Ashley Atkinson thought she knew what to expect during labour after giving birth to her two children Jade and Rhys. However, the third baby proved quite a surprise...
What were your original plans for the birth?
I was planning on having a home water birth and had bought a birth pool. I had had two labours which where quite quick, five hours each. I had a midwife who was trying to convince me to go into hospital. I felt tense and exhausted but determined to try and have my baby at home, especially as Rhys was only 16 months old at the time and I had never left him with anyone. I didn't want to disturb him too much.
When did you first think you might be in labour?
It was a Sunday five days after the baby was due. We had had a fairly quiet day, had Sunday lunch and put the kids to bed. We were watching TV and during the advert break at about 10.25pm I went up to the loo feeling a bit funny. While I was upstairs, I had a contraction. After it had passed, I was going to go downstairs to tell Anthony, my husband, when another really strong one hit me. I started counting to see how long it would last, when I got to 156 I knew that there was something wrong!
By this point Anthony had come upstairs to see what was going on, I told him to ring the midwife. While he was downstairs, I sat on the loo, took off my trousers, and was having another contraction when my body just started pushing and I felt the baby's head arriving!!
Anthony came back up at this point and saw that the baby was coming right now and went white!!
He still had the midwife on the phone and she was really calm and told him what to do.
I got off the loo and lay on the floor, but then I remembered about gravity helping the baby out, so I got up onto my knees with my hands on Anthony's shoulders and with the next contraction (the 4th) Cayle was born into Anthony's hands! Because he was a bit slippery, he caught his head on the floor as Anthony was catching him.
The midwife was still on the phone reassuring us. She told us that the time was 10.38pm.
We wrapped him up and sat on the landing, not long later - about a minute - the placenta was delivered. Anthony was still looking very white.
While Anthony cuddled our new son Cayle, I popped my head round Jade's door and told her everything was OK and to stay in her room for a bit. The floors were a bit of a mess due to the speed of the delivery!
Rhys was asleep still at this point and didn't wake up till next morning with his baby brother in a moses basket next to his cot!!
When the paramedics arrived a few minutes later, Anthony was on the landing with Cayle, looking very shell shocked. I was cleaning the bathroom as I was worried about Jade seeing the mess (it's odd what you worry about at times like that!). The paramedics and Anthony got me to stop in time for the midwife to come!
The midwife looked us both over. She wanted Cayle checked out at hospital as he had hit the floor a bit on arrival. We took him in and he was fine so we came straight home. That night Cayle slept really well. I, however, had extreme afterpains for several hours due to the quick labour.
You didn't have any pain relief at all during the labour!
No, I didn't even get my birth pool out of the box!! It only took 18 to 20 minutes from start to finish. Anthony was amazing. Despite the utter shock and fear he felt when he realised what was happening, he really came through for me and Cayle. He was the best midwife I could have hoped for!
And how was little Cayle?
He was 8lb, and he was extremely blue from head to toe for about a week after the birth. He also had a build up of fluid in his head due to his speedy arrival. It gave him quite a lump for a while but other than that he was OK.
How is he now?
He is great! Very strong willed and robust.
It is not surprising - his entry to the world told us to watch this one. There is going to be no stopping him!!