Thursday 11th March 2021
Lola is approaching one year old next week and I am finally getting round to sharing my birth story with you.
On Thursday 19th March at around 9am I had a home visit from my midwife. I was 41 weeks and 1 day pregnant and she gave me a sweep. This was my first ever sweep. It was a little uncomfortable, but it didn’t take too long. I only agreed to have it because five days previously all home births from my local hospital had been called off because of covid, and then three days later reinstated, so I desperately wanted to go into labour whilst I could give birth at home like we planned.
The decision to have a home birth wasn’t easy for me, I researched a lot. Read books, attended courses and read articles. It was much easier for my husband who thought it was a fabulous idea from day one. I suppose I had that little niggle in the back of my mind saying ‘what if something goes wrong’. So the reading I did and the courses I went to, really help me realise just how low risk birthing at home actually is, and combined with the fact I hate hospitals, the decision was made.
So, going back to the 19th March, after the midwife left, we felt hopeful that the sweep was going to work, not sure why but we just felt positive. The sun was shining so we went for a stroll (a slow hobble from me) followed by a coffee. We got home at lunch time, so I made a sandwich and thought I would tidy up some of my sons toys. I kneeled down and heard a ‘pop’ sound, when I stood back up my waters gushed all over the floor (like what you see in the movies). I was a little shocked to say the least, but excited. I called for my husband and thought I best go and get changed. I then felt a strong surge and I knew I was in labour. I headed upstairs to get dry and was stopped midway with another strong surge. I then experienced a common symptom of early labour- I needed the loo (to empty my bowels….sorry). I was finally ready to come back downstairs and my surges were now coming stronger and closer together and I was making a roaring noise with everyone. I called my mum to see if she could pick my son up from pre-school, as it was approaching that time. I found a comfy spot on the couch in the living room and started to focus on my breathing. I suggested to my husband that he get the birth pool ready. The time from labour starting to this point felt like ages but in reality it was probably about and hour. I then felt the urge to push and I just went with my body. I told my husband that I had to push and I was about to suggest he call triage again, when the first midwife arrived. I stayed where I was and she got her things out behind me and put some pads down to protect the couch. Babies head was crowning and the midwife sat on the floor behind me and checked for babies heart rate between surges. At some point she must have called the other midwife to come because she arrived just before Lola was born. I did ask for gas and air, but she said I didn’t need it because she was so close to being born. And she was right, an hour and a half from my waters breaking Lola was in my arms.
The three of us sat on the couch having skin to skin and just taking in her beautiful little face. We were besotted with her and just couldn’t be happier. Once the cord was cut after a little while, and the placenta was delivered. My mum brought my son home to meet his new sister. It was a truly magical moment. My son went off to stay with my mum and I breastfed Lola for the first time. She latched so well and we are still enjoying our breastfeeding journey to this day, although it wasn’t without any difficulties at the beginning. The midwives sat in the back room and wrote my notes, so we could just sit together as a family. After a couple of hours the midwives packed away their things, tided up and went on their way.
I think we got a take away for tea, I had a shower and we shared baby snuggles all night. The whole experience was very quick, but without any stress or panic of getting to hospital. There was no mess apart from having to put the birth pool away. So, unbeknown to me my husband had managed to fill the birth pool, but he didn’t tell me, so I never got to use it. But it really didn’t matter in the end, I had a lovely calm birth on my couch. I honestly feel my experience was so amazing thanks to hypnobirthing and my confidence in home birth. There really is no place like home.