Birth story - Chloe and baby Frances
I had a very positive first labour in a midwife led unit 2 years ago, after attending a face-to-face hypnobirthing course. This time I did the positive birth company as a refresher and it was one of the main reasons I started to consider a homebirth this time around. One of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
On Thu 15 November I woke up for the 4th day feeling like I had period cramps in my lower back. Because each day they had disappeared, I presumed today would be the same. I headed to our local toddler group with my 2yo and ignored the uncomfortable feeling in my lower back, and the swelling I was feeling down below. I felt restless and didn’t sit down the whole time at the group, noticing I was swaying as I stood, I began to think, ‘maybe this is starting to happen finally’.
We got home at about 11:30 and by the time we’d had lunch and were upstairs playing with brio (12:45 ish) I had my first surge, which felt pretty intense - I had to breath through it. Because my partner was at work (he’s a driver), I kept an eye on them, timing them to check how frequent they were before deciding if I should ask him to head home. After having about 4 surges lasting 1.5 minutes each, 10-20 mins apart, my instincts decided I should ask him to come home (he was over an hour away at this point). I called my mum to get her to come take my toddler out for her nap and she arrived at 14:30 (less than 2 hours after my first surge). I ran a bath.
After about 30 mins in the tub watching crazy ex girlfriend on my iPad (!), things were getting even more intense so I decided to head downstairs to where the pool was inflated and I had affirmations on the wall, fairy lights up and photos all around. I needed to get in ‘the zone’.
Between leaving the bath and getting downstairs I had to rush to the toilet 2 or 3 times to empty my bowels (tmi, sorry!), and it was then that I really began to think things were going to happen, and v.soon - I’d only been in labour for about 2 hours at this point.
By 15:20 I knew things were getting pretty far along so I txt my partner to tell him to call our midwife as soon as he got home, and to then come and fill up the pool. Ten minutes later at 15:30, I knew baby was coming (no time to fill the pool - same as my first labour. Oh well!) - I txt my partner to say ‘baby coming now’ and thankfully he was walking down the garden path. He ran in (in shock!) to see how I was, before I sent him to call for the midwife. By the time he’d tried a few times to get through, my water had broken. I called him back downstairs and I could feel the head coming. I wasn’t in my nice birthing pool as planned, but on my knees burying my face into a giant beanbag, I felt comfortable and in the right place, finally ready to ‘let go’ to labour, now that I wasn’t on my own.
10 minutes after he’d arrived home, my partner caught our little girl, at 15:40 - after what was the most intense and overwhelming experience of my life. I just had time to put earphones in to listen to some affirmations, and to drop some essential oils onto a face cloth to calm me down while I breathed our wee girl out into the world - breathing is so so important and was all I really needed to stay in control and keep myself in the right zone as I felt my baby move and turn and then arrive into my partner’s hands. Like my previous labour, I went into myself and trusted my body, and it did what it was made to do. What an amazing experience! I will never ever forget it. Having a baby at home was our dream (all be it in the water!!), but to have her arrive with just the two of us there to welcome her was absolutely amazing. A little scary and overwhelming while it was happening, but magical once she was in my arms and we knew we had done it and she was ok. The adrenaline took forever to fade and I still can’t quite believe we did it! What made it even more special was that our toddler got to meet her sister at home, less than an hour after she was born - so so special.
If you’re thinking about a homebirth, it is such a wonderful experience birthing in your own space, and what’s more, you can get into your own bed after. You’ll also forever be able to revisit the exact spot where you welcomed your baby into the world. I can’t express how special an experience it was.
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