On 10 February our daughter Vittoria was born!
During the last month of my pregnancy, some nights I had regular Braxton Hicks contractions.
Two weeks before the delivery the contractions started to get stronger and on a Friday night we thought that Vicky would make her entrance into the world and went to the hospital. At the hospital, unfortunately (or not? ;-)), the contractions stopped and in the early morning we were sent home again … For me it was kind of a relief… I didn’t feel comfortable at the hospital at all. Sitting in an uncomfortable chair, being monitored, a lot of things going on around me, noises… No, the hospital is not a place where I relax and I’m wondering how it is for you?
On Tuesday 9 in the evening I had more contractions, all 1 minute long, but with 8-minute breaks, and after an hour they seemed to decrease. Around 23:00 I told my partner Filippo that I was going to sleep and I switched off the light. Suddenly, at 23:30, I felt a kind of little explosion in my belly and I was wondering what that could have been. Around 23:45 it became clear that my waters had broken …
I woke Filippo to tell him and to get some towels 😉 … No contractions in the first 15 minutes, so I went back to sleep knowing that it could take another 24-48 hours. Suddenly the contractions started to come, and with my hypnobirthing techniques that I learned from my dear friend Margaretha of Hypnobirthing Italia, I was really able to breathe them away and to be fully present in my body.
But after 4 contractions they started to get different. I had to go to the toilet, my body asked me to sit straight up, and it got harder to breathe them away.
Filippo then called his parents to come over to stay with our eldest, Niccolò.
But by the time they arrived I was sitting on the edge of our bed and I was no longer mooing like a cow but growling like a lion … I was asking myself how, for God’s sake was I going to get to our car to go to the hospital, and wondering why the contractions were so intense at this stage … Wasn’t I dilating?
The contraction was over, so Filippo pulled me up from the bed and brought me to the elevator. While we were going down from the third to the first floor, a huge contraction arrived again and instinctively I started to pull down my leggings … Filippo screamed out in Italian ‘Ma che cosa fai??’ (‘What are you doing??’). I only said: ‘She is coming … I feel her head’. He helped me down on to the floor, one leg outside of our small elevator. And there she was. With one more push she came out, Filippo handed her over to me, and I put her on my breast. I heard some little noises and felt her breathing. There she was, my baby girl! I could only smile! And instinctively I knew that everything was ok.
I only realized later on that I was already in labour when I had such an urge to go to the toilet. My head thought I was still dilating, it didn’t occur to me that I was already in labour, since with my son’s birth it took me a whole night to get there … A nice example of how your head can control things and believe things because you think it has to be like that 😉 …
Filippo’s 76-year-old Italian father saw this whole surreal episode and almost fainted … He came down to help me to get into the car but instead he got to see a birth for the first time in his life! 😉 Filippo asked him to call 118 but he wasn’t able to, he was in shock. In the meantime, I was still lying in the elevator and smiling at him. So relieved that she was there and I didn’t feel these intense contractions anymore.
Then the ambulance brought me to the hospital and it was there that they cut the umbilical cord and the placenta was delivered.
The next day the story started to get around and was published in two newspapers: L’eco di Bergamo and Il Corriere. Little Vittoria was suddenly famous in Bergamo! As was her father, for acting like a midwife, because he unwrapped the umbilical cord from her neck when she came out, and he didn’t faint ;-)!
Vittoria in the meantime is doing great, she is being breastfed and is growing quickly. We are fully in love with our little elevator-girl!
And you know, people are asking me if I wasn’t stressed in the elevator. And my answer is no. I was relaxed, actually, and it all went on instinct. We just did it … And it was such a special moment I shared with my partner Filippo. We just did it together and we were so lucky that everything went well!
Would love to hear your comments! Maybe someone else gave birth in a special place too? What do you think about giving birth in the hospital? And what about giving birth at home? How was your labour?