This was my second birth, my first birth experience wasnt the best, I went 2 weeks over due was induced using the drip and had a very fast labour, 4 hours from start to finish, I went into shock and my daughter was born very quick so struggled to breath at first but thankfully all was well quite soon. I had weeks of recovery after alot of stitches inside and out. That put me off childbirth again for quite a while!
My partner and I were married in November 2011 and decided that with my daughter now being 3 we would begin trying for another. Boxing Day of 2011 I had my first positive test result, the immediate feeling of joy was soon over ridden by a gut wrenching fear of childbirth so I began researching different birth options. At first I steered far away from home birth due to the complications of my previous experience but the more I read, the more I learnt and the more I began to understand my body and the miracle of child birth!
Through the support of (some of) my family and friends I decided I would go for it, I went to my midwife appointment and mentioned it to them and they seemed happy for me to go ahead with my decision. All seemed well until it came to my consultant who was not happy for me to have a home birth. I was classed as ‘high’ BMI and had declined blood thinning medication to prevent clotting. They expressed their opinion and pointed out all the risks involved and complications which may occur, to which I replied with my opinion and all the benefits which could occur and together we agreed to disagree but ultimately, it was my choice.
So came the planning! Now this was exciting, I had kindly been bought a pool by a friend, the rest of my friends rallied round and put home birth kits together of all the ‘lovely’ things I would need…dust sheets, towels, a long handled mirror…A SIEVE! haha, My daughter’s playroom was transformed into a beautifully, relaxing room, draped with lilac sheets and fairy lights, it was just perfect! They were a great support to me I can never thank them enough!
And so my due date arrived! With all the planning, excitement, anticipation and fear I had waited for this day for 9 months and I was ready!! but guess what?…Baby wasn’t, I continued to carry my little bundle for another week, as each day went by, my midwife and consultant were piling the preasure on about the even greater ‘risk’ and that I really should start thinking about the possibility of being induced again. I was adamant that for as long as my baby and my body were happy to stay pregnant, then so was I. So…needless to say, over this week, I walked like a was training for a slow marathon and bounced like I was due to enter a space hopper competition!
5 days after due date and I had noticed a significant change in babies movement so I contacted the hospital and they asked me to come in for monitoring. All was fine. Baby was happy and was slightly more engaged than it had been so all was good but they wanted me to come back for a scan the next morning just to check placental function…Fine by me but it was also my uncle’s wedding that day and my daughter was bridesmaid ahhhhh!!!
So came the day of the scan/wedding…woke up early got my daughter ready to take her to the hairdressers to meet the others and had myself done up to the 9’s ready for the wedding but we had the little hospital visit first. What a wally I must have looked, make up on, hair done perfectly, lovely flowing dress, heels on…Sat in the waiting room of the maternity ward!
Scan went well, 30 minutes of monitoring went well and just on the off chance I asked if she could maybe do me a sweep to see if that started anything so she did and off we went to the wedding.
An hour or so later sat in the registry office, the pains started (oh please god dont let me go into labour now!)…I did, the signs had started and progressively they got worse over the day but I stuck it out, congratulated the couple, ate my meal and decided we would go home. After check everything was ready, if this was the real deal and went for a long walk. Once I got home, the pains were beginning to slow and I decided maybe it wasnt the real thing and toddled off to bed.
The next morning there was no change, no more pains and no sign of baby coming anytime soon so spent the day walking.
7 days overdue and I woke to some twinges (from the previous few days I learnt to ignore them and not get my hopes up) I proceeded to do the family breakfast and jobs etc but by lunch time they had become more frequent and more intense so we decided it would be best to phone the midwife. The delivery suite then explained that due to under staffing the home birth service was not available! omg now what?! I phoned my friend who I knew would give me the advise I needed and phoned the hospital back to explain I wouldnt be coming in and that I WAS having a home birth…a midwife was with me within the hour!
Labour went steady and we decided to fill the pool at around 1pm but it wasnt until about 4-5pm that I was able to get in (up until this point my contractions weren’t so painful, I was still having a laugh with my midwife, hubby and baby’s godmother) I remember my first ‘big’ contractions and thought ‘yep its time!’ I climbed into the pool and it was instant relief! I was so calm and relaxed it was just as I had hoped. I asked everyone to leave the room so me and my husband could do most of it alone, I put my hypnosis cd on and let my body do the rest. I got to 8cm and I really wasnt progressing so out of the pool. I bounced a bit more, walked a bit more (like I hadn’t done enough all week!) but nothing seemed to help, my midwife believed that if my waters went it would be very quick after that.
Laid on the floor mid contraction and GUSH!! There went my waters followed by THE biggest most painful contraction of the day, I couldnt move, my wonderful midwife proceeded to tell me that her suspicions were right and that it was going to be even quicker than imagined and if I didn’t get off the floor my baby would be born there (now, my friend who bought the pool did not buy it for me to have my baby on the floor) so up I got, very unsuccessfully, wet and sliding around on the waterproof dust sheets resembled something similar to a hippo on ice!
But with the help of my husband and 2 midwives they dragged me into the pool (now imagine this in ‘a leg and a wing’ type fashion!) just in time for my next contraction, I squatted down into the water and slowly birthed my baby’s head on my own (now I’m welling up again writing this) My hands were the first thing to ever touch that little head. With the next big contraction my baby was born and I pulled HER up out of the water into my arms.
She had alot of mucous on her chest so the midwives had to whisk her off me into the other room to get her breathing and clear her lungs. She was then bundled in my husbands arms whilst I delivered the placenta and sorted myself out.
This was the most amazing experience of my life and would urge any mother to go for a home birth if that’s what your gut instinct tells you. An hour after giving birth and we had a take away pizza delivered whilst I was snug on my sofa with my new baby girl, my mum, my baby’s godparents and husband.