01/06/2010 13:48 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Real Life Story: The Birthing Pool Was Lovely!

Lisa Jennings tells us about the birth of her first baby, a little boy...

Did you have a birth plan?

I decided to labour in water because I wanted to try to have an active, natural birth and I read about the benefits of water. I originally wanted a water birth at home but my mum and husband talked me out of it. At the hospital the room with the birthing pool in was lovely, which also helped my decision in having the water birth at hospital. It was nicely decorated with mood lighting around.

Did you have any particular worries about the birth?
I was worried about going overdue and being induced because that would stop me using the pool. I was 10 days overdue so it was close!

10 days overdue, you were probably ready for him to come out! So what happened?

I realised I was in labour on Sunday morning. I'd had my sweep on Wednesday and my show on Thursday afternoon. I stayed at home until 10:00 pm on Sunday. I had a TENS machine which was making the contractions manageable. I called the hospital about lunchtime on Sunday but they said I sounded fine and that I could talk through the contractions. I went for a bath in the evening and things got a lot more intense, they were bringing me close to tears. I then rang the hospital and they said "OK you'd better come in so we can have a look at you."

And what about when you got to the hospital? Did you get to use the pool?
I was examined at 12:30 am and found to be 5cm dilated. They wanted to keep an eye on things to make sure I was in established labour so they said to hang on until 4:00 am (still with my TENS machine). I hadn't progressed very much by then so they broke my waters for me and allowed me to have gas and air, and then I got into the pool.

Did the water help, do you think?
The pool was lovely, and looking back the water really helped. I didn't know at the time and I was getting tired. The midwife I had when I was in the pool did try to push me to stay in the pool because there were a few points where I said I couldn't cope any more. I eventually asked to get out at about 7:30 am on Monday and asked for pethidine. The midwives couldn't tell me how much more dilated I was and how long I had to go before I could push. They were very supportive, telling me I was doing really well but I was aware that this was their job and they probably said that to everyone!

I had to wait for a change of staff when I got out, and I had to wait for the pethidine to be brought to the ward. It took about 45 minutes, so I had the pethidine at about 8:15 am. I was examined and they told me I was 10cm dilated and it was time to push!

What happened next?
Alex was born at 9:48 am so I was pushing for about an hour and a half. I think I'd been in labour for about 24 hours in total, but had been at the hospital for 12 hours. Alex was in distress, his heart rate dropped and there was meconium so I had to have an episiotomy to help them deliver him more quickly. He had the cord around his neck when he was born so it was a bit scary. He was 8lb 9oz.

Yes that does sound a bit scary! It's good to hear he is OK now. Did you find it easy to pick his name?
We had some ideas of names but we weren't sure. About a week before the birth, my Mum suggested calling him Alexander after my great-grandad. It had been on my original list. When he arrived we knew he was Alexander!!