Claire Middleton's Birth Story


I was shopping at lunchtime when I had my show and made my way back to the pub by tube – smiling all the way knowing I was about to start my first labour! I rang round to find Paul to make himself available to take me to the hospital – he was nowhere to be found. It was the first day of August and hot so I took a stroll up the market to buy a flask to fill with fruit juices to take with me. Now a couple of hours after the “show”, I had prepared myself for going into hospital and sat cross-legged on the carpet waiting to hear from Paul. Suddenly my waters broke and I was laughing my head off! What a mess…. I showered and changed and rang the hospital who said I should come in straight way. Fortunately Paul rang soon after and hot-footed it back to pick me up and the rest of my waters leaked all over his leather upholstery on the way! We arrived both giggling and my dress saturated and I walked into hospital backwards so no one would see. My contractions were mild and about 10-15 minutes apart at around 5.30pm so they let me get on with it and I pottered about. When they got more intense I ran a bath and go in. Paul was still with me and fell asleep leaning against the door. I was practising my self-hypnosis. But I got so relaxed the contractions felt like they had stopped so I got out (of the bath).

After about 15 minutes they were back with a vengeance and Paul had to leave for a couple of hours so I was alone. I tried my hypnosis again but found it was easier to concentrate whilst I was in the bath and not lying on my back in bed as I was then. I’m ashamed to say I got a bit panicky being on my own and submitted to a pethidine injection. The next few hours were a blur, needless to say, but I came round again about 10pm when Paul was back with his sister. I was glad when he took her back about 11.30 pm when I was practically fully dilated. By now I was trying to cope with the contractions and concentrate on blanking everything else out each time. Paul had his own ideas, however! He thought it would be a good thing for me to try and take my mind off the contractions - apparently, so I wouldn’t feel the pain. A great help! What he didn’t realise was that if I could be allowed to concentrate there really wasn’t that much pain at all!

The midwives told me to push, but I ignored them and just pretended like you suggested. This pacified them for a while but in the end they threatened me with forceps, we said “no” and made them wait – luckily I got the “urge”. Lonàn was born at 1.25am with no cuts, tears or stitches – weighing 6 lb, just right!

Claire Middleton