For so long I have wanted to give birth at home, but there was always so many negative comments about how it’s such a risk for first time mums and not many people seem positive about it. After a lot of research and debating, we decided that we would love nothing more than to welcome our first baby into the world at home.
Our baby girl was due on the 21st September, with everything in place for our home water birth, that date came and went and there was no sign of her appearing. On the 24th September at 4am I woke up with a dull achy pain in my lower back and bump. I then lost a large chunk of my mucus plug. I wasn’t sure if this was the start of labour or not so went back to bed. At 10am I was no longer able to sleep through the pain so got up and started getting a few last minute things organised. At 6pm I knew this was the beginning of labour. The contractions had been coming at less than 5 minutes apart all day but were now gradually getting stronger.
At 10.45pm I phoned the midwife to let her know that I was in labour and would need her to come out some time soon. I was coping well on my own at this point so told her I would phone her back when I felt I needed her there. At 11.30pm my contractions were definitely getting stronger and I felt I would cope better with some encouragement from a midwife. So at 12am the midwife arrived and I was having strong contractions at 2 minutes apart and lasting 30-40 seconds. My boyfriend and sister were both present at this time and helping me breath through every contraction.
At 1am my waters broke and straight away my contractions were very painful! At this point I was allowed the gas and air .. woohooo! The midwife examined me and I was only 4cms dilated. I straight away wished I hadn’t consented to being examined because I was so disheartened and felt that if this was the pain now, how was I going to cope at 8cms or so?! After what felt like 20 minutes later I started crying because I felt I couldn’t do this at home without any drugs, turns out it wasn’t 20 minutes, it was actually 2 hours later and I was now 6cms!! At this point the second midwife arrived and I was then allowed to get into the pool.
As soon as I stepped in I became so relaxed and went into my own little world. With each contraction I breathed my way through with the gas and air, enjoying every inch of the pool! With the help of my midwife, I used my other half as a focal point and managed to stay in control of every contraction. As each contraction built up, I stared at him and drifted away into the future, a time where all the pain would be over and we would have our baby girl in our arms.
At the beginning of my labour, I consented to having a student midwife present at the birth, this was the best decision I ever made. As a student nurse myself, I knew how important this experience was to her. It was her first home and water delivery and I was so happy that I was the one to give her this experience. The student arrived about 4am and took control over monitoring the baby. Her heart rate stayed strong the whole time and she was showing no signs of distress.
At 5.40am I was involuntarily pushing during contractions, something I had absolutely no control over whatsoever. I was then told that baby was ready to come out and I was allowed to start pushing. Around 6am the midwives asked me to get out the pool because I wasn’t progressing, baby was stuck and needed a little help to come down the birth canal. As I pushed during a contraction the midwife guided the baby’s head down a little and I was told to stand up and push during a few contractions to allow gravity to take over. I was then allowed back in the pool again .. RELIEF!
I really struggled to get baby’s head out, the pain was unbearable. When someone says ‘ring of fire’ I now know exactly what they mean! After what felt like forever, baby’s head was born at 6.16am. Contractions after that were very dull and short which I knew wasn’t good. After a few of these contractions, a stronger one came. At 6.26am I gave the biggest push of my life and the midwife and the student pulled the baby out.
I caught her between my legs and held her to my chest. I instantly fell in love. I have never felt anything like it before in my life. Our baby girl was finally here and gave the biggest cry ever. I sat with her on my chest for about 5 minutes in the pool. She was the most beautiful thing ever and the absolute double of my other half! Her cord was very short though so it was constantly tugging which hurt like hell, so the cord was cut and I got out the pool.
I had a small tear and a bit of a graze so had to have a couple of stitches. I delivered the placenta at 6.36am and was then stitched up. At this point baby was being cleaned up and weighed and my sister got to have a cuddle as my other half was calming me down during the stitching up.
So at 6.26am on the 25th September 2013, 4 days overdue, I gave birth to our beautiful daughter Sophie Anne Middleton who weighed a massive 11lbs 1oz. She is an absolute chunk of sheer perfection. My labour was amazing and I would do it all again in a heartbeat!
3 hours after giving birth, my other half, Sophie and I were alone at home enjoying every minute of being a family.
If you feel a home birth is something you want to do, I would most definitely recommend it, and the pool! It was the most amazing experience of my life and I am so glad I never listened to all the negative comments about home births. The rare situations that can arise are exactly that .. Rare. I had a very healthy pregnancy and very supportive midwives, without them I would never have got the birth I wanted.
Fantastic, thank you for sharing your story. I had a wonderful water birth first time around and this time I am hoping for it to be at home, hopefully it will go as well as yours well done on that weight as well, very impressive and goes to show a big baby isn't a medical emergency!
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