Birth story - Jodie and baby Freya

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I have two little boys aged 4 and 2 already. My eldest was a water birth at my local MLU and my youngest was a home water birth. I was quite certain we were finished with having babies but this little person caught us by surprise! We decided on another home water birth as we had had such a great experience with our younger son.

When I was around 28wks pregnant I was admitted to labour ward with severe pain and was investigated for prem labour. It turns out it was kidney stones. While I was in hospital two of my grandparents died also. I ended up being very anxious about labour and felt like I needed to reign it in so discovered the online course and immediately binge watched the videos!

At 1.30am when I was 40+3 I was woken up by a surge. I had had random surges on and off over the last week so ignored it and tried to go back to sleep. However they kept coming so I timed them and they were every 6-7mins. I decided at 2.30am to get out of bed and bounce on my ball, watching Orange Is The New Black and let my husband sleep as I knew I would need him later on. My surges were gentle and didn’t really require much effort from me to get through them.

At 4.30am I called my mum to come down as she was my second birth partner. As she made her way down I decided to potter about and tidy up. My surges were then every 2-3min and had built in intensity. I was leaning over my kitchen counters and swaying, using my up breathing. NOTE: if you take one thing away from the course, please remember the up breathing! It was invaluable. Going round and round my head at the time was, “I can do anything for one minute”. I then phoned labour ward and asked them to let the home birth team know. My first midwife arrived at 6am.

My husband woke up and my dad came to collect my children. We had a kiss and a cuddle and they went off to Papa’s house. My husband set up the birth pool and then we all had tea, toast and watched The Greatest Showman! I was on all 4s rocking over my birth ball while my midwife gave me an aromatherapy massage with frankincense oil which was my chosen labour scent. I really went into myself and listened to my mp3s as my surges were powerful and starting to change.

I asked to be examined at 10.30am and I was found to be 6cm with bulging waters. I then decided to have some gas & air and to get in the pool. I did lose the head a little at this point and started to cry that I couldn’t do it. I knew this was transition and my second midwife arrived who is actually a friend of mine. She is trained in some hypnobirthing techniques and brought me back to my zone. She sprayed me with cooling spray and spoke my affirmations to me gently, reminding me to drink.

I had a very powerful surge and my waters went. I felt baby’s head turn and come right down - baby had turned side on! Not ideal so I moved from being on all 4s to being on my side. I used my down breathing and didn’t make a sound from here - just went with my body to birth my baby! I didn’t think, even after 2 babies, that this was possible. I really did feel the head go down, and up a bit, down again, up a bit more.

Because she was stuck this took 1.5hrs. I do believe if I hadn’t have done the course I would have transferred in to hospital and had an assisted delivery. Right before baby was born I decided I had to squat and birthed the head, followed shortly by the rest of a 9lbs baby, my biggest baby by far!

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Freya Olive Elena, 9lbs, born at home in the pool at 1.20pm on Tuesday 7th August.

I had a 2d tear due to her position but I opted not to have it stitched. 48hrs in and it’s healing nicely so far.

I am SO GRATEFUL to Siobhan for making the digital pack! I listened to the tracks religiously every night and they brought me into deep relaxation during labour which I never thought to be possible.

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