end of the bed but in reality every time a contraction ended and I was just drifting off another began. Personally, I felt the pain was stronger lying down so I would get up to walk back and forth or round in circles to relieve it. Matthew swears I had almost walked a marathon in our bedroom that night. I vividly remember seeing Bramble, our springer spaniel who had snuck upstairs in the earlier commotion, lying flat out on her back completely snuggled up in Matthews arms and thinking wow I wish I was that comfy {and asleep!}. 

Around 4:00am I gave up trying to get any rest and went for a long hot shower. Timing the contractions they seemed to be coming still around every 5 minutes but lasting longer, around the minute mark, so we decided to phone the hospital. This was around 5:30 in the morning. The midwife said that they’d want to check me as my waters had already broken, so to come in but don’t rush, have some breakfast first and then make the journey. 

We grabbed the bags, phoned the in-laws to arrange collecting the dogs (oh and let the Rayburn engineer in as he was due that day) and made some toast. Now top tip – if you’re ever told to have breakfast whilst having contractions do not have toast and peanut butter! It was so dry that it stuck in my mouth mid contraction. All sorted and fed, Matthew and I jumped into the car and started the hour drive to the Hospital. During the journey we called my mum to let her know the news. I remember us both crying, with her asking how I was feeling and my response simply being “It hurts, mummy”. I’m sure this pain was exaggerated as on the way there my contractions were only a couple of minutes apart but slowed down as soon as we arrived, typical. 

The midwives ushered us in but didn’t want to check my dilation due to the risk of infection, looking at my behaviour however they suspected I was not far enough along to be in active labour and therefore be admitted. Thankfully we didn’t have to drive home, knowing the distance we lived, they found us a bed upstairs in the maternity ward where I could ride out this stage until I was ready. I have to stress at this point the importance of taking snacks to keep you going. Being two weeks early, we hadn’t got round to picking anything up so good old dad to rescue – making his way to Tesco with a list in hand and even delivering up to the ward. Better service than any click and collect I know of. It may sound silly but never have I been more glad for Matthew feeding me a grape, one after each contraction finished. Another thing I found helped me through each surge was smiling. I know it sounds weird – it was something my aquanatal teacher kept suggesting to smile and relax and it did really help. Relieving the pain ever so slightly.

Around two hours after arriving (10ish) they could see I was in a lot of pain, Matthew being my rock at this point holding my hand through it all. They attached me to a monitor to check baby wasn’t getting distressed and to see how close my contractions were. She was fine, not a single blip on the monitor! I also got a tens machine to use. Looking back I don’t think it nessecarily helped with the pain but boy was the distraction welcomed – by the time I’d fiddled with the buttons each surge was partly over, till the next one that was. 

Despite the pain, my contractions were still not regarded as regular. Seeing what I going through, the midwife decided she would just have a quick check regardless. Her face was a picture when she exclaimed “oh, you’re fully dilated! We better get you downstairs!”. Very shortly after my lovely midwife Claire appeared to wheel me to the labour ward. At this point my body was shaking uncontrollably. 

I mentioned that I had hoped for a water birth, so we diverted to a different room. Katherine our second midwife started running the bath as Claire gave me a quick once over. I was told at that point if I wanted to be in the water to get in now, so I clambered up the steps and sank into the warm water. God it felt good. By this point the pain had stopped and all I had now was the urge to push.

We were almost there with the head clearly visible when I got the fear. I couldn’t do it anymore – I was tired and in pain (although a completely different pain to the contractions) but the encouragement from the midwives and Matthew spurred me on. I stood up, which really helped, counted myself in 3,2,1 … and pushed with all my might – out Charlotte came! I sat back down in the water clutching my baby to my chest. Matthew was behind me, we kissed and just stared adoringly at our new arrival. The only question left to ask was it a boy or girl? Claire said she hadn’t seen so Matthew lent over, I looked away wanting him to surprise me. A girl!! We couldn’t believe it – I’ve never experienced such a feeling before and cannot really describe it, I guess it was just pure love! I remember saying hello and even remarked I would miss her in my bump. 

After a while {I have no idea how long} the midwife cut the cord (we requested delayed cord clamping) and I wanted to get out the pool, so Charlotte went to her daddy to continue the skin to skin whilst I delivered the placenta and got out. Luckily this all happened on its own without any need for drugs. I clambered across the room to the bed, was checked for any injuries and then Charlotte passed back to me so I could breastfeed. That day, on the 3rd February 2020, we entered the room as a family of two at 11:28am and after around half an hour of pushing we became three, with Charlotte born at 12:23pm midday. 

One of the best things is that my mum actually works at the hospital. She had text to say she was going to get a sandwich from the cafeteria for Matthew. He quickly replied “You might as well come down as we’ve been moved to labour ward”. She arrived completely unaware, apparently as she reached the door Charlotte made a noise and she couldn’t believe her ears “She hasn’t had it already?!” She was so proud to meet her first grandchild and cried, obviously. Not long after mum joined us tea and toast arrived- it was quite simply one of the best cups of tea and slices of toast I’ve ever had!! 

As everything went smoothly with no interventions we were given the choice and decided to go home that night. Waking up the next day in our own bed, with our little girl beside us. It all just felt so complete, if not surreal.

I feel so lucky that I had such a positive birth experience – I haven’t done any hypnobirthing but I can really see how the principles work. Because I was told that I probably wasn’t far enough along by the midwives I kept thinking “Wow, if the pain is like this now I dread to think what the next bits like” and hence held off from any pain killers. Mind over matter – it really does work!! I would also urge any one who is pregnant to keep as active as you can. I’m convinced that this was a big factor in my pretty quick and straight forward birth, both in terms of being relatively fit and getting her in the best position to come out. So keep going as much as you can (unless told otherwise by your midwife!). I know its hard sometimes, especially deep in winter but you won’t regret it!!


Daisy x


  • Lovely birth story…my two births were very similar and I was allowed to be active and also had water births. It’s almost made me want to do it all over again! Thank you for sharing x

  • How lovely Daisy. You’ll be able to look back on this in years to come and recall all the little details that otherwise may have been forgotten. Enjoy every second with your precious little girl. Xxx

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