Amy’s Home Birth Story
My home birth’s
I always knew that I would love to have a home birth, or at least a natural drug free birth. But for some reason, when I fell pregnant with my first child, I felt as though I’d be laughed at. I was 25 years old, and although I had an inner total confidence in my ability to give birth to a baby without a hospital, I did not have the confidence to tell the midwife. I went on have a straight forward birth at hospital. I didn’t know a lot about labour or childbirth at this point. I only knew what I had seen advertised in the mainstream media. I had a lot of learning to do, but all went well.
Fast forward 8 years to baby number 2 and I knew I would give birth at home. I was a midwife at this point and felt a lot more confident saying I will be giving birth at home. Even then, I still experienced the raised eyebrows, the comments, – “Aren’t you scared?” and “Oh my god you’re so brave!”.
I’m not brave, I’m just giving birth the way my body knows how.
Little did I know at the time that things were going to progress a lot more quickly than I thought! All midwives know that when someone is having their second baby things can happen really fast! Hence the phrase ‘never turn your back on a multip!’. I wouldn’t allow myself to think that I may have a rapid labour. In terms of managing the pain, I had to expect the worst (hours upon hour of labour) and hope for the best! That’s just the way my brain works!
So on that night at 39 weeks exactly, I had fallen asleep with a migraine and bit of nausea. It was exaclty 9.25pm when I woke up with abdominal pain. It was the same pain I had been having for the last few days whenever my bladder was full. I went to the toilet and went back to bed, soon realising that I was still in pain. The pain was coming in waves but I had convinced myself it wasn’t labour yet and tried to play it down. At 10pm my partner had asked if he should call the midwife and I remember saying ‘fine but tell her I’m only niggling’.
It was between 10.30 and 11pm that we had called again, and said it was time. We laid out the old sheets and towels that I had got ready in advance all on top of a plastic builders sheet. My first daughter had added her old one direction duvet cover to the pile. I didn’t realise until I looked back at the photos, that I had given birth right onto Harry Styles face!
At around 11.45pm I had remember squeezing my pelvic floor as if I was trying not to give birth without the midwife. I asked my partner to get the ‘inco sheets’ from the birth box that the midwife had left before hand. He asked “Whats an inco sheet?” and I couldn’t reply! The midwife hadn’t arrived yet. The next time I had a contraction, I again tried to squeeze my pelvic floor, but nothing happened. I had no muscle tone because baby was arriving. She was a petite little thing (still is), and came out with one contraction at 11.55pm. I was never worried or scared, just kept baby warm and dry in skin to skin while waiting for the midwife who arrived about 10 minutes later just in time to catch the placenta. Midwives call this a BBA – (birth before arrival) It was lovely to simply wrap up the plastic sheet, and bin it, leaving no mess whatsoever. I had a shower, then straight to bed for uninterrupted breastfeeding and eating. She was by far the easiest birth out of the 3.
Then we have the last baby, born only two and half years after the second. I had the same midwife team as I did for my previous home birth. They were keeping a close eye on me towards the end, as if the baby could fly out at any second!
This time was the first time I had ever gone over my due date. It does not matter how many times you tell a pregnant woman that its just an estimate and that is totally normal to be pregnant at 42 weeks, all logic goes out of the window after that magic date.
At 40 plus 3, I had a sweep at my midwife appointment. She said that the baby seems to be ‘acynclitic’. To cut a long story short it means that the baby’s head could be slightly wonky against the cervix. The midwife could tell this by feeling for the suture lines on the baby’s head. I can remember saying “No, i’m not having that!”. In order to hopefully adjust the baby’s position, to make birth easier, I knew I would need to do some sideways steps up and down the stairs. And so I did!
The next morning I woke to see that I had lost my mucous plug but nothing else exciting to report, so I carried on with my day. It was at about 3.30pm that afternoon that I had what I thought was a contraction. It only took me until the second or third contraction to call the midwife. She said she would be an hour and I told her not to rush. Within minutes she called me back to say that she was sending another midwife ‘to wait with me’ until she is available. (remember the previous birth).
At this point we were all still chatting and laughing between contractions as if nothing was actually happening. I declined any vaginal exams because I felt that I knew things would develop from here, and it wasn’t necessary. The second midwife arrived just as the urge to push started. In huge contrast to the previous birth, this baby definitely did not come out on one contraction. I needed to really put the effort in with pushing this time. He was bigger than the girls and the only time I had gone over my due date. Our little boy arrived onto the bedroom floor at 7.30pm. The funny thing about being a midwife when you’re in labour, is listening to the little conversations that midwives have. When I said I really need to go to the toilet, I could hear the midwives mention ‘gloves’ and the rustling of the delivery pack opening. I said back to them, I need to go to the toilet, its not the baby! The baby is never coming out! Its still somewhat a surprise and a relief that labour actually comes to an end, and you have a baby to hold. If I ever had any more children, I would definitiely opt for a homebirth. I had great care when I gave birth in hospital, but it couldn’t compare to getting into my own shower and bed after having a baby. And the post birth snacks taste just as good!