... as I crowned!
Cradling baby Hendrix – my partner is a massive rock fan! – we were astonished it was over so quickly.
The labour was all of 30 minutes. I almost felt guilty it had gone so smoothly – some of my friends had deliveries that had lasted longer than Test matches!
‘You should try a home birth next time,’ the midwife suggested.
That was in 2014 and, by the time Hendrix was three, me and Dan, 29, were expecting again.
The idea of a home birth was a no-go, though, given that the new house we’d moved into needed some serious TLC.
At eight months gone, in July 2016, there was more paint on me than the living room walls!
After a nap, I woke up to find my waters had broken.
‘Here we go again,’ I thought as I called Dan, who was at work as a train driver. Every 20 minutes, a pint of water would tip out of me, but I was so calm that I returned to the DIY. When Dan came back, we drove to Burnley General Hospital, dropping little Hendrix off with my mum, Maxine.
Once there, the midwife was as laid-back as I was.
‘Get some rest. Come back tomorrow if you still feel the same way,’ she said.
But as soon as we got back to Mum’s, the contractions were coming thick and fast.
This time the baby really coming. Suddenly, the birth didn’t look such an easy ride!
Back in the car, rain lashed the windscreen and we seemed to catch every red light.
I was sobbing with pain. And it was another half an hour to get there…
‘It’s coming!’ I yelped as I grabbed hold of the door handle. The seat was soaked through. ‘C’mon, you’re just being dramatic,’ Dan sighed.
With my leggings around my ankles,
I grabbed Dan’s hand from the gearstick and made him feel our baby’s head.
‘Oh, my God,’ he gasped, going white as a sheet.
He floored it to the hospital and flagged down a nurse in the car park.
‘We’ve got a head!’ he shouted out of the window.
The crowd of smokers milling around looked up at the commotion.
– oh, great!
But, sitting in the passenger seat, I was in too much agony to care. With one last push, 8lb 2oz baby Arlo slithered into the arms of the nurse crouching beside our Corsa. But then I heard a thwack. Peering round, I saw Dan lying poleaxed on the tarmac.
He was out cold, crumpled against the tyre. He’d fainted!
A second nurse helped him up as he came to. Clutching his head and blinking, he smiled weakly, ‘It’s all been a bit much.’ But it added to the drama for our crowd of onlookers, who gave us a good clap as we were wheeled into hospital. It had been quite a show. Hardly a textbook delivery, but we’ll have a great story to tell Arlo when he’s older! Lauren Hilton, 29, Blackburn, Lancashire
Surprise passenger – little Arlo
My boy’s got a great tale to tell!
Dan had a difficult birth!