The birth of Bertie

First time mum / Spontaneous labour / Labour ward birth / Water birth


Written by Theresa.

“Labour for me whilst a lot quicker than expected, with the right preparation both physically and mentally meant the whole experience was so positive and whilst I don’t intend on doing it again, if I did I would not in the slightest be worried!”


December the 12th I woke up hoping to feel some movement, I was still 5 days early however starting to feel massive and really impatient. We had tried literally everything to get things moving the only indication of anything happening anytime soon was losing my mucus plug a few days before. Instead Matt woke up with horrendous toothache so a trip to the dentist was out plan for the day, we had to go into Exeter so we decided to make a day of it by getting in a bit of Christmas shopping and spending some time at the Christmas markets. Early afternoon I felt as if everything was feeling heavy but put this down to the size of me and being on my feet for a few hours so we came back home. I was still nesting so went to work on cleaning the downstairs of the house again which then my body was telling me to take a break.


At 5pm I decided to take a bath and just relax for an hour, I remember thinking now would be a great time to shave my legs and ‘prep’ in case I went into labour, instead I read a book and scrolled through Instagram. As soon as I got out the bath I felt a slight cramping, I didn’t think anything of it as I knew I had done too much throughout the day and it felt very similar to cramps I had had over the past few weeks. I cooked some dinner and the cramps continued but not really with any regular pattern, I sat on the ball for about 30 minutes, ate a huge piece of cake and then decided to get an early night.


As soon as I got into bed the cramping suddenly ramped up and were coming every 5 minutes or so, I could still hold a conversation and carry on as normal however they were becoming really uncomfortable particularly when I was lying down. Matt felt now would be a good time to call triage, I explained exactly how I was feeling and they confirmed that I was in early stages of labour and to sit tight at home and rest. They asked if Bracken was my first choice which it was and they said to go in there the following morning where they would check me over and confirm what stage I was at.


The breathing techniques Mollie taught me and how to relax really made a huge difference at this point and helped me stay level headed rather than panic about what was to come. I got back to bed however I had a need to keep my legs moving so again moved back onto the ball. About 30 minutes later I felt really sick so rushed to the bathroom and it was at this point that I noticed that I had started bleeding. We decided to call triage again, I felt like I was being a nuisance however they were so friendly and reassured us that we weren’t being dramatic. They suggested coming in at 9:30 to just get checked over so that we could then come home knowing a little more about what stage we were at.


The 15 minute journey into Musgrove was a blur I just know that at this point the pain had ramped up to the next level and being sat not able to move around was really uncomfortable. As soon as we arrived they took us into triage, they took us to a bay where we would wait for a midwife. There were 2 other couples, 1 being serenaded by their partner the other with the loudest voice so we soon learnt their life story. A really lovely midwife then came over and did various checks such as blood pressure etc, she asked various questions and again confirmed that I was in very early stages of labour and I could go home.


I was always told to follow my instincts, at this point whilst it was my first time I had a feeling I was further along than they were suggesting. I didn’t want to question the experts however I explained this, and to reassure me they said they would examine me. The midwife said that at this stage they would just examine with a speculum which I was happy with. I then remember back to the bath and my decision not to ‘prep’, for some silly reason I was really conscious of this and apologised over and over, if anything this only lightened the mood as we all found it funny that this was such a worry for me. She started the examination and then said that my waters were bulging so she would do a more detailed examination. Very quickly on doing this she asked someone else to quickly go and get someone to prep a delivery room and then told me that I was 8cm, so baby would be with us a lot sooner than expected.


The original plan was to go to Bracken for a water birth however all rooms were full but they were able to offer a room on labour ward with a pool, fortunately I had not been to see Bracken so I wasn’t feeling disappointed and to be honest knowing this baby was coming soon I would’ve had it in the car park if that’s all that was available.  At approx 11:30pm they quickly whisked us into the room where they were quickly trying to fill the pool. I was offered the bed however I knew the only position I wanted to be in at this stage was on my hands and knees, anyone who walked in at this stage was not arriving to a glamorous sight however I didn’t care at this point. I was pretty adamant that I wanted to avoid any medicated pain relief however Matt did request gas and air which I happily used and this definitely eased the pressure.


Every 10 minutes or so the midwife would check babies heart rate but other than that she let us work through it alone which was exactly what we wanted. My waters then broke at approx midnight by which time the pool was ready, the instant relief as I entered the water was incredible and whilst I felt relatively calm it still had a really relaxing effect.


Contractions continued however the pressure was increasing, I felt like I was almost ready to push so I knew I needed to stay upright and most importantly calm and relaxed. Again the midwife continued to check babies heart rate but when not doing this sat in the corner of the room to let us continue alone. Within the next 10 minutes I had an overwhelming urge to push, it’s right what they say your body knows exactly what to do. The midwife the checked me to make sure I was ok to push and then just encouraged me to do what felt right. Very quickly I could feel the head was ready as the stinging was pretty intense but with some encouragement from Matt and some gas and air babies head was here within 3 pushes.


I knew the worst was over now and I just had to wait for the next contraction and baby would be here. Whilst waiting I could feel its head moving which was the strangest sensation. The next contraction came and one push and baby was out, I caught him and bought him straight to my chest. At this point we noticed that the umbilical cord had snapped on his way out so unfortunately Matt was unable to cut the cord and I was unable to deliver the placenta in my own time however I no longer felt this was overly important. I managed to come away with only a minor graze and no discomfort, and we left hospital later that day.



Labour for me, whilst a lot quicker than expected, with the right preparation both physically and mentally meant the whole experience was so positive and whilst I don’t intend on doing it again, if I did I would not in the slightest be worried. The snippets of advice, knowledge and encouragement that Mollie gave me really supported me with my birth and gave me the confidence to get through it in a calm and relaxed way, I will forever be grateful to her.



Baby Bertie Burd born 13/12/23 at 00:34 weighing 6lb 3oz at 39+2 weeks.





Thank you Theresa for letting me share your beautiful birth story! I am so pleased you had such a positive experience.

Here’s what Theresa thought of my of my Pregnancy Relaxation Sessions: 

Mollies relaxation classes are the highlight of my week, when trying to juggle a first pregnancy, a busy job and general life she is a breath of fresh air and her classes are the perfect escape.
They are also a great opportunity to meet other amazing mummy’s to be in a relaxed environment. Thank you Mollie I will miss these when baby is here, keep up the amazing work you are by far the best in your field out there! Xx


Find out more about my Pregnancy Relaxation Sessions here.

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