The birth of my second son was one of those events that people often describe as "something to tell your grandchildren about" and as my beautiful little boy turned 1 today, I thought I'd share the story with you.
I woke at 6am on 8 July 2011 to the feeling of my waters slowly trickling their way out of me. I'd just turned 37 weeks pregnant and I wondered whether to wake my husband or not, as I certainly didn't feel like I was in labour.
I can remember my husband's alarm clock going off at about 6.30am and because I only felt "funny", he suggested he travel into work as normal and come back once labour had started, if it even did.
I lost track of time then. I think it was about 7am when I phoned my mum and asked her to come down and look after my toddler, as I thought I might be in labour. I also remember telling my husband I should phone the midwives at the hospital to let them know my waters had broken and find out if they wanted to check me over.
While my husband was trying to find the right telephone number for the hospital, I can recall it becoming imperative I keep pacing. I couldn't stop or sit down/kneel/bend over onto all fours, as it was much too uncomfortable. Being upright and mobile felt right.
If I didn't know I was in labour then, I did when the first contraction hit and oh my god, the pain. I was scared, my whole body hurt in the most indescribable way and I had to focus on just getting through each contraction....until I felt the most almighty urge to push. I swore at my husband to phone 999 and while he was speaking with the operator, I could feel my baby's head entering the world swiftly followed by the rest of him.
My mum arrived shortly before the paramedics. She told me she'd expected to find it was a false alarm and the last thing she'd expected to see was me sat on the loo in the en suite bathroom holding my newborn baby in my arms. Same here!
The paramedics told us the 999 call had been placed at 7.26am and my husband guessed the time of birth as 7.30am. I actually think he was born a few minutes before this but I can't say for certain as time took on a very different quality throughout the whole affair.
Baby and I were taken to hospital and checked over. He was fine. He may have only been 5lb 15oz but my husband and I could immediately tell he was going to be a feisty little character. There was never any doubt in our minds that the boy's name we'd chosen during my pregnancy was the right one for him; Randall.
Here he is at about an hour old:
How time has flown.
There's much more I could write - about how the birth affected me and how I really found it having 2 children under 2 - but those are posts for another day.
All I want to say now is: Happy birthday Panda Pop! I love you more than you'll ever know xxx