Our birth story is quite a bit different to the one we had planned. After suffering two miscarriages and an ectopic pregnancy, I was a bit (a lot!) worried and nervous about the birth. Worried that something may go wrong after nine months of carrying our baby, who was hoped for, for so long.
I went to hypno-birthing class, and this honestly helped heaps. Hypno-birthing taught me how to relax (in general, but particularly around the birth), and encouraged me to use techniques that would release oxytocin – which is the love hormone and helps facilitate dilation in labour. Hypno-birthing encourage the mum to be in a relaxed environment, with low lighting and to be surrounded by those that make you feel loved.
I did not realise how much this class helped until our daughters birth day.
The majority of people in the class were planning for a home-birth, I just hoped the hospital would take into account all of my wishes regarding hypno-birthing.
31st December 2014
I woke up feeling sick, I wasn’t sick, but I definitely felt different. My waters hadn’t gone and I definitely didn’t consider myself to be in labour. To be quite honest, I’m not sure exactly what time labour did start.
I was booked in for a pregnancy massage in the afternoon, but about midday I had a feeling I wouldn’t be going anywhere.
I had a few pains, so I had a bath. I was expecting my waters to go to be the start of labour. So, I very much believed I wasn’t in labour yet.
At 5pm my husband thought that we were getting ready for our babies arrival. He stared timing how often I would get this pain or surge. He wrote them all down, he was very efficient!
Call the Midwife
At 9.30pm my waters still hadn’t gone, but we were in agreement that I was definitely in labour and we should call the midwife. We explained to her what had happened so far and she said she would be with us within the hour. She wasn’t worried to come any sooner. During that hour things got a little intense. I felt the urge to push, but was confused as my waters hadn’t gone. I held back and just gritted my teeth.
When the midwife arrived at 10.30pm, she knew I was well into established labour from just looking at me. She asked to examine me and I think we were all very surprised to learn I was 8cm dilated! She also confirmed that my waters were still intact, and it is often considered good luck if a baby is born within the waters.
We quickly (and without much thought at all) agreed that due to the speed of things, it was probably best that we didn’t try to get me to hospital, as baby may arrive in the car! The midwife explained that she had everything in her car for a home birth and not to worry. She had the emergency drugs too but obviously didn’t tell me that!
Whilst the bath was running she got me some gas & air from her car and called for a second midwife to attend. I just could not get on with the gas & air, and as much as you just breathe normal with it, I just couldn’t get to grips with it.
Our Daughters Arrival
I got into the bath at 11pm – lights out with a few candles lit. I felt a little pop, which must have been my waters breaking in the bath water, nothing dramatic at all. The midwife popped in and out to check on me and baby’s heartbeat periodically, I don’t really remember much about that part. She wasn’t there shouting at me to push, she just knew I was listening to my body. I didn’t know it at the time but everything I had learned from hypno-birthing was falling into place. My husband was helping me with my breathing techniques and I would push when I felt it was right. What seemed like minutes later (it was actually 11.45pm) our beautiful daughter was born. She floated up and was placed on my chest. She opened her eyes and looked around. Her fingers wrapped around my husbands little finger. Such a beautiful moment.
One great advantage to a home birth is that I was only a walk down the landing to our bedroom. I got into bed with my husband at my side and our beautiful daughter. As it was New Years Eve, and close to midnight, the fireworks soon started. It was magical, it was as though it was a celebration of our daughters arrival, especially after all the pain that had gone before her arrival. My husband went to the kitchen and brought us all a glass of bubbles – appletiser!
The midwives celebrated our baby’s arrival and did the most amazing job of cleaning up. I honestly cannot believe how efficient they were, changing the bed and making sure everywhere was spotless. It was something I never (in a million years) expected, but was beyond grateful.
My first and unplanned home birth was beautiful, everything about her arrival I remember with very happy memories. I wouldn’t have changed it for the world. Special thanks to two midwives I’ll remember forever – Hayley and Lorna, thank you, both of you.