My Birth Story by Jo Humphreys

jobirthThe birth of Josh and Sam – 2nd October 2012.

If I’m asked to sum up my birth experience in one sentence I would say it was disorganized, slightly chaotic with a high level of medical intervention YET still a wonderful and beautiful experience.

Throughout my pregnancy I was very torn with regards to what I wanted in my birth plan. I believed I should aim for as natural a birth as possible (whilst listening to Whale music) as it seemed that this is what I should want, that this was how I was going to bond with my babies. However if I’m honest I’ve never really felt the need to go through such an experience. I used to joke that if you could have babies Star Trek style – “beam them up Scottie” – this would suit me just fine. I then had 18 years to bond with them before they flew the nest and this seemed more than enough time!!

For me the over-riding and only question was what is the safest for both the babies and myself and I constantly sought a definitive answer from the medical staff. Of course there is no definitive answer as there are pro’s and con’s on both sides and ultimately every mother must just trust their instincts and decide what is right for them.

Hilariously after spending hours, days and weeks debating in my mind what to do the boys made the decision for me. Clearly back then they weren’t going to listen to what I wanted and for the record they haven’t since!!

Stubbornly they both entrenched themselves into a footling breach position and were not going to budge so a C-section was in the end the only option. However even the timing wasn’t of my making. 37 weeks was the agreed time beautifully marked in the diary and so convinced was I that it was all going to go exactly to plan that at 36 weeks I was still working and hadn’t packed my hospital bag. Yes really!!!!

So it’s 2 o’clock in the morning at the beginning of my 36th week and I’m woken by my waters breaking. Despite all those NCT classes I did actually believe that I’d just had “an accident’ but as Mike pointed out – nobody can drink THAT much water!!! Anyway a quick call to the hospital confirmed that due to the position of the babies there was to be no relaxing at home we were to come in STRAIGHT AWAY. So whilst I’m trying to get dressed at the same time as doing a great impression of the Trevi Fountains Mike is running round the house throwing things into my hospital bag from a hastily written list yelling – what on earth is a such and such!!

Anyway we reach the hospital (and yes he made me sit on a plastic bag!!) and I’m taken straight into triage where they announce that indeed my waters have gone – very observant they are at West Mid – and I will be having the babies tonight. To which Mike replies “but I’m not ready” – and was he right. We had no music picked out and recorded, we hadn’t decided exactly how we wanted things to happen in the Operation theatre, we hadn’t discussed names and we didn’t have the camera (thank goodness for iPhones).

Even if we’d got around to writing a birth plan what followed would not have been on it. We had to wait in Triage for 6hrs as there was no room on any of the wards and a big queue for the operation theatre. I was having pretty painful contractions for half of that time but couldn’t move around or do any of those wonderful pain relief things they teach you in class as they didn’t want to encourage my cervix to dilate (danger of a prolapsed chord). I had to lie on my back on a triage examination couch hooked up to monitors – all highly uncomfortable – whilst listening to medical staff on the other side of the curtain argue with each other about who was the most urgent to be sent down next. They really need to work out better code when referring to patients as whispering “the lady with the twins’ isn’t going to fool anybody!!! They were still arguing even once I was in the operation theatre culminating in the anesthetist telling another doctor to get out as they were about to start and his patient would have to wait. Of course the worst thing was having not prepared any music I gave birth to the radio playing Whitney Houston which – apologies to any fans out there – was ABSOLUTELY not my choice!!

However and the most important thing I can pass on is that despite everything by going with the flow we totally were able to have the emotional experience we had been looking forward to for 9 months. Instead of remembering it as 6 painful, annoying hours in Triage we remember it as a time of laughing and joking and finally doing some planning. We saw the monitors not as restrictive but as I lovely way to hear my boys’ hearts whilst anticipating with excitement their arrival. I don’t remember the medical equipment or staff of the operating theatre I remember hearing their first cries and looking over and smiling at Mike who seemed to be the only person in the room. I don’t remember the time it took to sow me up I remember being handed the boys and taking in every small detail of their faces, their smell and the warmth of their bodies. I don’t remember the wait in recovery whilst they found me a bed on the ward I remember phoning our parents and hearing their joy at the good news.

Birth is unpredictable and multiple birth even more so. All I would say to anyone who is pregnant is expectant the unexpected, embrace whatever happens and you too can have a truly wonderful experience. Oh and get some sleep now!!

If you would like to share your birth story in a future newsletter, please email