I first heard about One to One Midwives via a friend when I was 22 weeks pregnant (Jan 2015) and thought it sounded too good to be true! My previous birth experience with my son 5 years ago was a positive one: a straightforward home water birth, but this time round I was frustrated with the level of care I was receiving.
My first appointment with One to One was amazing: it was all done in the comfort of my own home at a time convenient for me (as were all subsequent appointments). Even my blood tests and Anti-D jabs were done at home. I was told about the free hypnobirthing class that they provide too and we attended this at 37 weeks.
My due date was Sunday 10 May 2015 but exactly a week before, at around 14.45, I started getting regular tightenings. I carried on with the tidying up I was doing but by 15.30 I noticed they were getting quite close together. I started to write down my timings and realised they were 3 or 4 minutes apart already! The surges were lasting about 30 seconds but I was feeling everything round my abdomen by this point so wasn't really sure if this was a false alarm or not. We decided to call the midwife to see what she thought. My assigned midwife, Donna Wright, was on holiday so I called her buddy, Sarah Judd at 15.45. She said that she would come out to me to see how things were progressing. Sarah lived around 45 minutes away and sent me a message at 16.10 to say she was on her way. By this point, we had decided that it was best if my 5 year old son, Alex, went round to his aunt's house just round the corner, so Derek took him there. Whilst they were gone I decided to take a shower (as we'd been having a lazy Sunday so I hadn't had one that day!). Whilst in the shower I had 3 quite intense surges but the hot water on my back felt wonderful. After I got out, I attempted to put on my Tens machine, but with the surges coming thick and fast it took me a while to get it sorted! But once it was up and running the Tens started working its magic quite quickly. Derek was back by now and we set about getting things sorted downstairs: sheets on the floors, lavender oil burning, starting to fill the pool (it had been blown up in advance).
At 16.40 I decided to let Kelly at Essex Placenta know that I was in labour (I was planning placenta encapsulation). She said to contact her again once I had delivered the placenta, thinking it would still be some time, and that she would arrange for someone to come and collect it the next day. As soon as I put the phone down I went to the toilet and and had my show and 20 minutes later had more bloody show.
Sarah arrived at 17.04 and could see straight away that things were in full swing so she called for her buddy, Cher Smith, to come straight away. There was only about 8 inches of water in the pool by now and I was leaning against the dining room table breathing through my surges which were really strong by now.
At 17.05 my waters went and I panicked slightly as they were discoloured and I was saying to Sarah that I was worried that I'd now have to transfer to hospital. She reassured me that all was ok and that it was old meconium so there was nothing to worry about. All of a sudden the amazing urge to push took hold of me. Sarah checked the baby's heart rate and it was a very calm 146bpm. Again, I was panicking as I really wanted a water birth but knew that there wasn't enough water in the pool. Sarah reminded me about the hypnobirthing techniques I'd learnt and encouraged me to breathe through the pushing urges. Suppressing the urge to push and deep breathing was probably the hardest thing I've ever done but after 3 surges, the baby's head had crowned and with next surge the head was out. I was kneeling and leaning over a chair at this point and with the last surge my second baby was delivered safely on the floor. I scooped him up and knelt back and announced that we had another boy! He was crying straight away and was the spitting image of his big brother.
Matthew Steven Andrew was born on Sunday 3 May at 17.21, 17 minutes after Sarah arrived and 2 minutes before Cher got to our house! Sarah said it was the first delivery she'd done on her own.
I had opted for delayed cord clamping and this took 5 minutes. After Derek cut the cord, I gently delivered the placenta naturally 16 minutes after Matthew was born. Derek then took Matthew for their first cuddles together. Derek then started ringing family to give them the good news.
Sarah and Cher checked me over and dealt with my second degree tear and grazes. They also helped Derek with tidying everything up whilst I went upstairs for my second shower of the day! Once I came back down it was all very calm: I managed to get Matthew latched on whilst Sarah and Cher completed their notes and had a well deserved cup of tea!
Alex came back from his aunt's at 20.15 and met his new baby brother. It was such a lovely moment to see them together: it had been something that he'd talked about for such a long time.
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