Most of us use social media to keep friends and family updated with what’s going on in our lives, but Emma Hayes took it one step further.
Emma was pregnant with her third child and when contractions began she logged straight onto Facebook to let everyone know.
Unbeknown to Emma or her Facebook friends, not only would she be sharing more of her labour than she imagined, but her partner Kriss would be delivering their daughter on the living room floor!
Emma shares her story here:
My name is Emma Hayes and I live with my partner Kriss, our dog Poppy, our tarantula, snake and three fish in the Cotswolds. We have three children – Evie who is four, Kaiden two and 6 month old Ayla.
We’d wanted a home birth with Evie and Kaiden but ended up opting for a midwife led centre close to us. Both labours there were fantastic and straightforward water births with no pain relief – just how I’d planned. However, Ayla it seems, wanted to give mummy a bit of a change……
Here is my birth story…..
Well, I woke up on the Saturday morning and instantly felt different. My due date was the coming Friday and for the past few days I had been having Braxton hicks that started from the top of my bump and would work their way down. That morning they were starting from deep in my pelvis and working their way up. I knew that Ayla would be here soon! All day Saturday I pottered around hoping for something to really start and it, didn’t so i went to bed feeling a little disappointed.
The next day I woke up and was still having these Braxton Hicks. They continued all through the day. At 2 o’clock in the afternoon I took my daughter to a birthday party and while I was there I had four nice and definitely stronger contractions and was getting quite excited. We left the party at 4 o’clock and walked the 15 minutes home, stopping for an ice cream from the ice cream van (come on ladies – pregnant woman – got to be done!). By now I knew it wouldn’t be much longer as I felt quite uncomfortable walking back. I couldn’t wait to meet our baby!
At about half past eight in the evening my best friend came over to help look after Evie who had decided that she wanted to be there too. I’d given her as much info on birth as I thought her young mind could cope with including videos and she’d been fantastic and was really excited about it.
I had a quick bath as I didn’t want to relax too much and slow my contractions down. I got out and not long after had a huge show. I’d never seen this before as had always been in the pool at that point so i was quite excited and even put that I’d lost it on Facebook much to everyone’s delight (they should just be grateful I didn’t post a pic haha!).
I had been keeping all of my Facebook friends up to date on my pregnancy and had joked to one friend that I’d try and put as much of my labour as I could on there. At the time I really couldn’t have imagined just how much!
By now Kriss had got the pool ready in the conservatory (all curtains drawn I might add) and I was watching a bit of telly and pottering around on Facebook.
At about eleven o’clock I went out to water my plants as had noticed they were wilting (I loved my plants in my defence lol), and my neighbour popped her head out of the window to see how everything was going. I told her we were getting there slowly but surely and she wished me luck. I went back indoors and had a bounce around on my birth ball.
We’d kept our midwife up to date with everything and she’d told me to ring her again when I was contracting every five minutes. She said she didn’t think I was close as I sounded absolutely fine so I carried on chatting to my friends on Facebook.
When I got to contracting every 4-6 minutes we figured this should surely count as every 5 minutes so we rang the midwife again to let her know – she lived about 45 minutes away. By this point I was stood up against our dining room table (our main computer was on the table) swaying my hips and holding on to the back of the chair. Through my contractions I’d put my face in my hands and grimace!
I remember that at around twenty to one in the morning I’d joked on a friend’s Facebook status about how much I fancied the Kings of Leon. She replied ‘You shouldn’t be having thoughts like this -you’re in labour lol!’
Not long after that I turned to my best friend and said ‘This isn’t fun anymore,’ – yep, I was really feeling it now! All of a sudden I could feel my body starting to push so typed in as my Facebook status ‘starting to push’.
I looked down at my tracksuit bottoms and my waters were leaking. I had a bit of a block at this point – I was in so much pain and was staring longingly at the pool! I grabbed hold of Kriss’ trousers and said ‘let me get in the pool! I need to get in the pool!’, he rang the midwife at the hospital and she said no way (just in case something went wrong) so he wouldn’t let me get in.
I just froze clutching on to the chair by the table, didn’t really know what to do with myself and was pushing loudly, I think this scared Evie a bit as she had a little cry and went into the kitchen but came straight back in.
My legs felt like glass. Kriss was on the phone to the midwife and she could hear me pushing and told me to get on all fours. He helped me down and I actually felt something ping in my leg (was a bit sore for the next few days but fine). Kriss told the midwife baby was coming and put the phone down.
I grabbed hold of my birth ball quick and one push, her head was out! Another push, her shoulders, and another, all of her out into Daddys arms! She was born at one o’clock in the morning .
He passed her through my legs to me and I called Evie over to have a look. She was so happy to see her baby sister! At this point I had beautiful Ayla in my arms and was trying to hold the dog back from licking up the waters and blood haha!
Kriss got me a chair to sit on and snuggled us up in lots of towels. He also took a pic and posted it to Facebook. I realised afterwards that there was only eleven minutes between my pushing status and the pic being put up.
My midwife arrived about twenty minutes later, came in and said she couldn’t believe I’d just given birth as I looked way too happy! She said she thought we had plenty of time too as I’d sounded fine on the phone and not at all close!
It turned out that Ayla had a knot in her cord so we were very lucky that she came out really quick. I thank my lucky stars for that. It scared me thinking about what the outcome could have been otherwise. I couldn’t even bring myself to look into knots in the cord until a couple of months afterwards.
As for the placenta, well that wasn’t in such a hurry to come out. We tried pushing and gentle tugging but an hour had gone by and still nothing so I had to have an injection in the end. I was just very glad to not need any stitches – I just had a little graze.
We snuggled up on the sofa, introduced Ayla to boobie then Evie had a cuddle.
It was the most amazing experience in the world. I was on cloud nine and so happy to have stayed at home with my family and best friend – the best experience ever! Plus it was great to be able to get into my own bath and bed afterwards.
The next day I read it all back on Facebook and was in tears of happiness and laughter. Reading what some people had written at the time as it was so quick was so funny. I don’t regret being on Facebook pretty much all the way through it at all. It was such a fab distraction!