Family Friendly HQ writer and blogger Tracey Quinn welcomed her second baby into the world on Wednesday, 22nd May, but the birth didn't go according to plan.
Family Friendly HQ writer and blogger Tracey Quinn welcomed her second baby into the world on Wednesday, 22nd May. A beautiful little girl she named Willow.
However, Baby Willow was in a hurry to meet her family and decided to make an early entrance that morning, requiring the assistance of the Dublin Fire Brigade at the same time.
Having previously experienced a traumatic birth on her five-year-old son, Billy, Tracey wanted to avoid some of the trauma and interventions she experienced first time around.
Tracey did a birth reflections one on one service with a midwife, which she says changed her whole perception of birth and her experience of it. The mum-of-two left that class feeling extremely positive about the pending arrival of baby number two.
She practised gentle birth and had hopes of birthing in the birthing pool in the Coombe Maternity Hospital. As her due date approached, the incredible mum prepared for a natural and calm birth. But that, unfortunately, was not to be.
At 11pm, three nights before Tracey’s due date, her waters broke. Her mum (who is a psychic) predicted she would go that night and she was not wrong!
As most mums do, Tracey panicked with the loss of her waters and asked her mum to call over. With her son Billy in bed, Tracey wanted someone there to mind him so he wouldn't have to be disturbed.
Tracey and her mum spend a beautiful night lying on her bed chatting, listening to gentle birth tracks and drifting in and out of sleep. Her mum right by her side. At 3am contractions started. Mild and ten minutes apart. Billy woke at 7.50am and they all got up. Tracey’s contractions were still 10 mins apart, painful but bearable. Preparing for a gentle birth Tracey wanted to stay at home as long as possible.
But, as her mum dressed Billy to take him out for the day, in an instant everything changed. Tracey tells Family Friendly HQ: “I couldn’t decipher a contraction from just normality and I could feel my body bearing down. I was afraid to say the words."
Her mum and husband, Peter, knew she was in a lot of pain, but Tracey couldn’t understand why as her contractions had still been 10 minutes apart consistently.
As her mum went to leave with Billy something told Tracey to ask her to stay. She told her husband she was starting to panic. Tracey shares what happened next: “I put my hand down and could actually feel the head. My body was pushing, and I just knew I couldn’t sit in a car or move. It was happening hard and fast” Her supportive husband called an ambulance at 8:35 am. He stayed right by her side.
The ambulance and fire brigade arrived and a beautiful baby girl was born five minutes later, on the living room floor. Willow Byrne. Willow's daddy even got to cut her chord right in the middle of their living room, in awe of his wifes strength bringing their daughter into the world this way. “There must have been eight firemen and paramedics in the room," Tracey recalls.
"A special mention to Kevin Sheehan an advanced paramedic who was honestly incredible. He was so reassuring, encouraging and got me through it. I’ll never ever forget him.”
Although Tracey was scared not knowing what to expect, the quick thinking of Dublin Fire Brigade made her feel safe and got her through it. “When they arrived I was scared and in a huge panic but also relieved as there were medical professionals beside me. They also had gas and air which I personally feel I couldn't have managed without.
"I literally had it for five minutes as I pushed her out but it was amazing and gave me so much relief!"
When asked how Billy was throughout, Tracey tells Family Friendly HQ he was oblivious to his little sister making her quick and dramatic entrance into the world, only a few feet away.
“The whole time the baby was being born my son was playing in the front garden. He was none the wiser and finally met his little sister in the ambulance.
He was overwhelmed but really happy.” Tracey and baby Willow were transferred immediately to the Coombe as it is policy with an unplanned home birth.
She recalls being in the ambulance with her brand-new daughter in her arms. “As I lay there on the stretcher holding my baby I thought 'be careful what you wish for' as I had joked about this happening. I wanted to avoid the interventions from my first birth if I could and had done a lot of work on my headspace and positive thinking regarding the birth.
"But a few times I joked about a home birth, saying I'd never be able to actually sign up for one and be 'brave enough'. Little did I know it would be taken out of my hands. I got out of bed at 7.50 am with contractions 10 minutes apart thinking we'd be lucky to see Baby by the end of the day.
I rang the Coombe and had everything in control. An hour later and she was in my arms on my living room floor.” Although things went a little differently to how she had thought and despite the quick birth and panic, Tracey explains that she has never been happier.
“In the ambulance, I was basically naked, as was Willow, and I hadn't a thing with me. I was feeling so happy because after all of my weeks of prep and packing bags I ended up on a stretcher wheeled to the Coombe with just my baby in my arms wrapped in a blanket that didn't even belong to me. And never was I ever happier.
"Willow is perfect and I didn't even need stitches which after my last birth recovery is such a miracle. It's the first thing I asked the paramedic about when she was born.” Tracey wishes to thank Dublin Fire Brigade for their help and support. “Thank you to the amazing staff at Dublin Fire Brigade (in particular Kevin) and the staff at the Coombe hospital. We've felt like celebrities since we got here and as I recount the details I still can't quite believe that this is our story. I am so grateful!”
From all of us at Family Friendly HQ, we send huge congratulations to Tracey, Peter and Billy. We can wait to meet beautiful baby Willow. To follow Tracey and see more updates on baby Willow, click here.